Cromwell, Thomas

(c. 1485–1540)
   Politician.
   Cromwell was born in humble circumstances and spent some of his early life abroad as a soldier in the French army. Under the patronage of Cardinal wolsey, he was elected to the House of Commons in 1523 and after Wolsey’s fall in 1529, he joined the household of King Henry VIII. As the King’s Vicar- General, he organised the dissolution of the monasteries; he brokered an unsuccessful Protestant marriage for the King (with Anne of Cleves); he encouraged the translation of the Bible into English and he defined the duties of the clergy. However, in 1540 he fell out of favour with the King. He was arrested, found guilty of treason and executed. His own religious convictions are not clear, but Cromwell must be regarded as an important contributor to the Protestant Reformation in England.
   A.G. Dickens, Thomas Cromwell and the English Reformation (1959);
   G. Elton, Thomas Cromwell (1991).

Who’s Who in Christianity . 2014.

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