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Do You Agree With The View Expressed In Source Three That The Diplomatic Situation Was The Main Reason For Henry’s Failure To Obtain An Annulment Of His Marriage To Catherine By 1529?

1402 words - 6 pages

Do you agree with the view expressed in source three that the diplomatic situation was the main reason for Henry’s failure to obtain an annulment of his marriage to Catherine by 1529?

It is obvious that there is more than one reason behind Henry’s failure to obtain an annulment of his marriage to Catherine by 1529. It is however possible to identify that the diplomatic situation did not help his case in getting an annulment and was most certainly a hindrance. The diplomatic status was of great concern to Henry because at this time the Pope was under the influence of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, Henry would require the Pope to allow his marriage to be annulled but due to the ...view middle of the document...

Source 3 further extends this argument when it reveals that Clement revealed ‘I have quite made up my mind to become an imperialist and live and die as such’. This reinforces that Henry would struggle to negotiate an annulment because the Pope had committed to follow Charles as an imperialist and would ‘live and die as such’ which shows his commitment. Henry was also unlikely to manage to get an annulment granted because he had no real powerful allies that could stand up against the Holy Roman Empire and the Pope and tell them that giving Henry an annulment was the right thing to do. Henry was now in a dire state regarding the diplomatic situation and it looked that he had no way of getting out of it and convincing Charles and the Pope that an annulment was the right thing to do.

It is however possible to argue that there were other underlying reasons for the failure to seize an annulment by 1529 and that Cardinal Wolsey’s incompetence was one of them. Wolsey’s great problem was that he was now a very unpopular figure in England and that he had lost his influence amongst the courtiers and that they no longer felt obliged to conform to his wishes. This meant that many refused to work for him and when it came to the trial of Blackfriars he had very a very limited range of people he could rely on for information and their backing, this meant it was very hard for him to convince Campeggio that an annulment was warranted. A further weakness of Wolsey was that he had poor relations with the papacy, this meant that any talks with them would be much tougher than for other people. This poor relationship stemmed from 1518 when Wolsey was appointed as a papal legate instead of Campeggio. This left Campaggio fuming and created a resentment of Wolsey on his behalf. This bitter relationship meant that Wolsey and Campaggio would not talk direct and instead of a quick process that it should have been meant he had to go through various other figures such as diplomats and in the time it took Charles managed to capture and detain Clement. This shows that Wolsey’s ineffectiveness as it was possible to sort out the annulment quickly however due to certain problems caused by him he wasn’t able to do so. Source 2 says that Wolsey had to try and turn the people on Charles and gain allies such as France when he says ‘Wolsey rises all his means to bring the Emperor into hatred, and Francis into favour, but its hard work, to fight against nature’, the source also acknowledges how hard it will be to do so.

Another factor that it is impossible to overlook is Henry himself and the decisions that he made. It is possible to state that the argument that Henry used to try and gain an annulment was the reason for his failure. Henry’s argument was that a passage of the bible called Letvicus stated "If a man shall take his...

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