British historian G.R. Elton wrote the following about the early years of Henry's reign: "From the first, he was utterly sure of himselfpassionately devoted to his own interests and inclinations, unscrupulous but careful of legal form, and clever." At the same time, Henry was extremely dependent on Thomas Wolsey, whose zeal and ability as an administrator made him indispensable to the king. Among Henry's contemporaries on the European continent, many considered Wolsey to be the true ruler of England, since it was to him that foreign officials were often directed to address concerns meant for the English king. Elton agrees somewhat with this assessment, writing that it was Wolsey who devised and carried out the policies which Henry endorsed.Some historians have argued that Henry had the mindset of a late medieval monarch rather than an eye for the potentials of modern legal and political reforms. Early in his
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Henry, Thomas Wolsey, minister Cardinal Wolsey, historian G.R. Elton