Cardinal Wolsey and Henry VIII

Cardinal Wolsey and Henry VIII

The exterior of the Banqueting House copyright Miles Willis

Cardinal Wolsey made York Place, as the Banqueting House was then called, the lavish centre of his political empire.

Thomas Wolsey was the son of a butcher. A gifted man with an incredible work ethic, he rose swiftly through the ranks to become one of the most powerful people in the country.

The young king Henry VIII was a typical Tudor aristocratic teenager who loved sports and drinking over work so we has more than happy to delegate the tedious work of running the country to Wolsey.

Under Wolsey, York Place – the future Palace of Whitehall – became an unbelievable lavish ‘town house’. No expense was spared to impress his visitors and even his cook wore a satin or velvet coat and a heavy gold chain to work.

Wolsey fell out of favour, however, when he failed to get Henry VIII the divorce he so desperately wanted so that he could marry his mistress Anne Boleyn. Wolsey was exiled and soon died of agonizing bowel cancer while Henry and Anne moved into York Place and set about turning it into Whitehall Palace.

You may also be interested in...