Henry VIII,the Reign
21 December 1505 – 30 July 1550
Administrator and Ambassador
Profile Thomas Wriothesley Administrator and Ambassador
Thomas Wriothesley, born in London 21 December 1505, was the son of York Herald William Wriothesley, whose ancestors had spelled the family surname "Wryth", and Agnes Drayton, daughter and heiress of James Drayton of London Thomas's father and uncle were the first members of his family to use the "Wriothesley" spelling of the family surname.
Wriothesley received his early education at St Paul's School, London. In 1522, he was admitted to Trinity Hall, Cambridge, where he was taught law by Stephen Gardiner; although he did not take a degree.
In 1524, at the age of nineteen, he entered a career at court and before 4 May 1530 he was appointed joint Clerk of the Signet under Stephen Gardiner, secretary to Henry VIII.
A member of the royal secretariat, Wriothesley and William Brereton were involved with the divorce from Catherine of Aragon.
Wriothesley's gained when the monasteries were dissolved. He was granted lands between Southampton and Winchester, once belonging to the abbeys of Beaulieu and Titchfield.
He served as ambassador in Brussels until 1539. Later that year when Anne of Cleves was due to come from the German principality to England, Wriothesley led the naval escort. Wriothesley later became one of the king’s principal secretaries (a position he held jointly with Sir Ralph Sadler), acting as Secretary to the Privy Council. Dividing the duties, Sadler's was personal secretary to the King, whereas Wriothesley's responsibilities were political.
With the dissolution of the monasteries Wriothesley was rewarded with the abbey of Titchfield. He converted it into a country house which became the families ancestral seat.
With Sir Anthony Browne he refounded Gentleman Pensioners, who acted as an armed bodyguard of the King per the Greenwich Ordinances.
He was one of the executors of Henry's will, and following the dead King's wishes he was created Earl of Southampton on 16 February 1547.
he was a member of the Regency Council at the beginning of King Edward VI's reign.