AUTHOR Alex Anglesey tells the story of Lord William Paget, founder of the family who became the Earls of Uxbridge in his new book, The Great Survivor of the Tudor Age.

Like Cromwell and Wolsey before him, William Paget came from nowhere to become one of Henry VIII's most powerful 'new men'.

He had the king's ear in Henry's later years, was the key player in drafting his will ( was it a forgery?) and in enabling Somerset to become Lord Protector in the reign of the boy king, Edward VI. For a while, he was Somerset's right-hand man.

When Somerset fell, Paget was imprisoned in the Tower and nearly executed. But he survived and regained power.

He had a major role in delivering the Crown to the Catholic Queen Mary, and in arranging her marriage to Philip II of Spain.

He kept in with the Protestant Princess Elizabeth and survived to have influence when she came to the throne.

From records of the mansion he built close to today's Heathrow Airport, a picture has been created of life in a Tudor household. The gatehouse can still be seen today

The story is partly told from previously unexamined family letters.

Alex Anglesey is a descendant of Lord William, who worked in publishing before mainly now painting landscapes in oils under the name of Alex Uxbridge.

The Great Survivor of the Tudor Age by Alex Anglesey, Pen & Sword Books.