English statesman Thomas Cromwell became adviser to Henry VIII in the 1530s and
was chiefly responsible for the execution of royal
policies in that decade.
In this position he oversaw both the Church of England's break with Rome and the Dissolution of the Monasteries.
He became Earl of Essex in 1540. Soon after this, when the
king's marriage to Anne of Cleves, which Cromwell had arranged, proved
unsuccessful, he fell from favour and was arrested and executed without trial on Henry's orders.