Reformation was a series of events in 16th century England
by which the
Church of England
Church of England broke away from the authority of the
Pope and the Roman Catholic Church. These events were, in part,
associated with the wider process of the European Protestant
Reformation, a religious and political movement that affected the
Christianity across western and central Europe during this
period. Many factors contributed to the process: the decline of
feudalism and the rise of nationalism, the rise of the common law, the
invention of the printing press and increased circulation of the
Bible, and the transmission of new knowledge and ideas among scholars,
the upper and middle classes and readers in general. However, the
various phases of the English Reformation, which also covered Wales
and Ireland, were largely driven by changes in government policy, to
which public opinion gradually accommodated itself.
Based on Henry VIII's desire for an annulment of his marriage (first
Pope Clement VII
Pope Clement VII in 1527), the English
Reformation was at
the outset more of a political affair than a theological dispute. The
reality of political differences between Rome and England allowed
growing theological disputes to come to the fore. Until the break
with Rome, it was the Pope and general councils of the Church that
decided doctrine. Church law was governed by canon law with final
jurisdiction in Rome. Church taxes were paid straight to Rome, and the
Pope had the final word in the appointment of bishops.
The break with Rome was effected by a series of acts of Parliament
passed between 1532 and 1534, among them the 1534 Act of Supremacy,
which declared that Henry was the "Supreme Head on earth of the Church
of England". (This title was renounced by Mary I in 1553 in the
process of restoring papal jurisdiction; when Elizabeth I reasserted
the royal supremacy in 1559; her title was Supreme Governor.) Final
authority in doctrinal and legal disputes now rested with the monarch,
and the papacy was deprived of revenue and the final say on the
appointment of bishops.
The theology and liturgy of the
Church of England
Church of England became markedly
Protestant during the reign of Henry's son Edward VI largely along
lines laid down by Archbishop Thomas Cranmer. Under Mary, the whole
process was reversed and the
Church of England
Church of England was again placed under
papal jurisdiction. Soon after, Elizabeth reintroduced the Protestant
faith but in a more moderate manner. The structure and theology of the
church was a matter of fierce dispute for generations.
The violent aspect of these disputes, manifested in the English Civil
Wars, ended when the last Roman Catholic monarch, James II, was
deposed, and Parliament asked William III and Mary II to rule jointly
in conjunction with the
English Bill of Rights
English Bill of Rights in 1688 (in the
"Glorious Revolution"), from which emerged a church polity with an
established church and a number of non-conformist churches whose
members at first suffered various civil disabilities that were removed
over time. The legacy of the past Roman Catholic Establishment
remained an issue for some time, and still exists today. A substantial
minority remained Roman Catholic in England, and in an effort to
disestablish it from British systems, their church organisation
remained illegal until the 19th century.
1.1 Henry VIII: marriages and desire for a male heir
1.2 Parliamentary debate and legislation
1.3 Actions by the king against English clergy
1.4 Further legislative acts
2 Theological radicalism
2.1 Dissolution of the Monasteries
3 Edward's Reformation
4 Roman Catholic Restoration under Mary I
5 Elizabethan Settlement
5.1 Act of Supremacy 1558
5.2 Act of Uniformity 1558
Puritans and Roman Catholics
8 See also
10 Further reading
10.2 Primary sources
11 External links
Henry VIII: marriages and desire for a male heir
Henry VIII of England
Henry VIII of England by Hans Holbein the Younger.
Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, Madrid.
Catherine of Aragon, Henry VIII's first wife. Attributed to Joannes
Corvus, National Portrait Gallery, London.
Henry VIII ascended the English throne in 1509 at the age of 17. He
made a dynastic marriage with Catherine of Aragon, widow of his
brother Arthur, in June 1509, just before his coronation on
Midsummer's Day. Unlike his father, who was secretive and
conservative, the young Henry appeared the epitome of chivalry and
sociability. An observant Roman Catholic, he heard up to five masses a
day (except during the hunting season); of "powerful but unoriginal
mind", he let himself be influenced by his advisors from whom he was
never apart, by night or day. He was thus susceptible to whoever had
This contributed to a state of hostility between his young
contemporaries and the Lord Chancellor, Cardinal Thomas Wolsey. As
long as Wolsey had his ear, Henry's Roman Catholicism was secure: in
1521, he had defended the Roman
Catholic Church from Martin Luther's
accusations of heresy in a book he wrote—probably with considerable
help from the conservative
Bishop of Rochester
Bishop of Rochester John
Fisher—entitled The Defence of the Seven Sacraments, for which he
was awarded the title "Defender of the Faith" (Fidei Defensor) by Pope
Leo X. (Successive English and British monarchs have retained this
title to the present, even after the Anglican Church broke away from
Roman Catholicism, in part because the title was re-conferred by
Parliament in 1544, after the split.) Wolsey's enemies at court
included those who had been influenced by Lutheran ideas, among
whom was the attractive, charismatic Anne Boleyn.
Anne arrived at court in 1522 as maid of honour to Queen Catherine,
having spent some years in France being educated by
Queen Claude of
France. She was a woman of "charm, style and wit, with will and
savagery which made her a match for Henry." Anne was a
distinguished French conversationalist, singer, and dancer. She was
cultured and is the disputed author of several songs and poems. By
the late 1520s, Henry wanted his marriage to Catherine annulled. She
had not produced a male heir who survived longer than two months, and
Henry wanted a son to secure the Tudor dynasty.
Before Henry's father (Henry VII) ascended the throne, England had
been beset by civil warfare over rival claims to the English crown.
Henry wanted to avoid a similar uncertainty over the succession.
Catherine of Aragon's only surviving child was Princess Mary.
Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII's second wife, by an unknown artist. National
Portrait Gallery, London.
Henry claimed that this lack of a male heir was because his marriage
was "blighted in the eyes of God". Catherine had been his late
brother's wife, and it was therefore against biblical teachings for
Henry to have married her (
Leviticus 20:21); a special
Pope Julius II
Pope Julius II had been needed to allow the wedding
in the first place. Henry argued that this had been wrong and that
his marriage had never been valid. In 1527 Henry asked Pope Clement
VII to annul the marriage, but the Pope refused. According to Canon
Law the Pope cannot annul a marriage on the basis of a canonical
impediment previously dispensed. Clement also feared the wrath of
Holy Roman Emperor
Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, whose troops earlier
that year had sacked Rome and briefly taken the Pope prisoner.
The combination of his "scruple of conscience" and his captivation by
Anne Boleyn made his desire to rid himself of his Queen
compelling. The indictment of his chancellor
Cardinal Wolsey in
1529 for praemunire (taking the authority of the Papacy above the
Crown), and subsequent death in November 1530 on his way to London to
answer a charge of high treason left Henry open to the opposing
influences of the supporters of the Queen and those who sanctioned the
abandonment of the Roman allegiance, for whom an annulment was but an
Parliamentary debate and legislation
In 1529 the king summoned Parliament to deal with annulment, thus
bringing together those who wanted reform but who disagreed what form
it should take; it became known as the
Reformation Parliament. There
were Common lawyers who resented the privileges of the clergy to
summon laity to their courts; there were those who had been
influenced by Lutheran evangelicalism and were hostile to the theology
Thomas Cromwell was both. Henry's Chancellor, Thomas More,
successor to Wolsey, also wanted reform: he wanted new laws against
Thomas Cromwell, 1st Earl of Essex
Thomas Cromwell, 1st Earl of Essex (c. 1485–1540), Henry VIII's
chief minister 1532–40.
Cromwell was a lawyer and a member of Parliament—a Protestant who
saw how Parliament could be used to advance the Royal Supremacy, which
Henry wanted, and to further Protestant beliefs and practices Cromwell
and his friends wanted. One of his closest friends was Thomas
Cranmer, soon to be Archbishop.
In the matter of the annulment, no progress seemed possible. The Pope
seemed more afraid of Emperor Charles V than of Henry. Anne and
Cromwell and their allies wished simply to ignore the Pope, but in
October 1530 a meeting of clergy and lawyers advised that Parliament
could not empower the archbishop to act against the Pope's
prohibition. Henry thus resolved to bully the priests.
Actions by the king against English clergy
Having brought down his Chancellor, Cardinal Wolsey, Henry VIII
finally resolved to charge the whole English clergy with praemunire to
secure their agreement to his annulment. The Statute of Praemunire,
which forbade obedience to the authority of the Pope or of any foreign
rulers, enacted in 1392, had been used against individuals in the
ordinary course of court proceedings. Now Henry, having first charged
Queen Catherine's supporters, Bishops John Fisher,
Nicholas West and
Henry Standish and Archdeacon of Exeter, Adam Travers, decided to
proceed against the whole clergy. Henry claimed £100,000 from the
Convocation of Canterbury of the
Church of England
Church of England for their pardon,
which was granted by the Convocation on 24 January 1531. The clergy
wanted the payment spread over five years. Henry refused. The
Convocation responded by withdrawing their payment altogether, and
demanded Henry fulfill certain guarantees before they would give him
the money. Henry refused these conditions. He agreed only to the
five-year period of payment and added five articles that specified
The clergy recognise Henry as the "sole protector and Supreme Head of
the Church and clergy of England"
The King had spiritual jurisdiction
The privileges of the Church were upheld only if they did not detract
from the royal prerogative and the laws of the realm
The King pardoned the clergy for violating the statute of praemunire,
The laity were also pardoned.
Further legislative acts
In Parliament, Bishop
John Fisher championed Catherine and the clergy;
he had inserted into the first article, the phrase "...as far as the
word of God allows..." In Convocation, however, Archbishop Warham
requested a discussion but was met by a stunned silence; then Warham
said, "He who is silent seems to consent," to which a clergyman
responded, "Then we are all silent." The Convocation granted consent
to the King's five articles and the payment on 8 March 1531.
That same year Parliament passed the
Pardon to Clergy Act 1531.
Thomas Cranmer (1489–1556), Henry VIII's Archbishop of Canterbury
and editor and co-author of the first and second Books of Common
The breaking of the power of Rome proceeded little by little. In 1532,
Cromwell brought before Parliament the Supplication Against the
Ordinaries, which listed nine grievances against the Church, including
abuses of power and Convocation's independent legislative power.
Finally, on 10 May, the King demanded of Convocation that the Church
renounce all authority to make laws. On 15 May, the Submission of the
Clergy was subscribed, which recognised Royal Supremacy over the
church so that it could no longer make canon law without royal
licence—i.e., without the King's permission—thus emasculating it
as a law-making body. (The Parliament subsequently passed this in 1534
and again in 1536.) The day after this, More resigned as Chancellor,
leaving Cromwell as Henry's chief minister. (Cromwell never became
Chancellor. His power came—and was lost—through his informal
relations with Henry.)
Several Acts of Parliament then followed. The Act in Conditional
Restraint of Annates proposed that the clergy pay no more than 5% of
their first year's revenue (annates) to Rome. This was initially
controversial, and required that Henry visit the
House of Lords
House of Lords three
times to browbeat the Commons.
The Act in Restraint of Appeals, drafted by Cromwell, apart from
outlawing appeals to Rome on ecclesiastical matters, declared that
This realm of England is an Empire, and so hath been accepted in the
world, governed by one Supreme Head and King having the dignity and
royal estate of the Imperial Crown of the same, unto whom a body
politic compact of all sorts and degrees of people divided in terms
and by names of Spirituality and Temporality, be bounden and owe to
bear next to God a natural and humble obedience.
This declared England an independent country in every respect. English
Geoffrey Elton called this Act an "essential ingredient" of
the "Tudor revolution" in that it expounded a theory of national
Act in Absolute Restraint of Annates
Act in Absolute Restraint of Annates outlawed all
annates to Rome, and also ordered that if cathedrals refused the
King's nomination for bishop, they would be liable to punishment by
praemunire. Finally in 1534 the
Acts of Supremacy made Henry "supreme
head in earth of the Church of England" and disregarded any "usage,
custom, foreign laws, foreign authority [or] prescription".
Thomas More, with
John Fisher the leader of political resistance
against the break with Rome. Both were executed in 1535.
Meanwhile, having taken Anne to France on a pre-nuptial honeymoon,
Henry married her in
Westminster Abbey in January 1533. This was made
easier by the death of Archbishop Warham, a strong opponent of an
annulment. Henry appointed
Thomas Cranmer as his successor as
Archbishop of Canterbury. Cranmer was prepared to grant the
annulment of the marriage to Catherine as Henry required, going so
far as to pronounce the judgment that Henry's marriage with Catherine
was against the law of God on 23 May. Anne gave birth to a
daughter, Princess Elizabeth, in September 1533. The Pope responded to
the marriage by excommunicating both Henry and Cranmer from the Roman
Catholic Church (11 July 1533). Henry was excommunicated again in
Consequently, in the same year the Act of First Fruits and Tenths
transferred the taxes on ecclesiastical income from the Pope to the
Act Concerning Peter's Pence and Dispensations
Act Concerning Peter's Pence and Dispensations outlawed the
annual payment by landowners of one penny to the Pope. This Act also
reiterated that England had "no superior under God, but only your
Grace" and that Henry's "imperial crown" had been diminished by "the
unreasonable and uncharitable usurpations and exactions" of the
In case any of this should be resisted, Parliament passed the Treasons
Act 1534, which made it high treason punishable by death to deny Royal
Supremacy. The following year,
Thomas More and
John Fisher were
executed under this legislation. Finally, in 1536, Parliament passed
the Act against the Pope's Authority, which removed the last part of
papal authority still legal. This was Rome's power in England to
decide disputes concerning Scripture.
The break with Rome was not, by itself, a Reformation. That was to
come from the dissemination of ideas. The views of the German reformer
Martin Luther and his school were widely known and disputed in
England. A major manifestation of theological radicalism in
England was Lollardy, a movement deriving from the writings of John
Wycliffe, the 14th century
Bible translator, which stressed the
primacy of Scripture. But after the execution of Sir John Oldcastle,
leader of the Lollard rebellion of 1415, they never again had access
to the levers of power, and by the 15th century were much reduced in
numbers and influence.
Lollards were still about, especially in London and the Thames
Essex and Kent, Coventry,
Bristol and even in the North,
who would be receptive to the new ideas when they came, who looked
for a reform in the lifestyle of the clergy. They emphasised the
preaching of the word over the sacrament of the altar, holding the
latter to be but a memorial, but they were not party to the actions of
the government. Other ideas, critical of the papal supremacy
were held, not only by Lollards, but by those who wished to assert the
supremacy of the secular state over the church but also by
conciliarists such as
Thomas More and, initially, Cranmer. Other Roman
Catholic reformists, including John Colet, Dean of St Paul's, warned
that heretics were not nearly so great a danger to the faith as the
wicked and indolent lives of the clergy.
History of Christianity
Roman Catholic Church
in England and Wales
Calendar of saints
(Church of England)
Joseph of Arimathea
Legend of Christ in Britain
Christianity in Roman Britain
Wars of the Three Kingdoms
Dissolution of the Monasteries
Puritanism and the Restoration
English Civil War
18th Century Church of England
19th Century Church of England
Church of England
Church of England (Recent)
The impact of Luther's thinking was of a different order. The main
plank of his thinking, justification by faith alone rather than by
good works, threatened the whole basis of the Roman Catholic
penitential system with its endowed masses and prayers for the dead as
well as its doctrine of purgatory. Faith, not pious acts, prayers or
masses, in this view, can secure the grace of God. Moreover, printing,
which had become widespread at the end of the previous century, meant
that vernacular Bibles could be produced in quantity. A further
English translation by
William Tyndale was banned but it was
impossible to prevent copies from being smuggled and widely read. The
Church could no longer effectively dictate its interpretation.
A group in Cambridge, which met at the White Horse tavern from the
mid-1520s and became known as Little Germany, soon became influential.
Its members included Robert Barnes, Hugh Latimer,
John Frith and
Thomas Bilney—all eventually burned as heretics. Cranmer's
change of mind, borne partly by his membership of the team negotiating
for the annulment, finally came through his stay with Andreas Osiander
Nuremberg in 1532. (Cranmer also secretly married Osiander's
niece). Even then the position was complicated by the fact that
Lutherans were not in favour of the annulment. Cranmer (and Henry)
felt obliged to seek assistance from
Strasbourg and Basel, which
brought him into contact with the more radical ideas associated with
Cromwell's programme, assisted by Anne Boleyn's influence over
episcopal appointments, was not merely against the clergy and the
power of Rome. He persuaded Henry that safety from political alliances
that Rome might attempt to bring together lay in negotiations with the
German Lutheran princes. There also seemed to be a possibility
that Charles V, the Holy Roman Emperor, might act to avenge his
rejected aunt (Queen Catherine) and enforce the Pope's
excommunication. It never came to anything but it brought to England
Lutheran ideas: three sacraments only—baptism,
penance—which Henry was prepared to countenance to maintain the
possibility of an alliance.
More noticeable, and objectionable to many, were the Injunctions,
first of 1536 and then of 1538. The programme began with the abolition
of many feast days, "the occasion of vice and idleness" which,
particularly at harvest time, had an immediate effect on village
life. The offerings to images were discouraged, as were
pilgrimages—these injunctions were issued while monasteries were
being dissolved. In some places images were burned on the grounds that
they were objects of superstitious devotion, candles lit before images
were prohibited, and Bibles in both English and Latin were to be
bought. Thus did the
Reformation begin to affect the towns and
villages of England and, in many places, people did not like it.
Dissolution of the Monasteries
Main article: Dissolution of the Monasteries
In 1534, Cromwell initiated a Visitation of the Monasteries ostensibly
to examine their character, but in fact, to value their assets with a
view to expropriation. The Crown was undergoing financial
difficulties, and the wealth of the church, in contrast to its
political weakness, made appropriation of church property both
tempting and feasible. Suppression of monasteries to raise funds
was not unknown previously. Cromwell had done the same thing on the
Cardinal Wolsey to raise funds for two proposed
Oxford years before.
Now the Visitation allowed for an inventory of what the monasteries
possessed, and the visiting commissioners claimed to have uncovered
sexual immorality and financial impropriety amongst the monks and
nuns, which became the ostensible justification for their suppression.
The Church owned between one-fifth and one-third of the land in all
England; Cromwell realised that he could bind the gentry and nobility
to Royal Supremacy by selling to them the huge amount of Church lands,
and that any reversion to pre-Royal Supremacy would entail upsetting
many of the powerful people in the realm. For these various
Dissolution of the Monasteries
Dissolution of the Monasteries began in 1536 with the
Dissolution of the Lesser Monasteries Act, affecting smaller
houses—those valued at less than £200 a year. Henry used the
revenue to help build coastal defences (see Device Forts) against
expected invasion, and all the land was given to the Crown or sold to
the aristocracy. Whereas the royal supremacy had raised few eyebrows,
the attack on abbeys and priories affected lay people. Mobs
attacked those sent to break up monastic buildings. Suppression
commissioners were attacked by local people in several places. In
Northern England there were a series of uprisings by Roman Catholics
against the dissolutions in late 1536 and early 1537.
In the autumn of 1536 there was a great muster, reckoned at up to
40,000 in number, at Horncastle in Lincolnshire. The nervous gentry
managed, with difficulty, to disperse these masses—who had tried
unsuccessfully to negotiate with the king by petition. The Pilgrimage
of Grace was a more serious matter. Revolt spread through Yorkshire,
and the rebels gathered at York. Robert Aske, their leader, negotiated
the restoration of sixteen of the twenty-six northern monasteries,
which had actually been dissolved. However, the promises made to them
Duke of Suffolk
Duke of Suffolk were ignored on the king's orders.
instructed to put the rebellion down. Forty-seven of the Lincolnshire
rebels were executed, and 132 from the northern pilgrimage.
Further rebellions took place in
Cornwall in early 1537, and in
Walsingham (in Norfolk). These received similar treatment.
It took Cromwell four years to complete the process. In 1539 he moved
to the dissolution of the larger monasteries that had escaped earlier.
Many houses gave up voluntarily, though some sought exemption by
payment. When their houses were closed down some monks sought to
transfer to larger houses. Many became secular priests. A few,
including eighteen Carthusians, refused and were killed to the last
Henry VIII personally devised a plan to form at least thirteen new
dioceses so that most counties had one based on a former monastery (or
more than one), though this scheme was only partly carried out. New
dioceses were established at Bristol, Gloucester, Oxford,
Peterborough, Westminster and Chester, but not, for instance, at
Leicester or Waltham.
The abolition of papal authority made way not for orderly change, but
for dissension and violence. Iconoclasm, destruction, disputes within
communities that led to violence, and radical challenge to all forms
of faith were reported daily to Cromwell—developments he tried to
hide from the King. Once Henry knew what was afoot, he acted.
Thus at the end of 1538, a proclamation was issued forbidding free
discussion of the Sacrament and forbidding clerical marriage, on
pain of death.
Henry personally presided at the trial of John Lambert in November
1538 for denying the real presence. At the same time, he shared in the
drafting of a proclamation giving Anabaptists and Sacramentaries ten
days to get out of the country. In 1539 Parliament passed the Six
Articles reaffirming Roman Catholic practices such as
transubstantiation, clerical celibacy and the importance of confession
to a priest and prescribed penalties if anyone denied them. Henry
himself observed the
Easter Triduum in that year with some
On 28 June 1540 Cromwell, Henry's longtime advisor and loyal servant,
was executed. Different reasons were advanced: that Cromwell would not
enforce the Act of Six Articles; that he had supported Barnes, Latimer
and other heretics; and that he was responsible for Henry's marriage
to Anne of Cleves, his fourth wife. Many other arrests under the Act
followed. Cranmer lay low.
In 1540 Henry began his attack upon the free availability of the
Bible. In 1536 Cromwell had instructed each parish to acquire "one
book of the whole
Bible of the largest volume in English" by Easter
1539. This instruction had been largely ignored, so a new version, the
Bible (largely William Tyndale's English translation of the
Hebrew and Greek Scriptures), was authorised in August 1537. But by
1539 Henry had announced his desire to have it "corrected" (which
Cranmer referred to the universities to undertake).
Many parishes were, in any case, reluctant to use English Bibles. Now
the mood was conservatism, which expressed itself in the fear that
Bible reading led to heresy. Many Bibles that had been put in place
were removed. By the 1543 Act for the Advancement of True
Religion, Henry restricted
Bible reading to men and women of noble
birth. He expressed his fears to Parliament in 1545 that "the Word of
God, is disputed, rhymed, sung and jangled in every ale house and
tavern, contrary to the true meaning and doctrine of the same."
By 1546 the conservatives, the Duke of Norfolk, Wriothesly, Gardiner
and Tunstall were in the ascendent. They were, by the king's will, to
be members of the regency council on his death. However, by the time
he died in 1547, Edward Seymour, Earl of Hertford, brother of Jane
Seymour, Henry's third wife (and therefore uncle to the future Edward
VI), managed—by a number of alliances with influential Protestants
such as Lisle—to gain control over the Privy Council. He persuaded
Henry to change his will to replace Norfolk, Wriothesly, Gardiner and
Tunstall as executors with Seymour's supporters.
King Edward VI of England, in whose reign the reform of the Anglican
Church moved in a more Protestant direction.
When Henry died in 1547, his nine-year-old son, Edward VI, inherited
the throne. Edward was a precocious child who had been brought up as a
Protestant, but was initially of little account politically.
Edward Seymour was made Lord Protector. He was commissioned as virtual
regent with near sovereign powers. Now made Duke of Somerset, he
proceeded at first hesitantly, partly because his powers were not
unchallenged. When he acted it was because he saw the political
advantage in doing so.
Edward VI and the Pope: An Allegory of the Reformation. This
Elizabethan work of propaganda depicts the handing over of power from
Henry VIII, who lies dying in bed, to Edward VI, seated beneath a
cloth of state with a slumping pope at his feet. In the top right of
the picture is an image of men pulling down and smashing idols. At
Edward's side are his uncle the
Lord Protector Edward Seymour and
members of the Privy Council.
The 1547 Injunctions against images were a more tightly drawn version
of those of 1538, but they were more fiercely enforced, at first
informally, and then by instruction. All images in churches were to be
dismantled. Stained glass, shrines and statues were defaced or
destroyed. Roods, and often their lofts and screens, were cut down and
bells were taken down.
Vestments were prohibited and either burned or
sold. Chalices were melted down or sold. The requirement of the
clergy to be celibate was lifted. Processions were banned and ashes
and palms were prohibited. Chantries (endowments to provide masses
for the dead) were abolished completely. How well this was received is
disputed. Modern historian A.G. Dickens contends that people had
"...ceased to believe in intercessory masses for souls in
purgatory", while others, such as Eamon Duffy, argue that the
demolition of chantry chapels and the removal of images coincided with
the activity of royal visitors. The evidence is often
ambiguous. In 1549 Cranmer introduced a
Book of Common Prayer
Book of Common Prayer in
English, which while to all appearances kept the structure of the
Mass, altered the theology so that the holy gifts of consecrated bread
and wine were not offered to God as a sacrifice although he was well
aware that this had been the Church's doctrine since the late 2nd
century (it would be restored by Scottish non-Jurors of the Episcopal
Church of Scotland and the Protestant Episcopal Church of the United
States in 1789) In 1550 stone altars were replaced by wooden communion
tables, a very public break with the past, as it changed the look and
focus of church interiors.
Less visible, but still influential, was the new ordinal—which
provided for Protestant ministers rather than Roman Catholic priests,
an admittedly conservative adaptation of Bucer's draft; its
Preface explicitly mentions the historic succession but it has been
described as "... another case of Cranmer's opportunist adoption of
medieval forms for new purposes." In 1551, the episcopate was
remodelled by the appointment of Protestants to the bench. This
removed the refusal of some bishops to enforce the regulations as an
obstacle to change.
Reformation proceeded apace. In 1552, the prayer
book—which the conservative Bishop
Stephen Gardiner had approved
from his prison cell as being "patient of a Catholic
interpretation"—was replaced by a second, much more radical prayer
book that altered the service to remove any sense that the Eucharist
was a material sacrifice offered to God while keeping the belief that
it was a sacrifice of thanksgiving and praise (in word). Edward's
Parliament also repealed his father's Six Articles.
The enforcement of the new liturgy did not always take place without a
struggle. Conformity was the order of the day, but in
East Anglia and
Devon there were rebellions, as also in Cornwall, to which many
parishes sent their young men; they were put down only after
considerable loss of life. In other places the causes of the
rebellions were less easy to pin down, but by July throughout
southern England, there was "quavering quiet," which burst out into
"stirs" in many places, most significantly in
Kett's Rebellion in
Apart from these more spectacular pieces of resistance, in some places
chantry priests continued to say prayers and landowners to pay them to
do so. Opposition to the removal of images was widespread—so much so
that when during the Commonwealth,
William Dowsing was commissioned to
the task of image breaking in Suffolk, his task, as he records it, was
Kent and the southeast, compliance was mostly willing
and for many, the sale of vestments and plate was an opportunity to
make money (but it was also true that in London and Kent, Reformation
ideas had permeated more deeply into popular thinking).
The effect of the resistance was to topple Somerset as Lord Protector,
so that in 1549 it was feared by some that the
cease. The prayer book was the tipping point. But Lisle, now made Earl
of Warwick, was made Lord President of the
Privy Council and, ever the
opportunist (he died a public Roman Catholic), he saw the further
implementation of the reforming policy as a means of defeating his
Reformation-Vandalized statue in the Lady Chapel of Ely Cathedral
Outwardly, the destruction and removals for sale had changed the
church forever. Many churches had concealed their vestments and their
silver, and had buried their stone altars. There were many
disputes between the government and parishes over church property.
Thus, when Edward died in July 1553 and the Duke of Northumberland
attempted to have the Protestant
Lady Jane Grey
Lady Jane Grey made Queen, the
unpopularity of the confiscations gave Mary the opportunity to have
herself proclaimed Queen, first in Suffolk, and then in London to the
acclamation of the crowds.
Roman Catholic Restoration under Mary I
Mary I of England
Mary I of England restored the English allegiance to Rome.
From 1553, under the reign of Henry's Roman Catholic daughter, Mary I,
Reformation legislation was repealed and Mary sought to achieve
the reunion with Rome. Her first Act of Parliament was to
retroactively validate Henry's marriage to her mother and so
legitimise her claim to the throne.
Achieving her objective was, however, not straightforward. The Pope
was only prepared to accept reunion when church property disputes had
been settled—which, in practice, meant letting those who had bought
former church property keep it. Thus did Cardinal Reginald Pole
arrive to become
Archbishop of Canterbury
Archbishop of Canterbury in Cranmer's place. Mary
could have had Cranmer, imprisoned as he was, tried and executed for
treason—he had supported the claims of Lady Jane Grey—but she
resolved to have him tried for heresy. His recantations of his
Protestantism would have been a major coup. Unhappily for her, he
unexpectedly withdrew his recantations at the last minute as he was to
be burned at the stake, thus ruining her government's propaganda
If Mary was to secure England for Roman Catholicism, she needed an
heir. On the advice of the
Holy Roman Emperor
Holy Roman Emperor she married his son,
Philip II of Spain; she needed to prevent her Protestant half-sister
Elizabeth from inheriting the Crown and thus returning England to
Protestantism. There was opposition, and even a rebellion in
by Sir Thomas Wyatt); even though it was provided that Philip would
never inherit the kingdom if there was no heir, received no estates
and had no coronation. He was there to provide an heir. But she
never became pregnant, and likely suffered from cancer. Ironically,
another blow fell. Pope Julius died and his successor, Pope Paul IV,
declared war on Philip and recalled Pole to Rome to have him tried as
a heretic. Mary refused to let him go. The support she might have
expected from a grateful Pope was thus denied.
After 1555, the initial reconciling tone of the regime began to
harden. The medieval heresy laws were restored. The Marian
Persecutions of Protestants ensued and 283 Protestants were burnt at
the stake for heresy. This resulted in the Queen becoming known as
Bloody Mary, due to the influence of John Foxe, one of the Protestants
who fled Marian England.
Foxe's Book of Martyrs
Foxe's Book of Martyrs recorded the
executions in such detail that it became Mary's epitaph; Convocation
subsequently ordered that Foxe's book should be placed in every
cathedral in the land. In fact, while those who were executed after
the revolts of 1536, and the St David's Down rebellion of 1549, and
the unknown number of monks who died for refusing to submit, may not
have been tried for heresy, they certainly exceeded that number by
some amount. Even so, the heroism of some of the martyrs was an
example to those who witnessed them, so that in some places it was the
burnings that set people against the regime.
There was a slow consolidation in Roman Catholic strength in Mary's
latter years. The reconciled Roman Catholic Edmund Bonner, Bishop of
London, produced a catechism and a collection of homilies. Printing
presses produced primers and other devotional materials, and
recruitment to the English clergy began to rise after almost a decade.
Repairs to long-neglected churches began. In the parishes
"...restoration and repair continued, new bells were bought, and
churches' ales produced their bucolic profits." Commissioners
visited to ensure that altars were restored, roods rebuilt and
vestments and plate purchased. Moreover, Pole was determined to do
more than remake the past. He insisted on scripture, teaching and
education, and on improving the clergy's moral standards.
It is difficult to determine how far previous reigns had broken Roman
Catholic devotion, with its belief in the saints and in purgatory, but
certainties—especially those that drew public financial
support—had been shaken. Benefactions to the church did not return
significantly. Trust in clergy who had changed their minds and were
now willing to leave their new wives—as they were required to
do—was bound to have weakened.
Few monasteries, chantries, and guilds were reinstated. "Parish
religion was marked by religious and cultural sterility," though
some have observed enthusiasm, marred only by poor harvests that
produced poverty and want. Full restoration of the Roman Catholic
faith in England to its pre-
Reformation state would take time.
Consequently, Protestants secretly ministering to underground
congregations, such as Thomas Bentham, were planning for a long haul,
a ministry of survival. Mary's death in November 1558, childless
and without having made provision for a Roman Catholic to succeed her,
would undo her consolidation.
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Main article: Elizabethan Religious Settlement
Following Mary's childless death, her half-sister Elizabeth inherited
the throne. One of the most important concerns during Elizabeth's
early reign was religion. Elizabeth could not be Roman Catholic, as
that church considered her illegitimate. At the same time, she had
observed the turmoil brought about by Edward's introduction of radical
Protestant reforms. Communion with the Roman
Catholic Church was again
severed by Elizabeth. She relied primarily on her chief advisors, Sir
William Cecil, as her Secretary of State, and Sir Nicholas Bacon, as
the Lord Keeper of the Great Seal, for direction on the matter.
Chiefly she supported her father's idea of reforming the church but
made some minor adjustments. In this way, Elizabeth and her advisors
aimed at a church that included most opinions.
Two groups were excluded. Roman Catholics who remained loyal to the
Pope would not be tolerated. They were, in fact, regarded as traitors,
because the Pope had refused to accept Elizabeth as Queen of England.
Roman Catholics were given the hard choice of being loyal either to
their church or their country. For some priests it meant life on the
run, in some cases death for treason.
The other group not to be tolerated was people who wanted reform to go
much further, and who finally gave up on the Church of England. They
could no longer see it as a true church. They believed it had refused
to obey the Bible, so they formed small groups of convinced believers
outside the church. The government responded with imprisonment and
exile to try to crush these "separatists".
Church of England
Church of England itself contained three groups. Those who
believed the form of the church was just what it should be included
leaders like John Jewel and Richard Hooker. A second group looked for
opportunities to reintroduce some Roman Catholic practices. Under the
Stuart kings they would have their chance. The third group, who came
to be called Puritans, wanted to remove remaining traces of the old
ways. The Stuart kings were to give them a rough passage. At the end
of Elizabeth's reign, the
Church of England
Church of England was firmly in place, but
held the seeds of future conflict.
Elizabeth I of England
Elizabeth I of England reached a moderate religious settlement.
Parliament was summoned in 1559 to consider the
Reformation Bill and
to create a new church. The
Reformation Bill defined the Communion as
a consubstantial celebration as opposed to a transubstantial
celebration, included abuse of the pope in the litany, and ordered
that ministers (meaning ordained clergy)should not wear the surplice
or other Roman Catholic vestments. It allowed the clergy – deacons,
priests and bishops – to marry, banned images from churches, and
confirmed Elizabeth as
Supreme Governor of the Church of England.
The Bill met heavy resistance in the House of Lords, as Roman Catholic
bishops as well as the lay peers voted against it. They reworked much
of the Bill, changed the litany to allow for a transubstantial belief
in the Communion and refused to grant Elizabeth the title of Supreme
Head of the Church. Parliament was prorogued over Easter, and when it
resumed, the government entered two new bills into the Houses—the
Act of Supremacy and the Act of Uniformity.
Act of Supremacy 1558
This Act made null and void (with certain specific exceptions) the
Marian act of 1554 that had repealed all Henry VIII's legislation from
1529 onwards, which had denied the authority of the See of Rome
and also confirmed Elizabeth as
Supreme Governor of the Church of
Supreme Governor was a suitably equivocal title that made
Elizabeth head of the Church without ever saying she was. This was
important for two reasons: (1) it satisfied those who felt that a
woman could not rule the church, and (2) it acted in a conciliatory
way toward English Roman Catholics. For the clergy, Elizabeth's
changes were more wholesale than those of her half-brother, Edward,
had been. All but one (Anthony Kitchin) of the bishops lost their
posts, a hundred fellows of
Oxford colleges were deprived; many
dignitaries resigned rather than take the oath. The bishops who were
removed from the ecclesiastical bench were replaced by appointees who
would agree to the reforms. Since the government was concerned that
continuity of Orders continue without a break Mathew Parker was
Archbishop of Canterbury
Archbishop of Canterbury by two bishops who had been
consecrated in the mid-1530s using the Pontifical and two with the
English Ordinal of 1550.
On the question of images, Elizabeth's initial reaction was to allow
crucifixes and candlesticks and the restoration of roods, but some of
the new bishops whom she had elevated protested. In 1560 Edmund
Grindal, one of the
Marian exiles now made Bishop of London, was
allowed to enforce the demolition of rood lofts in London and in 1561
the Queen herself ordered the demolition of all lofts. Thereafter,
the determination to prevent any further restoration was evidenced by
the more thoroughgoing destruction of roods, vestments, stone altars,
dooms, statues and other ornaments. The queen also appointed a new
Privy Council, removing many Roman Catholic counsellors by doing so.
Under Elizabeth, factionalism in the Council and conflicts at court
greatly diminished. The Act of Supremacy was passed without
Act of Uniformity 1558
The Act of Uniformity 1558, which forced people to attend Sunday
service in an Anglican church with a new version of the Book of Common
Prayer, passed by only three votes. The Bill of Uniformity was
more cautious than the initial
Reformation Bill. It revoked the harsh
laws proposed against Roman Catholics, it removed the abuse of the
pope from the litany and kept the wording that allowed for both
consubstantial and transubstantial interpretations of the presence of
Christ in the
Eucharist without making any declaration about the
matter (transubstantion is actually condemned in the Thirty-Nine
After Parliament was dismissed, Elizabeth and Cecil drafted the Royal
Injunctions. These were additions to the settlement, and largely
stressed continuity with the Catholic past – clergy were ordered to
wear the surplice and the use of the cope was allowed in cathedrals
and collegiate chapels – especially since all the clergy upon her
accession the throne were Roman Catholic. Men were ordained to the
three traditional orders of deacon, priest and bishop and so referred
to in the Prayer Book Rites. The Ornaments Rubric states that the
ornaments of the church and ministers thereof shall remain as they
were in the second year of the reign of Edward VI, i.e. in 1548, when
Mass was still celebrated (the
Oxford Movement in the 19th century
interpreted this as permission to wear chasubles, dalmatics and other
vestments). Wafers, as opposed to ordinary baker's bread, were to be
used as the bread at Communion. Communion would be taken kneeling. The
Black Rubric denied the real and essential presence of Christ in the
consecrated elements and which allowed kneeling as long as this act
did not imply adoration was removed. There had been opposition to the
settlement in rural England, which for the most part was largely Roman
Catholic, so the changes aimed for acceptance of the settlement. What
succeeded more than anything else was the sheer length of Elizabeth's
reign; while Mary had been able to impose her programme for a mere
five years, Elizabeth had forty-five. Those who delayed, "looking for
a new day" when restoration would again be commanded, were defeated by
the passing of years.
Puritans and Roman Catholics
Elizabeth's reign saw the emergence of Puritanism, which encompassed
those Protestants who, whilst they agreed that there should be one
national church, felt that the church had been but partially reformed.
Puritanism ranged from hostility to the content of the Prayer Book and
"popish" ceremony, to a desire that church governance be radically
reformed. Grindal was made
Archbishop of Canterbury
Archbishop of Canterbury in 1575 and chose
to oppose even the Queen in his desire to forward the
He ended a 6,000-word reproach to her with, "Bear with me, I beseech
you Madam, if I choose rather to offend your earthly majesty than to
offend the heavenly majesty of God." He was placed under house
arrest for his trouble and though he was not deprived, his death in
1583 put an end to the hopes of his supporters.
Grindal's successor, Archbishop Whitgift, more reflected the Queen's
determination to discipline those who were unprepared to accept her
settlement. A conformist, he imposed a degree of obedience on the
clergy that apparently alarmed even the Queen's ministers, such as
Lord Burghley. The
Puritan cause was not helped even by its friends.
The pseudonymous "Martin Marprelate" tracts, which attacked conformist
clergy with a libellous humorous tone, outraged senior Puritan
clergy and set the government on an unsuccessful attempt to run the
writer to earth. The defeat of the
Spanish Armada in 1588 incidentally
made it more difficult for
Puritans to resist the conclusion that
since God "blew with his wind and they were scattered" he could not be
too offended by the religious establishment in the land.
On the other side, there were still huge numbers of Roman Catholics.
Some conformed, bending with the times, hoping that there would be a
Vestments were still hidden, golden candlesticks
bequeathed, chalices kept. The Mass was still celebrated in some
places alongside the new Communion service but was more difficult
than before. Both Roman Catholic priests and laity lived a double
life, apparently conforming, but avoiding taking the oath of
conformity. Only as time passed did recusancy—refusal to attend
Protestant services—became more common. Jesuits and seminary
priests, trained in Douai and Rome to make good the losses of English
priests, encouraged this.
By the 1570s, an underground church was growing fast as the Church of
England became more Protestant and less bearable for Roman Catholics
who were still a sizeable minority. Only one public attempt to
restore the old religion occurred: the Rising of the Northern earls in
1569. It was a botched attempt; in spite of tumultuous crowds who
greeted the rebels in Durham, the rebellion did not spread. The
assistance they sought did not materialise, their communication with
allies at Court was poor. They came nowhere near to freeing Mary
Stuart, whose presence might have rallied support, from her
imprisonment in Tutbury.
The Roman Catholic Church's refusal to countenance occasional
attendance at Protestant services, as well as the excommunication of
Pope Pius V
Pope Pius V in 1570, presented the choice to Roman
Catholics more starkly. The arrival of the seminary priests, while it
was a lifeline to many Roman Catholics, brought further trouble.
Elizabeth's ministers took steps to stem the tide: fines for refusal
to attend church were raised from 12 d. per service to £20 a
month, fifty times an artisan's wage; it was now treason to be
absolved from schism and reconciled to Rome; the execution of priests
began—the first in 1577, four in 1581, eleven in 1582, two in 1583,
six in 1584, fifty-three by 1590, and seventy more between 1601 and
1608. It became treasonable for a Roman Catholic priest ordained
abroad to enter the country. Because the papacy had called for the
deposing of the Queen, the choice for moderate Roman Catholics lay
between treason and damnation. The List of Catholic martyrs of the
Reformation was extensive.
There is some distance between legislation and its enforcement. The
governmental attacks on recusancy were mostly upon the gentry. Few
recusants were actually fined; the fines that were imposed were often
at reduced rates; the persecution eased; priests came to recognise
that they should not refuse communion to occasional conformists.
The persecutions did not extinguish the faith, but they tested it
sorely. The huge number of Roman Catholics in
East Anglia and the
North in the 1560s disappeared into the general population in part
because recusant priests largely served the great Roman Catholic
houses, which alone could hide them. Without the Mass and pastoral
care, yeomen, artisans and husbandmen fell into conformism. Roman
Catholicism, supported by foreign or expatriate priests, came to be
seen as treasonous.
Main article: English Civil War
By the time of Elizabeth's death a third party had emerged, "perfectly
Puritans but not adherent to Rome. It preferred the
Book of Common Prayer
Book of Common Prayer of 1559, which was without some of the
matters offensive to Roman Catholics. The recusants had been
removed from the centre of the stage. The new dispute was now between
Puritans (who wished to see an end of the prayer book and
episcopacy), and this third party (the considerable body of people who
looked kindly on the Elizabethan Settlement, who rejected
prophesyings, whose spirituality had been nourished by the Prayer Book
and who preferred the governance of bishops).
It was between these two groups that, after Elizabeth's death in 1603,
a new, more savage episode of the
Reformation was in the process of
gestation. During the reigns of the Stuart kings, James I and Charles
I, the battle lines were to become more defined, leading ultimately to
the English Civil War, the first on English soil to engulf parts of
the civilian population. The war was only partly about religion, but
the abolition of prayer book and episcopacy by a
was an element in the causes of the conflict. As historian MacCulloch
has noted, the legacy of these tumultuous events can be recognised,
throughout the Commonwealth (1649–60) and the Restoration that
followed it, and beyond. This third party was to become the core of
the restored Church of England, but at the price for further division.
Further information: Historiography of the United Kingdom
The historiography of the English
Reformation has seen vigorous
clashes among dedicated protagonists and scholars for five centuries.
The main factual details at the national level have been clear since
1900, as laid out for example by James Anthony Froude, and Albert
Reformation historiography has seen many schools of interpretation
with Protestant, Catholic, Anglican historians using their own
religious perspectives. In addition there has been a highly
influential Whig interpretation, based on liberal secularized
Protestantism, that depicted the
Reformation in England, in the words
of Ian Hazlitt, as "the midwife delivering England from the Dark Ages
to the threshold of modernity, and so a turning point of progress".
Finally among the older schools was a neo-Marxist interpretation that
stressed the economic decline of the old elites in the rise of the
landed gentry and middle classes. All these approaches still have
representatives, but the main thrust of scholarly historiography since
the 1970s falls into four groupings or schools, according to
Geoffrey Elton leads the first faction with an agenda rooted in
political historiography. It concentrates on the top of the early
modern church-state looking at it at the mechanics of policymaking and
the organs of its implementation and enforcement. The key player for
Elton was not Henry VIII, but rather his principal Secretary of State
Thomas Cromwell. Elton downplays the prophetic spirit of the religious
reformers in the theology of keen conviction, dismissing them as the
meddlesome intrusions from fanatics and bigots.
Secondly, a primarily religious perspective has motivated Geoffrey
Dickens and others. They prioritize the religious and subjective side
of the movement. While recognizing the
Reformation was imposed from
the top, just as it was everywhere else in Europe, but it also
responded to aspirations from below. He has been criticized by for
underestimating the strength of residual and revived Roman
Catholicism. He has been praised for his demonstration of the close
ties to European influences. In the Dickens school,
David Loades has
stressed the theological importance of the
Revisionists comprise a third school, led by Christopher Haigh, Jack
Scarisbrick and numerous other scholars. Their main achievement was
the discovery of an entirely new corpus of primary sources at the
local level, leading them to the emphasis on
Reformation as it played
out on a daily and local basis, with much less emphasis on the control
from the top they emphasize turning away from elite sources they
emphasize local parish records, diocesan files, guild records, data
from boroughs, the courts, and especially telltale individual wills.
Patrick Collinson and others have brought much more precision
to the theological landscape, with Calvinist
Puritans who were
impatient with the Anglican caution sent compromises. Indeed, the
Puritans were a distinct subgroup who did not comprise all of
Church of England
Church of England thus emerged as a coalition of
factions, all of them Protestant inspiration.
All the recent schools have decentered Henry VIII, and minimized
hagiography. They have paid more attention to localities, Catholicism,
radicals, and theological niceties. On Catholicism, the older schools
Thomas More (1470–1535), to the neglect of other
bishops and factors inside Catholicism. The older schools too often
concentrated on elite London, the newer ones look to the English
Religion in England
History of England
Reformation in Switzerland
Charter of Liberties
Concordat of Worms
Statutes of Mortmain
^ a b Cf. "The
Reformation must not be confused with the changes
introduced into the
Church of England
Church of England during the 'Reformation
Parliament' of 1529–36, which were of a political rather than a
religious nature, designed to unite the secular and religious sources
of authority within a single sovereign power: the Anglican Church did
not until later make any substantial change in doctrine." Roger
Scruton, A Dictionary of Political Thought (Macmillan, 1996),
^ a b Bray Gerald (ed) Documents of the English
Clarke & C°
Cambridge p. 115
^ Brigden, Susan (2000). New Worlds, Lost Worlds: The Rule of the
Tudors, 1485–1603. Allen Lane. p. 103. [He ...believed he that
he could keep his own secrets... but he was often deceived and he
^ Ryrie, Alec (2009). The Age of Reformation: The Tudor and Stewart
Realms 1485–1603. Harlow: Pearson Education. p. 131.
^ Brigden 2000, p. 111.
^ Brigden 2000, p. 111. Her music book contained an illustration
of a falcon pecking at a pomegranate: the falcon was her badge, the
pomegranate, that of Granada, Catherine's badge.
^ Warnicke, Retha (1983). Women of the
English Renaissance and
Reformation. Praeger. p. 38.
^ Robert Lacey, The Life and Times of Henry VIII, (Book Club
Associates, 1972), p. 70
^ Roderick Phillips, Untying the Knot: A Short History of Divorce
Cambridge University Press, 1991), p. 20
John Fisher mischievously pointed out that, according to
Deuteronomy, a man should marry his deceased brother's widow, rather
than be prohibited from doing so; see also St. Mark 12:18 ff.
^ Robert Lacey, The Life and Times of Henry VIII, (Book Club
Associates, 1972), p17
^ T. A. Morris, Europe and England in the Sixteenth Century,
(Routledge 1998), p166
^ Brigden 2000, p. 114.
^ Christopher Haigh, p. 92f
^ Haigh, p. 73
^ Brigden 2000, p. 116.
^ MacCulloch, p. 200
^ Haigh, p. 106
^ T. A. Morris, Europe and England in the Sixteenth century,
(Routledge, 1998), p. 172.
^ Tanner Tudor Constitutional Documents (CUP) p. 17 gives this as
"their singular protector, only and supreme lord, and, as far as the
law of Christ allows, even Supreme Head"
^ Brigden 2000, p. 118; Tanner
^ After prolonged debate in Commons, it was clear they would not reach
unanimity over the Bill—so Henry ordered a division. He commanded
those in favour of his success and the "welfare of the realm" to one
side of the House, and those who opposed him and the Bill to the
other. Thus, he obtained a majority.
^ G. R. Elton, The Tudor Constitution: Second Edition (Cambridge
University Press, 1982), p. 353.
^ G. R. Elton, England Under the Tudors (Routledge, 1991),
^ Elton, Tudor Constitution, pp. 364–65
^ Cranmer, in a letter, describes it as a divorce, but it was clearly
not a dissolution of a marriage in the modern sense, but the annulment
of a marriage said to be defective on the grounds of
affinity—Catherine was his deceased brother's widow
^ Ridley, pp. 59–63
^ Catholic Encyclopedia, Henry VIII. Accessed 21 August 2009.
^ Stanford E. Lehmberg, The
Reformation Parliament, 1529–1536
Cambridge University Press, 1970)
^ E.g. MacCulloch
Thomas Cranmer (Yale 1996) p. 26f.
^ Dickens AG,
Lollards and Protestants in the Diocese of York
1509–1558 (London 1959).
^ Brigden 2000, p. 86f.
^ Duffy (2001). "Preface".
The Stripping of the Altars
The Stripping of the Altars (2nd ed.).
^ Cf. the writings of the 14th century scholar
Marsiglio of Padua
Marsiglio of Padua and
were known to Cromwell.
^ Haigh, p. 58; MacCulloch Thomas Cranmer, p. 26f. Cranmer
was still (1529) on good terms with Stephen Gardiner, later Bishop of
Winchester, who was to become an enemy before his death (Cranmer,
^ Cranmer, p. 69
Martin Bucer of
Strasbourg was one of the European theologians who
influenced Cranmer and the second prayer book, while Simon Grynaeus of
Basel gave Cranmer his introduction to Swiss Calvinistic thought.
Cranmer, p. 60f
^ Henry was no innocent: he sought influence in European affairs and,
in pursuance of it, his relationship with the French was ambivalent
and essentially treacherous (Brigden 2000, p. 107)
^ Haigh, p. 129
^ This requirement was quietly ignored by bishops for a year or more
^ Eamon Duffy, The Stripping of the Altars, p. 491; see also the
story of Roger Martyn in
Christopher Haigh English Reformations,
^ Herbert Maynard Smith (1938). "Preface". Pre-
London: Macmillan. p. vii.
^ Elton, England under the Tudors, Third Edition (Routledge, 1991)
^ Haigh, p. 143f
^ Haigh, p. 148
^ J. D. Mackie, The Earlier Tudors,
Oxford History of England, pp
^ Brigden 2000, p. 132.
^ Henry's motives may not have been entirely religious. According to
MacCulloch, Henry may have feared diplomatic isolation. The Lutherans,
on the one hand, were seeking financial help rather than making
offers. On the other, some show of Roman Catholic sentiment might help
his cause with the Emperor.
Thomas Cranmer (Yale 1996) p. 240
^ Tyndale wrote to John Frith, "Of the presence of Christ's body in
the sacrament, meddle as little as you can; that there appear no
division among us."
^ Cranmer, p. 241
^ Brigden 2000, p. 135.
^ Haigh, p. 157f
^ Dickens, A.G.
Reformation and Society (Thames and Hudson 1966)
^ MacCulloch argues that it was the king ("this monstrous egoist") who
changed his mind, heavily influenced by his chaplain, the Archbishop.
Cranmer certainly believed that had Henry lived, he would have pursued
a radical iconoclastic policy (Cranmer, p. 356–57); on the
other hand, the same will that removed the conservatives Gardiner,
Norfolk and Surrey from the Regency Council, sought intercession from
Mary and the saints and insisted on the reality of Christ's presence
Eucharist (Haigh, p. 167).
^ MacCulloch, Diarmaid. The Boy King University of California Press
(2002) pp. 35ff
^ Haigh, p. 169
^ Aston 1993; Loach 1999, p. 187; Hearn 1995, pp. 75–76
^ Among many examples: in Haddenham, Cambridgeshire, a chalice, paten
and processional cross were sold and the proceeds devoted to flood
defences; in the wealthy Rayleigh parish, £10 worth of plate was sold
to pay for the cost of the required reforms—the need to buy a parish
Bible and communion table: Duffy, p. 483f
^ Duffy, p. 461
^ The English
Reformation (2nd ed. 1989) p. 235
^ Duffy, p. 481
^ In Ludlow in Shropshire the parishioners complied with the orders to
remove the rood and other images in 1547, and in that same year spent
money on making up the canopy to be carried over the Blessed Sacrament
on the feast of Corpus Christi. Duffy, p. 481
^ Duffy, p. 472
^ Cranmer, p. 461; Bucer had provided for only one service for
all three orders of deacons, priests and bishops
^ Cf. The Voices from Morebath Duffy (Yale 2001), p. 127f. The
vicar of Morebath in
Devon recorded the doings of the parish during
the whole period, noting the compliant destruction of items previously
paid for by sacrificial fundraising, and the singular resistance over
the new prayer book. The parish paid for five men to join the
rebellion at St. David's Down outside Exeter
^ Brigden (2000, p. 185) cites economic causes relating to
enclosure legislation. MacCulloch calls the risings "baffling".
^ Graham-Dixon, Andrew, p. 38
^ Haigh, p. 176
^ Some of them were simply reclaimed by the gentry who had, in fact,
lent them to the church; at Long Melford, Sir John Clopton, a patron
of the church, bought up many of the images, probably to preserve
them. Duffy, p. 490
^ a b MacCulloch Reformation, p. 281
^ Mark Byford, "The Birth of a Protestant Town: the Process of
Reformation in Tudor Colchester 1530–80", in The
English Towns 1500–1640, ed. Collinson and Craig (Macmillan 1998)
^ Haigh, p. 234
^ Dickens The English
Reformation (1989 ed.) p. 309f
^ Haigh, p. 214
^ Haigh, p. 235
^ Bray, Gerald. Documents of the English
Reformation James Clarke
& C° (1994) p. 319
^ She herself retained a cross and candlesticks in her own chapel.
Haigh, p. 244
^ Haigh, pp. 237–41. No bishops voted in favour, two were
prevented from voting at all and two other ecclesiastics were absent.
The majority were all laymen. J. Guy Tudor England (OUP 1988)
^ Haigh, p. 245
^ MacCulloch Reformation, p. 384
^ "John Cant" (Whitgift) was accused of sodomitical relations with the
Master of Peterhouse, Cambridge. MacCulloch Reformation, p. 387
^ MacCulloch, p. 384ff
^ Haigh, p. 253
^ Haigh, p. 267
^ Haigh, p. 256; Haigh argues that the initial impetus for the
rebellion was scarcely religious at all, but political; what swelled
support, however, was a rejection of the Prayer Book and a desire to
restore the Mass.
^ Haigh, p. 262f; "...England judicially murdered more Roman
Catholics than any other country in Europe." MacCulloch, p. 392
^ Haigh, p. 264
^ Haigh, p. 265
^ Proctor F. and Frere W. H., A New History of the Book of Common
Prayer (Macmillan 1965) p. 91f.
^ Judith Maltby, Prayer Book and People in Elizabethan and Early
Stuart England (
History of England
History of England from the Fall of Wolsey to the Defeat of
the Spanish Armada, (12 volumes, 1893)
^ R.A.F. Pollard,
Henry VIII (1905); Pollard, The History of England
from the Accession of Edward VI to the Death of Elizabeth, 1547–1603
^ John Vidmar, English Catholic Historians and the English
Reformation: 1585–1954 (2005).
^ W. Ian Hazlett, "Settlements: The British Isles" in Thomas A. Brady,
Jr. et al. eds. Handbook of European History 1400–1600: Late Middle
Ages, Renaissance, and
Reformation (volume 2 1995) pp. 2:455–90.
^ Slavin, Arthur J. (1990). "G. R. Elton: On
Revolution". The History Teacher. 23 (4): 405–431.
^ Haigh, Christopher (1997). "Religion". Transactions of the Royal
Historical Society. 7: 281–299. JSTOR 3679281 deals with
^ A.G. Dickens, John Tonkin, and Kenneth Powell, eds., The Reformation
in historical thought (1985).
^ Richard Cust and Ann Hughes, eds., Conflict in early Stuart England:
studies in religion and politics 1603–1642 (Routledge, 2014).
^ Duffy, Eamon (2006). "The English
Reformation After Revisionism".
Renaissance Quarterly. 59 (3): 720–731. doi:10.1353/ren.2008.0366.
Collinson, Patrick; Craig, John (1998). The
Reformation in English
Towns 1500–1640. Macmillan. online
Collinson, Patrick. The birthpangs of protestant England: Religious
and cultural change in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries (1988)
Dickens, A. G. (1989). The English
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Duffy, Eamon (1992). The Stripping of the Altars: Traditional Religion
in England 1400–1580. Yale. online
Duffy, Eamon (2001). The Voices of Morebath. Yale.
Elton, G. R. (1991). England Under the Tudors (3rd ed.).
Elton, G. R. (1982). The Tudor Constitution (2nd ed.). Cambridge
Haigh, Christopher (1993). English Reformations: Religion, Politics,
and Society under the Tudors. Oxford.
Hazlett, Ian (2003). The
Reformation in Britain and Ireland: An
Introduction. Bloomsbury Publishing.
Heal, Felicity (2005).
Reformation in Britain and Ireland. Oxford
Lehmberg, Stanford (1970). The
Reformation Parliament, 1529–1536.
MacCulloch, Diarmaid (2003). Reformation: Europe's House Divided 1490
- 1700. Allen Lane.
MacCulloch, Diarmaid (1996). Thomas Cranmer. Yale.
Maltby, Judith (1998). Prayer book and People in Elizabethan and Early
Stuart England. Cambridge.
Ridley, Jasper (1962). Thomas Cranmer. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
Sheils, William J. (2013). The English
Turvey, Roger; Randell, Keith (2008). Access to History:
Henry VIII to
Mary I: Government and Religion, 1509–1558. Hodder.
Whiting, Robert. Local responses to the English
Whiting, Robert (2010). The
Reformation of the English Parish
Wilkinson, Richard (December 2010). "Thomas Cranmer: The Yes-Man Who
Said No: Richard Wilkinson Elucidates the Paradoxical Career of One of
the Key Figures of English Protestantism". History Review.
Wilson, Derek (2012). A Brief History of the English Reformation:
Religion, Politics and Fear: How England was Transformed by the
Tudors. ISBN 978-1-84529-646-9.
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Sourcebook. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press.
The History of the
Reformation of the
Church of England
Church of England by Gilbert
Oxford University Press, 1829): Volume I, Volume I, Part II,
Volume II, Volume II, Part II, Volume III Volume III, Part II
Ecclesiastical Memorials, Relating Chiefly to Religion, and the
Reformation of It, and the Emergencies of the Church of England, Under
King Henry VIII, King Edward VI, and Queen Mary I by John Strype
(Clarendon Press, 1822): Vol. I, Pt. I, Vol. I, Pt. II, Vol. II, Pt.
I, Vol. II, Pt. II, Vol. III, Pt. I, Vol. III, Pt. II
Annals of the
Reformation and Establishment of Religion, and Other
Various Occurrences in the Church of England, During Queen Elizabeth's
Happy Reign by
John Strype (1824 ed.): Vol. I, Pt. I, Vol. I, Pt. II,
Vol. II, Pt. I, Vol. II., Pt. II, Vol. III, Pt. I, Vol. III, Pt. II,
Hanover College Historical Texts Collection: The English Reformation
– links to primary sources.
Hanover College Historical Texts Collection: The Protestant
Reformation – links to primary sources.
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