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1509 - 1547, HENRY VIII, AR Half-groat, Struck 1515 - 1530 at York, England under Archbishop Thomas (Cardinal) Wolsey
Obverse: HENRIC•VIII•D•G•R•AGL•Z•F•. Youthful profile crowned bust of Henry VIII facing right within circle of pellets. Mint-mark: Voided cross.
Reverse: CIVITAS EBORACI. Shield bearing coat-of-arms on cross fourchée; T - W in upper field divided by shield; galero (cardinal's hat) below.
Diameter: 19mm | Weight: 1.0gm | Die Axis: 8
Virtually uncirculated but with a dark, almost black, tone
SPINK: 2346

The T W on the reverse of this coin refers to Thomas Wolsey, known to posterity as Cardinal Wolsey, one of the most powerful figures at the court of Henry VIII. Although this coin is undated, the issue of Henry VIII's second coinage only began in 1526 and so, since Cardinal Wolsey died in 1530, it must have been struck between those two dates.

Cardinal Wolsey
When Henry VIII became King of England in 1509 he appointed Thomas Wolsey to the post of Almoner, a position that gave him a seat on the Privy Council and an opportunity for establishing a personal rapport with the King to such an extent that by 1514 Wolsey had become the controlling figure in virtually all matters of state. In 1515, he was awarded the title Archbishop of York and this, followed by his appointment that same year as Cardinal by Pope Leo X, gave him precedence over all other English clerics. His ecclesiastical power advanced even further in 1523 when the Bishop of Durham, a post with wide political powers, was added to his titles.
After Wolsey attained the position of Lord Chancellor, the King's chief adviser, he had achieved more power than any other Crown servant in English history and during his fourteen years of chancellorship Wolsey, who was often alluded to as an alter rex (other king), used his power to neutralise the influence of anyone who might threaten his position..
In spite of having made many enemies, Cardinal Wolsey retained Henry VIII's confidence until, in 1527, the King decided to seek an annulment of his marriage to Catherine of Aragon so that he could marry Anne Boleyn. Henry asked Wolsey to negotiate the annulment with the Pope and in 1528 the Pope decided to allow two papal legates, Wolsey himself and Cardinal Campeggio, to decide the outcome in England. Wolsey was confident of the outcome, but Campeggio took a long time to arrive, and then he delayed proceedings so much, that the case had to be suspended and the Pope decided that the official decision should therefore be made in Rome and not in England.
After his failure to negotiate the annulment, Wolsey fell out of favour with Henry and in 1529 he was stripped of his government office and property, including the magnificent Palace of Hampton Court, which Henry took as his own main London residence.
Wolsey was however permitted to retain the title of Archbishop of York and so he travelled to Yorkshire, for the first time in his career, to carry out those duties.
Now that he was no longer protected by Henry, Wolsey's enemies, including it is rumoured, Ann Boleyn, conspired against him and Henry had him arrested and recalled to London to answer to charges of treason. But Wolsey, now in great distress, fell ill on the journey back to the capital and at Leicester, on 29 November 1530, aged about 57, he died from natural causes before he could be beheaded.
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Album name:*Alex / BRITAIN - HAMMERED COINS
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Date added:Oct 23, 2019
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