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Thomas Cromwell, 1st Earl of Essex, was an English statesman who served as chief minister of King Henry VIII of England from 1532 to 1540.

Cromwell was one of the strongest advocates of the English Reformation. Cromwell helped engineer an annulment of the King's marriage to Catherine of Aragon, so that Henry could marry his mistress Anne Boleyn. Supremacy over the Church of England was officially declared by Parliament in 1534, and Cromwell supervised the Church from the unique posts of vicegerent for spirituals and vicar general.

Cromwell's rise to power made him many enemies, especially among the conservative faction at court. He fell from Henry's favour after arranging the King's marriage to a German princess, Anne of Cleves, whom he divorced shortly afterwards. He was subjected to a bill of attainder and executed for treason and heresy on Tower Hill on 28 July 1540. The King later expressed regret at having lost his great minister.

Oliver Cromwell (1599Ė1658), the Parliamentarian leader who overthrew the monarchy during the English Civil War, was a great-great-grandson of Thomas Cromwell's sister, Katherine Cromwell (born circa 1482).

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Thomas Cromwell, 1st Earl of Essex, was an English statesman who served as chief minister of King Henry VIII of England from 1532 to 1540.

Cromwell was one of the strongest advocates of the English Reformation. Cromwell helped engineer an annulment of the King's marriage to Catherine of Aragon, so that Henry could marry his mistress Anne Boleyn. Supremacy over the Church of England was officially declared by Parliament in 1534, and Cromwell supervised the Church from the unique posts of vicegerent for spirituals and vicar general.

Cromwell's rise to power made him many enemies, especially among the conservative faction at court. He fell from Henry's favour after arranging the King's marriage to a German princess, Anne of Cleves, whom he divorced shortly afterwards. He was subjected to a bill of attainder and executed for treason and heresy on Tower Hill on 28 July 1540. The King later expressed regret at having lost his great minister.

Oliver Cromwell (1599Ė1658), the Parliamentarian leader who overthrew the monarchy during the English Civil War, was a great-great-grandson of Thomas Cromwell's sister, Katherine Cromwell (born circa 1482). More...

 
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