The Cardinal’s Legacy… (Uk Court)

Statue of Cardinal Thomas Wolsey in Ipswich, England

Thomas Wolsey UK: *It is a seasonably warm January day as I stroll through the handsomely manicured grounds surrounding Hampton court palace. Accompanying me is my young secretary, master Thomas Cromwell. As I speak, I look not directly at him, but rather at the rich colors and textures of the plants and flower beds surrounding us. My hands folded before me, I walk at a deliberate pace and make sure every word is clearly enunciated and comprehended.* … My gardens are a great joy to me, Cromwell. They inspire me, you know? The mind itself is a garden of sorts. From it’s fertile soil spring thoughts that change the world. Ideas, master Cromwell. Ideas. * I smile broadly and raise my hand up* I have asked you to join me, as I require the fruits of your thoughts to assist me in my plans.

Thomas Cromwell Uk: As I walk around the gardens with His Eminence, I admire the beauty and think of how I might improve my own gardens at Austin Friars. I sort through in my mind how to extend my lands beyond the property lines of my neighbors. Perhaps a bribe is in order? Should I just buy them right out? ”Your Eminence, thank you for your continued confidence in me. How can I be of assistance?

Thomas Wolsey Uk: Yes. Well, as we both know, the foundation of any civilized society is education. I strongly believe England can ill afford to set herself behind the other European powers in matters of education. To this end, as Lord Chancellor, I feel it my responsibility to expand our education system. I have had plans drawn up for new colleges to be raised. One in Oxford, the other, in my own hometown of Ipswich. As you can imagine, this project is not only of profound importance to the realm. But near to my heart as well… However. *I stop before taking another step and turn to lock eyes with him* I am at the moment lacking the funds to fullfill this project. *I raise my finger in the air* I need ideas for funding. Major funding. I know, Cromwell you are resourceful and a creative thinker. Moreover I sense you are a man who is not afraid to be bold and not let useless scruples get in the way of an otherwise brilliant idea. Am I right?

Thomas Cromwell Uk: ”New colleges, your eminence? What a spectacular legacy you will leave for the future generations of this realm!” Of course, I will help you in every way I can.” I look over at him with a sly grin. ’In anyway, Your Eminence. Let’s discuss some fund raising ideas, shall we?” I stop walking for emphasis. ”Do tell me, is there a way to divert crowns from the sees due the Vatican, pray tell?”

Thomas Wolsey Uk: *I allow myself a muffled laugh* Master Cromwell, you may sooner wrest a mutton joint from a wolf than run off any crowns from his holiness’ tribute. Besides, though your brazeness is to be admired, it would take time to divert enough coin to complete the task. No, what’s needed here is a windfall. I ask you this. Where in the kingdom can such wealth be found, other than the royal treasury? * Though I knew the answer I spoke with an expression of bewilderment. Gleaning in Cromwell’s eyes if he would absolve me of my thoughts, by speaking them himself.*

Thomas Cromwell Uk: My heavens… the monasteries are filled with riches, false idols and relics. Here’s a golden opportunity to forward the long awaited reformation right under is nose. ”Well, forgive me Your Eminence, but there is much financial waste within the realm’s religious houses. Perhaps they could be consolidated without any undo hardship to the monks, friars, nuns and the poor souls they do service?”

Thomas Wolsey Uk: *’Tis truly discomforting knowing this angler’s thoughts parallel my own. Yet he follows my lead, splendidly. I look at him pointedly, and raise my eyebrows, feigning dismay. I pinch my bottom lip as I speak* Master Cromwell! Are you suggesting procuring these funds by looting the monasteries? … Of course it could not be called ”looting” if they are indeed wasting much needed coin that could be spent on my education project… But still, I don’t know. On the other hand we are dealing with a moral imperative; Keeping England’s future generations in intellectual stead with the rest of the civilized world! … Very well. You have convinced me of the righteousness of this course. I charge you, master Cromwell, with drawing up the details for this venture. It must be legally sound, and we must not do anything to unduly trouble his majesty. Is that understood?

Thomas Cromwell Uk: ”Your Eminence, there is no need to loot the monasteries. You will have all the funds you need by simply ’consolidating’ them. There is much coin in just maintaining the properties.” I look to my mentor, a man who taught me much and state knowingly, ” What you choose to do with the idols and relics is up to your discretion, as it should be.” I then look him in the eye and add in all seriousness, ”Now, let’s discuss compensation. What you ask will require much of my time. I request full escort so I am not murdered by the thugs who will rebel this, and additional wages… I do believe 15% of the spoils, I mean ’savings’ would be a fair wage for the time and effort this difficult project will require.”

Thomas Wolsey Uk: * This man’s arrogance is as boundless as his resourcefulness!* Master Cromwell, we do this, not to fill our own purses, nor for our own self-aggrandizement.*I see him raise a finger and start to speak,but continue before he can utter a word* But being the fair employer that I am, I shall grant you your 15%. Just remember the conditions I have laid out before you. Are we agreed?

Thomas Cromwell Uk: ”Yes, we are agreed.” I offer my ’opinion’ to reinforce I have other options should things not go as I request, and what few the Cardinal remains should I decline him. ”Your Eminence. I am so glad you decided my request for payment was fair. After all, can you imagine if you would have needed to rely on Gardiner to do this for you? I shudder at the thought. I will get started in the morning.”

Thomas Wolsey Uk: Indeed. Exceptional, master Cromwell. Most exceptional. *I raise my hand out* Come this way. We shall take the short cut back. The palace kitchen is preparing a great plump turkey for dinner. By now, it should be just about ready to be plucked, cooked and generously carved. *I look up to see Cromwell’s inquisitive look and smile* We should get our fill of such bountiful game, master Cromwell.

Thomas Cromwell UK: I look to him and smile as I ponder his comments. We will get our fill of bountiful game indeed.

~~~~~ FADE TO BLACK ~~~~~~

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