Ways to Advancement

  • B. W. Beckingsale


Thomas Cromwell had but a short time in which to leave his mark upon the history of England. For him the wheel of fortune turned fast. He gained great influence with Henry VIII by 1532 but that same King sanctioned his execution in 1540. Compared with other notable servants of the Tudor dynasty, such as Cardinal Wolsey or Lord Burghley, his effective political career was brief. Born about 1485 he gained power at a comparatively advanced age when he was in his late forties. Without the advantage of gentle birth, clerical office, or title he entered royal service as the protégé of a fallen minister. He had neither the academic distinction of Wolsey nor the literary reputation of Thomas More. Thomas Cromwell had to achieve greatness.


Notable Servant Business Friend Late Forty Cloth Trade Fall Minister 
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  1. 2.
    Foxe, Acts and Monuments, V, 398; G.R. Elton, Policy and Police (Cambridge 1972), 192.Google Scholar
  2. 6.
    S. E. Lehmberg, Sir Thomas Elyot: Tudor Humanist (Austin 1960), 30.Google Scholar

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© B.W. Beckingsale 1978

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  • B. W. Beckingsale

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