George Cavendish (1497 – c. 1562) was an English writer, best known as the biographer of Cardinal Thomas Wolsey.His Thomas Wolsey, Late Cardinall, his Lyffe and Deathe is described by the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography as the "most important single contemporary source for Wolsey's life" which also offers a "detailed picture of early sixteenth-century court life and of political events in the 1520s, particularly the divorce proceedings against Catherine of Aragon.
Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, Archbishop of York, Lord Chancellor of England, was an English bishop, statesman and a cardinal of the Catholic Church. When Henry VIII became King of England in 1509, Wolsey became the King's almoner. Wolsey's affairs prospered, and by 1514 he had become the controlling figure in virtually all matters of state and extremely powerful within the Church, as Archbishop of York, a cleric in England junior only to the Archbishop of Canterbury. His appointment in 1515 as a cardinal by Pope Leo X gave him precedence over all other English clerics.
Catherine of Aragon was Queen of England from June 1509 until May 1533 as the first wife of King Henry VIII; she was previously Princess of Wales as the wife of Henry's elder brother Arthur.
Cavendish was born in 1497,the elder son of Thomas Cavendish (d. 1524), who was a senior financial official, the "clerk of the pipe", in the Court of Exchequer, and his wife, Alice Smith of Padbrook Hall, Suffolk. He was the great-grandson of Sir John Cavendish from whom the Dukes of Devonshire and the Dukes of Newcastle inherited the family name of Cavendish. George was an English courtier and author and the brother of William Cavendish, the second husband of Bess of Hardwick. He was probably born at his father's manor of Cavendish, in Suffolk. Later the family resided in London, in the parish of St Albans, Wood Street, where Thomas Cavendish died in 1524. Around this time Cavendish married Margery Kemp, of Spains Hall, an heiress, and the niece of Sir Thomas More.
The Exchequer of Pleas or Court of Exchequer was a court that dealt with matters of equity, a set of legal principles based on natural law and common law in England and Wales. Originally part of the curia regis, or King's Council, the Exchequer of Pleas split from the curia during the 1190s, to sit as an independent, central court. The Court of Chancery's reputation for tardiness and expense resulted in much of its business transferring to the Exchequer. The Exchequer and Chancery, with similar jurisdictions, drew closer together over the years, until an argument was made during the 19th century that having two seemingly identical courts was unnecessary. As a result, the Exchequer lost its equity jurisdiction. With the Judicature Acts, the Exchequer was formally dissolved as a judicial body by an Order in Council of 16 December 1880.
Sir John Cavendish was an English judge and politician from Cavendish, Suffolk, England. He and the village gave the name Cavendish to the aristocratic families of the Dukedoms of Devonshire, Newcastle and Portland.
The House of Cavendish is a British noble house. The Cavendish family has been one of the richest and most influential aristocratic families in England since the 16th century, and has been rivalled in political influence perhaps only by the Marquesses of Salisbury and the Earls of Derby. They are descended from Sir John Cavendish of Cavendish in the county of Suffolk, and their numerous peerages included the Dukedom of Devonshire, the Dukedom of Newcastle, the Barony of Waterpark. and the Barony of Chesham. The head of the family is Peregrine Cavendish, 12th Duke of Devonshire, whose seat is Chatsworth House, one of the grandest private homes in the world.
Probably aided by his father's position at the exchequer, in about 1522 Cavendish entered the service of Cardinal Wolsey as gentleman-usher, and stayed in his service until Wolsey's death in 1530.His position required him personally to attend the Cardinal at all times, as well as responsibilities for the lavish entertainments that Wolsey enjoyed. During this time Cavendish was often separated from his wife, children and estates. Cavendish also knew Anne Boleyn when she was first a 'debutante' at Henry VIII's court in 1522. He was adamant that she remained a virgin until her marriage, despite Catholic rumours to the contrary. However, although he attested to her sexual morals, he never forgave her for her hatred of Cardinal Wolsey or her animosity towards the Pope.
Anne Boleyn was Queen of England from 1533 to 1536 as the second wife of King Henry VIII. Henry's marriage to her, and her execution by beheading, made her a key figure in the political and religious upheaval that was the start of the English Reformation. Anne was the daughter of Thomas Boleyn, 1st Earl of Wiltshire, and his wife, Lady Elizabeth Howard, and was educated in the Netherlands and France, largely as a maid of honour to Queen Claude of France. Anne returned to England in early 1522, to marry her Irish cousin James Butler, 9th Earl of Ormond; the marriage plans were broken off, and instead she secured a post at court as maid of honour to Henry VIII's wife, Catherine of Aragon.
Cavendish was wholly devoted to Wolsey's interests, and also he saw in this appointment an opportunity to gratify his master-passion, a craving "to see and be acquainted with strangers, in especial with men in honour and authority." He was faithful to his master in disgrace, and showed the courage of the "loyal servitor."It is plain that he enjoyed Wolsey's closest confidence to the end, for after the cardinal's death Cavendish was called before the privy council and closely examined as to Wolsey's latest acts and words. He gave his evidence so clearly and with so much natural dignity, that he won the applause of the hostile council, and the praise of being "a just and diligent servant." He was not allowed to suffer in pocket by his fidelity to his master, but retired, as it would seem, a wealthy man to his estate of Glemsford, in West Suffolk, in 1530, having refused the offer of a position as gentleman usher from Henry VIII. He was only thirty years of age, but his appetite for being acquainted with strange acts and persons was apparently sated, for we do not hear of his engaging in any more adventures.
Glemsford is a village in the Babergh district in Suffolk, England, near the town of Sudbury. Glemsford is located near the River Glem and the River Stour also flows nearby. Glemsford is surrounded by arable farmland and is not far from historic Suffolk villages such as Lavenham and Long Melford.
It is likely that Cavendish had taken down notes of Wolsey's conversation and movements, for many years passed before his biography was composed.Between 1554 and 1558, he wrote it out in its final form. It was not, however, possible to publish it in the author's lifetime, but it was widely circulated in manuscript. Evidently one of these manuscripts fell into the hands of William Shakespeare, for that poet made use of it in his Henry VIII , and Samuel Weller Singer even said that Shakespeare "merely put Cavendish's language into verse."
William Shakespeare was an English poet, playwright and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's greatest dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon". His extant works, including collaborations, consist of approximately 39 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and a few other verses, some of uncertain authorship. His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright.
Henry VIII is a collaborative history play, written by William Shakespeare and John Fletcher, based on the life of King Henry VIII of England. An alternative title, All Is True, is recorded in contemporary documents, the title Henry VIII not appearing until the play's publication in the First Folio of 1623. Stylistic evidence indicates that individual scenes were written by either Shakespeare or his collaborator and successor, John Fletcher. It is also somewhat characteristic of the late romances in its structure. It is noted for having more stage directions than any of Shakespeare's other plays.
Samuel Weller Singer (1783–1858) was an English author and scholar on the work of William Shakespeare. He is also now remembered as a pioneer historian of card games.
Thomas Wolsey, Late Cardinall, his Lyffe and Deathe was first printed in 1641, in a garbled text, and under the title of The Negotiations of Thomas Wolsey.The genuine text, from contemporary manuscripts, was published in 1810. Singer published the first complete edition in 1825: The Life of Cardinal Wolsey, and Metrical Visions; from the original autograph manuscript. The "metrical visions" were his tragic poems: laments in the voice of ill-fated contemporary figures like Lady Jane Grey. Until the 19th century it was believed that the book was the composition of George Cavendish's younger brother William, the founder of Chatsworth House, who also was attached to Wolsey. Joseph Hunter proved this to be impossible, and definitely asserted the claim of George. The latter is believed to have died at Glemsford before July 1562.
Lady Jane Grey, also known as Lady Jane Dudley and as "the Nine Days' Queen", was an English noblewoman and de facto Queen of England and Ireland from 10 July until 19 July 1553.
Chatsworth House is a stately home in Derbyshire, England, in the Derbyshire Dales 3.5 miles (5.6 km) northeast of Bakewell and 9 miles (14 km) west of Chesterfield. The seat of the Duke of Devonshire, it has been home to the Cavendish family since 1549.
The intrinsic value of Cavendish's Life of Cardinal Wolsey has long been perceived, for it is the sole authentic record of a multitude of events highly important in a particularly interesting section of the history of England.Its importance as a product of biographical literature was first emphasised by Mandell Creighton, who insisted on the claim of Cavendish to be recognised as the earliest of the great English biographers, and an individual writer of charm and originality. He writes with simplicity and vividness, rarely yielding to the rhetoric which governed the ordinary prose of his age.
George Cavendish appears as a minor character in Hilary Mantel's novel Wolf Hall, a fictional biography of Thomas Cromwell. Cavendish is portrayed as a devoted servant who genuinely admires Wolsey; in the novel, Cromwell describes him as "a sensitive sort of man."
This article incorporates text from the public domain 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica.
Sir William Cavendish MP was an English politician, knight and courtier. Cavendish held public office and accumulated a considerable fortune, and became one of Thomas Cromwell's "visitors of the monasteries" during the dissolution of the monasteries. He was MP for Thirsk in 1547. In 1547 he married Bess of Hardwick, and the couple began the construction of Chatsworth House in 1552, a project which would not be completed until after his death. His second son William Cavendish became the first Earl of Devonshire, purchasing his title from the impecunious King James I.
Thomas Howard, 2nd Duke of Norfolk, styled Earl of Surrey from 1483 to 1485 and again from 1489 to 1514, was an English nobleman and politician. He was the eldest son of John Howard, 1st Duke of Norfolk, by his first wife, Catharina de Moleyns. The Duke was the grandfather of both Queen Anne Boleyn and Queen Catherine Howard and the great grandfather of Queen Elizabeth I. He served four monarchs as a soldier and statesman.
Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk was a prominent English politician of the Tudor era. He was an uncle of two of the wives of King Henry VIII, namely Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard, both of whom were beheaded, and played a major role in the machinations affecting these royal marriages. After falling from favour in 1546, he was stripped of the dukedom and imprisoned in the Tower of London, avoiding execution when Henry VIII died on 28 January 1547.
George Boleyn, 2nd Viscount Rochford was an English courtier and nobleman, and the brother of queen consort Anne Boleyn. This made him the brother-in-law of King Henry VIII and the maternal uncle of Queen Elizabeth I of England.
Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk, 1st Viscount Lisle, was the son of Sir William Brandon and Elizabeth Bruyn. Through his third wife, Mary Tudor, he was brother-in-law to Henry VIII, King of England. His father was the standard-bearer of Henry Tudor, Earl of Richmond who seized the throne as Henry VII. Suffolk died of unknown causes at Guildford.
Henry Percy, 6th Earl of Northumberland, KG was an English nobleman, active as a military officer in the north. He is now primarily remembered as the betrothed of Anne Boleyn, whom he was forced to give up before she became involved with King Henry VIII.
Thomas Storer was an English poet. His major work was the Life and Death of Cardinal Wolsey.
Henry Algernon Percy, 5th Earl of Northumberland, KG was an English nobleman and a member of the courts of both Kings Henry VII and Henry VIII.
The Amicable Grant was a tax imposed on England in 1525 by the Lord Chancellor Thomas Wolsey. Called at the time "a benevolence", it was essentially a forced loan, a levy of between one sixth and one tenth on the goods of the laity and on one-third of the goods of the clergy. The Amicable Grant should have been levied with Parliamentary authority, but was not, and so the legal framework for its collection was extremely weak. This was partly because it was brought to Parliament by Thomas Wolsey, who was becoming increasingly unpopular. Widespread passive resistance, with a growing threat of armed resistance, meant little money was raised and the project was dropped. King Henry VIII now lacked funds for his war in France and made peace.
Sir Thomas Lovell, KG was an English soldier and administrator, Speaker of the House of Commons, Secretary to the Treasury and Chancellor of the Exchequer.
Events from the 1520s in England.
Thomas Grey, 2nd Marquess of Dorset was an English peer, courtier, soldier, and landowner.
Gilbert Tailboys or Talboys, 1st Baron Tailboys of Kyme was an English courtier and Member of Parliament during the reign of Henry VIII of England.
Thomas Magnus (1463/4–1550) was an English churchman, administrator and diplomat.
Joseph Grove, was an English biographer.
"Three Card Trick" is the first episode of the BBC Two series Wolf Hall. It was first broadcast on 21 January 2015.
Henry VIII is a 1911 British silent historical film directed by Will Barker and starring Arthur Bourchier, Herbert Tree and Violet Vanbrugh. It is based on William Shakespeare and John Fletcher's play Henry VIII. Tree was paid £1,000 for his role as Cardinal Wolsey which was revealed as part of the film's publicity. The writer Louis N. Parker was employed as an advisor regarding historical accuracy.
"Entirely Beloved" is the second episode of the BBC Two series Wolf Hall. It was first broadcast on 28 January 2015.