Key Dates in Cardinal Wolsey's life: this post will be updated as more events are added, so this is a "starter for 10". (Readers outside the UK may not be familiar with this phrase..it comes from the TV quiz show University Challenge, where each round starts with a question worth ten points!)
Wolsey's age at the time is given in brackets, assuming he was born in Jan 1472 (we are not sure).
1471, 1472 or 1473.Wolsey born in Ipswich, Suffolk. Son of probable butcher and/or grazier and/or merchant Robert Wulcy.
1487 or 88 (15 or 16). Took first degree at Magdelen College, Oxford at young age.
1491 (19) Took Masters degree at Oxford.
1496 (24) Father, Robert Wulcy, dies.
1497 (25) Elected Fellow of Magdalen; appointed Master of adjoining school.
1498 March 10th. (age 26). Ordained a priest in Marlborough
1500 (28) Presented with Rectory of Limington, Somerset, but may never have taken up residence (still schoolmaster in Oxford).
1506 (34) Acquires living of Redgrave in Suffolk.
1507 (35) Appointed chaplain to Henry VII.
1509, Feb.(37) Appointed Dean of Lincoln
1509. Death of Henry VII. Henry VIII becomes king.
1509. Henry VIII appoints Wolsey as Almoner, with a seat on the council.
1511 (39) Pope Julius II asks Wolsey for help against perceived French threat. Wolsey persuades Henry VIII to join Holy League against France
1511 (39) Wolsey becomes Canon of Windsor and member of Privy Council
1512 (40) Appointed Dean of Hereford.
1512-14 (40-42) War with France (expensive).
1513 (41) Henry dispatches army to Scotland to suppress rebellion. Scots defeated at Battle of Flodden with 10,000 dead, including James IV of Scotland.
1514 (42) Temporary peace with France brokered by Wolsey. Henry's sister Mary marries Louis XII as part of the deal.
1514 (42) Wolsey made Bishop of Lincoln, then Archbishop of York.
1514 (42) Wolsey angers Henry VIII by siding with the clergy in the case of Richard Hume.
1515(43) Pope Leo X appoints Wolsey as a Cardinal.
1515. Lord Chancellor Warham resigns after pressure from Wolsey. Henry VIII appoints Wolsey in his place.
1517-18 (45-46) Wolsey conducts enquiries into the Enclosures, which were driving the poor off the land and into the towns.
1518. Wolsey introduces "Just Price" policy to regulate meat prices.
1518. Wolsey made Papal Legate in England.
1518. Wolsey organises peace summit in London attended by 20 nations. Treaty of London signed as non-aggression pact and alliance against Turkish expansion.
1520 (48) Wolsey organises Field of the Cloth of Gold, an ego boost for Henry.
1520 (48) Wolsey makes alliance with Charles V of Holy Roman Empire against France, against treaty signed with France same year.
1522 (50) Wolsey raises £200,000 from the nobility via compulsory "benevolences".
1522-3 (50-51) War with France again (less successful).
1523. Wolsey drops opposition to Enclosures to gain Parliamentary support for war taxes. However, Parliament, led by Speaker Thomas More, offers only £100,000 per year against Wolsey's request for £800,000.
1523. Wolsey rewarded with Prince-Bishopric or Durham after succesful outcome of peace negotiations with France.
1524 (52) Wolsey dissolves a number of monasteries.
1524. Wolsey employed Benedetto of Florence to build a sumptuous sarcophagus of black marble at Windsor. Wolsey fell from disgrace before it was completed. It was eventually to mark the grave of Lord Nelson at St Paul's Cathedral in 1805
1525 (53) Charles defeats France at Battle of Pavia. Henry VIII has opportunity to seize power in France, but Parliament refuses to raise taxes. Wolsey devises Amicable Grant but is rebuffed and there is no invasion. Wolsey's popularity at new low.
1526 (54) Wolsey switches alliance to France again; devises League of Cognac (with France and some Italian states, against Charles)
1527 (55) Wolsey dissolves more monasteries.
1527, May. Wolsey convenes secret eclesiastical court to consider grounds for annulment of Henry's marriage to Katherine of Aragon, which Wolsey initially opposed.
1527. After bad harvest, Wolsey avoids disorder by distributing surplus grain to the needy.
1528 (56). Wolsey begins to limit benefit of the clergy.
1528. Henry is said to have exclaimed that he would have given "a thousand Wolsey's for one Anne Boleyn".
c1528. Son, Thomas Wynter Wolsey, born to Wolsey and his mistress Joan Larke of Yarmouth.
1529 (57). France makes peace with Charles, and stirs up Scots against England.
1529, Oct. Wolsey stripped of office of Lord Chancellor. Wolsey gives the King most of his property, and retires to Esher. Wolsey falls ill.
1530, Feb. Henry pardons Wolsey and confirms his Archbishopric of York, much to Anne's displeasure.
c1530 (58) Wolsey's daughter, Dorothy, born.
1530. Wolsey visits Sheffield
1530, Nov. Anne Boleyn's campaign against Wolsey is successful and he is charged with treason whilst in the north.
1530. Nov 28/29 Wolsey dies at Leicester on his way to probable execution in London. Wolsey was laid to rest within the walls of Leicester Abbey.
sources: Wikipedia, Catholic Encyclopedia, Luminarium