29 July, 2007

Cardinal Wolsey - Key Dates or Timeline

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

23 July, 2007

Cannon fodder

This post is a modest entry for the Your Nearest Site carnival....
In a Hampton cul-de-sac, a couple of streets from my house, an upturned cannon sits in the ground surrounded by a patch of grass in the middle of a small council estate.

It is a interesting relic of General William Roy's pioneering late C18th triangulation work which laid the basis for the Ordnance Survey.

The photo is courtesy the Twickenham Museum website, which tells the story of how Roy, a Royal Engineer, used triangulation to measure the distance between the Paris and Greenwich observatories. Until the advent of GPS, triangulation was the only means to measure distances over water.

The other end Roy's baseline, 5 miles to the north, is marked by another cannon in a slightly more noisy location on the perimeter road around Heathrow Airport.

To quote the Royal Engineers Museum site, "This line was measured in the summer of 1784, three times over, by means of cased glass tubing, seasoned deal rods and a steel chain. The discrepancy between these three methods was less than 3 inches".

13 July, 2007

The Dean of St.Paul's invents bottled beer, 13th July, 1568

Cardinal Wolsey did not drink bottled beer. Why? Because he had been dead for 39 years when Dr Alexander Nowell, Dean of St Paul's is reputed to have discovered the benefits of bottled beer by accident.

According the the History of the Pint,
the Dean had decanted some beer into a bottle for a fishing expedition in 1568. He lost a bottle in the grass and, "when he came upon it again quite by chance a few days later, found it was still perfectly drinkable".

The Mary Rose website discusses the importance of copious supplies of beer to the Tudor navy : seven gallons per man was the norm.

Some interesting"annotations" on the subject of beer in the 17th century have been contributed by readers of the Samuel Pepys Diary blog . Pepys himself records the unfortunate consequences of drinking bad beer in the diary...
"Drinking of cold small beer here I fell ill, and was forced to go out and vomit, and so was well again and went home by and by to bed."(16 March, 1662).

["Small beer" was lower in alcohol than "Strong beer", and so more liable to contamination! ]

08 July, 2007

Joan of Arc found innocent, 7th July, 1456

Joan of Arc was finally declared innocent of heresy by Inquisitor-General Jean Brehal on 7th July 1456, 25 years after her death at the stake.

Some more modern cases of those found innocent or pardoned after their executions:

More than 300 British soldiers shot for cowardice or desertion in World War One 1914-18. The link is to a BBC article including personal stories. However, the Army Act of 2006 that enacted the pardon stated that it "does not affect any conviction or sentence."

Lena Barker, a black maid sent to the electric chair in 1945 for killing a white man she said had enslaved her: pardoned in 2005. The link is to the US National Public Radio site, including an audio podcast.

This year, relatives of Admiral John Byng, executed in 1757 for failing to "do his utmost", petitioned the Ministry of Defence for a posthumous pardon, but were turned down.

05 July, 2007

Test your knowledge of British Castles and Cathedrals

Came across this great set of aerial photos of castles and cathedrals - most are British. Unhelpfully they aren't labelled....how many can you name?

02 July, 2007

Is YouTube any good for History?

Is YouTube any use for those of us interested in History?

For future generations it is accumulating a vast pile of first-person accounts (eg the frontline coverage from Iraq and Afghanistan), and is very much focussed on the Now...maybe with a nostalgic retro feel in places (eg all the Star Wars spoofs).

However, a quick browse through turned up some interesting uploads (some of which are no doubt infringing copyright!):

A search for "Early Modern history" turned up an interesting video from Warwick University's ICAST series on Angels in the Early Modern Period.

This led to another Warwick video on Prof. John Bates' five year effort to edit a new edition of the Complete Works of Shakespeare - check out the bags under his eyes.

Americans are into re-enactment in a big way - this clip is comedian Dan Polydoris' take on the Renaissance Fair phenomenon - [warning - contains strong language and drug references!]

A search for Tudor History brings back 39 responses. Here is Adam-Hart Davies expounding on Tudor toilet technology as only he can.

CBS have put up an official trailer for the US hit series The Tudors, although there are lots or pirated clips also. CBS are taking a similar apprach to the BBC/HBO series "Rome" , hence I laughed when I heard this punchline from the CBS trailer: "The next best thing to being the King, is hanging with the King". Even better is this viewer comment: " this show is sooo frekin awesome!" Right.

Finally, here is US artist/historian George Stuart on Cardinal Wolsey, part of a monologue covering the key figures in 400 years of British History ... Wolsey gets just under five minutes.

That's it for now.