The War with France began in 1512; initially failing due to a weak alliance with Ferdinand of Spain. In 1513, still allied with the Pope, England attacked France again, capturing two small cities. Although this victory was quite insignificant, it symbolised the start of Henry’s quest to conquer France succeeding. Wolsey proved himself very capable at organising war, and also in diplomatic negotiations, this was proved by the Treaty of London in 1518, which united France, Spain, the Holy Roman Empire, the Papacy and England against the threat of the Turks. Uniting these countries who so often fought over politics, and who were so linked with marriages, was no easy task. His successes gave Henry glory, and increased Henry’s trust and admiration for Wolsey.
In 1527, Henry submitted an annulment for his marriage to Catherine of Aragon. Annulments were allowed providing that both parties of the marriage agreed on the terms. Henry’s reason for annulment was the fact he believed he was cursed for marrying his brother’s widow, since she was not a virgin when she married Henry. He thought this was the reason that he couldn’t have a son with her. However, Catherine denied this, claiming she was a virgin when she married Henry. Henry asked Wolsey to get the Pope to give hi permission to divorce her without her consent. Catherine’s nephew, Charles V who was the Holy Roman Emperor urged the Pope not to annul the marriage, which put the Pope in an awkward positon. Wolsey tried to convince the Pope that the original dispensation for the marriage was void because the marriage clearly went against the rules set in Leviticus. The Pope allowed to legates to make the decision, Wolsey and Cardinal Campeggio. The Pope sent Campeggio to delay the proceedings and convince Henry to stay married the Catherine. He closed the courts meaning that a final decision could not be made. Anne Boleyn convinced the King that Wolsey was deliberately slowing the proceedings, sealing Wolsey’s fate.
Wolsey fled to Yorkshire, but Henry accused him of treason and ordered him back to London to stand trial. He fell ill on the journey and died in Leicester. He had planned to have a huge, expensive tomb to be buried in, however he was buried at Leicester Abbey without a monument. On his death bed he said “Had I served my God with half the zeal as I served my King, He would not in mine age leave me naked to mine enemies”