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a fudden tumbled from his envied height, and reduced even to a more unhappy fituation than that from which he was originally taken.
Young Cromwell's father, who, as above, is faid to have been a butcher at Ipswich, observing in him an uncommon propenfity to learn, fent him to the grammar-school in the place of his nativity. From hence, through the interest and generosity of friends, he was removed to the university of Oxford, where he made fuch an aftonishing progress in his learning, that in a very few months after his being entered at Magdalen College, and fo early as his fifteenth year, he took the degree of Batchelor of Arts. In confequence of the fingularity of this circumftance, he was usually called the boy batchelor. He was afterwards admitted to a Fellowship in the fame college, and at length nominated Master of Magdalen School, where the fons of the Marquis of Dorfet were placed for their education.
To this incident may Wolfey's future elevation be in a great measure attributed; for, the marquis fending for his fons, on the fucceeding Christmas, to fpend the holidays at his country feat, he invited the master to ac
company his scholars. his fcholars. Wolfey accepted the invitation, and the marquis was so pleased with his converfation, (as, to his great knowledge was added a most insinuating address,) and fo fatisfied was he with the improvement the young gentlemen had made during the short time they had been under his care, that his lordship determined to reward fuch merit and diligence with fome distinguished mark of approbation. And the rectory of Lymington, which was in the marquis's gift, happening to become vacant during the vacation, he immediately beftowed it on Wolfey, and thereby opened the door of his future ecclefiaftical preferment.
This event happened in the year 1500, Wolfey being then about twenty-two years old; and as foon as he returned from his noble patron's feat, he took poffeffion of his living.
While he refided at Lymington, he met with an indignity, which, to a person of his acknowledged hauteur, must have been provoking in the extreme. A gentleman of Hampshire, whofe name was Sir Amias Paulet, upon fome account or other, conceived a violent prejudice against him. It is faid, that Wolfey's
Wolfey's licentious behaviour, to which, as Sir Amias was one of his parishioners, he was too often a witnefs, excited the knight's refentment. Be the cause whatever it may, the doctor underwent the ignominious cha¬ ftisement of fitting in the ftocks.
When Wolfey came to be Lord High Chancellor of England, he did not forget this affront. He fent for the knight up to London, and after feverely reprimanding him for his former indecent and disrespectful behaviour towards his paftor, ordered him not to quit London without his leave; and, in confequence of this prohibition, that gentleman continued in the middle temple no less than fix years,
Mortified at the foregoing indignity, Wolfey imbibed a diftafte for Lymington; and the death of his patron, the marquis of Dorfet, happening foon after, he determined to quit the place.
The next fituation we find him in, is that of chaplain to Dr. Dean archbishop of Canterbury, which he probably obtained folely by his merit. And here he was fo much efteemed by the prelate, that through his
means the name of Wolfey was for the firsttime mentioned at Rome; the Pope, at the archbishop's requeft, granting him, as his chaplain, a difpenfation to hold two benefices; a permiffion that was confidered as a fingular indulgence in those days. But the archbishop being fuddenly taken out of this life, all Wolfey's expectations from that quarter
were at an end.
This did not, however, in the least damp Wolfey's aspirations after preferment. An infuppreffible inclination for fhining in a court, feems to have taken an early root in his mind; and, from feveral expreffions he made ufe of, he appears to have been prepoffeffed with a notion of the wealth and grandeur which awaited him in that sphere.
Upon the death of the archbishop, he was taken by Sir John Nephant, the governor of Calais, to that place, as one of his domeftic chaplains. Here a new scene opened to him, and he began to act a part much more adapted to his wishes and talents than any he had hitherto been engaged in: Sir John being far advanced in years, and needing fome perfon to ease him of the heavy load of government, entrufted all the concerns of that fortress to
the care and management of Wolfey. And this office he discharged with so much skill and fidelity, that upon the return of Sir John to England, to pass the remainder of his days in retirement, he recommended Wolfey in so warm a manner to the king, Henry the Seventh, that his Majefty foon caused him to be inrolled among the number of his chaplains.
Wolfey was now got into the track he had long wished for. Knowing that an interest with those who were in the immediate favour of the king was needful for his advancement, he made his court to Fox bishop of Winchester, and Sir Thomas Lovell, the then reigning favourites: And this he did with fuch fuccefs, that he was appointed fhortly after to a post of confiderable truft and confequence.
The king having, in the year 1513, occafion to fend an ambaffador to Maximilian emperor of Germany, in order to fettle fome points relative to that prince's union with Margaret, the king's fifter; Wolfey was fixed upon as a proper perfon to execute fo delicate a commiffion. His difpatches were accordingly prepared with all fpeed, and after