Wolsey Road, N1

Place Name

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 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 small group of streets named after key characters in the saga on account of a royal hunting lodge that Henry owned just south of Newington Green, where he is rumoured to have seduced his mistresses. The streets, namely King Henry’s Walk, Boleyn Road, King Henry Street, Mildmay Park, Tudor Court, and Queen Margaret’s Grove, were built around the 1830s. Some of the local Tudor architecture dates from around the same time.


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