London, 1521 â€“ Wolsey burns Lutherâ€™s works â€“ Henry writes a book â€“ Rome overreaches herself â€“ Henry revolts against the pope â€“ persecutes all opponents
It is the 12th of May, 1521, and less than four years have passed since Luther made his protest at Wittenberg. Milling, jostling crowds pack the streets which lead to St Paulâ€™s in the City of London, England. Today, Thomas Wolsey, Cardinal of the Church of Rome, papal legate and the Chancellor of England, rides by. At long last the splendid procession comes into view. Haughty Thomas Wolsey makes his proud progress with solemn pomp, bedecked in magnificence, bearing a confidence which stems from his riches and power. He oozes an arrogance with the display of his wealth â€“ a wealth which equals that of a king. Gold is commonplace. His sumptuous clothes are woven in threads of gold and silk, as are the harness and hangings of his horse. Silver crosses are carried high in majestic state before and after his regal personage. His cardinalâ€™s hat is borne by a favoured lord who paces in stately manner beside the legateâ€™s horse. Bishops, priests, assorted ambassadors of both Pope and Emperor, various barons and knights comprise his entourage. There follows a long straggling line of mules, each plodding beast draped in a rich cloth of vivid hue and weighed down with books â€“ the books of Martin Luther.