Unsure about how the schemes and strategies of Henry’s court are playing out? Get these 14 essentials of Wolf Hall Episode 3, and catch up on everything from the Succession to the scandals!
1. 1531: Windsor Castle
Queen Katherine: I expected this. But I didn’t expect he would send a man like you to tell me.
Henry has tasked Cromwell with notifying Queen Katherine that she’s to be vacated from Windsor Castle. Henry’s bill declaring himself Supreme Head of the Church of England insults the Queen’s piety, but his sending of the detested Cromwell as his envoy insults her deeply, personally.
2. 1531: Westminster, House of Commons
Henry: I know Stephen is opposed to the bill, Cromwell. I don’t want a servant who will agree with everything. I need men who aren’t afraid
of controversy. Now, I know you two quarrel, but you must learn to pull together. This winter you have to be yoked to the plough.
Despite Gardiner’s objection to the bill, he does the politically expedient thing and votes for it. Yet he will not honor Henry’s request that he and Cromwell “pull together.”
3. 1531: Austin Friars
Thomas Cromwell: Tyndale and More. They deserve each other. These mules who pose as men.
That More won’t bend to Henry is expected; he holds firm in his loyalty to Rome. But Tyndale’s refusal to support the King’s divorce—which would advance his goal of printing the Bible in English—is incomprehensible to someone as savvy as Cromwell.
4. 1531: Hampton Court
Thomas Cromwell: I had heard a rumour…
Mary Boleyn: She isn’t. I would know. If she thickened at all I’d be the one to have to let out her clothes. I know her waist by the inch.
The entire court anxiously awaits any progress in Henry and Anne’s relationship. To their minds, the future of England rests on it.
5. 1531: Hampton Court
Thomas Cromwell: It’s a gift for one of your women. The little girl who always cries.
Cromwell is drawn to gentle Jane Seymour. Is it her guileless nature, so opposite his own, that enchants him? Or is he already searching for a potential successor to Anne?
6. 1531: Austin Friars
Thomas More: To save his soul I would have had him whipped, I’d have had him burnt with irons, I’d have had him hung by his wrists…
More’s savage treatment of “heretics” in the name of God disgusts Cromwell. The torture of his friend and fellow follower of Tyndale, James Bainham, distresses him deeply and, to his mind, exposes More’s hypocrisy.
7. 1531: Palace of Whitehall
Anne Boleyn: I deny everything.
Anne and Harry Percy were forced to put a stop to their youthful flirtation by Cardinal Wolesy. But Percy’s wife has claimed that Percy and Anne were secretly married, which would not just render Anne unavailable for Henry, but would destroy her reputation as a virgin.
8. 1531: Mark and the Lion Inn
Thomas Cromwell: From border fortresses. Even from Whitehall. The world is run from Antwerp, from Florence, from Lisbon. From wherever the merchant ships set sail off into the west. Not from castle walls, from counting houses.
In response to Percy’s smug sense of insulation because of his noble position, Cromwell describes the profoundly changing world and the ways in which his debt could destroy him.
9. 1531: Palace of Whitehall
Henry: Everything that you are, everything that you have, will come from me.
Drunk and buoyed by the possibility of the King of France speaking on his behalf to the Pope, Henry cements his close relationship with Cromwell, naming him Keeper of the Jewel House and recipient of Henry’s generosity. What’s unsaid is that he can also take everything away.
10. 1532: Canterbury Cathedral
Elizabeth Barton: Here’s one. If you marry this one, you won’t reign seven months.
The Holy Maid of Kent, Elizabeth Barton, only becomes a threat when rivals to the throne start meeting with her, hoping to use her prophecies to undermine Henry’s rule.
11. 1532: Calais
Thomas Cromwell: What did she want the Bible for?
Mary Boleyn: To swear him. Before witnesses. He made her a binding promise. They are married in God’s sight. And he swears he’ll marry her again in England and crown her queen.
Anne has chosen her moment.
12. 1533: The Tower of London
Thomas Cromwell: If some men come and tell you to go with them, I want you go with them. They’ll be my men.
James Bainham: You think you can get me out of the Tower?
Thomas Cromwell: Tynedale’s Bible says “with God nothing is impossible.”
The extent to which Cromwell will go to save Bainham is equal to his disgust with More for imprisoning him.
13. 1533: Thomas More’s House
Thomas Cromwell: Ask to see Henry. He’ll welcome you back like a lost child. I’m not asking you to agree with James. If his doctrine is false, you can talk him back, back to Rome. You’re an eloquent man. You’re the great persuader of our age. But if he dies, you’ll never know, will you? Whether you could have saved his soul.
Cromwell tries to engage More where he lives, in the moral and philosophical realm, to save his friend and fellow follower of Tyndale. But More will not bend.
14. 1533: Windsor Castle
Anne Boleyn: I’m not distressed. These people want me dead. But when my son is born, they’ll all be powerless.
Anne’s ambition is achieved; she is crowned Queen of England. But her words are chilling for those who know what is to come.