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Audley, Thomas, 1st Baron Audley of Walden

Audley, Thomas, 1st Baron Audley of Walden (1488–1544). Audley was a lawyer from Essex, who became town clerk of Colchester in 1514 and was elected to Parliament for the borough in 1523. He was a member of Wolsey's household but avoided going down with his master. He succeeded More as speaker, an influential role in the Reformation Parliament. On More's resignation as chancellor in 1532, Audley was appointed keeper of the great seal and in 1533 lord chancellor. In this capacity he presided over the trials of More, Fisher, and the accomplices of Anne Boleyn. In 1538 he was given a barony and he acquired the estates of the abbey of Walden at the dissolution of the monasteries. In 1540 he received the Garter and saw through the attainder against Thomas Cromwell. His property passed, via a daughter, to a grandson, created Lord Howard de Walden, then earl of Suffolk, who built Audley End. Audley's reputation was as a complete time-server and his motto was said to have been ‘Had I done nothing I had not been seen; if I had done much, I had not been suffered.’

J. A. Cannon

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Audley of Walden, Thomas Audley, Baron

Thomas Audley Audley of Walden, Baron, 1488–1544, lord chancellor of England (1533–44) under Henry VIII. He was made speaker of the House of Commons in 1529 and lord keeper of the great seal in 1532. A loyal servant of Henry VIII, he supported the king's divorce (1533) from Katharine of Aragón and as chancellor presided (1535) over the trials of Sir Thomas More and John Fisher. He also aided in the prosecution of Anne Boleyn (1536), Sir Thomas Cromwell (1540), and other notables. He was created baron in 1538.

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