John Barlow (diplomat)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

John Barlow was an English diplomat and spy in the time of Henry VIII.


He graduated M.A. at the University of Oxford in 1521.[1]

Barlow was intimately involved in the King's attempts to secure a divorce from his first wife, Katherine of Aragon from the Pope. Barlow was a supporter of Henry's fiancee, Anne Boleyn. Barlow uncovered evidence of Cardinal Wolsey's betrayal of the King's cause in Rome, which he faithfully reported to a horrified Anne in 1528. This information helped solidify the future queen's hatred towards Wolsey, something which played a major part in the Cardinal's fall from power the following year.

He is described as one of her [Anne Boleyn's] favourite clerics.[2] Later he became archdeacon of Westbury-on-Trym, and then dean of Worcester.[1] His closeness to Anne Boleyn led some to suggest he must have known of her 'treason.'[3]

Barlow was Dean of Worcester from 1544 until he was deprived of the role under Queen Mary in 1553.[4]


William Barlow was his brother.[1]


  1. ^ a b c
  2. ^ p.51, Eric Ives, Anne Boleyn
  3. ^ p.305, Eric Ives, Anne Boleyn
  4. ^ B. Green, Bishops and Deans of Worcester (Worcester 1979)