Unfortunately, in 1529, Cardinal Wolsey fell from the King's favor as a result of failing to secure the desired annulment of Henry's marriage to Katherine of Aragon. On 9 October 1529 Wolsey was indicted on a charge of "praemunire" - (allegiance to a foreign power) - namely, Rome. Because of his swift fall from grace, Wolsey was forced to hand over all of his properties to the King - including Cardinal College. Again, according to Suzannah, "he did this willingly, saying: 'I would all the world knew that I have nothing but it is his [Henry's] of right, for by him, and of him I have received all that I have: therefore it is of convenience and reason, that I render unto his Majesty the same again with all my heart.'"
And that was the end of Cardinal Wolsey's involvement in the college. Apparently after the Cardinal's fall (and death), the college was known for some time as "King Henry VIII's College," and finally named Christ Church College by King Henry in the year 1546 - one year before his death.
Christ Church College today is arguably the most popular college at Oxford University, and it certainly has a rich and interesting history to accompany it. Among its alumni are thirteen British prime ministers. It sits right in the middle of the hustle and bustle of Oxford, and is therefore in everyone's view as they scurry around from one place to another in this fabulous city. It is also quite well known for being filmed in the Harry Potter series - the Great Hall at Hogwarts is actually the dining hall at Christ Church! Though in reality, a beautiful portrait of King Henry VIII stands right in the center of the far wall. Too bad they didn't include that at Hogwarts...
I shall try to contain my envy of my fellow study abroad students who call Christ Church their academic home this semester, but it is hard when it is so richly steeped in Tudor history! I suppose I should just be grateful that I can walk by it every day and enjoy the view, and to envision it almost 500 years ago when it was one of Cardinal Wolsey's greatest achievements.
- Lipscomb, Suzannah: "A Visitor's Companion to Tudor England"