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Thomas Cromwell Earl of Essex

Cromwell, Thomas, Earl of Essex (1485?–1540), English statesman under Henry VIII. A ruthless administrator and the main agent for destroying papal power in England, he supervised the king's break with Rome under the Act of Supremacy (1534) and the dissolution of the monasteries (1536–39), many of whose properties he was eventually rewarded. He arranged the king's marriage with Anne of Cleves, and on its failure was executed without trial on charges of heresy and treason trumped up by his many enemies. He died in the Catholic faith.

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