It would have been inconceivable to anyone on this day that Thomas Cromwell would be executed almost exactly four years later. But that’s for a different post. For now, I want to focus on his meteoric rise…which of course only gave him further to fall.
Cromwell had been knighted for freeing Henry from his first marriage – which involved creating the Church of England. He received his barony four years later for freeing Henry from his second marriage – which required far more ruthlessness (Cromwell invented charges against Anne Boleyn and five men to eliminate her entire faction). Of course, Henry tried to be discreet about the whole thing – so he waited for six weeks before formalizing the elevation (hey, Henry also thought that waiting ten days after Anne’s execution to marry Jane Seymour would throw people off the scent there too!).
Regardless, on this day Cromwell became “Baron Cromwell of Wimbledon,” an actual peer of the realm. It was the fourth creation of the title and was forfeited on his attainder and death. That said, Cromwell’s son Gregory was married to Jane Seymour’s sister Elizabeth – and after Henry realized that he had been duped into executing “the most faithful subject he ever had” he created the title a fifth time to give it to Gregory. The least he could do…
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