The Arms of Cardinal Wolsey

The Arms of Cardinal Wolsey

Purchased from Lorenzo Giuntini in 1905 for £15 together with museum no. 1905-2

Original:

The Arms of Cardinal Wolsey
Unidentified Florentine sculptor
1525
Terracotta
In the Clock Court, Hampton Court Palace, Hampton Court, England (over Anne Boleyn's Gateway and beneath the Astronomical clock)

The motto of Cardinal Wolsey (1471-1530), 'DOMINVS MICHI ADIVTOR', is incised beneath the arms at Hampton Court. When Henry VIII (reigned 1509-47) took possession of Wolsey's palace, he superimposed his own arms and motto over Wolsey's. The latter's arms remained concealed until the early 19th century (pre 1845), when the king's arms were taken down for restoration. At the time of their discovery, the arms were surmounted by a lunette containing the monogram of TW with a cord and tassels and the date 1525, shown in the engraving (from the Gentleman's Magazine, XXIV, 1845, facing page 593). This lunette disappeared at some time before 1894.