Wolsey Crescent, CR0

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Cardinal Thomas Wolsey (March 1473 – November 29, 1530) was Archbishop of York, Lord Chancellor of England, and a cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church but mainly he was Henry VIII’s fixer both at home and in Europe. He organised among other things the Field of the Cloth of Gold, a lavish summit between the English and French monarchs, that was designed to show off Henry’s vast wealth to his European neighbours. He rearranged England’s tax affairs so that the wealthy would pay most, he made allegiances and friendships and negotiated treaties among much else. However his career came to a crashing halt after failing to negotiate Henry’s annulment to his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, so that he could marry Anne Boleyn. Soon after Wolsey, who had been the king’s right hand man, fell out of favour and was stripped of his titles and later accused of treason. He died after a short illness on his way from York to London to face the charges. This is one of a cluster of New Addington streets that are named after some of Tudor England’s most prominent figures in reference to the fact that Henry VIII used to own a hunting lodge for the duration of his reign on what became the grounds of Addington Palace. According to Addington Palace’s website it is rumoured, although never conclusively proved, that the king held clandestine meetings with Anne Boleyn there, during which time he taught her to hunt among other things.

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