How far do the sources suggest that Wolseys efforts to secure an annulment of the Kings marriage were half-hearted?

Authors Avatar by J-Painter0408hotmailcouk (student)

Although sources 1-3 make suggestions towards Wolsey’s lack of effort in gaining an annulment for Henry, they all generally agree in the fact that his ability and determination to fill Henry with hope that he would succeed in obtaining the annulment showed that Wolsey made gaining the annulment his main priority which he tried to achieve whole heartedly.

Firstly, sources 1 and 2 both agree that Wolsey was wasteful with the resources he had at his disposal and that he did not make an efficient use of not only this, but also his situation. Source 2 “…Wolsey has marvellous contacts” and “…yet has not made use of this”. It can be implied from this that Wolsey had the ability to obtain Henry’s annulment, but failed due to his lack of effort and half-hearted approach. Source 1 supports this view, first implying once again that Wolsey had good contacts and that he had the ability to influence them “Stafileo has changed his opinion”. However a lack of effort can still be seen here as he as only instructed Stafileo of the facts.  It is likely that Source 2 is more reliable than source 1 as it was from a letter written by the Duke of Suffolk, who was not directly involved in the ‘Great Matter’. As the source is also from a letter, it is unlikely the Suffolk would have feared angering Wolsey as the letter would have been private. Source 2, in comparison to this, may not be as reliable as Wolsey would not have wanted to upset Henry and so would make events seem a lot more positive than they may have been. It can also be suggested that as source 2 was written 2 years after source 1, Wolsey had failed to use his contacts efficiently which supports claims made in source 1.

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Despite this, Wolsey did successfully install hope in to Henry which shows he did not want to let Henry down. This is shown in source 3 “Kindled the fire in Henry” and this quote itself is supported by source 1 “Stafileo has changed his opinion” showing Wolsey’s power of manipulation, this time over Stafileo. It is clear that Wolsey had great confidence in his ability to give Henry hope and therefore was not half hearted in his attempts to achieve an annulment. Source 3 is taken from Edwards Hall’s Chronicle, 1948, and is quoting Catherine of Aragorn’s words to Wolsey. ...

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