Thursday, May 16, 2013

"There was never a better man in the office"

"There was never a better man in the office"

      These are the words of Eustace Chapuys, Spanish Ambassador to the Court of Henry VIII, reporting on the resignation of Sir Thomas More from the office of Chancellor of England.  Today is the anniversary of that resignation, it taking place this day in 1532.

      More succeeded Thomas Cardinal Wolsey as Chancellor, Wolsey having fallen after the Trial at Blackfriars failed to yield a verdict from Cardinal Campaggio that Henry's marriage to Catherine of Aragon was invalid ab initio.  More's time as Chancellor was far from smooth in that his opposition to the "Divorce" and Henry's increasing efforts to gain control over the English church pushed him away from Henry.  Still, Henry recognized the genius of his Chancellor, and is know to have rejected earlier efforts by Thomas to resign.  

       In the spring of 1532 Parliament had accepted the Supplication of the Clergy and passed legislation against Church law including praemunire.   Finally, on May 16, More presented the Great Seal to Henry, and it was accepted. 

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