The Tudors: Cardinal Thomas Wolsey [ESTJ 3w2]

Functional Order: Te-Si-Ne-Fi

Judging Functional Axis:

Extroverted Thinking (Te) / Introverted Feeling (Fi)

Cardinal Wolsey “runs England” while Henry “plays.” He handles the diplomatic negotiations. He suggests and implements new policies. He decides which alliances are the most advantageous. He arranges trade negotiations. Wolsey is highly efficient in creating order out of chaos; he undertakes the keeping of the financial aspect of the kingdom, as well as managing all its resources. His skill goes unappreciated until others try to take up the task and fail miserably. Wolsey desires to measure his own success by obtaining higher positions of authority; he places great emphasis on that, and strives to improve his situation by taking immediate action in his own favor. His enormous success makes him one of the richest men in England. His massive accumulation of power, and the ease with which he wields it, are partly the reason people like Thomas Boleyn want to “take him out” – so they can step into his shoes. In fact, his inability to arrange the king’s divorce is what undoes him – his usual tactics fail, and he becomes increasingly insecure, he feels persecuted and attacked by the queen, who blames him for Henry’s actions, and he becomes emotional and loses his usual self control – even going so far as to slap a servant who drops something (his inferior Fi coming out of hiding). Like most Te-doms, he doesn’t see what he’s doing as especially cruel, just logical and efficient – so to have everyone attacking him constantly bothers him.

Perceiving Functional Axis:

Introverted Sensing (Si) / Extroverted Intuition (Ne)

He is practical and based in the moment, aware of time-honored methods of church politics and dealing with impatient, impetuous, stubborn monarchs. Wolsey prefers predictability to the unknown, and is very detail-oriented both in his role as a cardinal and his personal books. He sees no reason to change aspects of the church, but ascribes to their tactics and belief systems. He does not like to be caught off guard. His ability to think of the dozen different ways something could go wrong and prepare an answer for each and every one of them is partly what makes him successful. (He admits to Thomas More that his job is to think of “everything,” but that it gives him anxiety.) Wolsey is very good at trying out first one idea, then going to another (once thwarted in some way, he has a backup contingency plan). A good example of this is, after his fall from favor, he tries to strike up alliances with various former friends and even enemies, one after another – finally, landing on Katharine of Aragon (“whom I trust to be kind”). His blind spot comes in failing to recognize the true intentions of those around him – his assumption that Anne Boleyn is just a “silly girl” and of no value to the king, and his belief Thomas Cromwell is on his side. He senses the connections between other people, and the ulterior motives, but sometimes is blinded to these things by his clinging to familiarity (he trusts that his long term previous experience with Henry will be enough to belay his anger).

Enneagram: 3w2 so/sp

Wolsey tries very hard to please and be useful to his king, often changing his appeal and softening it to be more approachable or polite, in order to move around Henry’s capricious moods. He finds himself important, and seeks to maintain his position, even if it means going against cannon church law. He tries to convince Katharine of Aragon to give up her marriage and go quietly into a nunnery, which she finds an abhorrent idea and beneath her. Wolsey maintains a degree of dignity and respectability, sending his mistress away so that she is not seen when the king visits, even though others know of her existence (he wants to maintain the illusion of piety, even if he has none). He likes to smooth over discord and find pleasant ways of communication, but is always ambitious, power-seeking, and eager to please.