Magnet pictures artist Sampson Strong's portrait of Cardinal Thomas Wolsey (c1471-1530), chief advisor and Lord Chancellor to English Tudor king Henry VIII from the start of Henry's reign in 1509 until a year before Wolsey's death. Appointed Royal Chaplain by Henry VII, Wolsey was one of several counselors bequeathed to Henry VIII at his father's death. When Wolsey supported Henry's hawkish attitude to England's relations with France, he became the young king's most trusted advisor.
Wolsey's highest moment as a diplomat came in 1518 when he organized a summit of 20 nations and signed the Treaty of London with Louis XII of France. The moment was brief. Peace, like many of Wolsey's projects, failed when he was unable to control the conflicting demands of his king, faith and personal ambition. Wolsey's power in England and with the church depended upon his relationship with Henry VIII. That relationship suffered a blow in 1925 when Henry wanted to attack France but Wolsey's tax to fund the military venture, the Amicable Plan, provoked citizen protests. Henry was not pleased. The final blow to Henry & Wolsey's relationship came when Wolsey failed in Henry's "Great Matter," that of acquiring a papal annulment of Henry's 1st marriage to Catherine of Aragon.