The English Reformation: AP Euro Bit by Bit #16

The English Reformation: AP Euro Bit by Bit #16

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Yes, that's right. AP Euro Bit by Bit is back for a second season! I'm picking up with the English Reformation.

While most of the Reformation happened because of doctrinal differences with the Roman Catholic Church, England's Reformation was different. It all centered around the desire of Henry VIII to get a divorce. In the process, he would redefine the relationship of church and state and create a new religion that remains the official religion of the United Kingdom today. It's a great story, so get watching!

Please check out my website at for more resources for AP European History and AP Government.

AP European History

Spielvogel Content:
Peasant Revolts (Jacquerie and English Peasant Revolt)
Causes and Impact of Black Death
Causes and Impact of Hundred Years War
Causes and Impact of the Great Schism
Christine de Pizan

Spielvogel Sources
A Revolt of French Peasants: Page 307
The 100 Years War: Page 310
A Feminist Heroine: Page 315
Unam Sanctam (Page 319)
Work of Giotto: Page 325)
Dantes Vision of Hell (Page 323)

The English Restoration begins

Under invitation by leaders of the English Commonwealth, Charles II, the exiled king of England, lands at Dover, England, to assume the throne and end 11 years of military rule.

Prince of Wales at the time of the English Civil War, Charles fled to France after Oliver Cromwell’s Parliamentarians defeated King Charles I’s Royalists in 1646. In 1649, Charles vainly attempted to save his father’s life by presenting Parliament a signed blank sheet of paper, thereby granting whatever terms were required. However, Oliver Cromwell was determined to execute Charles I, and on January 30, 1649, the king was beheaded in London.

After his father’s death, Charles was proclaimed king of England by the Scots and by supporters in parts of Ireland and England, and he traveled to Scotland to raise an army. In 1651, Charles invaded England but was defeated by Cromwell at the Battle of Worcester. Charles escaped to France and later lived in exile in Germany and then in the Spanish Netherlands. After Cromwell’s death in 1658, the English republican experiment faltered. Cromwell’s son Richard proved an ineffectual leader, and the public resented the strict Puritanism of England’s military rulers.

In 1660, in what is known as the English Restoration, General George Monck met with Charles and arranged to restore him in exchange for a promise of amnesty and religious toleration for his former enemies. On May 25, 1660, Charles landed at Dover and four days later entered London in triumph. It was his 30th birthday, and London rejoiced at his arrival. In the first year of the Restoration, Oliver Cromwell was posthumously convicted of treason and his body disinterred from its tomb in Westminster Abbey and hanged from the gallows at Tyburn.

Starkey on the Reformation

The first figures to flicker across the screen in David Starkey’s new history of the Reformation are not Martin Luther, John Calvin or even Henry VIII. They are members of Isis. We see clips of masked men brandishing daggers, while prisoners await a violent death. Above them a stark monologue is delivered: “We live in an age of religious extremism. An age of terror and violent slaughter.” This is the Reformation story as it’s surely never been told before.

While the hook for the documentary is the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s 95 Theses, the focus for Starkey is very much on the present. Modern parallels are a constant theme across the hour-long programme and are repeatedly brought to the surface during our discussion in Starkey’s north London home. The comparison with Isis is a deliberate one and helps to stress a point that the historian feels has for too long been ignored: the European Reformation was a horribly violent and destructive episode.

“In that opening we used some of the nastier moments of the Isis tapes: all those horrible methods of public execution – burning alive, disembowelling and whatever. Well I’m afraid we did them all 500 years ago,” Starkey says. “I think that what people have done is deliberately disinfect the Reformation. It was bloodily violent and it led very quickly to the German peasant revolt [an armed challenge to the power of nobles and landlords, fought from 1524–25] and then the Münster rebellion [when a Christian sect, the Anabaptists, briefly established a government in Münster]. The rebels were the equivalents of Isis – complete loons and monstrously violent – and the suppression was even more hideously violent than that. It all then led, in little more than a century, to the Thirty Years’ War [between Protestant and Catholic states] which was, man-for-man, the most violently bloody war that Europe had ever known.”

And this was a situation that was also repeated far closer to home. Starkey: “Here in England, where the violence was state directed, you get a level of destruction that makes what Isis did in Palmyra look like a child’s picnic. Hundreds of monasteries – including buildings on the same scale as Westminster Abbey or York Minster – are demolished and stripped of their treasures.”

Luther’s molten fury

The theme of violence continues when Starkey reflects on Luther, the man who ignited the fire of religious reform in 1517. “He was a man of perpetually barely-suppressed violence and it was his disgust at what he found the Roman church was doing that powered it. Lots of people – such as Erasmus and Thomas More – were disgusted but with Luther it was like a blast furnace. There was something molten about the fury and the concentrated force.”

But for Luther to succeed where previous reformers had failed, the circumstances also had to be right. Firstly his words had to fall on fertile ground, which they did thanks to the wealth and perceived corruption of the early modern Catholic church, particularly the selling of indulgences, or as Starkey describes it, “the sale of paradise”. The contrast between the opulence of the Vatican and the poverty of many ordinary Germans was key to Luther’s appeal. “We forget,” says Starkey, “that Michelangelo is the exact contemporary of Luther. In Italy you have these works of extravagant beauty paid out of illegitimately wrung pennies from German peasants.”

The other crucial element in Luther’s success was a technological one: the printing press. Though this was an invention that had already been in existence for several decades by 1517, Luther’s use of it was still genuinely radical. “They were trying to reproduce manuscripts but they couldn’t do that because they didn’t have the technology. It was Luther who rescued printing because what he came up with looked just like The Sun. One of the moments of absolute revelation for me was when I got to see facsimiles of great Lutheran works such as The Address to the Christian Nobility of the German Nation. I knew about the contents of them but I had assumed they were books. And yet these things looked like cheap pamphlets.

“What Luther was able to do was take huge ideas and reduce them to an extraordinarily simple core of argument, vividly expressed, in the native language and with exactly what a good journalist includes: lots of stories, a bit of dirt, some gossip and excitement. This was wonderful for the printers it was easy to produce and sold like hot cakes. With printing Luther broke out from the academic convention, turning him from a marginal figure, a quarrelsome friar, into the focus of German politics. Within 10 years, half of Germany was Lutheran.”

To Starkey, Luther is undoubtedly one of history’s ‘great men’, but a terrible one too. “One of the things I try to bring out in the film is the complete dualism of the fact that high and noble motives are involved while unspeakably horrible things are done. We have this comparison running throughout with Isis because this is a work of passionate destruction. For Luther, the entire apparatus of medieval faith, the whole structure of the Catholic church and the patterns of Catholic belief and ceremony are filthy and idolatrous. He believes, as Isis do, in the idea of the second commandment: thou shalt have no graven images. And he also of course invokes violent German nationalism, anti-Semitism and xenophobia. It’s not pretty.”

The first Brexit

The other great figure to bestride Starkey’s Reformation story is Henry VIII, a man whom he has spent several decades writing about. The king was initially a passionate opponent of Luther, establishing himself as a leading defender of the papacy. Yet, famously, Henry’s thwarted attempts to divorce Catherine of Aragon and marry Anne Boleyn led him to make a dramatic volte-face with huge consequences for England and its relationship with Europe. Starkey repeatedly draws parallels between the English Reformation and the great issue dominating modern British politics. It was, he believes, “the first Brexit”.

Yet unlike the EU referendum, there was no popular mandate for splitting from Rome. “This was totally top down. The king assumed an extraordinary power over the church he was making the church royal. And it is this royal supremacy that then becomes the dynamic of religious change in England,” Starkey explains. “We’ve tended to look at this the other way around. There is this democratic myth in history where we really want to believe things are all about popularity. Particularly in the 19th and early 20th centuries, historians were determined to find that the Reformation was popular, which resulted in significant acts of self-deception. It’s all part of our national Protestant myth. I think we are now much more aware than we were of the destructiveness and unpopularity of the English Reformation.”

Starkey, though, does not wish to deny what he sees as “the nobility and ambition” of much of the Reformation, notably William Tyndale’s desire to translate the Bible into English and provide “the gospel in the language that the ploughboy could understand”. Indeed, the impact on the English language is one of the most profound legacies that Starkey identifies. “The Reformation powers English as a language and a literature. It turns us into the land of Shakespeare, taking a language that had been marginal and giving it ability and aspiration.” This was an important part of a period of reidentification for England, which, having become a pariah after the split from Rome, began to define itself against Europe.

“It’s almost difficult to stop the parallels with Brexit,” says Starkey. “The Reformation took the country out of the international enterprise of the Catholic church, which it had been at the heart of for 1,000 years. England was absolutely at the centre of European Christendom. We were not simply part of a cross-channel ecclesiastical structure, but often a political structure as well, and Henry ruptured all of that.”

Even with these parallels, Starkey is cautious of drawing lessons from this period to inform the current discourse. He does, however, believe there are morals available, especially in Henry’s ability to achieve dramatic transformations with relative ease. “I wonder whether we have powerfully underestimated Henry VIII as a political operator,” he says. “Let’s just take the case of Henry in 1529 and his failed attempt to get a divorce from Rome, a policy in which he had invested the whole of his public reputation at home and abroad, vast amounts of money and his personal happiness. It all suddenly collapsed. In other words, it’s a bit like our waking up and finding out that we’ve voted for Brexit – and look at the mess we’ve made in terms of policy since then! But what does Henry do? He pauses. He sets up a think-tank. He reforms the royal library. He gets researchers going. He thinks. And it’s only once he’s come up with a satisfactory strategy that he tries to act. That’s quite a contrast.

“We’ve been taught to regard the king as tempestuous, babyish, self-indulgent – Donald Trump-like. Well there were aspects of Henry like that but when it came to the pursuit of a strategic goal, I think it would have been difficult to have operated more impressively. The reason it took so long is because he had to come up with acceptable reasons for the divorce and Henry’s headship of the church and then get it through parliament. You see it’s exactly the same as with Brexit. He had to get an extraordinary thing through a fractious, difficult and divided assembly and so he gave himself time. From the day in which Henry and Anne pledged to marry to that event actually taking place took just short of six years.”

Certainties in the dustbin

For Henry’s subjects it was a confusing and dangerous time, as England swung from one form of Christianity to another. “Profound certainties suddenly went into the dustbin and there were these acts of public destruction of the things that had been the most precious. Relics, saints’ statues and miracle-working statues of Christ that people had fallen down and worshipped were publicly exhibited and made objects of ridicule. In that sense and so many others, the 16th century was very much like our own. There were these astonishing reversals and undermining of values and attempts to impose new ones. It all centred on what it was to be a Christian, which was the absolutely key question at a time when most people really did believe there was an afterlife.

“The image in the church was not of the nice, cuddly Jeremy Corbyn-Christ. It was Christ Pantocrator, the awe-inspiring, terrifying judge with those eyes looking down at you, a few of the saved on one side and the legion of the damned on the other. People were profoundly aware of all this but suddenly they were told that everything they were doing to be saved was going to make them damned and they had to do something completely different.”

This goes to the heart of what is perhaps Starkey’s key reformation message: the power of religion. “I am an atheist and not a doubting one but we have become contemptuous of the force of religion. We should remember that we who are atheists in a society that is casual about religion are in the minority. Most people now and most human beings throughout history have believed, and we must recognise the power of this thing, especially if we don’t like it.”

And ultimately Starkey accepts that there is plenty people might not like in his documentary. Peppered with allusions to 21st-century tensions, this is history that’s supposed to be uncomfortable. “With so much history on television, even when it’s about nasty, violent things, there’s a kind of fairy-tale bedtime story aspect about the whole thing. ‘It’s a long way away dear child, it’s not going to hurt you. We’ve got over all that, haven’t we? There’s nothing to worry about.’ Well I don’t believe that, and hence the wish to disturb.”

David Starkey is a historian and broadcaster who specialises in the Tudor era. He is currently working on the second volume of his Henry VIII biography


The Reformation was a clash of two opposed schemes of salvation. The Catholic Church taught that the contrite person could cooperate with God towards their salvation by performing good works (cf. synergism). [3] Medieval Catholic worship was centred on the Mass, the church's offering of the sacrifice of Christ's body and blood. The Mass was also an offering of prayer by which the living could help souls in purgatory. [4] Protestants taught that fallen humanity was helpless and under condemnation until given the grace of God through faith. [3] They believed the Catholic emphasis on purgatory was an obstacle to true faith in God and the identification of the Mass with Christ's sacrifice a blasphemous perversion of the Eucharist. [5] [6] In place of the Catholic Mass, Protestant worship was centred on the Bible–to them the only road to faith in Christ–either read or presented in sermons. [5]

Lollardy anticipated some Protestant teachings. Derived from the writings of John Wycliffe, a 14th-century theologian and Bible translator, Lollardy stressed the primacy of scripture and emphasised preaching over the sacrament of the altar, holding the latter to be but a memorial. [7] [8] Unlike Protestants, the early Lollards lacked access to the printing press and failed to gain a foothold among the church's most popular communicators, the friars. Unable to gain access to the levers of power, the Lollards were much reduced in numbers and influence by the 15th century. They sometimes faced investigation and persecution and rarely produced new literature after 1450. [9] Lollards could still be found—especially in London and the Thames Valley, in Essex and Kent, Coventry, Bristol and even in the North—and many would be receptive to Protestant ideas. [10] [ page needed ]

More respectable and orthodox calls for reform came from Renaissance humanists, such as Erasmus (who lived in England for a time), John Colet, Dean of St Paul's, and Thomas More. Humanists downplayed the role of rites and ceremonies in achieving salvation and criticised the superstitious veneration of relics. Erasmus and Colet emphasised a simple, personal piety and a return ad fontes ("back to the sources") of Christian faith—the scriptures as understood through textual and linguistic scholarship. [11] Colet's commentaries on the Pauline epistles emphasized double predestination and the worthlessness of human works. Anne Boleyn's own religious views were shaped by French humanists such as Jacques Lefèvre d'Étaples, whose 1512 commentaries on Paul's epistles stated that human works were irrelevant to salvation five years before Luther published the same views. [12] [13]

Humanist scholarship provided arguments against papal primacy and support for the claim that popes had usurped powers that rightfully belonged to kings. In 1534, Lorenzo Valla's On the Donation of Constantine—which proved that one of the pillars of the papacy's temporal authority was a hoax—was published in London. Thomas Cromwell paid for an English translation of Marsiglio of Padua's Defensor pacis in 1535. The conservative cleric Stephen Gardiner used Marsiglio's theory of a unitary realm to defend royal power over spiritual as well as secular affairs. [14]

By the early 1520s, the views of German reformer Martin Luther were known and disputed in England. [15] The main plank of Luther's theology was justification by faith alone rather than by good works. In this view, only faith, itself a gift from God, can secure the grace of God. Justification by faith alone threatened the whole basis of the Roman Catholic penitential system with its doctrine of purgatory, prayer for the dead, indulgences, and the sacrificial character of the Mass. [16] [17] Early Protestants portrayed Catholic practices such as confession to priests, clerical celibacy, and requirements to fast and keep vows as burdensome and spiritually oppressive. Not only did purgatory lack any biblical basis according to Protestants, but the clergy were accused of using fear of purgatory to make money from prayers and masses. Catholics countered that justification by faith alone was a "licence to sin". [18]

English Catholicism was strong and popular in the early 1500s, and those who held Protestant sympathies would remain a religious minority until political events intervened. [19] Protestant ideas were popular among some parts of the English population, especially among academics and merchants with connections to continental Europe. [20] The first open demonstration of support for Luther took place at Cambridge in 1521 when a student defaced a copy of the papal bull of condemnation against Luther. [21] Also at Cambridge was a group of reform-minded university students that met at the White Horse tavern from the mid-1520s, known by the moniker "Little Germany". Its members included Robert Barnes, Hugh Latimer, John Frith, Thomas Bilney, George Joye and Thomas Arthur. [22]

The publication of William Tyndale's English New Testament in 1526 helped to spread Protestant ideas. Printed abroad and smuggled into the country, the Tyndale Bible was the first English Bible to be mass produced there were probably 16,000 copies in England by 1536. Tyndale's translation was highly influential, forming the basis of all later English translations. [23] An attack on traditional religion, Tyndale's translation included an epilogue explaining Luther's theology of justification by faith, and many translation choices were designed to undermine traditional Catholic teachings. Tyndale translated the Greek word charis as favour rather than grace to de-emphasize the role of grace-giving sacraments. His choice of love rather than charity to translate agape de-emphasized good works. When rendering the Greek verb metanoeite into English, Tyndale used repent rather than do penance. The former word indicated an internal turning to God, while the latter translation supported the sacrament of confession. [24]

Between 1530 and 1533, Thomas Hitton (England's first Protestant martyr), Thomas Bilney, Richard Bayfield, John Tewkesbury, James Bainham, Thomas Benet, Thomas Harding, John Frith and Andrew Hewet were burned to death. [25] In 1531, William Tracy was posthumously convicted of heresy for denying purgatory and affirming justification by faith, and his corpse was disinterred and burned. [26] While Protestants were only a small portion of the population and suffered persecution, the rift between the king and papacy in the 1530s gave Protestants opportunities to form new alliances with government officials. [27]

Annulment controversy Edit

Henry VIII acceded to 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 his ear. [28]

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 John Fisher [29] —entitled The Defence of the Seven Sacraments, for which he was awarded the title "Defender of the Faith" (Fidei Defensor) by Pope Leo X. [30] (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, [31] 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". [32] Anne was a distinguished French conversationalist, singer, and dancer. She was cultured and is the disputed author of several songs and poems. [33] By 1527, Henry wanted his marriage to Catherine annulled. [34] 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. [35] Catherine of Aragon's only surviving child was Princess Mary.

Henry claimed that this lack of a male heir was because his marriage was "blighted in the eyes of God". [36] 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 dispensation from Pope Julius II had been needed to allow the wedding in the first place. [37] Henry argued the marriage was never valid because the biblical prohibition was part of unbreakable divine law, and even popes could not dispense with it. [38] In 1527, Henry asked Pope Clement VII to annul the marriage, but the Pope refused. According to canon law, the pope could not annul a marriage on the basis of a canonical impediment previously dispensed. Clement also feared the wrath of Catherine's nephew, Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, whose troops earlier that year had sacked Rome and briefly taken the Pope prisoner. [39]

The combination of Henry's "scruple of conscience" and his captivation by Anne Boleyn made his desire to rid himself of his queen compelling. [40] The indictment of his chancellor Cardinal Wolsey in 1529 for praemunire (taking the authority of the papacy above the Crown) and Wolsey's subsequent death in November 1530 on his way to London to answer a charge of high treason left Henry open to both the influences of the supporters of the queen and the opposing influences of those who sanctioned the abandonment of the Roman allegiance, for whom an annulment was but an opportunity. [41]

Parliamentary debate and legislation Edit

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 [42] there were those who had been influenced by Lutheranism and were hostile to the theology of Rome Thomas Cromwell was both. Henry's chancellor, Thomas More, successor to Wolsey, also wanted reform: he wanted new laws against heresy. [43]

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. [44] One of his closest friends was Thomas Cranmer, soon to be made an 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. [45]

Actions against clergy Edit

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. [46] Henry claimed £100,000 from the Convocation of Canterbury (a representative body of English clergy) for their pardon, which was granted by the Convocation on 24 January 1531. The clergy wanted the payment spread over five years, but Henry refused. The convocation responded by withdrawing their payment altogether and demanded Henry fulfil 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 that:

  1. The clergy recognise Henry as the "sole protector and Supreme Head of the Church and clergy of England". [47]
  2. The King had spiritual jurisdiction
  3. The privileges of the church were upheld only if they did not detract from the royal prerogative and the laws of the realm
  4. The King pardoned the clergy for violating the statute of praemunire
  5. The laity were also pardoned.

In Parliament, Bishop Fisher championed Catherine and the clergy he had inserted into the first article the phrase "as far as the word of God allows". [48] [49] [ page needed ] In Convocation, however, William Warham, Archbishop of Canterbury, 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.

Royal supremacy Edit

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. (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.) [ citation needed ]

Several acts of Parliament then followed. The Act in Conditional Restraint of Annates proposed that the clergy pay no more than 5 percent of their first year's revenue (annates) to Rome. This was initially controversial and required that Henry visit the House of Lords three times to browbeat the Commons. [50] [ original research? ]

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. [51]

This declared England an independent country in every respect. English historian Geoffrey Elton called this act an "essential ingredient" of the "Tudor revolution" in that it expounded a theory of national sovereignty. [52] The 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". [53]

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 to succeed him 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 on 23 May the judgment that Henry's marriage with Catherine was against the law of God. [54] 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). [55] Henry was excommunicated again in December 1538.

Consequently, in the same year the Act of First Fruits and Tenths transferred the taxes on ecclesiastical income from the Pope to the Crown. The 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 Pope. [56] [ page needed ]

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. [ citation needed ]

Moderate religious reform Edit

The break with Rome gave Henry VIII power to administer the English Church, tax it, appoint its officials, and control its laws. It also gave him control over the church's doctrine and ritual. [57] Despite reading Protestant books, such as Simon Fish's Supplication for the Beggars and Tyndale's The Obedience of a Christian Man, and seeking Protestant support for his annulment, [58] Henry's religious views remained conservative. Nevertheless, to promote and defend the Royal Supremacy, he embraced the language of the continental Reformation all while maintaining a middle way between religious extremes. The King relied on men with Protestant sympathies, such as Thomas Cromwell and Thomas Cranmer, to carry out his religious programme. [59]

Since 1529, Cranmer had risen to prominence as part of the team working on the annulment. Having begun the task as a Catholic humanist, Cranmer's religious views had shifted toward Protestantism by 1531, in part due to the personal contacts made with continental reformers. [60] While on a diplomatic mission to Emperor Charles V in 1532, Cranmer visited Lutheran Nuremberg where he became friends with theologian Andreas Osiander. It was at this time that Cranmer became interested in Lutheranism, and he renounced his priestly vow of celibacy to secretly marry Osiander's niece. [61] The Lutherans, however, were not in favour of the annulment, forcing Cranmer and Henry to also seek support from other emerging Protestant churches in Germany and Switzerland. This brought him into contact with Martin Bucer of Strasbourg. [62] After Warham's death, Cranmer was made Archbishop of Canterbury (with papal consent) in 1533. [63]

In 1534, a new Heresy Act ensured that no one could be punished for speaking against the pope and also made it more difficult to convict someone of heresy however, sacramentarians and Anabaptists continued to be vigorously persecuted. [64] What followed was a period of doctrinal confusion as both conservatives and reformers attempted to shape the church's future direction. [65] The reformers were aided by Cromwell, who in January 1535 was made vicegerent in spirituals. Effectively the King's vicar general, Cromwell's authority was greater than that of bishops, even the Archbishop of Canterbury. [66] Largely due to Anne Boleyn's influence, a number of Protestants were appointed bishops between 1534 and 1536. These included Latimer, Thomas Goodrich, John Salcot, Nicholas Shaxton, William Barlow, John Hilsey and Edward Foxe. [67] During the same period, the most influential conservative bishop, Stephen Gardiner, was sent to France on a diplomatic mission and thus removed from an active role in English politics for three years. [68]

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 of the Schmalkaldic League. [69] There also seemed to be a possibility that Emperor Charles V might act to avenge his rejected aunt (Queen Catherine) and enforce the pope's excommunication. The negotiations did not lead to an alliance but did bring Lutheran ideas to England. [70]

In 1536, Convocation adopted the first doctrinal statement for the Church of England, the Ten Articles. This was followed by the Bishops' Book in 1537. These established a semi-Lutheran doctrine for the church. Justification by faith, qualified by an emphasis on good works following justification, was a core teaching. The traditional seven sacraments were reduced to three only—baptism, Eucharist and penance. Catholic teaching on praying to saints, purgatory and the use of images in worship was undermined. [71]

In August 1536, the same month the Ten Articles were published, Cromwell issued a set of Royal Injunctions to the clergy. Minor feast days were changed into normal work days, including those celebrating a church's patron saint and most feasts during harvest time (July through September). The rationale was partly economic as too many holidays led to a loss of productivity and were "the occasion of vice and idleness". [72] In addition, Protestants considered feast days to be examples of superstition. [73] Clergy were to discourage pilgrimages and instruct the people to give to the poor rather than make offerings to images. The clergy were also ordered to place Bibles in both English and Latin in every church for the people to read. [74] This last requirement was largely ignored by the bishops for a year or more due to the lack of any authorised English translation. The only complete vernacular version was the Coverdale Bible finished in 1535 and based on Tyndale's earlier work. It lacked royal approval, however. [75]

Historian Diarmaid MacCulloch in his study of The Later Reformation in England, 1547–1603 argues that after 1537, "England's Reformation was characterized by its hatred of images, as Margaret Aston's work on iconoclasm and iconophobia has repeatedly and eloquently demonstrated." [76] In February 1538, the famous Rood of Grace was condemned as a mechanical fraud and destroyed at St Paul's Cross. In July, the statues of Our Lady of Walsingham, Our Lady of Ipswich, and other Marian images were burned at Chelsea on Cromwell's orders. In September, Cromwell issued a second set of royal injunctions ordering the destruction of images to which pilgrimage offerings were made, the prohibition of lighting votive candles before images of saints, and the preaching of sermons against the veneration of images and relics. [77] Afterwards, the shrine and bones of Thomas Becket, considered by many to have been martyred in defense of the church's liberties, were destroyed at Canterbury Cathedral. [78]

Dissolution of the monasteries Edit

For Cromwell and Cranmer, a step in the Protestant agenda was attacking monasticism, which was associated with the doctrine of purgatory. [79] While the King was not opposed to religious houses on theological grounds, there was concern over the loyalty of the monastic orders, which were international in character and resistant to the Royal Supremacy. [80] The Franciscan Observant houses were closed in August 1534 after that order refused to repudiate papal authority. Between 1535 and 1537, 18 Carthusians were killed for doing the same. [81]

The Crown was also experiencing financial difficulties, and the wealth of the church, in contrast to its political weakness, made confiscation of church property both tempting and feasible. [82] Seizure of monastic wealth was not unprecedented it had happened before in 1295, 1337, and 1369. [79] 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. [83]

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. [82] 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. [83] There were also reports of the possession and display of false relics, such as Hailes Abbey's vial of the Holy Blood, upon investigation announced to be "honey clarified and coloured with saffron". [84] The Compendium Competorum compiled by the visitors documented ten pieces of the True Cross, seven portions of the Virgin Mary's milk and numerous saints' girdles. [85]

Leading reformers, led by Anne Boleyn, wanted to convert monasteries into "places of study and good letters, and to the continual relief of the poor", but this was not done. [86] In 1536, the Dissolution of the Lesser Monasteries Act closed smaller houses valued at less than £200 a year. [74] Henry used the revenue to help build coastal defenses (see Device Forts) against expected invasion, and all the land was given to the Crown or sold to the aristocracy. [ additional citation(s) needed ] Thirty-four houses were saved by paying for exemptions. Monks and nuns affected by closures were transferred to larger houses, and monks had the option of becoming secular clergy. [87]

The Royal Supremacy and the abolition of papal authority had not caused widespread unrest, but the attacks on monasteries and the abolition of saints' days and pilgrimages provoked violence. Mobs attacked those sent to break up monastic buildings. Suppression commissioners were attacked by local people in several places. [88] In Northern England, there were a series of uprisings against the dissolutions in late 1536 and early 1537. The Lincolnshire Rising occurred in October 1536 and culminated in a force of 40,000 rebels assembling at Lincoln. They demanded an end to taxation during peacetime, the repeal of the statute of uses, an end to the suppression of monasteries, and that heresy be purged and heretics punished. Henry refused to negotiate, and the revolt collapsed as the nervous gentry convinced the common people to disperse. [89]

The Pilgrimage of Grace was a more serious matter. The revolt began in October at Yorkshire and spread to the other northern counties. Around 50,000 strong, the rebels under Robert Aske's leadership restored 16 of the 26 northern monasteries that had been dissolved. Due to the size of the rebellion, the King was persuaded to negotiate. In December, the Duke of Norfolk offered the rebels a pardon and a parliament to consider their grievances. Aske then sent the rebels home. The promises made to them, however, were ignored by the King, and Norfolk was instructed to put the rebellion down. Forty-seven of the Lincolnshire rebels were executed, and 132 from the Pilgrimage of Grace. In Southern England, smaller disturbances took place in Cornwall and Walsingham in 1537. [90]

The failure of the Pilgrimage of Grace only sped up the process of dissolution and may have convinced Henry VIII that all religious houses needed to be closed. In 1540, the last monasteries were dissolved, wiping out an important element of traditional religion. [91] Former monks were given modest pensions from the Court of Augmentations, and those that could sought work as parish priests. Former nuns received smaller pensions and, as they were still bound by vows of chastity, forbidden to marry. [92] Henry 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 Shrewsbury, Leicester or Waltham. [93]

Reforms reversed Edit

According to historian Peter Marshall, Henry's religious reforms were based on the principles of "unity, obedience and the refurbishment of ancient truth". [94] Yet, the outcome was disunity and disobedience. Impatient Protestants took it upon themselves to further reform. Priests said Mass in English rather than Latin and were marrying in violation of clerical celibacy. Not only were there divisions between traditionalists and reformers, but Protestants themselves were divided between establishment reformers who held Lutheran beliefs and radicals who held Anabaptist and Sacramentarian views. [95] Reports of dissension from every part of England reached Cromwell daily—developments he tried to hide from the King. [96]

In September 1538, Stephen Gardiner returned to England, and official religious policy began to drift in a conservative direction. [97] This was due in part to the eagerness of establishment Protestants to disassociate themselves from religious radicals. In September, two Lutheran princes, the Elector of Saxony and Landgrave of Hesse, sent warnings of Anabaptist activity in England. A commission was swiftly created to seek out Anabaptists. [98] Henry personally presided at the trial of John Lambert in November 1538 for denying the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. At the same time, he shared in the drafting of a proclamation ordering Anabaptists and Sacramentaries to get out of the country or face death. Discussion of the real presence (except by those educated in the universities) was forbidden, and priests who married were to be dismissed. [96] [99]

It was becoming clear that the King's views on religion differed from those of Cromwell and Cranmer. Henry made his traditional preferences known during the Easter Triduum of 1539, where he crept to the cross on Good Friday. [100] Later that year, Parliament passed the Six Articles reaffirming Roman Catholic beliefs and practices such as transubstantiation, clerical celibacy, confession to a priest, votive masses, and withholding communion wine from the laity. [101]

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 Robert Barnes, Hugh 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. [102] On 30 July, the reformers Barnes, William Jerome and Thomas Gerrard were burned at the stake. In a display of religious impartiality, Thomas Abell, Richard Featherstone and Edward Powell—all Roman Catholics—were hanged and quartered while the Protestants burned. [103] European observers were shocked and bewildered. French diplomat Charles de Marillac wrote that Henry's religious policy was a "climax of evils" and that:

[I]t is difficult to have a people entirely opposed to new errors which does not hold with the ancient authority of the Church and of the Holy See, or, on the other hand, hating the Pope, which does not share some opinions with the Germans. Yet the government will not have either the one or the other, but insists on their keeping what is commanded, which is so often altered that it is difficult to understand what it is. [104]

Despite setbacks, Protestants managed to win some victories. In May 1541, the King ordered copies of the Great Bible to be placed in all churches failure to comply would result in a £2 fine. Protestants could celebrate the growing access to vernacular scripture as most churches had Bibles by 1545. [105] [106] The iconoclastic policies of 1538 were continued in the autumn when the Archbishops of Canterbury and York were ordered to destroy all remaining shrines in England. [107] Furthermore, Cranmer survived formal charges of heresy in the Prebendaries' Plot of 1543. [108]

Traditionalists, nevertheless, seemed to have the upper hand. By the spring of 1543, Protestant innovations had been reversed, and only the break with Rome and the dissolution of the monasteries remained unchanged. [109] In May 1543, a new formulary was published to replace the Bishops' Book. This King's Book rejected justification by faith alone and defended traditional ceremonies and the use of images. [110] This was followed days later by passage of the Act for the Advancement of True Religion, which restricted Bible reading to men and women of noble birth. Henry 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." [111]

By the spring of 1544, the conservatives appeared to be losing influence once again. In March, Parliament made it more difficult to prosecute people for violating the Six Articles. Cranmer's Exhortation and Litany, the first official vernacular service, was published in June 1544, and the King's Primer became the only authorised English prayer book in May 1545. Both texts had a reformed emphasis. [112] After the death of the conservative Edward Lee in September 1544, the Protestant Robert Holgate replaced him as Archbishop of York. [113] In December 1545, the King was empowered to seize the property of chantries (trust funds endowed to pay for priests to say masses for the dead). While Henry's motives were largely financial (England was at war with France and desperately in need of funds), the passage of the Chantries Act was "an indication of how deeply the doctrine of purgatory had been eroded and discredited". [114]

In 1546, the conservatives were once again in the ascendant. A series of controversial sermons preached by the Protestant Edward Crome set off a persecution of Protestants that the traditionalists used to effectively target their rivals. It was during this time that Anne Askew was tortured in the Tower of London and burnt at the stake. Even Henry's last wife, Katherine Parr, was suspected of heresy but saved herself by appealing to the King's mercy. With the Protestants on the defensive, traditionalists pressed their advantage by banning Protestant books. [115]

The conservative persecution of Queen Katherine, however, backfired. [116] By November 1546, there were already signs that religious policy was once again tilting towards Protestantism. [117] The King's will provided for a regency council to rule after his death, which would have been dominated by traditionalists, such as the Duke of Norfolk, Lord Chancellor Wriothesly, Bishop Gardiner and Bishop Tunstall. [118] After a dispute with the King, Bishop Gardiner, the leading conservative churchman, was disgraced and removed as a councilor. Later, the Duke of Norfolk, the most powerful conservative nobleman, was arrested. [119] By the time Henry died in 1547, the Protestant Edward Seymour, brother of Jane Seymour, Henry's third wife (and therefore uncle to the future Edward VI), managed—by a number of alliances such as with Lord Lisle—to gain control over the Privy Council. [120]

When Henry died in 1547, his nine-year-old son, Edward VI, inherited the throne. Because Edward was given a Protestant humanist education, Protestants held high expectations and hoped he would be like Josiah, the biblical king of Judah who destroyed the altars and images of Baal. [121] During the seven years of Edward's reign, a Protestant establishment would gradually implement religious changes that were "designed to destroy one Church and build another, in a religious revolution of ruthless thoroughness". [122]

Initially, however, Edward was of little account politically. [123] Real power was in the hands of the regency council, which elected Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset, to be Lord Protector. The Protestant Somerset pursued reform hesitantly at first, partly because his powers were not unchallenged. [124] The Six Articles remained the law of the land, and a proclamation was issued on 24 May reassuring the people against any "innovations and changes in religion". [125]

Nevertheless, Seymour and Cranmer did plan to further the reformation of religion. In July, a Book of Homilies was published, from which all clergy were to preach from on Sundays. [126] The homilies were explicitly Protestant in their content, condemning relics, images, rosary beads, holy water, palms, and other "papistical superstitions". It also directly contradicted the King's Book by teaching "we be justified by faith only, freely, and without works". Despite objections from Gardiner, who questioned the legality of bypassing both Parliament and Convocation, justification by faith had been made a central teaching of the English Church. [127]

Iconoclasm and abolition of chantries Edit

In August 1547, thirty commissioners—nearly all Protestants—were appointed to carry out a royal visitation of England's churches. [128] The Royal Injunctions of 1547 issued to guide the commissioners were borrowed from Cromwell's 1538 injunctions but revised to be more radical. Historian Eamon Duffy calls them a "significant shift in the direction of full-blown Protestantism". [129] Church processions—one of the most dramatic and public aspects of the traditional liturgy—were banned. [130] The injunctions also attacked the use of sacramentals, such as holy water. It was emphasized that they imparted neither blessing nor healing but were only reminders of Christ. [131] Lighting votive candles before saints' images had been forbidden in 1538, and the 1547 injunctions went further by outlawing those placed on the rood loft. [132] Reciting the rosary was also condemned. [129]

The injunctions set off a wave of iconoclasm in the autumn of 1547. [133] While the injunctions only condemned images that were abused as objects of worship or devotion, the definition of abuse was broadened to justify the destruction of all images and relics. [134] Stained glass, shrines, statues, and roods were defaced or destroyed. Church walls were whitewashed and covered with biblical texts condemning idolatry. [135]

Conservative bishops Edmund Bonner and Gardiner protested the visitation, and both were arrested. Bonner spent nearly two weeks in the Fleet Prison before being released. [136] Gardiner was sent to the Fleet Prison in September and remained there until January 1548. However, he continued to refuse to enforce the new religious policies and was arrested once again in June when he was sent to the Tower of London for the rest of Edward's reign. [137]

When a new Parliament met in November 1547, it began to dismantle the laws passed during Henry VIII's reign to protect traditional religion. [138] The Act of Six Articles was repealed—decriminalizing denial of the real, physical presence of Christ in the Eucharist. [139] The old heresy laws were also repealed, allowing free debate on religious questions. [140] In December, the Sacrament Act allowed the laity to receive communion under both kinds, the wine as well as the bread. This was opposed by conservatives but welcomed by Protestants. [141]

The Chantries Act 1547 abolished the remaining chantries and confiscated their assets. Unlike the Chantry Act 1545, the 1547 act was intentionally designed to eliminate the last remaining institutions dedicated to praying for the dead. Confiscated wealth funded the Rough Wooing of Scotland. Chantry priests had served parishes as auxiliary clergy and schoolmasters, and some communities were destroyed by the loss of the charitable and pastoral services of their chantries. [142] [143]

Historians dispute how well this was received. A.G. Dickens contended that people had "ceased to believe in intercessory masses for souls in purgatory", [144] but Eamon Duffy argued that the demolition of chantry chapels and the removal of images coincided with the activity of royal visitors. [145] The evidence is often ambiguous. [146] In some places, chantry priests continued to say prayers and landowners to pay them to do so. [147] Some parishes took steps to conceal images and relics in order to rescue them from confiscation and destruction. [148] [149] 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 enormous. [150]

1549 prayer book Edit

The second year of Edward's reign was a turning point for the English Reformation many people identified the year 1548, rather than the 1530s, as the beginning of the English Church's schism from the Roman Catholic Church. [151] On 18 January 1548, the Privy Council abolished the use of candles on Candlemas, ashes on Ash Wednesday and palms on Palm Sunday. [152] On 21 February, the council explicitly ordered the removal of all church images. [153]

On 8 March, a royal proclamation announced a more significant change—the first major reform of the Mass and of the Church of England's official eucharistic theology. [154] The "Order of the Communion" was a series of English exhortations and prayers that reflected Protestant theology and were inserted into the Latin Mass. [155] [156] A significant departure from tradition was that individual confession to a priest—long a requirement before receiving the Eucharist—was made optional and replaced with a general confession said by the congregation as a whole. The effect on religious custom was profound as a majority of laypeople, not just Protestants, most likely ceased confessing their sins to their priests. [153] By 1548, Cranmer and other leading Protestants had moved from the Lutheran to the Reformed position on the Eucharist. [157] Significant to Cranmer's change of mind was the influence of Strasbourg theologian Martin Bucer. [158] This shift can be seen in the Communion order's teaching on the Eucharist. Laypeople were instructed that when receiving the sacrament they "spiritually eat the flesh of Christ", an attack on the belief in the real, bodily presence of Christ in the Eucharist. [159] The Communion order was incorporated into the new prayer book largely unchanged. [160]

That prayer book and liturgy, the Book of Common Prayer, was authorized by the Act of Uniformity 1549. It replaced the several regional Latin rites then in use, such as the Use of Sarum, the Use of York and the Use of Hereford with an English-language liturgy. [161] Authored by Cranmer, this first prayer book was a temporary compromise with conservatives. [162] It provided Protestants with a service free from what they considered superstition, while maintaining the traditional structure of the mass. [163]

The cycles and seasons of the church year continued to be observed, and there were texts for daily Matins (Morning Prayer), Mass and Evensong (Evening Prayer). In addition, there was a calendar of saints' feasts with collects and scripture readings appropriate for the day. Priests still wore vestments—the prayer book recommended the cope rather than the chasuble. Many of the services were little changed. Baptism kept a strongly sacramental character, including the blessing of water in the baptismal font, promises made by godparents, making the sign of the cross on the child's forehead, and wrapping it in a white chrism cloth. The confirmation and marriage services followed the Sarum rite. [164] There were also remnants of prayer for the dead and the Requiem Mass, such as the provision for celebrating holy communion at a funeral. [165]

Nevertheless, the first Book of Common Prayer was a "radical" departure from traditional worship in that it "eliminated almost everything that had till then been central to lay Eucharistic piety". [166] Communion took place without any elevation of the consecrated bread and wine. The elevation had been the central moment of the old liturgy, attached as it was to the idea of real presence. In addition, the prayer of consecration was changed to reflect Protestant theology. [161] Three sacrifices were mentioned the first was Christ's sacrifice on the cross. The second was the congregation's sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving, and the third was the offering of "ourselves, our souls and bodies, to be a reasonable, holy and lively sacrifice" to God. [167] While the medieval Canon of the Mass "explicitly identified the priest's action at the altar with the sacrifice of Christ", the Prayer Book broke this connection by stating the church's offering of thanksgiving in the Eucharist was not the same as Christ's sacrifice on the cross. [164] Instead of the priest offering the sacrifice of Christ to God the Father, the assembled offered their praises and thanksgivings. The Eucharist was now to be understood as merely a means of partaking in and receiving the benefits of Christ's sacrifice. [168] [169]

There were other departures from tradition. At least initially, there was no music because it would take time to replace the church's body of Latin music. [165] Most of the liturgical year was simply "bulldozed away" with only the major feasts of Christmas, Easter and Whitsun along with a few biblical saints' days (Apostles, Evangelists, John the Baptist and Mary Magdalene) and only two Marian feast days (the Purification and the Annunciation). [166] The Assumption, Corpus Christi and other festivals were gone. [165]

In 1549, Parliament also legalized clerical marriage, something already practiced by some Protestants (including Cranmer) but considered an abomination by conservatives. [170]

Rebellion Edit

Enforcement of the new liturgy did not always take place without a struggle. In the West Country, the introduction of the Book of Common Prayer was the catalyst for a series of uprisings through the summer of 1549. There were smaller upheavals elsewhere from the West Midlands to Yorkshire. The Prayer Book Rebellion was not only in reaction to the prayer book the rebels demanded a full restoration of pre-Reformation Catholicism. [171] They were also motivated by economic concerns, such as enclosure. [172] In East Anglia, however, the rebellions lacked a Roman Catholic character. Kett's Rebellion in Norwich blended Protestant piety with demands for economic reforms and social justice. [173]

The insurrections were put down only after considerable loss of life. [174] Somerset was blamed and was removed from power in October. It was wrongly believed by both conservatives and reformers that the Reformation would be overturned. Succeeding Somerset as de facto regent was John Dudley, 1st Earl of Warwick, newly appointed Lord President of the Privy Council. Warwick saw further implementation of the reforming policy as a means of gaining Protestant support and defeating his conservative rivals. [175]

Further reform Edit

From that point on, the Reformation proceeded apace. Since the 1530s, one of the obstacles to Protestant reform had been the bishops, bitterly divided between a traditionalist majority and a Protestant minority. This obstacle was removed in 1550–1551 when the episcopate was purged of conservatives. [177] Edmund Bonner of London, William Rugg of Norwich, Nicholas Heath of Worcester, John Vesey of Exeter, Cuthbert Tunstall of Durham, George Day of Chichester and Stephen Gardiner of Winchester were either deprived of their bishoprics or forced to resign. [178] [179] Thomas Thirlby, Bishop of Westminster, managed to stay a bishop only by being translated to the Diocese of Norwich, "where he did virtually nothing during his episcopate". [180] Traditionalist bishops were replaced by Protestants such as Nicholas Ridley, John Ponet, John Hooper and Miles Coverdale. [181] [179]

The newly enlarged and emboldened Protestant episcopate turned its attention to ending efforts by conservative clergy to "counterfeit the popish mass" through loopholes in the 1549 prayer book. The Book of Common Prayer was composed during a time when it was necessary to grant compromises and concessions to traditionalists. This was taken advantage of by conservative priests who made the new liturgy as much like the old one as possible, including elevating the Eucharist. [182] The conservative Bishop Gardiner endorsed the prayer book while in prison, [163] and historian Eamon Duffy notes that many lay people treated the prayer book "as an English missal". [183]

To attack the mass, Protestants began demanding the removal of stone altars. Bishop Ridley launched the campaign in May 1550 when he commanded all altars to be replaced with wooden communion tables in his London diocese. [182] Other bishops throughout the country followed his example, but there was also resistance. In November 1550, the Privy Council ordered the removal of all altars in an effort to end all dispute. [184] While the prayer book used the term "altar", Protestants preferred a table because at the Last Supper Christ instituted the sacrament at a table. The removal of altars was also an attempt to destroy the idea that the Eucharist was Christ's sacrifice. During Lent in 1550, John Hooper preached, "as long as the altars remain, both the ignorant people, and the ignorant and evil-persuaded priest, will dream always of sacrifice". [182]

In March 1550, a new ordinal was published that was based on Martin Bucer's own treatise on the form of ordination. While Bucer had provided for only one service for all three orders of clergy, the English ordinal was more conservative and had separate services for deacons, priests and bishops. [175] [185] During his consecration as bishop of Gloucester, John Hooper objected to the mention of "all saints and the holy Evangelist" in the Oath of Supremacy and to the requirement that he wear a black chimere over a white rochet. Hooper was excused from invoking the saints in his oath, but he would ultimately be convinced to wear the offensive consecration garb. This was the first battle in the vestments controversy, which was essentially a conflict over whether the church could require people to observe ceremonies that were neither necessary for salvation nor prohibited by scripture. [186]

1552 prayer book and parish confiscations Edit

The 1549 Book of Common Prayer was criticized by Protestants both in England and abroad for being too susceptible to Roman Catholic re-interpretation. Martin Bucer identified 60 problems with the prayer book, and the Italian Peter Martyr Vermigli provided his own complaints. Shifts in Eucharistic theology between 1548 and 1552 also made the prayer book unsatisfactory—during that time English Protestants achieved a consensus rejecting any real bodily presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Some influential Protestants such as Vermigli defended Zwingli's symbolic view of the Eucharist. Less radical Protestants such as Bucer and Cranmer advocated for a spiritual presence in the sacrament. [187] Cranmer himself had already adopted receptionist views on the Lord's Supper. [188] In April 1552, a new Act of Uniformity authorized a revised Book of Common Prayer to be used in worship by November 1. [189]

This new prayer book removed many of the traditional elements in the 1549 prayer book, resulting in a more Protestant liturgy. The communion service was designed to remove any hint of consecration or change in the bread and wine. Instead of unleavened wafers, ordinary bread was to be used. [190] The prayer of invocation was removed, and the minister no longer said "the body of Christ" when delivering communion. Rather, he said, "Take and eat this, in remembrance that Christ died for thee, and feed on him in thy heart by faith, with thanksgiving". Christ's presence in the Lord's Supper was a spiritual presence "limited to the subjective experience of the communicant". [190] Anglican bishop and scholar Colin Buchanan interprets the prayer book to teach that "the only point where the bread and wine signify the body and blood is at reception". [191] Rather than reserving the sacrament (which often led to Eucharistic adoration), any leftover bread or wine was to be taken home by the curate for ordinary consumption. [192]

In the new prayer book, the last vestiges of prayers for the dead were removed from the funeral service. [193] Unlike the 1549 version, the 1552 prayer book removed many traditional sacramentals and observances that reflected belief in the blessing and exorcism of people and objects. In the baptism service, infants no longer received minor exorcism and the white chrisom robe. Anointing was no longer included in the services for baptism, ordination and visitation of the sick. [194] These ceremonies were altered to emphasise the importance of faith, rather than trusting in rituals or objects. Clerical vestments were simplified—ministers were only allowed to wear the surplice and bishops had to wear a rochet. [190]

Throughout Edward's reign, inventories of parish valuables, ostensibly for preventing embezzlement, convinced many the government planned to seize parish property, just as was done to the chantries. [195] These fears were confirmed in March 1551 when the Privy Council ordered the confiscation of church plate and vestments "for as much as the King's Majestie had neede [sic] presently of a mass of money". [196] No action was taken until 1552–1553 when commissioners were appointed. They were instructed to leave only the "bare essentials" required by the 1552 Book of Common Prayer—a surplice, tablecloths, communion cup and a bell. Items to be seized included copes, chalices, chrismatories, patens, monstrances and candlesticks. [197] Many parishes sold their valuables rather than have them confiscated at a later date. [195] The money funded parish projects that could not be challenged by royal authorities. [198] In many parishes, items were concealed or given to local gentry who had, in fact, lent them to the church. [199]

The confiscations caused tensions between Protestant church leaders and Warwick, now Duke of Northumberland. Cranmer, Ridley and other Protestant leaders did not fully trust Northumberland. Northumberland in turn sought to undermine these bishops by promoting their critics, such as Jan Laski and John Knox. [200] Cranmer's plan for a revision of English canon law, the Reformatio legum ecclesiasticarum, failed in Parliament due to Northumberland's opposition. [201] Despite such tensions, a new doctrinal statement to replace the King's Book was issued on royal authority in May 1553. The Forty-two Articles reflected the Reformed theology and practice taking shape during Edward's reign, which historian Christopher Haigh describes as a "restrained Calvinism". [202] It affirmed predestination and that the King of England was Supreme Head of the Church of England under Christ. [203]

Edward's succession Edit

King Edward became seriously ill in February and died in July 1553. Before his death, Edward was concerned that Mary, his devoutly Catholic sister, would overturn his religious reforms. A new plan of succession was created in which both of Edward's sisters Mary and Elizabeth were bypassed on account of illegitimacy in favour of the Protestant Jane Grey, the granddaughter of Edward's aunt Mary Tudor and daughter in law of the Duke of Northumberland. This new succession violated the "Third" Succession Act of 1544 and was widely seen as an attempt by Northumberland to stay in power. [204] Northumberland was unpopular due to the church confiscations, and support for Jane collapsed. [205] On 19 July, the Privy Council proclaimed Mary queen to the acclamation of the crowds in London. [206]

Reconciling with Rome Edit

Both Protestants and Roman Catholics understood that the accession of Mary I to the throne meant a restoration of traditional religion. [207] Before any official sanction, Latin Masses began reappearing throughout England, despite the 1552 Book of Common Prayer remaining the only legal liturgy. [208] Mary began her reign cautiously by emphasising the need for tolerance in matters of religion and proclaiming that, for the time being, she would not compel religious conformity. This was in part Mary's attempt to avoid provoking Protestant opposition before she could consolidate her power. [209] While Protestants were not a majority of the population, their numbers had grown through Edward's reign. Historian Eamon Duffy writes that "Protestantism was a force to be reckoned with in London and in towns like Bristol, Rye, and Colchester, and it was becoming so in some northern towns such as Hessle, Hull, and Halifax." [210]

Following Mary's accession, the Duke of Norfolk along with the conservative bishops Bonner, Gardiner, Tunstall, Day and Heath were released from prison and restored to their former dioceses. By September 1553, Hooper and Cranmer were imprisoned. Northumberland himself was executed but not before his conversion to Catholicism. [211]

The break with Rome and the religious reforms of Henry VIII and Edward VI were achieved through parliamentary legislation and could only be reversed through Parliament. When Parliament met in October, Bishop Gardiner, now Lord Chancellor, initially proposed the repeal of all religious legislation since 1529. The House of Commons refused to pass this bill, and after heated debate, [212] Parliament repealed all Edwardian religious laws, including clerical marriage and the prayer book, in the First Statute of Repeal. [213] By 20 December, the Mass was reinstated by law. [214] There were disappointments for Mary: Parliament refused to penalise non-attendance at Mass, would not restore confiscated church property, and left open the question of papal supremacy. [215]

If Mary was to secure England for Roman Catholicism, she needed an heir and her Protestant half-sister Elizabeth had to be prevented from inheriting the Crown. On the advice of her cousin Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, she married his son, Philip II of Spain, in 1554. There was opposition, and even a rebellion in Kent (led 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. [216]

By the end of 1554, Henry VIII's religious settlement had been re-instituted, but England was still not reunited with Rome. Before reunion could occur, church property disputes had to be settled—which, in practice, meant letting the nobility and gentry who had bought confiscated church lands keep them. Cardinal Reginald Pole, the Queen's cousin, arrived in November 1554 as papal legate to end England's schism with the Roman Catholic Church. [216] On 28 November, Pole addressed Parliament to ask it to end the schism, declaring "I come not to destroy, but to build. I come to reconcile, not to condemn. I come not to compel, but to call again." [217] In response, Parliament submitted a petition to the Queen the next day asking that "this realm and dominions might be again united to the Church of Rome by the means of the Lord Cardinal Pole". [217]

On 30 November, Pole spoke to both houses of Parliament, absolving the members of Parliament "with the whole realm and dominions thereof, from all heresy and schism". [218] Afterwards, bishops absolved diocesan clergy, and they in turn absolved parishioners. [219] On 26 December, the Privy Council introduced legislation repealing the religious legislation of Henry VIII's reign and implementing the reunion with Rome. This bill was passed as the Second Statute of Repeal. [220]

Catholic recovery Edit

Historian Eamon Duffy writes that the Marian religious "programme was not one of reaction but of creative reconstruction" absorbing whatever was considered positive in the reforms of Henry VIII and Edward VI. [221] The result was "subtly but distinctively different from the Catholicism of the 1520s." [221] According to historian Christopher Haigh, the Catholicism taking shape in Mary's reign "reflected the mature Erasmian Catholicism" of its leading clerics, who were all educated in the 1520s and 1530s. [222] Marian church literature, church benefactions and churchwarden accounts suggest less emphasis on saints, images and prayer for the dead. There was a greater focus on the need for inward contrition in addition to external acts of penance. [223] Cardinal Pole himself was a member of the Spirituali, a Catholic reform movement that shared with Protestants an emphasis on man's total dependence on God's grace by faith and Augustinian views on salvation. [224] [225]

Cardinal Pole would eventually replace Cranmer as Archbishop of Canterbury in 1556, jurisdictional issues between England and Rome having prevented Cranmer's removal. Mary could have had Cranmer 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 victory. [226]

As papal legate, Pole possessed authority over both his Province of Canterbury and the Province of York, which allowed him to oversee the Counter-Reformation throughout all of England. [227] He re-installed images, vestment and plate in churches. Around 2,000 married clergy were separated from their wives, but the majority of these were allowed to continue their work as priests. [226] [228] Pole was aided by some of the leading Catholic intellectuals, Spanish members of the Dominican Order: Pedro de Soto, Juan de Villagarcía and Bartolomé Carranza. [226]

In 1556, Pole ordered clergy to read one chapter of Bishop Bonner's A Profitable and Necessary Doctrine to their parishioners every Sunday. Modelled on the King's Book of 1543, Bonner's work was a survey of basic Catholic teaching organized around the Apostles' Creed, Ten Commandments, seven deadly sins, sacraments, the Lord's Prayer, and the Hail Mary. [229] Bonner also produced a children's catechism and a collection of homilies. [230]

From December 1555 to February 1556, Cardinal Pole presided over a national legatine synod that produced a set of decrees entitled Reformatio Angliae or the Reformation of England. [231] The actions taken by the synod anticipated many of the reforms enacted throughout the Catholic Church after the Council of Trent. [227] Pole believed that ignorance and lack of discipline among the clergy had led to England's religious turmoil, and the synod's reforms were designed to remedy both problems. Clerical absenteeism (the practice of clergy failing to reside in their diocese or parish), pluralism, and simony were condemned. [232] Preaching was placed at the centre of the pastoral office, [233] and all clergy were to provide sermons to the people (rectors and vicars who failed to were fined). [232] The most important part of the plan was the order to establish a seminary in each diocese, which would replace the disorderly manner in which priests had been trained previously. The Council of Trent would later impose the seminary system upon the rest of the Catholic Church. [233] It was also the first to introduce the altar tabernacle used to reserve Eucharistic bread for devotion and adoration. [227]

Mary did what she could to restore church finances and land taken in the reigns of her father and brother. In 1555, she returned to the church the First Fruits and Tenths revenue, but with these new funds came the responsibility of paying the pensions of ex-religious. She restored six religious houses with her own money, notably Westminster Abbey for the Benedictines and Syon Abbey for the Bridgettines. [234] However, there were limits to what could be restored. Only seven religious houses were re-founded between 1555 and 1558, though there were plans to re-establish more. Of the 1,500 ex-religious still living, only about a hundred resumed monastic life, and only a small number of chantries were re-founded. Re-establishments were hindered by the changing nature of charitable giving. A plan to re-establish Greyfriars in London was prevented because its buildings were occupied by Christ's Hospital, a school for orphaned children. [235]

There is debate among historians over how vibrant the restoration was on the local level. According to historian A. G. Dickens, "Parish religion was marked by religious and cultural sterility", [236] though historian Christopher Haigh observed enthusiasm, marred only by poor harvests that produced poverty and want. [237] Recruitment to the English clergy began to rise after almost a decade of declining ordinations. [238] Repairs to long-neglected churches began. In the parishes, "restoration and repair continued, new bells were bought, and church ales produced their bucolic profits". [239] Great church feasts were restored and celebrated with plays, pageants and processions. However, Bishop Bonner's attempt to establish weekly processions in 1556 was a failure. Haigh writes that in years during which processions were banned people had discovered "better uses for their time" as well as "better uses for their money than offering candles to images". [240] The focus was on "the crucified Christ, in the mass, the rood, and Corpus Christi devotion". [238]

Obstacles Edit

Protestants who refused to conform remained an obstacle to Catholic plans. Around 800 Protestants fled England to find safety in Protestant areas of Germany and Switzerland, establishing networks of independent congregations. Safe from persecution, these Marian exiles carried on a propaganda campaign against Roman Catholicism and the Queen's Spanish marriage, sometimes calling for rebellion. [241] [242] Those who remained in England were forced to practise their faith in secret and meet in underground congregations. [243]

In 1555, the initial reconciling tone of the regime began to harden with the revival of the medieval heresy laws, which authorized capital punishment as a penalty for heresy. [244] The persecution of heretics was uncoordinated—sometimes arrests were ordered by the Privy Council, others by bishops, and others by lay magistrates. [245] Protestants brought attention to themselves usually due to some act of dissent, such as denouncing the Mass or refusing to receive the sacrament. [246] A particularly violent act of protest was William Flower's stabbing of a priest during Mass on Easter Sunday, 14 April 1555. [247] Individuals accused of heresy were examined by a church official and, if heresy was found, given the choice between death and signing a recantation. [248] In some cases, Protestants were burnt at the stake after renouncing their recantation. [249]

Around 284 Protestants were burnt at the stake for heresy. [250] Several leading reformers were executed, including Thomas Cranmer, Hugh Latimer, Nicholas Ridley, John Rogers, John Hooper, Robert Ferrar, Rowland Taylor, and John Bradford. [251] Lesser known figures were also among the victims, including around 51 women such as Joan Waste and Agnes Prest. [252] Historian O. T. Hargrave writes that the Marian persecution was not "excessive" by "contemporary continental standards" however, "it was unprecedented in the English experience". [253] Historian Christopher Haigh writes that it "failed to intimidate all Protestants", whose bravery at the stake inspired others however, it "was not a disaster: if it did not help the Catholic cause, it did not do much to harm it." [239] After her death, the Queen became known as "Bloody Mary" due to the influence of John Foxe, one of the Marian exiles. [254] Published in 1563, Foxe's Book of Martyrs provided accounts of the executions, and in 1571 the Convocation of Canterbury ordered that Foxe's book should be placed in every cathedral in the land. [255]

Mary's efforts at restoring Roman Catholicism were also frustrated by the church itself. 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. [256] From 1557, the Pope refused to confirm English bishops, leading to vacancies and hurting the Marian religious program. [232]

Despite these obstacles, the 5-year restoration was successful. There was support for traditional religion among the people, and Protestants remained a minority. 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, meant that her Protestant sister Elizabeth would be the next queen. [257]

Elizabeth I inherited a kingdom in which a majority of people, especially the political elite, were religiously conservative, and England's main ally was Catholic Spain. [258] For these reasons, the proclamation announcing her accession forbade any "breach, alteration, or change of any order or usage presently established within this our realm". [259] This was only temporary. The new Queen was Protestant, though a conservative one. [260] She also filled her new government with Protestants. The Queen's principal secretary was Sir William Cecil, a moderate Protestant. [261] Her Privy Council was filled with former Edwardian politicians, and only Protestants preached at Court. [262] [263]

In 1558, Parliament passed the Act of Supremacy, which re-established the Church of England's independence from Rome and conferred on Elizabeth the title of Supreme Governor of the Church of England. The Act of Uniformity of 1559 authorised the 1559 Book of Common Prayer, which was a revised version of the 1552 Prayer Book from Edward's reign. Some modifications were made to appeal to Catholics and Lutherans, including giving individuals greater latitude concerning belief in the real presence and authorising the use of traditional priestly vestments. In 1571, the Thirty-Nine Articles were adopted as a confessional statement for the church, and a Book of Homilies was issued outlining the church's reformed theology in greater detail.

The Elizabethan Settlement established a church that was Reformed in doctrine but that preserved certain characteristics of medieval Catholicism, such as cathedrals, church choirs, a formal liturgy contained in the Prayer Book, traditional vestments and episcopal polity. [264] According to historian Diarmaid MacCulloch, the conflicts over the Elizabethan Settlement stem from this "tension between Catholic structure and Protestant theology". [265] During the reigns of Elizabeth and James I, several factions developed within the Church of England.

"Church papists" were Roman Catholics who outwardly conformed to the established church while maintaining their Catholic faith in secret. Catholic authorities disapproved of such outward conformity. Recusants were Roman Catholics who refused to attend Church of England services as required by law. [266] Recusancy was punishable by fines of £20 a month (fifty times an artisan's wage). [267] By 1574, Catholic recusants had organised an underground Roman Catholic Church, distinct from the Church of England. However, it had two major weaknesses: membership loss as church papists conformed fully to the Church of England and a shortage of priests. Between 1574 and 1603, 600 Catholic priests were sent to England. [268] The influx of foreign trained Catholic priests, the unsuccessful Revolt of the Northern Earls, the excommunication of Elizabeth, and the discovery of the Ridolfi plot all contributed to a perception that Catholicism was treasonous. [269] Executions of Catholic priests became more common—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. [270] [271] In 1585, it became treason for a Catholic priest to enter the country, as well as for anyone to aid or shelter him. [267] As the older generation of recusant priests died out, Roman Catholicism collapsed among the lower classes in the north, west and in Wales. Without priests, these social classes drifted into the Church of England and Catholicism was forgotten. By Elizabeth's death in 1603, Roman Catholicism had become "the faith of a small sect", largely confined to gentry households. [272]

Gradually, England was transformed into a Protestant country as the Prayer Book shaped Elizabethan religious life. By the 1580s, conformist Protestants (those who conformed their religious practice to the religious settlement) were becoming a majority. [273] Calvinism appealed to many conformists, and Calvinist clergy held the best bishoprics and deaneries during Elizabeth's reign. [274] Other Calvinists were unsatisfied with elements of the Elizabethan Settlement and wanted further reforms to make the Church of England more like the Continental Reformed churches. These nonconformist Calvinists became known as Puritans. Some Puritans refused to bow at the name of Jesus, to make the sign of the cross in baptism, use wedding rings or organ music in church. They especially resented the requirement that clergy wear the white surplice and clerical cap. [275] Puritan clergymen preferred to wear black academic attire (see Vestments controversy). [276] Many Puritans believed the Church of England should follow the example of Reformed churches in other parts of Europe and adopt presbyterian polity, under which government by bishops would be replaced with government by elders. [277] However, all attempts to enact further reforms through Parliament were blocked by the Queen. [278]

During the early Stuart period, the Church of England's dominant theology was still Calvinism, but a group of theologians associated with Bishop Lancelot Andrewes disagreed with many aspects of the Reformed tradition, especially its teaching on predestination. They looked to the Church Fathers rather than the Reformers and preferred using the more traditional 1549 Prayer Book. [279] Due to their belief in free will, this new faction is known as the Arminian party, but their high church orientation was more controversial. James I tried to balance the Puritan forces within his church with followers of Andrewes, promoting many of them at the end of his reign. [280]

During the reign of Charles I, the Arminians were ascendant and closely associated with William Laud, Archbishop of Canterbury (1633–1645). Laud and his followers believed the Reformation had gone too far and launched a "'Beauty of Holiness' counter-revolution, wishing to restore what they saw as lost majesty in worship and lost dignity for the sacerdotal priesthood." [280] Laudianism, however, was unpopular with both Puritans and Prayer Book conformists, who viewed the high church innovations as undermining forms of worship they had grown attached to. [281] The English Civil War resulted in the overthrow of Charles I, and a Puritan dominated Parliament began to dismantle the Elizabethan Settlement. [279] The Puritans, however, were divided among themselves and failed to agree on an alternative religious settlement. A variety of new religious movements appeared, including Baptists, Quakers, Ranters, Seekers, Diggers, Muggletonians, and Fifth Monarchists. [282]

The Restoration of the monarchy in 1660 allowed for the restoration of the Elizabethan Settlement as well, but the Church of England was fundamentally changed. The "Jacobean consensus" was shattered. [283] Many Puritans were unwilling to conform and became dissenters. Now outside the established church, the different strands of the Puritan movement evolved into separate denominations: Congregationalists, Presbyterians, and Baptists. [284]

After the Restoration, Anglicanism took shape as a recognisable tradition. [285] From Richard Hooker, Anglicanism inherited a belief in the "positive spiritual value in ceremonies and rituals, and for an unbroken line of succession from the medieval Church to the latter day Church of England". [286] From the Arminians, it gained a theology of episcopacy and an appreciation for liturgy. From the Puritans and Calvinists, it "inherited a contradictory impulse to assert the supremacy of scripture and preaching". [287]

The religious forces unleashed by the Reformation ultimately destroyed the possibility of religious uniformity. Protestant dissenters were allowed freedom of worship with the Toleration Act 1688. It took Catholics longer to achieve toleration. Penal laws that excluded Catholics from everyday life began to be repealed in the 1770s. Catholics were allowed to vote and sit as members of Parliament in 1829 (see Catholic emancipation). [288]

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 [289] and Albert Pollard. [290]

Reformation historiography has seen many schools of interpretation with Roman Catholic, Anglican and Nonconformist historians using their own religious perspectives. [291] [ page needed ] 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 Hazlett, 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 Hazlett. [292] [ page needed ]

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. [293] [294]

Secondly, A. G. Dickens and others were motivated by a primarily religious perspective. 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, it also responded to aspirations from below. Dickens has been criticized for underestimating the strength of residual and revived Roman Catholicism, but 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 Reformation for Anglo-British development. [295]

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.

Finally, 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 Calvinism. The Church of England thus emerged as a coalition of factions, all of them Protestant inspiration. [296]

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 overemphasized 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 villages. [297]

  1. ^Scruton (1996, p. 470): "The Reformation must not be confused with the changes introduced into the 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."
  2. ^ abBray 1994, p. 115.
  3. ^ abMacCulloch 1996, p. 210.
  4. ^MacCulloch 2001, pp. 1–2.
  5. ^ abMacCulloch 2001, pp. 4–5.
  6. ^Moorman 1983, p. 24.
  7. ^Brigden 2000, p. 86f.
  8. ^Duffy 2005, pp. xxi–xxii.
  9. ^MacCulloch 2003, p. 36.
  10. ^Dickens 1959.
  11. ^Marshall 2017, pp. 29–32.
  12. ^MacCulloch 2003, pp. 112–111.
  13. ^Marshall 2017, p. 164.
  14. ^Haigh 1993, p. 123.
  15. ^MacCulloch 1996, p. 27.
  16. ^MacCulloch 2003, pp. 119–122,130.
  17. ^Marshall 2017, p. 126.
  18. ^Marshall 2017, p. 146.
  19. ^Haigh 1993, p. 20,28.
  20. ^MacCulloch 2003, pp. 202–203.
  21. ^Marshall 2017, p. 124.
  22. ^Haigh 1993, p. 58.
  23. ^MacCulloch 2003, p. 203.
  24. ^Marshall 2017, p. 132.
  25. ^Marshall 2017, p. 186.
  26. ^Marshall 2017, p. 188.
  27. ^Marshall 2017, pp. 203–204.
  28. ^Brigden (2000, p. 103): "He . believed he that he could keep his own secrets . but he was often deceived and he deceived himself."
  29. ^Ryrie 2009, p. 131.
  30. ^ O'Donovan, Louis (5 November 2019). The Defence of the Seven Sacraments. ISBN9781538092026 .
  31. ^Brigden 2000, p. 111.
  32. ^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.
  33. ^Warnicke 1983, p. 38.
  34. ^Marshall (2017, p. 164):"Henry wanted an annulment—a formal and legal declaration of the marriage's invalidity. Yet the word contemporaries used, divorce, captures better the legal and emotional turmoil."
  35. ^Lacey 1972, p. 70.
  36. ^Phillips 1991, p. 20.
  37. ^Lacey 1972, p. 17.
  38. ^Marshall (2017, pp. 166–167) writes, "Inconveniently for Henry, another Old Testament verse (Deut. 25:5) seemingly qualified the Levitical prohibition, commanding a man to take to wife his deceased brother's widow, if there had been no child."
  39. ^Morris 1998, p. 166.
  40. ^Brigden 2000, p. 114.
  41. ^Haigh 1993, pp. 93–94.
  42. ^Haigh 1993, p. 73.
  43. ^Brigden 2000, p. 116.
  44. ^MacCulloch 2003, p. 199.
  45. ^Haigh 1993, pp. 105–106.
  46. ^Morris 1998, p. 172.
  47. ^Tanner (1930, p. 17) gives this as "their singular protector, only and supreme lord, and, as far as the law of Christ allows, even Supreme Head".
  48. ^Brigden 2000, p. 118.
  49. ^Tanner 1930.
  50. ^ After prolonged debate in the House of 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.
  51. ^Elton 1982, p. 353.
  52. ^Elton 1991, p. 160.
  53. ^Elton 1982, pp. 364–365.
  54. ^Ridley 1962, pp. 59–63.
  55. ^ Catholic Encyclopedia, Henry VIII. Accessed 21 August 2009.
  56. ^Lehmberg 1970.
  57. ^Elton 1991, p. 162.
  58. ^Marshall 2017, pp. 176–177,179: Borrowing from Luther, Tyndale argued that papal and clerical claims to independent power were unscriptural and that the king's "law is God's law". In 1531, Henry sought, through Robert Barnes, Luther's opinion on his annulment the theologian did not approve.
  59. ^Bernard 1990, p. 185.
  60. ^MacCulloch 1996, pp. 59–60.
  61. ^MacCulloch 1996, pp. 70–72.
  62. ^MacCulloch 1996, pp. 65–66, 153–154.
  63. ^Marshall 2017, p. 205.
  64. ^Marshall 2017, pp. 208,221.
  65. ^Marshall 2017, p. 238.
  66. ^Marshall 2017, p. 215.
  67. ^Marshall 2017, pp. 216–217.
  68. ^MacCulloch 1996, p. 140.
  69. ^Brigden 2000, p. 107: 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.
  70. ^Haigh 1993, p. 125.
  71. ^Marshall 2017, pp. 254–256.
  72. ^Haigh 1993, p. 129.
  73. ^Marshall 2017, p. 241.
  74. ^ abHaigh 1993, p. 130.
  75. ^Marshall 2017, pp. 241–242.
  76. ^MacCulloch 2001, p. 57.
  77. ^Haigh 1993, p. 134.
  78. ^MacCulloch 1996, p. 227.
  79. ^ abHaigh 1993, p. 131.
  80. ^Marshall 2017, p. 226.
  81. ^Haigh 1993, p. 141.
  82. ^ abSmith 1938, p. vii.
  83. ^ abElton 1991, p. 142.
  84. ^Marshall 2017, p. 269.
  85. ^Marshall 2017, p. 229.
  86. ^Marshall 2017, p. 232.
  87. ^Haigh 1993, pp. 144–145.
  88. ^Haigh 1993, pp. 143–144.
  89. ^Haigh 1993, pp. 145–146.
  90. ^Haigh 1993, pp. 147–149.
  91. ^MacCulloch 2003, p. 201.
  92. ^Marshall 2017, p. 282.
  93. ^Mackie 1952, pp. 399–400.
  94. ^Marshall 2017, p. 266.
  95. ^Marshall 2017, pp. 269–270.
  96. ^ abBrigden 2000, p. 132.
  97. ^MacCulloch 1996, p. 229.
  98. ^MacCulloch 1996, p. 231.
  99. ^MacCulloch 1996, p. 233.
  100. ^MacCulloch 1996, p. 241.
  101. ^Haigh 1993, p. 153.
  102. ^Brigden 2000, p. 135.
  103. ^Marshall 2017, pp. 280–281.
  104. ^Marshall 2017, p. 281.
  105. ^Marshall 2017, p. 284.
  106. ^Haigh 1993, p. 158.
  107. ^MacCulloch 1996, p. 284.
  108. ^Marshall 2017, pp. 286–287.
  109. ^Haigh 1993, p. 161.
  110. ^Haigh 1993, p. 160.
  111. ^Dickens 1966, p. 103.
  112. ^Haigh (1993, p. 162) argues that the Litany and Primer were largely traditional devotions and that the popularity of the Primer "suggest a continued vitality in conventional religion". Marshall (2017, pp. 291, 293), however, argues that both the Litany and Primer were reformed in outlook, especially in their reduced emphasis on the invocation of saints. They were successful, he writes, in "taking an old-fashioned form and subverting its traditional purposes". Duffy (2005, pp. 446–447) agrees with Marshall.
  113. ^Marshall 2017, p. 292.
  114. ^Marshall 2017, p. 294.
  115. ^Haigh 1993, pp. 165–166.
  116. ^MacCulloch 1996, p. 356.
  117. ^MacCulloch (1996, pp. 356–357) argues that Cranmer believed that, had he lived, Henry would have pursued a radical iconoclastic policy and a transformation of the mass into a Protestant communion service.
  118. ^Haigh 1993, p. 166.
  119. ^MacCulloch 1996, p. 359.
  120. ^Haigh 1993, pp. 166–167.
  121. ^Marshall 2017, pp. 291,304: Edward's tutors included the reformers John Cheke, Richard Cox and Roger Ascham.
  122. ^MacCulloch 1996, p. 366.
  123. ^MacCulloch 1999, pp. 35ff.
  124. ^Haigh 1993, pp. 168–169.
  125. ^Marshall 2017, p. 305.
  126. ^MacCulloch 1996, p. 372.
  127. ^Marshall 2017, p. 308.
  128. ^Marshall 2017, pp. 309–310.
  129. ^ abDuffy 2005, p. 450.
  130. ^MacCulloch 1996, p. 375.
  131. ^Duffy 2005, p. 452.
  132. ^Duffy 2005, p. 451.
  133. ^Marshall 2017, p. 310.
  134. ^Duffy 2005, p. 458.
  135. ^Duffy 2005, pp. 450–454.
  136. ^Marshall 2017, p. 311.
  137. ^MacCulloch 1996, p. 376.
  138. ^MacCulloch 1996, p. 377.
  139. ^Marshall 2017, pp. 311–312.
  140. ^MacCulloch 1996, p. 422.
  141. ^Marshall 2017, p. 313.
  142. ^Duffy 2005, pp. 454–456.
  143. ^Haigh 1993, p. 171.
  144. ^Dickens 1989, p. 235.
  145. ^Duffy 2005, p. 481.
  146. ^Duffy 2005, 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.
  147. ^Haigh 1993, pp. 171–172.
  148. ^Duffy 2005, p. 490.
  149. ^Haigh 1993, pp. 1–2.
  150. ^Graham-Dixon 1996, p. 38.
  151. ^Duffy 2005, p. 462.
  152. ^Duffy 2005, p. 457.
  153. ^ abMarshall 2017, p. 315.
  154. ^MacCulloch 1996, p. 384.
  155. ^Haigh 1993, p. 173.
  156. ^Duffy 2005, p. 459.
  157. ^Marshall 2017, pp. 322–323.
  158. ^MacCulloch 1996, p. 380.
  159. ^MacCulloch 1996, p. 386.
  160. ^MacCulloch 1996, p. 385.
  161. ^ abMarshall 2017, p. 324.
  162. ^MacCulloch 1996, p. 410.
  163. ^ abHaigh 1993, p. 174.
  164. ^ abMarshall 2017, pp. 324–325.
  165. ^ abcMarshall 2017, p. 325.
  166. ^ abDuffy 2005, pp. 464–466.
  167. ^Moorman 1983, p. 27.
  168. ^Jones et al. 1992, pp. 101–105.
  169. ^Thompson 1961, pp. 234–236.
  170. ^Marshall 2017, p. 323.
  171. ^Duffy 2005, p. 466.
  172. ^Brigden 2000, p. 185.
  173. ^Marshall 2017, pp. 332–333.
  174. ^Marshall 2017, p. 334.
  175. ^ abHaigh 1993, p. 176.
  176. ^Aston 1993 Loach 1999, p. 187 Hearn 1995, pp. 75–76
  177. ^Haigh 1993, p. 177–178.
  178. ^Marshall 2017, p. 338.
  179. ^ abMacCulloch 1996, p. 459.
  180. ^MacCulloch 1996, p. 408.
  181. ^Duffy 2005, p. 471.
  182. ^ abcMarshall 2017, p. 339.
  183. ^Duffy 2005, p. 470.
  184. ^Haigh 1993, pp. 176–177.
  185. ^MacCulloch 1996, pp. 460–461.
  186. ^Marshall 2017, pp. 340–341.
  187. ^Haigh 1993, p. 179.
  188. ^MacCulloch (1996, pp. 461, 492) quotes Cranmer as explaining "And therefore in the book of the holy communion, we do not pray that the creatures of bread and wine may be the body and blood of Christ but that they may be to us the body and blood of Christ" and also "I do as plainly speak as I can, that Christ's body and blood be given to us in deed, yet not corporally and carnally, but spiritually and effectually."
  189. ^Duffy 2005, p. 472.
  190. ^ abcMarshall 2017, p. 348.
  191. ^MacCulloch 1996, p. 507.
  192. ^Duffy 2005, p. 474.
  193. ^Duffy 2005, p. 475.
  194. ^Duffy 2005, p. 473.
  195. ^ abMarshall 2017, p. 320.
  196. ^Duffy 2005, p. 476.
  197. ^Duffy 2005, p. 477.
  198. ^Duffy 2005, pp. 484–485. 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 chest, Bible and communion table.
  199. ^Duffy 2005, p. 490: At Long Melford, Sir John Clopton, a patron of the church, bought up many of the images, probably to preserve them.
  200. ^Marshall 2017, p. 350.
  201. ^Marshall 2017, p. 352.
  202. ^Haigh 1993, p. 181.
  203. ^Marshall 2017, pp. 353–354.
  204. ^Marshall 2017, pp. 356–358.
  205. ^Haigh 1993, p. 183.
  206. ^Marshall 2017, p. 359.
  207. ^Marshall 2017, p. 360.
  208. ^Marshall 2017, p. 363.
  209. ^Marshall 2017, pp. 362–363.
  210. ^Duffy 2005, p. 479.
  211. ^Marshall 2017, pp. 360, 363.
  212. ^Ward 1981, p. 229.
  213. ^Marshall 2017, p. 364.
  214. ^Haigh 1993, p. 208.
  215. ^Ward 1981, p. 230.
  216. ^ abMacCulloch 2003, p. 281.
  217. ^ abMarshall 2017, p. 390.
  218. ^Haigh 1993, p. 222.
  219. ^Haigh 1993, p. 223.
  220. ^Ward 1981, p. 232.
  221. ^ abDuffy 2005, p. 526.
  222. ^Haigh 1993, p. 217.
  223. ^Haigh 1993, pp. 215, 217.
  224. ^MacCulloch 2003, p. 214.
  225. ^Marshall 2017, p. 368.
  226. ^ abcMacCulloch 2003, p. 282.
  227. ^ abcMacCulloch 2003, p. 283.
  228. ^Haigh 1993, p. 227.
  229. ^Marshall 2017, pp. 398–399.
  230. ^Haigh 1993, p. 216.
  231. ^Marshall 2017, p. 400.
  232. ^ abcHaigh 1993, p. 225.
  233. ^ abMarshall 2017, p. 401.
  234. ^Haigh 1993, p. 226.
  235. ^Marshall 2017, pp. 402–403.
  236. ^Dickens 1989, pp. 309f.
  237. ^Haigh 1993, p. 214.
  238. ^ abHaigh 1993, p. 215.
  239. ^ abHaigh 1993, p. 234.
  240. ^Haigh 1993, pp. 214–215.
  241. ^Haigh 1993, p. 228.
  242. ^Marshall 2017, p. 386.
  243. ^Hargrave 1982, p. 7.
  244. ^Marshall 2017, pp. 390–391.
  245. ^Marshall 2017, p. 396.
  246. ^Marshall 2017, pp. 394, 396.
  247. ^Marshall 2017, p. 394.
  248. ^Roddy 2016, p. 64.
  249. ^Marshall 2017, p. 408.
  250. ^Cavill 2013, p. 879.
  251. ^Hargrave 1982, pp. 7–8.
  252. ^Haigh 1993, p. 230.
  253. ^Hargrave 1982, p. 8.
  254. ^Loades 1989, p. 547.
  255. ^Hargrave 1982, pp. 9–10.
  256. ^MacCulloch 2003, pp. 284–285.
  257. ^Haigh 1993, pp. 235–236.
  258. ^MacCulloch 2001, p. 24.
  259. ^Marshall 2017, pp. 419–420.
  260. ^MacCulloch 2005, p. 89.
  261. ^Moorman 1973, p. 200.
  262. ^Haigh 1993, p. 238.
  263. ^Marshall 2017, p. 419.
  264. ^Coffey & Lim 2008, pp. 3–4.
  265. ^MacCulloch 2001, p. 28.
  266. ^Haigh 1993, p. 256.
  267. ^ abHaigh 1993, p. 263.
  268. ^Haigh 1993, p. 261.
  269. ^Marshall 2017, pp. 487–495.
  270. ^Haigh 1993, pp. 262f: ". England judicially murdered more Roman Catholics than any other country in Europe."
  271. ^MacCulloch 2003, p. 392.
  272. ^Haigh 1993, p. 266.
  273. ^Marshall 2017, pp. 542–543.
  274. ^Coffey & Lim 2008, pp. 3–5.
  275. ^Craig 2008, p. 37.
  276. ^Craig 2008, pp. 43–44.
  277. ^Craig 2008, pp. 39–40.
  278. ^Craig 2008, p. 42.
  279. ^ abSpinks 2006, p. 50.
  280. ^ abMaltby 2006, p. 88.
  281. ^Maltby 2006, p. 89.
  282. ^Marshall 2017, p. 576.
  283. ^Maltby 1998, p. 235.
  284. ^Bremer 2009, p. 27.
  285. ^Maltby 1998, p. 236.
  286. ^Marshall 2017, p. 575.
  287. ^MacCulloch 2001, p. 85.
  288. ^Marshall 2017, pp. 576–577.
  289. ^ Froude, History of England from the Fall of Wolsey to the Defeat of the Spanish Armada, (12 volumes, 1893) "Wolsey" online free
  290. ^ R.A.F. Pollard, Henry VIII (1905) online free Pollard, The History of England from the Accession of Edward VI to the Death of Elizabeth, 1547–1603 (1910) online free.
  291. ^Vidmar 2005.
  292. ^Hazlett 1995.
  293. ^Slavin 1990, pp. 405–431.
  294. ^Haigh (1997, pp. 281–299) deals with Elton.
  295. ^ A.G. Dickens, John Tonkin, and Kenneth Powell, eds., The Reformation in historical thought (1985).
  296. ^ Richard Cust and Ann Hughes, eds., Conflict in early Stuart England: studies in religion and politics 1603–1642 (Routledge, 2014).
  297. ^Duffy 2006.

References Edit

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  • Smith, Herbert Maynard (1938). Pre-Reformation England. London: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN9781349004065 .
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  • Warnicke, Retha (1983). Women of the English Renaissance and Reformation. Praeger.
  • Aston, Margaret (1988). England's Iconoclasts: Volume I: Laws Against Images.
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  • Collinson, Patrick (1988). The Birthpangs of Protestant England: Religious and Cultural Change in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries. St. Martin's Press. ISBN978-0-312-02366-9 .
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  • Whiting, Robert (1998). Local responses to the English Reformation.
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Historiograpical Edit

  • Haigh, Christopher (December 1982). "The Recent Historiography of the English Reformation". Historical Journal. 25 (4): 995–1007. doi:10.1017/S0018246X00021385. JSTOR2638647.
  • Marshall, Peter (July 2009). "(Re)defining the English Reformation" (PDF) . Journal of British Studies. 48 (3): 564–86. doi:10.1086/600128. JSTOR27752571.
  • Walsham, Alexandra (December 2012). "History, Memory, and the English Reformation". Historical Journal. 55 (4): 899–938. doi: 10.1017/S0018246X12000362 .

Primary sources Edit

  • King, John N., ed. (2004). Voices of the English Reformation: A Sourcebook. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press. OCLC265599728.
  • The History of the Reformation of the Church of England by Gilbert Burnet (Oxford University Press, 1829): Volume I, Volume I, Part II, Volume II, Volume II, Part II, Volume IIIVolume 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, Vol. IV – links to primary sources. – links to primary sources.

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Causes of the Reformation

The Protestant Reformation was sparked off in 1517, by a German Augustinian monk, Martin Luther, when he pasted 95 theses on a church door in the university town of Wittenberg, inviting a debate. These theses were his concerns on the sale of indulgences prevalent at that time.

The Sale of Indulgences

It was a practice granted by Pope Leo X to raise money for the rebuilding of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. As per this practice, the church acknowledged a donation or any charitable deed with a paper (an indulgence) certifying that the soul would enter the gates of heaven quicker with a reduced time in purgatory.

Although Martin Luther had hoped for renewal from within the church, in 1521, he was summoned before the Holy Roman Emperor in the German city of Worms and asked to disavow his writings. When he refused, he was excommunicated.

Scripture Alone

After being excommunicated, Luther, along with other reformers, turned to the Bible as their only source of instruction.

The invention of the printing press, combined with the translation of the Bible into different languages, made it accessible to all the people who could read it. Earlier, the Bible was written only in Latin (ancient language of Rome) which was chiefly used only by the clergy. This gave people an opportunity to connect to God.

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When Luther and other reformers looked up the word in the Bible, they found that many of the practices and teachings of the Church didn’t match Christ’s teachings. This included many of the Sacraments, Attaining Salvation, Holy Communion (Eucharist).

As the hope of renewal from within the Roman church dwindled, the “protestants” were forced to separate from Roman Catholicism, resulting in the birth of Lutheran churches in Germany, Scandinavia, Scotland, and portions of France, the Reformed churches in Switzerland and the Netherlands, Presbyterian churches in Scotland, and the Anglican church in England, and many other current denominations.

King Henry VIII

The British Reformation was triggered by King Henry VIII, and his fixation to beget a male heir. He was refused permission by Pope Clement VI to annul his marriage to Catherine of Aragon, so he could marry Anne Boleyn. Henry’s desire for a divorce along with political gains of the members of his court were successful in diffusing the power of the Catholic church in England.

In 1534, King Henry VIII brought about “The Supreme Act” which declared the king and his successors as the Head of the Church of England.

The Reformation also facilitated the power-hungry rulers of Europe who were anxious to take the opportunity offered by it to diffuse the power of the Papal Office. Thus increasing their own supremacy as compared to the Church in Rome and other rulers. They also manipulated the movement in order to gain control of the valuable church property.

Medieval Period to Age of Exploration

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Columbian Exchange

(Key Concept 1.4 Europeans explored and settled overseas territories, encountering and interacting with indigenous populations)

This was the period of “Ages.” These include The Age of Enlightenment, the Industrial Age, and also importantly, the Age of Exploration. The Columbian Exchange played a massive role in the spread of European culture, goods, disease, and people across the globe. Named after…you guessed it, Christopher Columbus, this term refers specifically to the increased transportation of all of these things between the newly “discovered” Americas with Europe and Africa. For the AP® Euro exam, you’re going to want to remember that this process hugely changed both sides of the Atlantic. Take two instances. First, Europeans brought parasites and disease to the New World, like smallpox, which decimated the indigenous populations. Second, the slave trade pops up after exchange routes are established, completely altering labor and production in both Africa and the Americas. This process defines the Age of Exploration to the T, and hits


(Key Concept 1.4 Europeans explored and settled overseas territories, encountering and interacting with indigenous populations)

The Conquistadores of Spain and Portugal brought Western Europe face-to-face with the New World and beyond. During the Age of Exploration it was they who opened up Europe to what lay beyond the horizon. They opened trade routes and conquered natives, from which they got their name, and started colonies wherever they went. They essentially made Spain and Portugal into sea-faring empires during the Age of Exploration. Conquistadors also decimated the native populations of the New World through slavery and genocide, but mostly through the proliferation of diseases that were foreign to the New World. Diseases like smallpox and typhus spread from Europe to the rest of the world and killed millions of people. In fact, you could say that the Conquistadors jumpstarted the Age of Exploration from which stemmed the Colonial Era. But remember your AP® Euro history—not all empires were created equally. This was a very Spanish and Portuguese way of doing things. The conquistadors were the military and dominated in the name of religion and the monarchy. Domination was the central theme to this imperial vision, not quite the colonialization which the Dutch and British would excel at a few years down the line.

Council of Trent

(Key Concept 1.2 The struggle for sovereignty within and among states resulted in varying degrees of political centralization.)

The council was basically meeting was called together by Pope Paul III. The Council of Trent was one of the major movements of the Counter-Reformation which was a reaction of the Catholic Church to fight against the growth of the Protestant Reformation. The Council re-affirmed the teachings of the Catholic Church, clarified doctrine, and decried the heresy of Martin Luther. One of the main sticking points between the Catholic Church and the Protestants was the concept of transubstantiation. Catholics truly believed that the Eucharist was transformed in the body and blood of Christ and Protestants believed that it was a transformation of spirit. This council failed to bring the Protestants back into the fold of the Catholic Church and only exacerbated the growth of Protestantism in Europe. The Council of Trent was a defining moment for the Roman Catholic Church and the Protestant Reformation and the Protestant Reformation is something you must know for your exam. Distrust towards the Catholic not only lead to new forms of religion, but the spread of those religions during the Age of Exploration as many tried to flee persecution.

Defenestration of Prague

(Key Concept 1.3 Religious Pluralism challenged the concept of a unified Europe.)

The Defenestration of Prague may sound silly but it directly led to the Thirty Years’ War in Europe. A calm had recently settled over the land as the Holy Roman Empire came to the decision, cuius regio, eius religio, meaning that whoever owned the land decided what religion would be practiced there. The Kingdom of Bohemia, which was part of the Holy Roman Empire at the time, was ruled by the Habsburg Dynasty who was primarily Catholic. The Habsburgs however did not force Catholicism on their Protestant subjects. Then Ferdinand of Styria, a hardline Catholic, was elected King of Bohemia. He began taking away Protestant rights and dissolved primarily Protestant assemblies who objected to this infringement upon their rights. Ferdinand sent several of his Catholic lords to announce his intent at the Bohemian Chancellery and the lords, angry at their mistreatment, unceremoniously threw them out the window. This is so massively important because the thirty years after this incident the Holy Roman Empire would be embroiled in conflict that would eventually drag the rest of Europe into fighting as well. The fall of the Roman Empire allowed for the rise of other empires, like those of the English and Spanish which spread their visions of the world across the globe.

Diet of Worms

(Key Concept 1.2 The struggle for sovereignty within and among states resulted in varying degrees of political centralization.)

Basically, the Diet of Worms was a deliberative assembly called by Emperor Charles V of the Holy Roman Empire. He convened the diet in order to figure out what they would do with Martin Luther. Historically the Holy Roman Empire had been Catholic, granted their name from the pope himself. But most people remember the one in 1521 after Martin Luther’s writings had begun the Protestant Reformation and the subjects of the Holy Roman Empire found themselves questioning the reliability of papal interpretation of Scripture. Martin Luther was then summoned to Worms, Germany in order to either explain his perceived heresy or recant them and return power back to the Catholic Church. Martin Luther did none of these things and merely stated that he would not take back anything he said for he could not do so in good conscience and that in itself would be sacrilegious in God’s eyes. After he had finished speaking he simply said, “Here I stand, I can do no other.” Luther’s actions would further fan the flames of the Protestant Reformation and act as a sign of things to come. The College Board loves this kind of event for two reasons. First, the diet was a kind of institutional power, very specific to the Roman Empire—but that power was fading and in transition. Second, it showed that the western world was looking for alternatives to the Catholic Church. Religious and state authorities were clashing in historically significant ways, sparking the Protestant Reformation.

Edict of Nantes

(Key Concept 1.3 Religious pluralism challenged the concept of a unified Europe.)

The French Wars of Religion had torn France apart for decades and left it wracked by disunity. On one side of battle were the Huguenots, Calvinist Protestants living in France, and on the other side were the Catholics, the majority religion at the time. Henry IV saw the damage done to his country by the French Wars of Religion and tried to broker a peace between both belligerents. This came in the form of the Edict of Nantes. The Edict made clear that French Huguenots were no longer to be treated as second-class citizens or heretics. They were to have the same rights as Catholics and tolerated as a separate religion from the majority. The Edict freed France from the wars that had ravaged it for the second half of the 16 th century and eventually allow for the growth of secularism in later periods. Once again, this is the era of religious reformation and the College Board knows this. This edict serves as another example of religious disunity under an absolutist monarchy it also shows how a social/religious group like the Huguenots fought for a place in the French monarchical system.


(Key Concept 2.1 Different models of political sovereignty affected the relationship among states and between states and individuals.)

When you think of Feudalism you probably think of knights and the middle ages, but it goes so much further than that. Feudalism was a means of social order during the turmoil and uncertainty of the middle ages. It was an institution that affected the political, cultural, and military spheres. Within feudalism serfs, lords, and kings were bound to each other. Lords owned the land and serfs were bound to them, they were to raise crops and provide food and goods for the lord who would in turn protect them from harm. The lords owed allegiance to the king and the king was in charge of marshaling the army in times of war and providing justice. Feudalism was the primary form of society for centuries. And because AP® Euro history is a fan of connectivity and transition: the feudal system declined due to a variety of complex reasons. One, economics were shifting as exploration led to commercial contacts, the religious authority of the pope was being challenged, and peasants began revolting for personal and social rights.

Little Ice Age

(Key Concept 1.5 European society and the experiences of everyday life were increasingly shaped by commercial and agricultural capitalism, notwithstanding the persistence of medieval social and economic structures.)

Believe it or not, but it’s not just the history of humans that change over time. Weather patterns shift in large and small ways as well, ultimately affecting human history. The Little Ice Age refers to the cooling off of general temperatures in Europe from 127 -1455 and also 1770-1850. The fact that there was a cooling off period between these two sets of years is in itself not important for any Learning Objective for the AP® Euro course, but you are going to want to remember the repercussions. Because of the shifting weather crops died off, leading to severe famines in 1315-1375 and throughout the late 17 th century. The cold, the lack of food, and shifting ice patterns all affected European history. People started having less children because they couldn’t feed them, nutrition went down, bread riots occurred, and communities became isolated.


(Key Concept 1.4 Europeans explored and settled overseas territories, encountering and interacting with indigenous populations)

The dominant economic theory in Europe during the period lasting from the 16 th to the 18 th century was known as Mercantilism. The key requirements of mercantilism came from a nation’s drive to establish colonies quickly and efficiently, anything the colony produced was to be shipped and sold only in the home country, all efforts must be made for a nation’s exports to be greater than its imports, and all gold and silver that the nation encounters must be hoarded and kept within the domestic money supply. This policy was the framework of the English, Spanish, and French when forming colonies in the New World. It’s important to note here that this was an extremely profitable system, helping to push Europe out of the Middle Ages and into the dominant region of world affairs. It’s also the predecessor to capitalism, which is a topic too huge to not remember.

The Ninety-Five Theses

(Key Concept 1.2 The struggle for sovereignty within and among states resulted in varying degrees of political centralization.)

That’s probably how many thesis statements you’ve written for your AP® European History class thus far, huh? Anyways, this is Martin Luther’s (not Martin Luther King, Jr.) famous arguments against the Catholic Church that helped to spark the Protestant Revolution. In 1517, Luther published this tract in what is now Germany, listing a series of complaints about the abuses of Catholic power, including the use of indulgences, the intimacy between the Church and state, and corruption that was taking place across Europe. It’s important to remember that without Gutenberg’s printing press, this may not have been that big of a deal, but because printing made the document much easier to spread, it caught on across Europe, which was growing tired of the Catholic Church.

Peace of Westphalia

(Key Concept 1.3 Religious pluralism challenged the concept of a unified Europe.)

Through the Peace of Westphalia the Thirty Years’ War in the Holy Roman Empire was brought to an end and Spain could no longer deny the authority and freedom of the Dutch Republic. The Peace of Westphalia fundamentally changed Europe in that it forced the acceptance of the Protestant Reformation. The Catholic Church would no longer be able to bully Catholic monarchs to interfere in the domain of Protestant rulers and effectively allowed religious freedom and tolerance for all Europeans. It also forever changed the power dynamics of Europe. Formerly might made right but with the Peace of Westphalia balance was maintained in Europe through a complicated set of alliances, if one nation went to war it brought the strength of its entire alliance to bear. This shift in power led to growth of nationalism in Europe as nations solidified and contributed to the impending First World War. Just seeing the word “nationalism” should sound off your AP® Euro alarms. This is need-to-know subject, so this event in European history is essential.

Spanish Inquisition

(Key Concept 1.3 Religious pluralism challenged the concept of a unified Europe.)

Did you know that the Spanish Inquisition was actually only one of several? Inquisitions were set up in order to enforce orthodoxy of Catholic subjects. The Spanish one began in 1478 by the Spanish monarchy in order to take a certain amount of control away from the papacy. It consisted of a Grand Inquisitor (the most famous being Torquemada) who headed a council that was meant to guarantee that Catholic practices were being done by all subjects, including newly converted Jews and Muslims. The entire process led to mass censorship, the expulsion of Jews, and trials of heresy across Spanish territories. But remember, this is about the enforcement of religious and political authority at a time when religious pluralism did exist.

The English Reformation: AP Euro Bit by Bit #16 - History

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1. King Alfred the Great - The Reformer King

King Alfred of Wessex (849-901) lived through tumultuous times and, in his 30 years reign, he personally commanded in 54 pitched battles against the invading Danish Vikings. King Alfred began the process of converting the blood-thirsty Viking invaders to Christianity. Alfred was both a great soldier and scholar, a law-maker, educator, author and Reformer. Alfred was a dedicated Christian, the first to translate the Gospels, and other parts of the Bible, into English. He donated half of his personal income to Church schools and founded numerous schools. He was recognised as the Father of the English Navy and he gave England a stable system of laws based upon God's Law. King Alfred's Dooms (The Common Law) began with The 10 Commandments, the Laws of Moses, the Golden Rule of Christ, and other Biblical principles from the Sermon on the Mount. No other sovereign did more in battle, in establishing law, promoting the education of his people and bringing his enemies to Christ.

2. John Wycliffe - The Morning Star of the Reformation

When Oxford was the greatest university in the world, Professor John Wycliffe (1320-1384) was its leading Theologian and Philosopher. Although he did not have access to a Greek New Testament, John Wycliffe translated the New Testament from Latin into English. Wycliffe taught that all authority is delegated by God and is limited. Corruption disqualifies leaders. Leaders are called to servant-leadership and sacrifice. Christ alone is the Head of the Church. God's Law is supreme. Scripture alone is our authority. He mobilised the Lollards, the field workers of the Reformation, as itinerant Evangelists, to proclaim the Word of God in the marketplaces and teach the Scriptures throughout England. Wycliffe and his Lollards helped prepare the way for the Reformation in England and Bohemia, where his writings inspired Jan Hus.

3. Jan Hus - Professor of Prague University

When Anne of Bohemia married King Richard II of England, she sent copies of Professor Wycliffe's writings back to Prague. Inspired by Wycliffe's teachings, Professor Jan Hus (1372-1415) boldly confronted corruption and superstitions, and taught the Scriptures in Prague University. As a result the papacy ex-communicated Hus and condemned him and his writings to be burned. Hus declared: "I would not, for a chapel full of gold, recede from the Truth. the Truth stands and is mighty forever in the Truth of the Gospel I have written, taught and preached, today I will gladly die." As Hus was being burned, he proclaimed: "My goose is cooked!" (Hus is the Bohemian word for goose). "But 100 years from now a swan will arise, whose voice you will not be able to silence."

4. Martin Luther - Captive to the Word of God

Professor Martin Luther (1483-1546) of the University of Wittenberg, was a brilliant Lawyer and Doctor of Theology. Luther was the author of 400 titles, over 60,000 pages of original work. His bold stand, 31 October 1517, nailing The 95 Theses to the church door, launched the Great Reformation. On 18 April 1521, Martin Luther stood firm before the emperor of the Holy Roman Empire and the assembled princes, bishops and archbishops, who were intimidating him to recant his writings. Luther's courageous response: "Unless I am convinced by Scripture, or by clear reasoning, that I am in error for popes and councils have often erred and contradicted themselves I cannot recant, for I am subject to the Scriptures I have quoted my conscience is captive to the Word of God. It is unsafe and dangerous to do anything against ones conscience. Here I stand. I cannot do otherwise. So help me God. Amen!" Luther inspired freedom of conscience, freedom of thought, freedom of religion, freedom of opinion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and Scripture alone as our ultimate authority. Luther smashed the chains of superstition and tyranny and restored Christian liberty to worship God in spirit and in truth.

5. Ulrich Zwingli - The Reformer of Zurich

Ulrich Zwingli (1484-1531) was the Father of the Reformation in Switzerland. On 1 January 1519, he introduced expository preaching. Dispensing with Latin and the mass, he began expounding the Gospel of Matthew, line by line, verse by verse. His Biblical preaching transformed Zurich and later Switzerland. Zwingli preached in the marketplaces and reformed education. As he lay dying at the Battle of Kappel, he declared: "They can kill the body, but they cannot kill the soul."

6. William Tyndale - The Most Influential Englishman

A brilliant linguist and graduate of both Oxford and Cambridge Universities, William Tyndale (1494-1536) is the Father of the English Bible. He produced the first translation from the original Hebrew and Greek Scriptures to be printed in English. As this was illegal at the time, he did his translation work in Germany and these Bibles had to be smuggled into England. As a result, Tyndale was outlawed and condemned to death. On 6 October 1538, he was burned at the stake. His dying prayer: "Lord, open the King of England's eyes", was remarkably answered. Within two years, by order of King Henry VIII, every parish church in England was required to make a copy of the English Bible available to all its parishioners.

7. John Calvin - A Heart Aflame and A Mind Renewed

The exiled French Reformer, John Calvin (1509-1564), became the most influential man of his age and his teachings have proven to be some of the most foundational in the shaping of the Protestant world. Calvin's ideals of religious toleration, representative government, separation of powers, constitutionalising the monarchy, checks and balances, establishing the rights and liberties of citizens and a Christian work ethic, led to the industrial and scientific revolutions, developing the most productive and prosperous societies in history. Calvin's emphasis on the Sovereignty of God and the Lordship of Christ in all areas of life, inspired social reformers who transformed nations. His 1,000 page, Institutes of the Christian Religion, stands as a systematic masterpiece, one of the greatest Christian books in all of history. His motto was "Promptly and sincerely in the service of My God." John Knox described Geneva under John Calvin, as "The most perfect school of Christ since the Apostles."

8. John Knox - The Reformer of Scotland

Mary, Queen of Scotts, declared: "I am more afraid of the prayers of John Knox than of an army of 10,000!" John Knox's prayer: "Give me Scotland, or I die!" was answered in his own lifetime. John Knox (1514-1572) transformed Scotland from a country with 4% church attendance to one with 96% church attendance, one of the most Reformed nations in the world, and the sending base for such influential Missionaries, as Robert Morrison, David Livingstone and Mary Slessor.

9. William Carey - The Reformer of India

The Father of Modern Missions, William Carey (1761-1834), translated the Bible and New Testament into 35 languages, established 100 schools, the first Christian College in Asia, campaigned successfully for the abolition of suttee, the burning of widows on the funeral pyres of their husbands, the burning of lepers and infanticide. Carey introduced lending libraries, savings banks, forestry conservation, ministering to body, mind and spirit, transforming India through his compassionate social action, Bible teaching and tireless labours, for 41 years in the field.

10. William Wilberforce - Setting the Captives Free

Member of Parliament, William Wilberforce (1759-1833) wrote that God Almighty had set before him: "Two great objectives: the suppression of the slave trade and the Reformation of society" Wilberforce successfully mobilised Reformation Societies, which enlisted the signatures of over one million English people for a petition to set every slave free. He campaigned to mobilise the Royal Navy to intercept slave vessels and set captives free, the establishing of Sierra Leone for freed slaves. He was also a Founder of the British and Foreign Bible Society and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. When William Wilberforce entered parliament, he was one of only two born-again Christians in Westminster. By his death, there was over 100 Evangelicals in parliament, in England.

"Proclaim liberty throughout the land" Leviticus 25:10

'The Contending Kingdoms': England and France 1420-1700

Glenn Richardson’s latest contribution to early modern Anglo-French relations comes in the form of this edited volume covering nearly three centuries of contact between England and France from 1420 to 1700. The Contending Kingdoms is essentially the proceedings of a Society for Court Studies conference which took place in London in November 2004. The conference, and indeed this book, marked the centenary of the entente-cordiale signed by Britain and France in 1904. The contributors, based mainly in England and France, reflect on a century’s worth of Anglo-French historical research. Framed between two treaties (Troyes and the Spanish Partition Treaties), the underlying hypothesis is that, despite bouts of conflict, England and France enjoyed significant periods of peace and cooperation which cultivated great cultural, political and mercantile interaction. There was, however, an almost sibling-like relationship between England and France: shaped by petty squabbles, violent episodes and competition mirrored in the rhetoric of Francis I and Henry VIII. There are three obvious themes within the book: comparison, cooperation and ecclesiastical involvement in government.

The treaty of Troyes, signed in the aftermath of Agincourt on 21 May 1420, effectively created a ‘dual monarchy’, bestowing the title ‘King of England and France’ on Henry V and his successors in perpetuity. Anne Curry’s contribution, ‘Two Kingdoms, One King: The Treaty of Troyes (1420) and the Creation of a Double Monarchy of England and France’, stresses the diplomatic brilliance of the treaty as it was ‘skilfully worded to fudge the past’ avoiding Henry’s ‘existing claim to the throne’ (pp. 26–30). Curry suggests that in fact Henry’s son, Henry VI, was the first and only ‘dual’ monarch. Significantly, the treaty, in creating a ‘union of two crowns’ rather than a union of two countries, called for an end to all ‘dissensions, hatreds, rancours, and conflict between the two kingdoms and their people’: an entente-cordiale of its own (p. 40).

We soon encounter the comparative themes within the book. Robert Knecht, in his ‘The French and English Nobilities in the Sixteenth Century: A Comparison’, provides an overview of noble membership on both sides of the Narrow Sea. Knecht notes the shared Anglo-French heritage of the feudal, Christian nations during the Middle Ages, not to mention the overlapping spheres of authority in western France due to English continental expansion as discussed by Curry. While the two nations shared aspects of common heritage, they branched out over time resulting in three primary areas of difference: ‘size and structure, wealth and power’ (p. 65). While he makes light work of the issue of the definition of nobility, Knecht’s treatment of the nobility on either side of the Channel does appear to place disproportionate emphasis on the French élite. Moreover, once we approach the issue of gentry definition, Knecht seems to sidestep the problem, approaching the issue from a quantitative rather than qualitative approach. Perhaps Knecht could have consulted Peter Coss’s excellent definition in his The Origins of the English Gentry as a point of reference.(1)

From the outset, in her treatment of Elizabeth I and Catherine de’ Medici, Susan Doran defends her choice of subject: a comparison between two contemporaneous powerful women. Principally, the criticism stems from Catherine de’ Medici being neither French nor queen regent of France while Elizabeth was an English queen. However, Doran justifies her decision suitably, stressing the significance of Catherine’s influence as la reine mere although, as we discover, their relationship was by no means equal. Indeed, Doran presents Catherine as a mother-in-law figure to Elizabeth. There were clear differences in personality, notably religion, education and style. Despite the apparent personality clash, the achievement of this chapter is Doran’s ability to piece together the women’s shared characteristics. Doran notes that politically both put ‘short-term benefits before long-term considerations’ and recognised the importance of religious toleration. Doran also suggests that both held a similar stance on Mary Queen of Scots, for Elizabeth feared the threat she posed to her crown while Catherine was wary of her Guise connections. Thus, they were able to cooperate with each other towards respective domestic security. As for marriage, Doran revises the traditional view that Elizabeth was pursued by the French suggesting that Elizabeth was equally proactive in negotiations (p. 130). Instead, Doran argues that Anglo-French marriage overtures failed simply due to irreconcilable religious incompatibility.

The editor’s own contribution, ‘The French Connection: Francis I and England’s Break with Rome’, explores the cooperative role of Francis I in Henry’s diplomatic efforts to secure his divorce. Richardson provides a sense of the mutual frustration experienced by both England and France during the late 1520s and early 1530s. Richardson argues that following the rise of the Boleyn faction at court and Francis’s apparent support for Henry’s case, by March 1531 challenging the legal rather than spiritual papal jurisdiction became the focus of French diplomatic activities with England. Richardson suggests that Henry interpreted Francis’s verbal assurance as an outright endorsement of his divorce campaign. Here we reach the crux of Richardson’s argument: that by 1532, Henry and his chief minister Thomas Cromwell did not act in isolation in their manoeuvres against the papacy. Rather, while making their own legislation, Francis provided the support and encouragement which ‘steeled Henry’s nerves’ in return for Henry’s assurances of military assistance (p. 102). Yet, Richardson also convincingly portrays a real sense of panic in Henry’s own mind. In this chapter, Richardson not only turns the traditional view of the English Reformation as a ‘quintessentially English phenomenon’ on its head, he in fact convincingly pushes back the limits of Anglo-French cooperation over Henry’s ‘Great Matter’ by some three years, suggesting the lines of diplomatic communication remained open until late 1534, rather than late 1531 (p. 113).

Charles Giry-Deloison’s, ‘France and England at Peace, 1475–1513’, stresses that despite the seemingly constant warfare between England and France, with the exception of October-November 1492, the nations experienced peace lasting 38 years, from the Treaty of Picquigny (29 August 1475) to Henry VIII’s first military campaign of 1513 which stimulated Anglo-French mercantile and cultural interaction. This chapter is split in three distinct sections of Anglo-French interaction: trade, war and culture. The latter focuses in particular on the use of political tracts in the ‘formation of public opinion’, introducing the plausible concept of battles being fought ‘in print’ (p. 50–4). Giry-Deloison cites Picquigny as a turning poing in Anglo-French relations as it allowed both sides to deal with domestic stability and for trade and cultural exchange to flourish, although this was essentially a one way flow from France to England. To sum up, trade benefitted France while cultural exchange benefitted England. Giry-Deloison makes the point that France acted as a ‘facilitator’ of Italian art from the continent to England. However, England’s retreat from French territory from c.1400–50 resulted in a decline in Anglo-French cultural exchange. However, Giry-Deloison’s list of printers active in France and England may have worked better as an appendix rather than being part of the body of the text as it acts as a distraction from the discussion about the impact of cultural interaction. Additionally, throughout the volume, with the exception of the introduction, the authors have segmented their work through the use of bold subtitles. However, this chapter employs the use of mid-page asterisks which creates a break in continuity. Perhaps a revised edition of the work might take this into account.

There is also a visible contradiction. Richardson is keen to make the point early on that ‘rather than being unremittingly hostile … early modern Anglo-French relations are perhaps better described as ambivalent in the true sense of the word’ (p. 1). Yet, the cover displays a detail of the Battle of the Spurs (16 August 1513), in which a combined English and Imperial army routed the French forces forcing a humiliating and devastating defeat. While the Battle of the Spurs is mentioned in Giry-Deloison’s chapter as marking the end of a culturally and economically lucrative period in Anglo-French relations, perhaps Holbein’s ‘The Ambassadors’ might have been a more suitable alternative for two main reasons. First, the painting is featured in Richardson’s own chapter and, second, it neatly encapsulates most of the book’s themes of political and cultural communication.

David Onnekink’s chapter, ‘Anglo-French Negotiations on the Spanish Partition Treaties (1698–1700): A Re-evaluation’, aims is to put Anglo-French relations into a wider European perspective. Onnekink offers a ‘third perspective’: rather than the failure of negotiations around the partition treaties stemming from either animosity or even misunderstanding between William III and Louis XIV, Onnekink suggests that both parties genuinely intended to create a settlement. However, neither party was able to uphold the treaty due to shifting circumstances and allegiances. This assessment comes from an assessment of William III's later years: a much understudied area. The focus of the chapter is the earl of Portland's embassy to France which Onnekink notes was one of the 'grandest' of the 17th century, costing some £48,000. Onnekink’s central hypothesis is that William and Louis's relationship was not one of animosity but of 'shrewd and cynical calculation' (p. 170). The Second Partition Treaty was the product of a breakdown in William III's foreign policy through weakening British military strength. Consequently, the treaty, signed in March 1700, was very much favourable towards the Archduke Charles and the dauphin. Onnekink suggests that British ‘weakness’ was ultimately the cause of the European conflict. Onnekink concludes by suggesting that, in contrast to the historiography, Louis XIV accepted the will of Carlos II because he felt that neither Britain nor the United Provinces in 1700 was able to uphold the treaty or an alliance of this kind.

Geoffrey Elton may have approved of Cedric Michon’s contribution, with its treatment of personalities as political forces. In his ‘Pomp and Circumstances: State Prelates under Francis I and Henry VIII’, Michon provides a useful assessment of the function of ecclesiastics within government, introducing the idea that state prelates were the ‘third pillar’ of government. As for similarities, Michon suggests that Anglo-French prelates were comparable in size, number and wealth. However, when calculating the comparative numbers of prelates and their wealth, Michon does not always show his working out. The purpose of the chapter seems to be to highlight the dissimilarity between the ‘third pillar’ in England and France. The point, claims Michon, is that while the French prelates were of noble birth, their English counterparts were forced to climb the greasy pole. Indeed, Michon suggests the French prelates were able to exploit their familial contacts while the English ecclesiastics used their university contacts – the ‘Cambridge Connection’ – as a kind of extended family: perhaps taking alma mater too literally. Michon suggests these class boundaries prevented the English prelates from integrating into court society and, in a way, created a lucid distinction between the various ‘pillars’ of state. However, the chapter seems unevenly balanced, providing an initial comparison and then propounding his ‘Cambridge Connection’ theory at length. Moreover, the ‘Cambridge Connection’ is not entirely convincing as it only seems to apply to a brief period before the ‘laicisation’ of government. It is indeed unsurprising that Old Boys would recommend their fellow graduates to lofty positions. It seems to some extent inevitable that the pool of ecclesiastics graduating from their theological and civil education would encounter each other in court circles.

While England experienced some continental influence during the early 15th century, by the mid 17th century England had become only peripherally significant politically and militarily. As Loïc Bienassis writes, the common historical perspective is that by the time of the Thirty Years War, Britain held a ‘secondary place’ in international politics. The purpose of Bienassis’s contribution, ‘Richelieu and Britain (1634–1642)’, is to revise this view by stressing the importance of British neutrality during the conflict. After establishing Richelieu’s ‘firm policy towards Spain’, Bienassis provides an outline of relations between England, France and Spain in the early to mid 17th century. Bienassis neatly covers James I’s failed Anglo-Spanish enterprise, attempts at Anglo-French cordiality through Charles I’s marriage to Henrietta Maria, the disaster at La Rochelle and the subsequent peace agreements with France in 1629 and Spain in 1630. The fallout of this was Britain’s poor standing as a potential ally on the international stage and particularly with Richelieu. After the treaty of The Hague (1635), however, France began to look for support from Britain in the form of a defensive alliance. Richelieu’s approach towards Britain became focused on destroying potential Anglo-Spanish relations and bringing England under French influence. Chiefly, as noted by Bienassis, Britain was an attractive potential ally as she could muster a vast naval fleet and call on ‘a wealth of manpower’ (p. 141). This interest in Britain resulted in a proposed alliance treaty in June 1637 which would have procured British military support for France, effectively drawing Britain into the Franco-United Province bloc. However, the treaty was never signed due to ‘deep-rooted distrust’ and, once again, Britain turned to Spain as an ally. At this critical time, Charles was distracted by the Bishops’ Wars in Scotland. In direct contrast to Samuel R. Gardiner’s view, Bienassis remains convinced that Richelieu was indeed involved in fanning the flames of the Bishops’ Wars by secretly mustering Scottish troops.(2) Indeed, as Bienassis puts it, ‘what better means of neutralizing Britain … than to have her engulfed in a civil war?’ (p. 145). While this idea may not be completely new, Bienassis makes a compelling argument. Perhaps some consideration of Charles I's wider domestic agenda may have provided a more complete survey of Anglo-French relations.(3) This chapter provides an important re-evaluation of the British role in the Thirty Years War and, importantly, the author’s revisionist sentiments climax in a call for other ‘peripheral’ powers to be studied to understand the conflict in a wider European context.

In ‘A Stranger Born’: Female Usage of International Networks in Times of War’, rather than examining diplomatic relations as such, Sonja Kmec focuses on Anglo-French relations in a more literal sense. Indeed, Kmec examines the marriage between the French Protestant Charlotte de La Trémoïlle and her English husband James Stanley, Lord Derby. Kmec discusses the creation of alternative networks based on religion and kinship in order to ease her transition to life as an English wife with the use of some very rich sources covering some 40 years. The de La Trémoïlle family were not so much concerned with the Stanley family’s manxian assets but rather the possibility of creating links with Henrietta Maria. Indeed, Charlotte’s Protestantism itself was an asset at court: her religion could offset Henrietta Maria’s growing public image as an overbearing queen actively involved in dictating English religious policy. As Kmec points out, it is of significance that she never turned to France for fear of appearing a papal sympathiser. However, the chapter’s title is slightly misleading. The point is that Charlotte de La Trémoïlle was able to use both her own and her husband’s familial connections to integrate into English political society throughout the period in question which was most beneficial during times of war. It was not used exclusively for that end as the title suggests. Indeed, the chapter’s success is that it covers a number of issues associated with repatriation, if that’s not too anachronistic a word.

Gestures and tensions have continued to characterise Anglo-French relations even since the centenary of the entente cordiale. Indeed, in the time that has passed since 2004, we have witnessed a much publicised state visit to Britain by President Sarkozy in which talk of a renewed entente came to the fore. More recently, however, we have seen the underlying tensions between the nations in the wake of the alleged royal ‘snub’ by Sarkozy in his apparent failure to invite Queen Elizabeth II to Normandy to commemorate the 65th anniversary of the allied landings in 1944. Taken together, this collection of essays provides an important reassessment of Anglo-French relations very much in keeping with Richardson’s recent tendency towards moderate revisionism. What remains to be seen is whether The Contending Kingdoms continue to cause mutual ‘irritation and fascination’ (p. 1) in the century to come.


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Reformation, also called Protestant Reformation, the religious revolution that took place in the Western church in the 16th century. Its greatest leaders undoubtedly were Martin Luther and John Calvin. Having far-reaching political, economic, and social effects, the Reformation became the basis for the founding of Protestantism, one of the three major branches of Christianity.

Where and when did the Reformation start?

The Reformation is said to have begun when Martin Luther posted his Ninety-five Theses on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany, on October 31, 1517.

What did the Reformation do?

The Reformation became the basis for the founding of Protestantism, one of the three major branches of Christianity. The Reformation led to the reformulation of certain basic tenets of Christian belief and resulted in the division of Western Christendom between Roman Catholicism and the new Protestant traditions. The spread of Protestantism in areas that had previously been Roman Catholic had far-reaching political, economic, and social effects.

Who were some of the key figures of the Reformation?

The greatest leaders of the Reformation undoubtedly were Martin Luther and John Calvin. Martin Luther precipitated the Reformation with his critiques of both the practices and the theology of the Roman Catholic Church. John Calvin was the most important figure in the second generation of the Reformation, and his interpretation of Christianity, known as Calvinism, deeply influenced many areas of Protestant thought. Other figures included Pope Leo X, who excommunicated Luther the Holy Roman emperor Charles V, who essentially declared war on Protestantism Henry VIII, king of England, who presided over the establishment of an independent Church of England and Huldrych Zwingli, a Swiss reformer.

The world of the late medieval Roman Catholic Church from which the 16th-century reformers emerged was a complex one. Over the centuries the church, particularly in the office of the papacy, had become deeply involved in the political life of western Europe. The resulting intrigues and political manipulations, combined with the church’s increasing power and wealth, contributed to the bankrupting of the church as a spiritual force. Abuses such as the sale of indulgences (or spiritual privileges) by the clergy and other charges of corruption undermined the church’s spiritual authority. These instances must be seen as exceptions, however, no matter how much they were played up by polemicists. For most people, the church continued to offer spiritual comfort. There is some evidence of anticlericalism, but the church at large enjoyed loyalty as it had before. One development is clear: the political authorities increasingly sought to curtail the public role of the church and thereby triggered tension.

The Reformation of the 16th century was not unprecedented. Reformers within the medieval church such as St. Francis of Assisi, Valdes (founder of the Waldensians), Jan Hus, and John Wycliffe addressed aspects in the life of the church in the centuries before 1517. In the 16th century Erasmus of Rotterdam, a great humanist scholar, was the chief proponent of liberal Catholic reform that attacked popular superstitions in the church and urged the imitation of Christ as the supreme moral teacher. These figures reveal an ongoing concern for renewal within the church in the years before Luther is said to have posted his Ninety-five Theses on the door of the Castle Church, Wittenberg, Germany, on October 31, 1517, the eve of All Saints’ Day—the traditional date for the beginning of the Reformation. (See Researcher’s Note.)

Martin Luther claimed that what distinguished him from previous reformers was that while they attacked corruption in the life of the church, he went to the theological root of the problem—the perversion of the church’s doctrine of redemption and grace. Luther, a pastor and professor at the University of Wittenberg, deplored the entanglement of God’s free gift of grace in a complex system of indulgences and good works. In his Ninety-five Theses, he attacked the indulgence system, insisting that the pope had no authority over purgatory and that the doctrine of the merits of the saints had no foundation in the gospel. Here lay the key to Luther’s concerns for the ethical and theological reform of the church: Scripture alone is authoritative (sola scriptura) and justification is by faith (sola fide), not by works. While he did not intend to break with the Catholic church, a confrontation with the papacy was not long in coming. In 1521 Luther was excommunicated what began as an internal reform movement had become a fracture in western Christendom.

The Reformation movement within Germany diversified almost immediately, and other reform impulses arose independently of Luther. Huldrych Zwingli built a Christian theocracy in Zürich in which church and state joined for the service of God. Zwingli agreed with Luther in the centrality of the doctrine of justification by faith, but he espoused a different understanding of the Holy Communion. Luther had rejected the Catholic church’s doctrine of transubstantiation, according to which the bread and wine in Holy Communion became the actual body and blood of Christ. According to Luther’s notion, the body of Christ was physically present in the elements because Christ is present everywhere, while Zwingli claimed that entailed a spiritual presence of Christ and a declaration of faith by the recipients.

Another group of reformers, often though not altogether correctly referred to as “radical reformers,” insisted that baptism be performed not on infants but on adults who had professed their faith in Jesus. Called Anabaptists, they remained a marginal phenomenon in the 16th century but survived—despite fierce persecution—as Mennonites and Hutterites into the 21st century. Opponents of the ancient Trinitarian dogma made their appearance as well. Known as Socinians, after the name of their founder, they established flourishing congregations, especially in Poland.

Another important form of Protestantism (as those protesting against their suppressions were designated by the Diet of Speyer in 1529) is Calvinism, named for John Calvin, a French lawyer who fled France after his conversion to the Protestant cause. In Basel, Switzerland, Calvin brought out the first edition of his Institutes of the Christian Religion in 1536, the first systematic, theological treatise of the new reform movement. Calvin agreed with Luther’s teaching on justification by faith. However, he found a more positive place for law within the Christian community than did Luther. In Geneva, Calvin was able to experiment with his ideal of a disciplined community of the elect. Calvin also stressed the doctrine of predestination and interpreted Holy Communion as a spiritual partaking of the body and blood of Christ. Calvin’s tradition merged eventually with Zwingli’s into the Reformed tradition, which was given theological expression by the (second) Helvetic Confession of 1561.

The Reformation spread to other European countries over the course of the 16th century. By mid century, Lutheranism dominated northern Europe. Eastern Europe offered a seedbed for even more radical varieties of Protestantism, because kings were weak, nobles strong, and cities few, and because religious pluralism had long existed. Spain and Italy were to be the great centres of the Catholic Counter-Reformation, and Protestantism never gained a strong foothold there.

In England the Reformation’s roots were both political and religious. Henry VIII, incensed by Pope Clement VII’s refusal to grant him an annulment of his marriage, repudiated papal authority and in 1534 established the Anglican church with the king as the supreme head. In spite of its political implications, the reorganization of the church permitted the beginning of religious change in England, which included the preparation of a liturgy in English, the Book of Common Prayer. In Scotland, John Knox, who spent time in Geneva and was greatly influenced by John Calvin, led the establishment of Presbyterianism, which made possible the eventual union of Scotland with England. For further treatment of the Reformation, see Protestantism, history of. For a discussion of the religious doctrine, see Protestantism.

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