Thomas Cromwell
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Quotes for
Thomas Cromwell (Character)
from "The Tudors" (2007)

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A Man for All Seasons (1966)
Cromwell: Now, Sir Thomas, you stand on your silence.
Sir Thomas More: I do.
Cromwell: But, gentlemen of the jury, there are many kinds of silence. Consider first the silence of a man who is dead. Let us suppose we go into the room where he is laid out, and we listen: what do we hear? Silence. What does it betoken, this silence? Nothing; this is silence pure and simple. But let us take another case. Suppose I were to take a dagger from my sleeve and make to kill the prisoner with it; and my lordships there, instead of crying out for me to stop, maintained their silence. That would betoken! It would betoken a willingness that I should do it, and under the law, they will be guilty with me. So silence can, according to the circumstances, speak! Let us consider now the circumstances of the prisoner's silence. The oath was put to loyal subjects up and down the country, and they all declared His Grace's title to be just and good. But when it came to the prisoner, he refused! He calls this silence. Yet is there a man in this court - is there a man in this country! - who does not know Sir Thomas More's opinion of this title?
Crowd in court gallery: No!
Cromwell: Yet how can this be? Because this silence betokened, nay, this silence was, not silence at all, but most eloquent denial!
Sir Thomas More: Not so. Not so, Master Secretary. The maxim is "Qui tacet consentire": the maxim of the law is "Silence gives consent". If therefore you wish to construe what my silence betokened, you must construe that I consented, not that I denied.
Cromwell: Is that in fact what the world construes from it? Do you pretend that is what you wish the world to construe from it?
Sir Thomas More: The world must construe according to its wits; this court must construe according to the law.

Cromwell: I know a man who wants to change his woman.

Sir Thomas More: You threaten like a dockside bully.
Cromwell: How should I threaten?
Sir Thomas More: Like a minister of state. With justice.
Cromwell: Oh, justice is what you're threatened with.
Sir Thomas More: Then I am not threatened.

Cromwell: I have evidence that Sir Thomas, while he was a judge, accepted bribes.
The Duke of Norfolk: What? Goddammit, he was the only judge since Cato who didn't accept bribes! When was there last a Chancellor whose possessions after three years in office totaled one hundred pounds and a gold chain?

Cromwell: The King wants Sir Thomas to bless his marriage. If Sir Thomas appeared at the wedding, now, it might save us all a lot of trouble.
The Duke of Norfolk: Aaahh, he won't attend the wedding.
Cromwell: If I were you, I'd try and persuade him. I really would try... if I were you.
The Duke of Norfolk: Cromwell, are you threatening me?
Cromwell: My dear Norfolk... this isn't Spain. This is England.

Cromwell: Are you coming my way, Rich?


"The Tudors: Tears of Blood (#2.2)" (2008)
Thomas Cromwell: Your Grace. May we speak? I am here to inform Your Grace, as Archbishop of Canterbury, that the King intends to put a bill before the new session of Parliament.
Bishop Wanham: What does it concern, Mr. Cromwell?
Thomas Cromwell: In the first place, it means to deny the Pope much of the revenue he now receives from the English Church. It also means to lay indictments against the privileges of leading clergy in this country.
Bishop Wanham: Mr. Cromwell, what could be the cause of this further attack upon our Holy Church?
Thomas Cromwell: People can see for themselves that the monasteries are already sitting on a great wealth, which could be better applied elsewhere for the good of the whole commonwealth. For the good of ordinary, hard-working people.
Bishop Wanham: This does not strike me as an attack against abuses. But rather, an open attack upon our faith and the faith of our ancestors.
Thomas Cromwell: If that is your judgement, Your Grace, it is not mine. Neither is it the King's.

Thomas Cromwell: Your Grace. I have His Majesty's order to banish you from court. You have displeased him, it seems.
Charles Brandon: Who are you, Mr. Cromwell? I feel like I should know, but somehow I don't.
Thomas Cromwell: I am exactly as Your Grace finds me. I serve His Majesty to the best of my ability.
Charles Brandon: Someone told me that you were once a mercenary soldier.
Thomas Cromwell: I saw some action in my youth. As did Your Grace, I believe.
Charles Brandon: But I was never a soldier of fortune. If I displeased the King, it was in a good cause.
Thomas Cromwell: I'm sure. Although some would argue otherwise.
Charles Brandon: I would never have the temerity to argue with Your Grace.
Thomas Cromwell: Not to my face anyway.
Thomas Cromwell: Here is the order. You are to leave court at once.

William Peto: [gives a cermon in church] We give thanks for the reign of the King's Grace, and we ask God's blessing on him and on his people. But on this holy day, we are obliged to say that some of your Highness's preachers are these days too much like those of Ahab's days, in whose mouths was found a false and lying spirit. Theirs is the gospel of untruth, not afraid to tell of licence and liberty for monarchs, which no Christian king should dare even to contemplate! I beseech Your Highness to take heed, not to pursue the path you seem to be taking, or you will surely follow Ahab, who married the whore Jezebel, and surely will incur his unhappy end, that dogs will lick your blood as they licked Ahab's, which God avert and forbid!
[shouting and clamouring. Guards arrive to remove the friar]
William Peto: Unhand me, you dogs! I am a man of God! Unhand me!
Thomas Cromwell: [outside, in the hall] You shameless friar! You'll be sewn in a sack and thrown into the Thames if you don't speedily hold your tongue.
William Peto: Keep your threats for your fellow courtiers. As for us friars, we take no account of them at all, since we know very well that the way to heaven is as good by water as by land.

Thomas Cromwell: How do you find the King, Mr. Cranmer?
Thomas Cranmer: I swear to you, Mr. Cromwell, that he really is the kindest of princes.
Thomas Cromwell: I think you were born at a happy hour, for it seems, do or say what you will, His Majesty will always take it at your hand.
Thomas Cranmer: I am not so conceited as to suppose I am anything more to His Majesty than a diligent servant.
Thomas Cromwell: Your modesty does you honour. But His Majesty clearly thinks that you are destined for better things. Which is why he has appointed you his special envoy to the court of the Emperor.
Thomas Cranmer: He can't possibly do that! What... what I mean is... why me? I... I am nothing, Mr. Cromwell.
Thomas Cromwell: His Majesty trusts you absolutely. He knows that you understand his Great Matter better than anyone else, and that you take his part. You're in a better place than most to represent him at the Imperial court. I'm sure that you'll be a great success. And on your way there, you'll have a chance to visit the city of Nurnberg. The first city wholly run by Lutherans and reformers. A city free of ancient superstitions and idolatry. Free of Popery and the abuses of the clergy. I shall look forward to your report.


Henry VIII and His Six Wives (1972)
Thomas Cromwell: Your Grace.
Henry VIII: Whom can a man trust in this world when there is nothing real in it?
[showing Cromwell a miniature portrait of Anne of Cleves]
Henry VIII: Is this a true likeness?
Thomas Cromwell: Yes, sire, I think.
Henry VIII: Where are the great pits in her face?
Thomas Cromwell: She has a queenly manner, I think, sire.
Henry VIII: I like her not!
[shoving and shaking Cromwell]
Henry VIII: She is nothing fair and I like her not!

Thomas Cromwell: It lies within my power to make Your Majesty still more prosperous yet.
Henry VIII: But how would I ever reward you, Crom? You have it all: the Privy Seal, the Garter, Vicar General, the earldom of Essex and Lord Chamberlain. What more could I do for you?
Thomas Cromwell: Your Grace might box my head at times.
Henry VIII: [gives a huge laugh and playfully slaps Cromwell on the face] That would not be seemly. But I'm keeping his Lordship from his business.

Thomas Cromwell: [Walks into the council chamber] You were in a great hurry gentlemen to begin without me"
Norfolk: [as Cromwell is about to take his seat at the council table] Cromwell, do not sit there. There is no place for you, traitors do not sit with gentlemen.
Thomas Cromwell: [mumbles] I'm no traitor.
[flings down his cap in rage and screams in a loud voice]
Thomas Cromwell: Upon your conscience, am I a traitor?
[tries to run out of the chamber but the guards seize him]
Thomas Cromwell: Let me speak to the King!
Norfolk: [the guards fling Cromwell up to the table facing Norfolk] No, Cromwell, but by your own law that no man accused of treason may attend his grace. Send to his house to take inventory, take him!"
Suffolk: [as Cromwell is about to be led away, Suffolk walks slowly up to Cromwell] Wait!
[Suffolk and the rest of the council, except Cranmer who is disgusted, tear Cromwell's decorations from his person and give him a beating and a bloody nose]
Suffolk: Now take him away.


Anne of the Thousand Days (1969)
Thomas Cromwell: We used the incest excuse last time. We can't make a habit of it.

[first lines]
King Henry VIII: What is the verdict?
Thomas Cromwell: Guilty - Your Grace.
King Henry VIII: All of them?
Thomas Cromwell: Guilty.

Thomas Cromwell: Cardinal Wolsey, through skilful manipulation, has seen to it that the monasteries of England are richer than the goldmines of the New World. If, as you should be, you become Head of the Church, those riches are yours.
King Henry VIII: You're a man without scruple, lawyer.
Thomas Cromwell: Entirely without scruple. I learned my trade under Cardinal Wolsey, Your Grace.


"The Tudors: Everything Is Beautiful (#2.1)" (2008)
Thomas Cromwell: Ah, Mr. Cranmer!
Thomas Cranmer: I'm so sorry to be late, Mr. Cromwell. It's completely unforgivable.
Thomas Cromwell: Nonsense, we haven't even begun dining. It's good to see you. Mr. Boleyn, Mr. Wyatt, this is Mr. Cranmer.
Thomas Wyatt: Mr. Cranmer, you are a man of the cloth, I believe.
Thomas Cranmer: And are you not a poet, Mr. Wyatt?
Thomas Wyatt: That's the least of my sins. You may take one of my confessions after supper.
Thomas Cromwell: I wouldn't if I were you. It'll turn your hear white.
Thomas Cromwell: We were discussing before you arrived the progress of the Congregation of Bishops, which was called to decide upon the King's supremacy. His Majesty has wisely decided to appoint George Boleyn here to negotiate with Their Graces.
George Boleyn: I found most of them accommodating. Of course, there are a few stubborn exceptions.
Thomas Cranmer: Bishop Fisher, I assume.
George Boleyn: True.
Thomas Cranmer: May I ask who else?
George Boleyn: The archbishop himself, Warham. After years being perfectly pliable, he suddenly become rather intransigent.
Thomas Wyatt: It's because he's old, and consequently, he's closer to his maker, to whom in due course he must explain himself.
Thomas Cromwell: Well, I'm sure that there'll be a simple matter of him to explain how he helped liberate his church from superstition, religious falsehood and ecclesiastical greed.

Thomas Cromwell: Majesty, this is Mr. Cranmer, of whom I have often spoken. It was Mr. Cranmer who first spoke to the fact that Your Majesty's Great Matter was a theological issue and not legal one.
King Henry VIII: Mr. Cranmer. I have desired to meet you almost above any person now living. You are most welcome here at court.
Thomas Cranmer: Majesty, I...
King Henry VIII: It's funny. Some of the greatest and most celebrated minds in my kingdom sweated and struggled over an issue which you, an obcure cleric, if you forgive me, was able to resolve with perfect simplicity and a clarity of mind which put them all to shame.
Thomas Cranmer: Majesty, I... Um... I...
Thomas Cromwell: Mr. Cranmer, His Majesty has decided to appoint you his personal chaplain.
Thomas Cranmer: I... ah...
Thomas Cromwell: You must thank His Majesty.
Thomas Cranmer: [bows] Majesty.
King Henry VIII: You are welcome here, Mr. Cranmer.


"The Tudors: The Death of Wolsey (#1.10)" (2007)
Thomas Cromwell: You condemn all reformers as heretics?
Sir Thomas More: Wolsey was far too soft on them. I intend not to be.
Sir Thomas More: Will you burn them?

Thomas Cromwell: Sir Thomas, I notice you allow yourself none of the trappings of your great office.
Sir Thomas More: I'm not so vain as to display its power, Master Cromwell, but I'll tell you this, I fully intend to use it.


"The Six Wives of Henry VIII: Anne of Cleves (#1.4)" (1970)
Archbishop Thomas Cranmer: My lord Earl.
Thomas Cromwell: Not you, Archbishop. Stand silent a little.
Archbishop Thomas Cranmer: My Lord.
Thomas Cromwell: For a learned man, you're mighty slow in your wits, you've done some shameful things in your life and likely to do more before you die, so how is it I find such comfort in you?
Archbishop Thomas Cranmer: Comfort I never have any to give.
Thomas Cromwell: No! I fancy when that King in there, that arrogant bag of diseased guts and crazed pride, at last comes to die, he will only go in peace if he has your hand in his.
Archbishop Thomas Cranmer: What comfort can you need?
Thomas Cromwell: I've seen the warrants ready and the pen dipped to sign them. Few could have been favoured with such clear notice of their deaths. Will you pay a debt for me, Archbishop?
Archbishop Thomas Cranmer: You have credit with me.
Thomas Cromwell: Stay, Tom, until the Queen leaves the King tonight. Whatever happens, there will be a lady in dire need of comfort.
Archbishop Thomas Cranmer: Comfort again and my hands so empty... What will happen?
Thomas Cromwell: The more I know of that Lady of Cleves, the more I wonder.

Henry VIII: So who's it to be? I've lost myself in all these princesses.
Thomas Cromwell: The Duke of Cleves has two sisters...
Henry VIII: Yes, I remember a fair girl, flaxen, that would be pleasing. For, mark you Cromwell, the girl must be bed-worthy, I'm man as well as king.
Thomas Cromwell: No one doubts it, sir, but I fancy it is not the flaxen lady to whom we are chiefly concerned; that would be the Princess Amelia the younger sister, our first approach mentioned the elder sister the Princess Anna.


"The Tudors: Problems in the Reformation (#3.5)" (2009)
Thomas Cromwell: [to Rich] What the King wills, the King must have... not to be argued with or crossed...

Richard Rich: For God's sake, have you any news of the King?
Thomas Cromwell: Yes, he's rewriting the Lord's Prayer and the Ten Commandments.


"Wolf Hall: Entirely Beloved (#1.2)" (2015)
George Cavendish: I knelt by his body, and I wept, and I prayed to God to send vengeance upon them all.
Thomas Cromwell: There's no need to trouble God, George. I'll take it in hand.

Liz Cromwell: So, what's she like, the Lady Anne? Tall or short?
Thomas Cromwell: Neither.
Liz Cromwell: They say she dances well.
Thomas Cromwell: We diddn't dance.
Liz Cromwell: Are her teeth good?
Thomas Cromwell: When she sinks them into me, I'll let you know.
Liz Cromwell: Sounds like you got close enough. Why does God test us?
Thomas Cromwell: I don't think we'll pass.


"Wolf Hall: Three Card Trick (#1.1)" (2015)
George Cavendish: Don't you think it's something about the English? They cannot see a great man set up, but they have to pull him down.
Thomas Cromwell: It's not the English, it's just people.

Thomas Cromwell: [Thomas at the Protestant meeting arguing wich is better Wolsey or Moore] ... WOlsey protects us.
Protestant: Wolsey? Wolsey burns bibles.
Thomas Cromwell: Moore will burn men.


Carry on Henry VIII (1971)
King Henry VIII: Her figure's all right. What about her face?
Thomas Cromwell: I am assured, sire, it is the fairest in all Normandy.
King Henry VIII: What about her...
[indicates hourglass figure]
Thomas Cromwell: The fullest in all Normandy.
King Henry VIII: Has she been chaste?
Thomas Cromwell: All over Normandy.

Thomas Cromwell: Sign this!
Sir Roger de Lodgerley: Without even reading it?
Thomas Cromwell: I'll read it to you. It's just a simple little confession. "In as much as I, Roger de Lodgerley, of Bedside Manor, Wilts, hereinafter referred to as the party of the first part, did unlawfully, with malice aforethought and without taking due precaution, on the night of October 4th last, admire, covet, blandish, cosset, seduce and otherwise get at Marie, spouse to Henry Tudor, hereinafter referred to as the party of the second part, I do now hereby solemnly declare, and in witness thereof I append my signature below, that the resulting issue, herein after referred to as the party of the third part, is the direct consequence of the joining together of the party of the first part's and the party of the second part's parts."


The Private Life of Henry VIII. (1933)
Thomas Cromwell: Sire, we need more heirs.
King Henry VIII: I have given you three, two daughters and a son! I grant you, the daughters show little promise; Mary may grow to wisdom, but Elizabeth'll never learn to rule so much as a kitchen. Ah, but the boy is my second self.

King Henry VIII: Diplomacy? Diplomacy, my foot! I'm an Englishman - I can't say one thing and mean another. What I can do is to build ships, ships, and then more ships!
Thomas Cromwell: You mean, double the fleet?
King Henry VIII: Treble it! Fortify Dover! Rule the sea!
Thomas Cromwell: To do this will cost us money, sire.
King Henry VIII: To leave it undone will cost us England!


"The Six Wives of Henry VIII: Jane Seymour (#1.3)" (1970)
Thomas Cromwell: You want your sister crowned queen, Master Seymour? Leave it to me. I'm an old hand at it.

Henry VIII: [Henry and Cromwell are discussing a new wife following the death of Jane Seymour] Princess Madeleine?
Thomas Cromwell: Yes, Your Majesty?
Henry VIII: Or this Mary de Guise?
Thomas Cromwell: Already spoken for by your nephew James, sir.
Henry VIII: Well, does that matter? Yes, perhaps.


"Wolf Hall: Anna Regina (#1.3)" (2015)
Liz Cromwell: So, what's she like, the Lady Anne? Tall or short?
Thomas Cromwell: Neither.
Liz Cromwell: They say she dances well.
Thomas Cromwell: We diddn't dance.
Liz Cromwell: Are her teeth good?
Thomas Cromwell: When she sinks them into me, I'll let you know.
Liz Cromwell: Sounds like you got close enough. Why does God test us?
Thomas Cromwell: I don't think we'll pass.


"The Six Wives of Henry VIII: Anne Boleyn (#1.2)" (1970)
Thomas Cromwell: Go and hear her confess. Better you than some priest with a conscience!


"The Tudors: Lady in Waiting (#2.8)" (2008)
Thomas Boleyn: Kings had no need for Parliament in the old days!
Thomas Cromwell: These are not the old days, m'lord.


"The Tudors: The Definition of Love (#2.6)" (2008)
George Boleyn: Oh, my Lord! What in God's name is that?
Thomas Cromwell: It;s called a printing press, my lord,
[reading the paper in an intelligible voice]
Thomas Cromwell: and it will change the world!


"The Tudors: Protestant Anne of Cleves (#3.7)" (2009)
Thomas Cromwell: [Speaking of Anne] I think when Your Magesty gets to know the lady better...
King Henry VIII: I do not want to know the lady better!


"The Tudors: The Act of Treason (#2.9)" (2008)
Thomas Cromwell: Princes are different from others - are not easily understood, gentlemen.