British Statesman. First Earl of Essex, and Chief Minister to Henry VIII of England from 1532 to 1540. Cromwell was one of the instigators of the English Reformation which separated the English church from the papacy in Rome. He also was one of those who persuaded the king to make himself head of the English church. In his role of Viceregent in Spirituals he presided over the dissolution of the monasteries and the redistribution of their wealth. He was also the architect of the official union of England and Wales. Having gained Henry's favor by supporting his divorce from Catherine of Aragon, Cromwell lost it by brokering Henry's later union to Anne of Cleves, which failed as a marriage and as a political alliance. He was convicted of treason and executed.
Bio by: Vincent Astor