Skip to Main Content
Skip to Main Navigation
Skip to Footer
Sign in / Register
TV On Demand
Film on TV
Film On Demand
Radio On Demand
Henry VIII's Enforcer: The Rise and Fall of Thomas Cromwell
Video clips are automatically supplied by broadcasters and distributors. RadioTimes.com is not responsible for the clip's contents.
Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Pinterest
Share on Google Plus
Share on WhatsApp
Email to a friend
Great statesman or thuggish fixer? Enlightened reformer or looter of monasteries? How you regard Thomas Cromwell may vary according to what historical novels you’ve been reading – and it’s likely to change again when Mark Rylance plays him in BBC2’s planned adaptation of Wolf Hall.
But Professor Diarmaid MacCulloch knows where he stands: for him Cromwell is a maligned giant, “a visionary who helped lay the foundations of the modern British state”, and MacCulloch lays his case out brilliantly in a thoughtful gem of a programme.
It’s full of telling detail, of how the publican’s son from Putney rose to be the king’s chief minister and Earl of Essex in an age hardly known for social mobility. But also, how the disastrous marriage he foisted on Henry with Anne of Cleves meant that his fall, when it came, was as dramatic as the one he had engineered for Anne Boleyn.
Lawyer and statesman Thomas Cromwell served as chief minister to Henry VIII from 1532 to 1540 and has gone down in history as one of the most corrupt and manipulative people ever to hold power in England. In this documentary Diarmaid MacCulloch reveals another side to the man, arguing that Cromwell was a principled idealist and revolutionary whose radical evangelism laid the foundations for the modern British state.
Cast & Crew
Full Episode Guide
Did you recognise the defendant in C4’s The Trial from Star Wars Rogue One?
Coronation Street: Ken names Daniel as his attacker - here's what happens next
Hollyoaks: did Ryan kill Amy? Mercedes finds new evidence
Hollyoaks: Warren attacks Joel in huge showdown - here's what happens next