Thomas Cromwell

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Cromwell, Thomas

 

Born circa 1485 in Putney; died July 28, 1540, in London. English statesman.

In 1533 Cromwell was appointed chancellor of the exchequer and in 1534, the king’s secretary. He became vicar-general of the crown for ecclesiastical affairs in 1535, and in 1536 he was appointed lord privy seal. He became lord great chamberlain of England in 1539 and received the title of earl of Essex in 1540.

Cromwell played an important role in the strengthening of English absolutism under King Henry VIII, particularly in the implementation of the Reformation. His foreign policy was directed at effecting an alliance between England and the Protestant princes of Germany. As a result of court intrigue among the aristocracy, Cromwell was found guilty of heresy and high treason and was imprisoned and executed.