Friday, March 09, 2007

Artwork: Thomas More Confronts Cardinal Wolsey

Thomas More Defending the Liberty of the House of Commons,
painting by Vivian Forbes, St Stephen’s Hall, English Parliament, London,
photograph by Jarrold Publishing, Norwich, England. (Source)

At first glance, this seems the sort of artwork that every dissident pro-abort Catholic in Congress could have framed on his or her office wall. After all, Cardinal Wolsey is a man of the cloth, and so it appears that Thomas More, in his role as Speaker of the House, is "defending the liberty of the House of Commons" from the Church.

However, those familiar with history will note that this painting clearly depicts Wolsey in his role as King Henry VIII's Chancellor, and More is thus defending the perogatives of Parliament not against the Church, but rather against the Crown.

More would later become Lord Chancellor of England after Wolsey was deposed by Henry (for failing to secure the SOB an annulment).

Jeffrey Smith in comments alludes to the tragic last words of Thomas Cardinal Wolsey:
"Had I but served God as diligently as I have served the King, He would not have given me over, in my grey hairs. Howbeit, this is my just reward for my pains and diligence, not regarding my service to God, but only my duty to my prince."
Contrast that sad lament with the almost triumphant words of Sir Thomas More as he mounted the scaffold to meet his martyr's death:
"I die the Kings good servant, and God's first."

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At 3/09/2007 2:51 PM, Blogger Jeffrey Smith said...

Wonderful picture! I'm glad you posted it. I've always thought Wolsey's last words were some of the saddest ever said.


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