Cromwell, Thomas, earl of Essex

Cromwell, Thomas, earl of Essex

biographical name

(born c. 1485, Putney, near London, Eng.—died July 28, 1540, probably London) English politician and principal adviser (1532–40) to Henry VIII. He was a confidential adviser to Thomas, Cardinal Wolsey, before entering Parliament (1529), where his abilities attracted the king's notice. Entering Henry's service in 1530, he was chiefly responsible for establishing the Reformation in England, for the dissolution of the monasteries, and for strengthening the royal administration. He eventually came into complete control of the government, though he pretended to be acting on the king's authority. In 1539 he made the mistake of inducing Henry to marry Anne of Cleves, which led to his fall. At his enemies' instigation he was arrested for heresy and treason, condemned without a hearing, and executed.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
For the full entry on Cromwell, Thomas, earl of Essex, visit

Seen & Heard

What made you look up Cromwell, Thomas, earl of Essex? Please tell us what you were reading, watching or discussing that led you here.