Cromwell is Cardinal Wolsey’s protégé.
He loves his master, and is brokenhearted at the Cardinal’s fall from power. At Wolsey’s command, he offers his services to the King, and becomes secretary of the royal council. As such he is present at the meeting that attempts to judge Cranmer for heresy. As he himself favors the Protestant cause, he attempts to defend the Archbishop, and earns Gardiner’s enmity in doing so. He is vindictively overjoyed to see the Archbishop’s enemies discovering themselves to be on the bad side of the King.