[Wolsey's personal letter to Gardiner 'concerning his advancement to the Papacy']
5272.Although they are sufficiently informed, by the instructions given to Mons. Vincent, of the King's and his intention concerning his advancement to the Papacy, writes these few words to him as the person whom he most trusts, and by whom this matter will be most set forth.
Doubts not that he considers the state of the Church and all Christendom, and also of this realm, which would be utterly undone if the King's secret matter were settled in any other way than by the authority of the Church. It is therefore expedient to have such a person for [Pope and] common father to all princes as will apply a remedy; and although Wolsey considers himself unsuitable on account of his old age, yet, when all the Cardinals are considered, there will be found none who can and will set a remedy in the aforesaid things, except himself.
If it were not for the restoration of the Church and the See Apostolic to their former dignity, and for the sake of obtaining peace amongst Christian princes and relieving England from its present calamities, would never accept the Papacy; but, in accordance with the necessity of the time and the will of these two Kings, will do all he can to attain this dignity. Wishes him therefore to use all his power, and spare no expence, promises or labour to bring this to pass, and to act according as he sees how persons are inclined. He and his colleagues have most ample power. Leaves everything to his skill and faithfulness.