Between king and pope: Thomas Wolsey and the Knight mission

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The early attempts to secure Henry VIII's divorce from Catherine of Aragon saw a conflict in approach between the king and Thomas Wolsey, cardinal of York. The king went behind his minister's back and dispatched his own secretary, William Knight, to Rome, seeking a direct channel of communication with Clement VII in order to secure papal permission to marry Anne Boleyn. Wolsey interpreted the king's actions not only as a direct threat to his own connections with the Roman curia as legate a latere, but also as potentially disastrous for the divorce campaign. Knight's ultimate failure enabled Wolsey to regain control of the Great Matter and made abundantly clear to him the fragility of his own position as intermediary between king and pope.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)236-248
Number of pages13
JournalHistorical Research
Issue number224
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2011

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