Wolf Hall (miniseries)

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Wolf Hall (2015) is a British TV serial based on the Hillary Mantell novels Wolf Hall and Bring up the Bodies. Set against the backstory of King Henry VIII's annulment of his marriage to Catherine of Aragon and his subsequent- and equally ill-fated- marriage to Anne Boleyn, it depicts the rise to power of Thomas Cromwell, the son of a blacksmith who becomes the King's most trusted and brilliant adviser.

Season One[edit]

Three-Card Trick [1.01][edit]

[the Dukes of Norfolk and Suffolk, accompanied by four Royal Guards, enter York Palace and confront Cardinal Wolsey)

Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk: Wolsey! You're OUT!
Cardinal Thomas Wolsey: (nervous, but putting on a facade of calm) My Lords Norfolk and Suffolk.
Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk: Cardinal Wolsey, you're dismissed as Lord Chancellor, by the King's orders. (gestures) And you are to return to us the Great Seal.
Cardinal Thomas Wolsey:... You will have supper?
Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk: (leans forward, sneering) You wanted it all to rule, yourself, didn't you? Make us all come crawling in here like schoolboys for a whipping? Well, I am here, now- and I will chew you up. (A man in a black doublet and hat enters the room from a side door) Bones, flesh and gristle.
Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk: You're to hand over the Great Seal!

[The black-garbed man moves to the Cardinal's side and whispers in his ear; Wolsey's nervous expression becomes a smirk]

Cardinal Thomas Wolsey:... Apparently, a written request from the King is necessary. Do you have one? (Norfolk and Suffolk are stymied) No? (chuckles) That was careless. (gestures to the black-garbed man) My lawyer, Thomas Cromwell. (Cromwell stares them down)
Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk: (incredulous) You want us to go back to Windsor for a piece of paper? In this weather?! (Cromwell leans forward and whispers to Wolsey again)
Cardinal Thomas Wolsey: (smiles and nods) Ahhh, I see!... (to the Dukes) Actually, my lawyer tells me I can't give you the seal, written request or no. (the Dukes look furious) He tells me that, properly speaking, I should hand it only to the Master of the Rolls. So- you'd better come back with him. (smirks)
Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk: (grits his teeth and smiles coldly) I'm obliged, Master. (he and Suffolk storm out, followed by their escort; Wolsey sighs heavily)
Cardinal Thomas Wolsey: (to Cromwell, amused) Did you know that, or did you make it up?
Thomas Cromwell: (grimly) They'll be back, in a day.
Cardinal Thomas Wolsey: (wearily) These days, twenty-four hours feels like a victory.

[In a flashback two years before, Cromwell is showing Wolsey how to play three-card monte; Wolsey chuckles when he is defeated by Cromwell]

Cardinal Thomas Wolsey:...The King sent for me this morning, exceptionally early.
Thomas Cromwell: What did he want?
Cardinal Thomas Wolsey: (sighs) Pity. A son- the King wants a son. Eighteen years of marriage, but no heir. Now, he's decided some sin must have been committed to cause this curse. (He guesses a card, and Cromwell beats him again; Wolsey sighs in exasperation) Where did you learn this?
Thomas Cromwell: At the docks- a little after I left home. Earned a living from it, for a while. (smiles) Everyone thought they could beat a child.
Cardinal Thomas Wolsey: (looks at him curiously) What else should I know about you, monstrous servant? (drinks)
Thomas Cromwell:... Once, in Italy, I held a snake for a bet.
Cardinal Thomas Wolsey: Was it poisonous?
Thomas Cromwell: We didn't know- that was the point of the bet. (Wolsey chuckles admiringly) The sin?
Cardinal Thomas Wolsey: Oh- yes, the sin. (sighs, shakes his head) I remember when they brought the Queen over from Spain, to marry Henry's brother, Prince Arthur. Sixteen- barely a word of English. God, when she danced- her red hair slid over her shoulder... (he trails off)
Thomas Cromwell: (smiles) ...God forgive you?
Cardinal Thomas Wolsey: (laughs) God forgive us all. Then, Arthur dies, Henry decides he'll have his brother's widow for himself. Catherine declares that she is still a virgin, poor Arthur never having touched her. Rome issues the dispensation, and any doubts anyone has- (claps his hands together with finality, sighs)
Thomas Cromwell:... But, now?
Cardinal Thomas Wolsey: But, now the Queen can't give the King a son. (gives Cromwell a direct look) So... Now, the Queen must not have been a virgin, after all. Henry says that he's lived all these years in an unlawful marriage- hence the sin. So, it's back to Rome, for an annulment. (shrugs) And, she's blaming me, of course- Catherine. She can't blame the King, so it's all my doing. No matter that I begged him not to proceed.
Thomas Cromwell: When she defeated the Scots, I heard she wanted to send the Scottish King's head in a bag to Henry, to cheer him up. (sees Wolsey's skeptical look and shrugs) She's a fighter.
Cardinal Thomas Wolsey: (chuckles) Perhaps you should teach me your three-card trick, hm? In case we both end up on the streets! (he and Cromwell both laugh)

[Cromwell arrives at his friend Bonvisi's house; among the other dinner guests are Chapuys and Thomas More]

Bonvisi: (in Italian) "Sit, Thomas." (Cromwell sits at the opposite end of the table from More) "Sit, eat."
Thomas Cromwell: Gratzie. (he notices that More has fallen silent and is deliberately looking away from him) If you want to talk about me, Master More, you can speak while I'm here- I have a thick skin.
Thomas More: (glances up, shrugs) No one was talking of you.
Thomas Cromwell: Of the Cardinal, then?
Bonvisi: (interrupting) Thomas, this is Monsieur Chapuys, the Emperor's new Ambassador here in London. (Chapuys glances at Cromwell) Monsieur Chapuys, my friend Thomas Cromwell.
Eustace Chapuys: (nods) Enchanted. (they load food on their plates, Chapuys leans close to More and speaks in Latin) "I have heard of this one- no one knows where he comes from. Like the Wandering Jew." (More smiles)
Thomas Cromwell: (sarcastically) I hardly know where I come from myself (Chapuys looks up sharply) If you want to speak half-secretly, try Greek, Monsieur Chapuys.
Bonvisi: (to More) My friend, you are looking at your herring as if you hate it.
Thomas More: ...There's nothing wrong with the herring. (pause) But, of Cardinal Wolsey, I will say only this: he has brought his fall on himself. He has drawn it all on himself- land, money and titles. He's always had a greed for ruling over other men-
Thomas Cromwell: The Cardinal's a public man; would you have him shrink from a public role? (Chapuys glances between them)
Thomas More: Oh, I think it's a little late to read the Cardinal a lesson in humility. His real friends have tried long ago and been ignored (smirks slightly)
Thomas Cromwell: (sarcastically) And you count yourself a real friend, do you? I'll tell him- and by the blood of Christ, Lord Chancellor, he'll find it a consolation as he sits in exile and wonders why you slander him to the King.
Bonvisi: (trying to stop the argument) Gentlemen, please-
Thomas Cromwell: (angrily) No, let's have this straight. Thomas here says, "I'd spend my life in the Church if I had the choice, I'm devoted to things of the spirit! I care nothing for wealth, the worlds' esteem is nothing to me." So, how is it I come back to London and find you've become Lord Chancellor? Lord Chancellor- what's that, a fucking accident?! (there is a long, ominous pause, More wipes his lips with a napkin, glaring at Cromwell)
Thomas More:... You're no friend of the Church, Thomas. You're as friend to one priest only- and he's the most corrupt in Christendom. (leaves)
Thomas Cromwell: (to Bonvisi)... You must give me the recipe for this sauce.

[in a flashback a year ago, Cromwell's wife Liz and their two daughters have died of illness]

Thomas Cromwell: (To Johane, his sister-in-law)... Everybody said it was back. This, um... 'sweating sickness'. (pause) I should've sent them to the country.
Johanne Williamson: Liz wouldn't have let them go. (puts her hand on his shoulder) Anne cried, every time you were away.
Thomas Cromwell: Did she?... Anne did.
Johanne Williamson: Joan and I can stay a while with you... look after the household. Until you... (she trails off, they both stare at the three graves)
Thomas Cromwell:...She wanted to learn Greek. (Johanne begins to sob quietly) Hey... (he embraces her, tears in his eyes)

[Cromwell is granted an audience with King Henry, meeting him and his court in the gardens of Hampton Court Palace; he removes his hat and bows until Henry gestures for him to rise]

Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk: Cromwell- how's your fat priest? (the other courtiers laugh, then drift away as Henry approaches to speak with Cromwell)
King Henry VIII: (quietly, to Cromwell)... How is...?
Thomas Cromwell: He cannot be well until he has Your Majesty's favor.
King Henry VIII: The list of charges against him grows every day.
Thomas Cromwell: With respect, Your Majesty, there's an answer to each one- and given a fair hearing, we'd make them-
King Henry VIII: (shakes his head)...Not today. Suffolk wants to go hunting. We usually say we're gentlemen, but the hunt prepares us for war. Which brings us to a sticky point, Master Cromwell.
Thomas Cromwell: (smiles uneasily) Yes, it does indeed. (pause)
King Henry VIII:... You said in Parliament, in a speech some six years ago, that I could not afford a war-
Thomas Cromwell: Wars are not affordable things.
King Henry VIII: (increasingly angry) When I went into France, I captured the town of Terreax-Anne, which you called-
Thomas Cromwell: (firmly) "A dog-hole", Majesty?
King Henry VIII: How could you say so?
Thomas Cromwell: Ahh, I've been there?
King Henry VIII: So have I- at the head of an army! You told me I could not lead my own troops- you told me if I was taken prisoner, the ransom would bankrupt the country! So, what do you want?! You want the King of England to huddle indoors, like a sick girl?!
Thomas Cromwell: (bluntly) That would be ideal, for fiscal purposes. (Henry is stunned into silence for a moment) A strong man acts within, that which constrains him.
King Henry VIII: (sharply) ...What constrains me?
Thomas Cromwell: Distance. When Your Majesty's ancestors fought in France, they held whole provinces. From there, they could supply, they could provision. Now, we have only Calais. How can we support an army in the interior?
King Henry VIII: (frowns thoughtfully) So, next time we go into France... we'll need a seacoast.
Thomas Cromwell: Of course. Normandy, Brittany...
King Henry VIII: (looks at Cromwell with new interest)... Master Cromwell, your reputation is bad. (Cromwell looks away, shrugging slightly) You don't defend yourself?
Thomas Cromwell: (looks him in the eye) Your Majesty can form your own opinions.
King Henry VIII:... I can. And I will.

Entirely Beloved [1.02][edit]

[Thomas Wriothesley has arrived at Austin Friars looking for employment; he is met by Cromwell and his two wards, Rafe and Richard]

Thomas Wriothesley: (introducing himself, nervously) "Wriths-ley." It's spelled W-R-I-O-T... (trails off, swallows) Just... Call-me-Risley.
Thomas Cromwell: Well, Master Wriothesley, we're always looking for bright young men. You worked for the Cardinal, I think?
Thomas Wriothesley: Yes, sir.
Thomas Cromwell: But then left- with Stephen Gardiner?
Thomas Wriothesley: (nervously)... I'm his clerk. But, it... doesn't occupy all of my time, and I'm keen to learn something of business.
Thomas Cromwell: (smiles) Well, we're all business here at Austin Friars- aren't we, boys? (Rafe and Richard smirk at Wriothesley)

[Cut to Cromwell, Richard and Rafe watching Wriothesley leave]

Rlph "Rafe" Sadler: You know Gardiner will have sent him here to spy on us.
Thomas Cromwell: Well, he seems obliging. Perhaps we can send him back to spy on Gardiner.

[Cromwell and More walk through the gardens around More's home, More carrying a rabit]

Thomas Cromwell: You know, the first time we met was when you were a young student.
Thomas More: Where was this?
Thomas Cromwell: Lambeth Palace. My uncle John was a cook there, and I worked some days in the kitchens. I served you, once.
Thomas More: I don't think so.
Thomas Cromwell: I remember one evening, we had a football match on, and I heard a recorder playing-

[they round a corner and see Gardiner waiting for them impatiently, as a young man wearing a plumed hat dances around him)

Thomas More: Ah! My other guest. (hands the rabbit to Cromwell) Now, you carry on. (to the young man) Now, Henry, leave Master Gardiner alone! You come along to the house- come on, come on. (takes his arm and leads him away) Let's go- let's go to the house.
Stephen Gardiner: (irritably, as he follows More alongside Cromwell) What about Master Wriothesley?
Thomas Cromwell: And a good evening to you too, Stephen.
Stephen Gardiner: Remind me- is he working for me or for you?
Thomas Cromwell:(smugly) For you, I would have thought.
Stephen Gardiner: So why is he always at your house?
Thomas Cromwell: Well, he's not a bound apprentice- he can come and go as he pleases.
Stephen Gardiner: (snidely) He thinks he'll make his fortune, I suppose- everyone knows money sticks to your hands. He wants to know what he can learn from... whatever it is you call yourself these days.
Thomas Cromwell:... A person. The Duke of Norfolk says I'm a person. (nods to the man More is leading) Is that his fool?
Stephen Gardiner: He's supposed to have fallen off a church roof and landed on his head.
Thomas Cromwell: Supposed to?
Stephen Gardiner: (shrugs) It'd be just like More to keep a fool who wasn't- just to embarrass people.

[Cromwell enters Anne's sitting-room at York Palace, flicking Mark Smeaton in the head as he passes]

Thomas Cromwell: Cheer it up, can't you?
Anne Boleyn: What did you just do?
Thomas Cromwell: I hit Mark Smeaton- only with one finger. (removes his beret and bows briefly)
Anne Boleyn: Who? Oh- is that his name? (pause) Where have you been?
Thomas Cromwell: Utopia.
Anne Boleyn: Ah. What was the talk?
Thomas Cromwell: (curtly) The vices and follies of women.
Anne Boleyn: I suppose you joined in? (she follows his gaze to a bearded priest standing in the shadows) My chaplain, Dr. Cranmer. (Cranmer slowly comes forward and bows to Cromwell) Hiding, because there's no good news. He's just back from Rome.

[Cromwell, recognizing Cranmer from a secret Lutheran meeting, bows as well]

Anne Boleyn: Cremuel here is Wolsey's man. My uncle Norfolk describes him as "a useful sort to employ". (smirks)
Thomas Cromwell: I'm sure he describes me as other things, too.
Anne Boleyn:... I hear Wolsey has letters from Catherine. Is that true? (Cromwell shrugs) And that Rome will issue a decree telling the King to part from me.
Thomas Cranmer: That would be a mistake, on Rome's part-
Anne Boleyn: Yes, it would. Because he won't be told. What is he? Some child?
Thomas Cromwell:... Why did you send for me?
Anne Boleyn: I have something to show you. (holds out her hand to Lady Rochford)
Jane Rochford: (disgusted) Oh, please- don't give it currency-
Anne Boleyn: Give it! (she takes a paper from Rochford and unfolds it) This was found in my bed; the sickly, milk-faced creeper had turned down the sheet. Of course I can't get any sense out of her- she cries if you look at her sideways. So, I don't know who put it there. (she holds it up, Cromwell steps closer) That's the Queen, Catherine- you see? And that's me- Anne sans tête. (gives Cromwell a tight-lipped, cold smile and folds up the drawing) I'm told that Wolsey kept you because you knew all the London gossip. If you find out who's responsible for this... I want you to tell me. (she offers him the paper; when Cromwell doesn't take it, she withdraws her arm) I have a new motto- did you know? (in French) "Never mind who grudges it- this will happen." (pause) I mean to have him.

[she offers the paper again; after a long pause, Cromwell takes it]


[Cromwell walks with the King after an archery match]

King Henry VIII: Wolsey told me once that you had a loathing of those in religious life; that's why he found you so diligent in your inspection of the monasteries.
Thomas Cromwell: That was not the reason. (long pause, Henry looks at him questioningly) May I speak?
King Henry VIII: God, I wish someone would.
Thomas Cromwell: Well, if you ask me about the monks, I speak from experience, not prejudice. And my experience has largely been one of... corruption, and waste. I've seen monks who live like great Lords on the offerings of the poor; take children in, and, rather than educating them as they promised, using them as servants. For hundreds of years, the monks have written what we take to be our history- but I think they've suppressed our true history, and written one that's favorable to Rome.
King Henry VIII: God, I could make good use of the money that flows from them to Rome each year. King Francois is richer than I am, taxes his subjects as he pleases- I have to call Parliament, or there are riots.
Thomas Cromwell: Well, sir, with respect, Francois likes war too much and trade too little. There are more taxes to be raised when trade is good, and if taxes are resisted- even by the church- other ways can be found. (they stop walking)
King Henry VIII: (looks at Cromwell thoughtfully)... All right. Sit down with my lawyers, to discuss it. (pause) Begin with the monasteries. (they move indoors to avoid rain, Cromwell helps Henry with his sleeve)... Some say I should consider my marriage dissolved, and that I should re-marry as I please- and soon. (sighs) But, there are others who say-
Thomas Cromwell: (gives him a direct look) I'm one of the others.
King Henry VIII: (grits his teeth)... Dear Christ, I shall be unmanned by it. How long am I supposed to wait?! (pause, fearfully) Anne says she'll leave me. Says there are other men- says she's wasting her youth. (Cromwell meets his gaze, then looks away)

[George Gavendish, another of Wolsey's friends, describes Wolsey's downfall to Cromwell. The scenes he describes appear onscreen]

George Cavendish: We hadn't finished dinner when they came in. They had taken keys from the porter- they had already set sentries on the stairs.
Thomas Cromwell: Who was it?
George Cavendish: Harry Percy. (Percy pulls his hood back) He was shaking. I thought, why send him? Why Harry Percy? And then, I thought... Lady Anne, remember. She was just a girl, she wanted to marry him- the Cardinal stopped it. Revenge. She waited her time.

[Percy and his men burst in on Wolsey and Cavendish at their table]

Cardinal Thomas Wolsey: (pretending to act surprised) Harry! If I'd known, I would have waited dinner for you. I fear we've almost finished the fish. (smirks) Shall I pray for a miracle?
Henry "Harry" Percy, Earl of Northumberland: (shaking with rage) My Lord, I arrest you for high treason!
Cardinal Thomas Wolsey: (pauses, then daubs his mouth with a napkin) Your warrant?
Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland:... There are items in my instructions you may not see.
Cardinal Thomas Wolsey:... Well. If you won't show it, I won't surrender to you. So... (smiles) Here's a state of affairs!

[Confused, Percy stares at him; Wolsey pushes back his chair and stands]

Cardinal Thomas Wolsey: Come, George. [he leaves the room, followed by Cavendish; after a few moments, Percy and his men come after them. Cavendish slams a door in their faces, but Wolsey gestures for him to open it.]
Cardinal Thomas Wolsey: Look at me, George. (Cavendish does so) I'm not afraid of any man alive.
George Cavendish: (in tears) They took us from the house and rode south. There were crowds waiting to see him- holding candles. We thought they'd disperse, but they just... stood all night in the road. (Cromwell looks away sadly, picking up the little box Wolsey gave him) He stopped eating.
Thomas Cromwell:... Why?
George Cavendish: I don't know. Some said he- some said, he wanted to destroy himself. It all happened so fast... and then, Kingston came. (pause) I had to tell him, Thomas. I had to tell our Lord that the Constable of the Tower had come to fetch him. (pause) He just kept saying, "William Kingston?" over and over, as if he couldn't believe it. (sighs) By the time we reached Leicester... he was too ill to stand. He voided black blood... I thought, poison...
Cardinal Thomas Wolsey: (weakly, on his deathbed)... Thomas...
George Cavendish: (grasping Wolsey's hand reassuringly) He's coming, my Lord.
Cardinal Thomas Wolsey:... Where... where is he?...
George Cavendish: You know Cromwell, my Lord. If he says he'll come, he'll be here.

[Wolsey continues to weaken; Cavendish calls over a priest for last rights]

George Cavendish:... I'm sorry, Thomas. He died the next day. They- they gave him a coffin of plain boards... And the city officials came to view his body, so there wouldn't be any false rumors that he'd escaped to France. (Cromwell stares out the window, Cavendish begins to sob) They- they made jokes. They made jokes about his low birth.

[A play is shown at court, depicting Wolsey being dragged to Hell by four demons]

1st Demon: Come, Wolsey! We are fetching you to Hell, where our Master Beelzebub is expecting you for supper!
2nd Demon: Beelzebub would have you joint his venison- he's heard of your skill as a butcher!

[As the actors playing the demons remove their masks, Cromwell- watching angrily from the shadows- memorizes their faces. Cromwell is then shown being sworn in to the Privy Council by Thomas More]

Thomas More: "I swear to be a true and loyal counselor to the King's Majesty, as one of His Highness' Privy Council."
Thomas Cromwell: I swear to be a true and loyal counselor to the King's Majesty, as one of His Highness' Privy Council.
Thomas More: "I shall not know, or understand, any manner of thing to be attempted, done or spoken against His Majesty's person."
Thomas Cromwell: I shall not know, or understand, any manner of thing to be attempted, done or spoken against His Majesty's person.
Thomas More: "I swear to uphold the King's authorities, I swear to uphold the King's jurisdictions."
Thomas Cromwell: I swear to uphold the King's authorities, I swear to uphold the King's jurisdictions.
Thomas More: "I swear to uphold the King's heirs, and lawful successors."
Thomas Cromwell: I swear to uphold the King's heirs, and lawful successors...

[In the present, Cromwell opens the box that Wolsey left him to reveal the jade ring that the Cardinal always wore]

George Cavendish: (sobbing) I knelt by his body, and I wept. And I prayed to God to send vengeance upon them all!
Thomas Cromwell: (turns around, a grim look on his face)... There's no need to trouble God, George. (he puts on Wolsey's ring) I'll take it in hand.

Anna Regina [1.03][edit]

[Cromwell meets with Queen Catherine of Aragon and her daughter Mary; he notices that Mary is extremely pale and unsteady]

Thomas Cromwell: Madam, your daughter should sit.
Mary Tudor: (to her mother, in Spanish) My "woman's disorder"-
Catherine of Aragon: (firmly) Stand up straight. (nods at Cromwell) This is Master Cromwell- he used to be a moneylender. Now, he writes all the laws. I have heard all about your new bill. You think the King can describe himself as the Head of the Church?
Mary Tudor: The Pope is the Head of the Church, everywhere. The lawfulness of all government flows from the- the-

[she sways, overcome, but Cromwell quickly crosses the room, grabs a chair, and places it beside her]

Thomas Cromwell: (gently) Will you not sit, Princess Mary? (Mary slowly sits) It's just the heat. (adresses Catherine) But, I beg you, Madam, to consider it in this way: the King has merely defined a position, which ancient precedents-
Catherine of Aragon: (scornfully) Ancient precedents? Precedents you've invented, these past three months!
Thomas Cromwell: As for induced, Your Highness knows the King cannot be lead.
Catherine of Aragon: But he can be enticed. (sadly) He has ridden off without saying goodbye. He has never done that before- never.
Thomas Cromwell:... Well, I think he means to hunt out of Chertsey, for a few days.
Mary Tudor: With the woman. (contemptuously) The person.
Thomas Cromwell: Your Highness will be going to another palace. He has chosen the Moore, in Hartfordshire, which as you know is very comfortable-
Mary Tudor: It was one of your Cardinal's houses, wasn't it? (smirks) So it's bound to be lavish.
Catherine of Aragon:...I expected this. But, I did not expect he would send a man like you to tell me.

Anne Boleyn: (angrily, as she and Cromwell walk through the gardens) Last week at Greenwich, a friar preached to us- about the good King who was corrupted by the wicked Jezebel. Apparently, she built a Pagan temple and let the priests of Baal into the palace. (pause) She ended up being thrown out of a window. (pause, glances at Cromwell) I'm the Jezebel- you see? And you're the priests of Baal.
Thomas Cromwell: (nods) ...I see. (long pause) More's arrested a barrister- James Bainham.
Anne Boleyn:...And what do you expect me to do about it?
Thomas Cromwell: Talk to the King. (Anne glances away) You know how to please him, I suppose?
Anne Boleyn: (chuckles scornfully) My maidenhead, for your lawyer? (pause, glances at Cromwell again) He'll be released.
Thomas Cromwell: Well, Bill Pillney wasn't. They burnt him, at Norwich.
Anne Boleyn: (looks him in the eye, firmly) Your barrister friend will recant, and he'll be released.
Thomas Cromwell: And if he doesn't.
Anne Boleyn: (frowns) Then he's a fool. People should say whatever will keep them alive. (pause, smiles slightly) You would, wouldn't you? (glances at a package of blue silk in Cromwell's hand) What's that?
Thomas Cromwell: (glances at it)... Er, it's a gift for one of your women. The little girl who always cries. (Anne laughs) What?
Anne Boleyn: (looks at him in surprise) Didn't you hear?
Thomas Cromwell: No, what?
Anne Boleyn: Her father, dear old Sir John Seymour- he was caught in the hayloft with his son Edward's wife! (Cromwell looks startled, Anne laughs) It seems he's had her every week for the last two years! Edward's put the wife in a nunnery, and I don't think we'll see dear old Sir John at Court soon!
Thomas Cromwell: And the daughter- Jane, is it?
Anne Boleyn: Mm- pasty face. Gone to Wiltshire. (pause) It's her best bet to get into a nunnery, too- no one will want to marry the milksop now. (takes the package from Cromwell and examines it) So, what is it?
Thomas Cromwell: Ah, it's only- er- a book of needlework patterns. (Anne stops, staring at him curiously)
Anne Boleyn:... You don't like her, do you? Because I'm not sure it's proper for you to send her a present.
Thomas Cromwell: (chuckles, gestures to the package) Well, it's not like it's Tales from Percaccio.
Anne Boleyn: (laughs) Oh,they could tell Percaccio a tale! (starts to walk away) Those sinners at Wolf Hall!

[Cromwell, having been sent by Norfolk and the Boleyns to cow Henry Percy, finds him at a cluttered inn. He briefly recalls the role Percy played in Wolsey's downfall.]

Onlooker: Looking for a woman? (ignoring him, Cromwell shoves aside Percy's bodyguard and enters the room where Percy is sitting; he removes his hat and briefly bows)
Henry "Harry" Percy, Earl of Northumberland: (bored) Oh, God- yes, I thought you'd come. (Cromwell closes the window to the adjacent room)
Thomas Cromwell: (to a servant) Hey- out. (the servant leaves)
Harry Percy, Earl of Northumberland: Well, you're wasting your time- I was pledged to Anne. (picks up his cup and drinks) She allowed me such freedom with herself as only a betrothed woman would allow. (refills his cup) The Cardinal bullied me out of saying anything last time- but I'm not afraid to speak the truth, now.
Thomas Cromwell: (sits opposite him) Good. My Lord, you've said what you have to say- now, listen to me. You're a man whose money is almost spent. I'm a man who knows how you've spent it. You're a man who's borrowed all over Europe; I'm a man who knows your creditors. One word from me, and all your debts will be called in-
Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland: (dismissively) And what are they gonna do? Bankers don't have armies.
Thomas Cromwell: Neither will you, without any money. (pause) My Lord, you hold your Earldom from the King. Your task is to secure the North, to defend us against Scotland; if you cannot ensure these things, the King will take your land and your titles and give them to somebody who will do the job you cannot do.
Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland: (petulantly) No, he won't- he respects all ancient titles.
Thomas Cromwell: (smirks scornfully) How can I explain this to you? (pause) The world is not run, from where you think it is- 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. From the pens that scrape out your promissory-notes. So, believe me when I say, that my banker friends and I will rip your life apart. (Percy glances at him, looking sullen but increasingly uneasy) And then, when you are without money and title, yes- I can picture you. Living in a hovel, wearing homespun, bringing home a rabbit for the pot. (smirks) Your lawful wife, Anne Boleyn, skinning and jointing that rabbit! Yes, I wish you all happiness. (Meets Percy's eye, coldly) You were never precontracted. Any understanding you think you had- (shakes his head) You didn't have it. And, if you think Lady Anne loves you, well, you couldn't be more mistaken. I've just come from her. She hates you. She despises you. She wants you gone. (pause, Percy looks stunned) So- if you say one more word about Lady Anne's "freedom" with you, I will come and drag you out of whatever hole you're cowering in, and the Duke of Norfolk will bite your bollocks off. I do hope that's clear, my Lord.

Anne Boleyn: (indicating Thomas More, talking with Henry and Norfolk outside) There he is. My uncle and I worked for his removal for months- and now he resigns, over this bill.
Thomas Cromwell: (sighs) His great protest. England's just a stage, to him.
Anne Boleyn: Who should replace him?
Thomas Cromwell: Put it in the King's mind to appoint Audley. He's a good man- and he understands me, I think.
Anne Boleyn: (raises her eyebrows) To think that someone does! (She and Cromwell both smile) Cranmer as Archbishop, Audley as Lord Chancellor... soon, you'll have friends everywhere! (pause) And for yourself? (Cromwell frowns, thinking; Anne looks away) I thought perhaps Keeper of the Jewel-House. (glances back down at More) Where's the chain of office? He's supposed to hand it over.
Thomas Cromwell: (comes to the window and looks closer) In the bag. (outside, More offers the bag to Henry, who reluctantly takes it)
Anne Boleyn: (glances at Cromwell, surprised) So, that's it? More is out? (glances away, smiles) Shall we go down? (Cromwell meets her eye, then they both start to chuckle)
Thomas Cromwell: You- you can't resist it.
Anne Boleyn: No more can you!

[she takes Cromwell's hand and allows him to lead her outside; More bows to Anne and they bow to the King, then Henry leads Anne and Norfolk away, leaving Cromwell with More.]

Thomas Cromwell:... What will you do now?
Thomas More:... Write. Pray.
Thomas Cromwell: My recommendation: write only a little, and pray a lot.
Thomas More: (smirks) Now, is that a threat?
Thomas Cromwell: My turn, don't you think? (follows the royal party)

The Devil's Spit [1.04][edit]

Crows [1.05][edit]

Master of Phantoms [1.06][edit]

[Anne, doting on her young daughter Elizabeth, tries to get Henry engaged in their game; completely indifferent, Henry picks his teeth for a moment then walks out without looking at her. Cromwell moves to follow him]

Anne Boleyn: Cremuel. (Cromwell stops; Anne hands Elizabeth to her nurse, who carries her out) I am told... that, when you thought that the King was dead, your first thought was to send for the bastard Mary. (gives him a cold, tight-lipped smile) You did not think of me, or my daughter- or, the child I was carrying then.
Thomas Cromwell: I cannot hold the Throne... for an infant in the cradle. I cannot hold the Throne for an unborn baby. (Anne glares at him)
Anne Boleyn: I promoted you. I am responsible for your rise. And at the first opportunity, you've betrayed me.
Thomas Cromwell:...Madam, nothing here is personal.
Anne Boleyn: (contemptuously) You think you've grown great. You think you no longer need me, but you've forgotten the most important thing, Cremuel: those who've been made, can be unmade.
Thomas Cromwell: (coolly) ...I entirely agree. (bows his head to her and walks out)

Nicholas Carew: (as he dines with Cromwell) We want the concubine ousted. We know you want it, too.
Thomas Cromwell: "We?"
Nicholas Carew: Oh, my friends in this matter are very near the Throne. Those in the line of old King Edward; Lord Exeter, the Courtenay family, Lord Montague, his brother Geoffrey Pole, Lady Margaret Pole... these are the principal persons on whose behalf I speak, but... as you are aware, the most part of England would rejoice to see the King free of her.
Thomas Cromwell: I don't think the most part of England knows or cares. (pause) What do you require of me?
Nicholas Carew: (stares at him) We require... that you join us. We're content to have Seymour's girl crowned- she's known to favor true religion, and we believe she will bring Henry back to Rome. (pause) And this is our difficulty, Cromwell- we know you're a Lutheran.
Thomas Cromwell: Me? No, sir. I'm... I'm a banker. (Carew chuckles) What will happen to... Anne Boleyn?
Nicholas Carew: (pause, shrugs) Don't know... convent?

William Brereton: What's to do here?
Jane Rochford: Everyone's been fighting- and all because of that boy, Mark. (looks insolently at Anne) I think he should be dropped from a great height- just like your dog, Percois.

[Anne stares at her for a moment, then rises from her chair, walks over, and slaps her hard across the face]

Jane Rochford: Do that again, and I will hit you back. You're no Queen, you're just a knight's daughter- and your time has come. (the two women glare at each other, both seething)
Anne Boleyn: Harry? Do me a good turn- take away my brother's wife and drown her.
Henry Norris: Anne-
Anne Boleyn: What? Didn't you swear you'd walk barefoot to China for me?
Henry Norris: I think it was barefoot to Walsingham, I offered.
Anne Boleyn: (looks at him with disbelief and contempt) Perhaps you can repent your sins there! Because, if anything were to happen to the King, you'd look to have me! (doesn't notice Rochford still staring at her) Oh yes, you see now, Mary, why he hasn't married you yet. It's because he's in love with me- or so he claims. And yet, he won't prove it, by putting Lady Rochford in a sack and dropping her in the river!
Henry Norris:... Will you spill all your secrets, Anne? Or only some? (storms out, Anne suddenly look worried)

[having arrested four men on charges of "adultery" with Anne Boleyn, Cromwell visits them each in the Tower]

George Boleyn: I know why I'm here: my wife. (Cromwell shrugs) What has she said? Well, whatever it is, you can't hold me on the word of one woman.
Thomas Cromwell: Well, there have been other women who have been... recipients of your gallantry, George. You've always regarded women as disposable.
George Boleyn: (smirks) What- you're going to put me on trial for gallantry? You know, I didn't know it was a crime to spend time with a winning lover.
Thomas Cromwell: It is if that lover is your sister. (George turns around, shocked. Shift to a different cell, with Cromwell talking to Norris)
Henry Norris: My family have served the King of England for generations. I have been at the side of Henry since I was a boy. I'm nothing like her brother, I would never forget my honor! Never!
Thomas Cromwell: You want me to write it on the wall for you, Norris? She can't give him a son, he wants another wife, she won't go quietly. Is that simple enough for your simple tastes? She has to be pushed; I have to push her.
Henry Norris: ...Well, you'll get no confession from me. Or Brereton, either. (pause, arrogantly) You cannot torture gentlemen- the King would not permit it.
Thomas Cromwell: (steps forward) Well, they don't have to be formal arrangements. (suddenly grabs Norris' face) I could put my thumbs in your eyes, and you would sing "Green Grows the Holly" if I asked you to. Hmm? (releases him. Cut to Brereton's cell) Let's go back. I remember, in the late Cardinal's time, one of your household killed a man in a ball's match.
William Brereton: (shrugs, refusing to look at Cromwell) Well, the game can get very heated.
Thomas Cromwell: The Cardinal thought it was time for a reckoning- but, your family impeded the investigation, and I asked myself, "Has anything changed since then?" Jon of Eton had a quarrel with your household only recently-
William Brereton: (sneers dismissively) So that's why I'm here.
Thomas Cromwell: Not entirely- but leave aside your adultery with the Queen (Brereton looks at him sharply) and let's concentrate on Eton. Blows were exchanged, a man was killed. Eton was tried- and acquitted. But you, because you have no respect for the law-
William Brereton: I have every respect-
Thomas Cromwell: (furious) DON'T interrupt me! You had the man abducted and hanged! You think because it was only one man, it doesn't matter. You think no one will remember, but I remember. You think you can do anything because Norfolk favors you-
William Brereton: The King favors me.
Thomas Cromwell: (smirks) Does he- does he? Well, you should complain about your lodgings, then. Shouldn't you? (cut to George Boleyn) Francis Bryan has been explaining it to me.
George Boleyn: Bryan? Bryan is an enemy of mine-
Thomas Cromwell: I begin to see it- how a man may hardly know his sister. She grows up in France- they meet as adults. She's like him, and yet not, she's familiar... and then she piques his interest. One day, his brotherly embrace lasts a little longer than usual... and business proceeds from there. Perhaps neither of you felt you were doing anything wrong- until some frontier was crossed.
George Boleyn: (shakes his head and smirks, turning away) I refuse to answer this.
Thomas Cromwell: Did it begin before her marriage to the King- or afterwards? (cut to Norris) Brother George? That must have been a surprise- rivalry from that quarter. Though, the morality of you...gentlemen astonishes me.
Henry Norris:...I have no opinion on George.
Thomas Cromwell: (feigns surprise) No opinion of incest? You take it so quietly I'm afraid it must be true.
Henry Norris: (shrugs impatiently) If I said it was, you'd only accuse me of trying to divert attention away from myself.
Thomas Cromwell: (chuckles) You've known me too long, Harry.
Henry Norris: (contemptuously) Oh, I've studied you. Studied Wolsey before you.
Thomas Cromwell: That was politic of you- such a great servant of the State.
Henry Norris: (smirks) And such a great traitor at the end.
Thomas Cromwell: (stalking around him, coldly) I remember a certain entertainment at court- do you remember? A play... in which the late Cardinal was set upon by demons, and dragged down into Hell.
Henry Norris: (incredulous) ...That's why? It- it was was a play! It was a joke! You can't- you can't seriously-
Thomas Cromwell: Life pays you out- don't you find?
Henry Norris: ... But, Mark Smeaton... what has he done to you?
Thomas Cromwell: (shrugs, unconvincingly) I just... don't like the way he looks at me. (stares Norris down) I need guilty men, Harry. So I found men who are guilty... though not necessarily as charged. (Cut to Weston's cell as Cromwell enters)
Francis Weston: Good morning. (Cromwell stares at him impassively) I'm not long married- I don't know if you know that. I have a son, Henry-
Thomas Cromwell: You have debts to the tune of a thousand pounds.
Francis Weston:... Why the devil bring that up?
Thomas Cromwell: No one expects a young gallant like yourself to be thrifty... but these debts are more than you can reasonably pay. So, your own extravagance gives people reason to think, "What expectations does young Weston have?" (Weston frowns) We know the Queen gave you money- and a thousand pounds is nothing to you, if you hoped to marry her after you'd contrived the King's death. (Weston remembers his foolish words to Anne and looks horrified)
Francis Weston:... I see how, in that way, when it's given as evidence... I've undone myself. (pause) I don't blame you, Cromwell. It's just...I thought I had another twenty years. (bends his head and begins weeping quietly)
Thomas Cromwell:...Well, we know not the hour, do we, Francis? (puts a comforting hand on Weston's shoulder)

[Anne mounts the scaffold at her execution; Cromwell, his son Gregory and Francis Bryan watch from the crowd]

Anne Boleyn: (faintly, to the crowd) Good Christian people, I am come hither to die. For according to the law, and by the law, I am judged to die...
Francis Bryan: (smirks, to Cromwell) I can't hear her- you'd think she'd speak up for her last words, eh? (Gregory glares at him)
Anne Boleyn: I am come hither to accuse no man, nor to speak anything of that role by which I am accused and condemned to die. But, I pray God save the King, and send him long to reign over you. For a gentler, nor more merciful prince was there never- and to me was he ever a gentle, a good and a sovereign Lord. And, if any person will meddle of my cause... I require them to judge best. (Cromwell puts his hand on Gregory's arm) And thus I take my leave of the world- and of you all, and I heartily desire you all to pray for me. The Lord have mercy on my soul, to God I commend my soul.

[she kneels, and her tearful ladies remove her headdress, replace it with a white cap and blindfold her; she begins to cry quietly, whispering rapid prayers. The executioner removes his shoes and reveals his broadsword, to which the crowd gasps; Anne hears their reaction and tenses fearfully. A lock of her hair comes loose, and she shakily reaches up to fix it]

Thomas Cromwell: (quietly) Put your arm down- put your arm down. (she finally does so; the barefoot executioner moves silently to her left)
Executioner: (in French) Bring me the sword!

[Anne gasps and turns her head left; the executioner immediately moves to her right, raises the sword, and swings; the crowd gasps as the deed is done. An undertaker steps forward, but one of Anne's ladies blocks his way]

Handmaiden: (sharply) We do not want men handling her.
Francis Bryan: (smirks) It's a little late for that, eh? (Cromwell glares at him) Right- I'm off to tell the Seymours it's done.

Cast[edit]

External links[edit]

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