Thomas Cromwell
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"Thomas Cromwell, 1st Earl of Essex", , was an English lawyer and statesman who served as chief minister to King Henry VIII of England from 1532 to 1540.

Cromwell was one of the strongest and most powerful advocates of the English Reformation. He helped to engineer an annulment of the king's marriage to Queen Catherine of Aragon, to allow Henry to marry his mistress Anne Boleyn. After failing in 1534 to obtain Pope Clement VII/the Pope's approval of the request for annulment, Parliament endorsed the King's claim to be head of a breakaway Church of England, thus giving Henry the authority to annul his own marriage. Cromwell subsequently plotted an evangelical, reformist course for the embryonic Church of England from the unique posts of vicegerent in spirituals and vicar-general.

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