Tudor Religious Reformation-Significant Acts

Henry VIII

Edward VI

Mary I

Elizabeth I

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Tudor Religious Reform Revision Notes:
Henry VIII-Significant Religious Reforms:
Henry VIII is mainly remembered as the English monarch who broke
with the Roman Catholic Church. However, Henry had only ever
been attracted to the Protestant doctrine in a limited way.
Between 1530-1534 Henry tried to get the Pope's permission for
his divorce to Catherine of Aragon for a number of reasons:
1. He desperately needed a male heir in order to secure his
position and the Tudor succession
2. He had fallen in love with Anne Boleyn, who was much
younger and more able to bear children than Catherine of
3. He felt as if his marriage to Catherine went against God and
that the Pope had made a mistake of marrying them in the
first place. This belief came after Henry read a passage from
the Old Testament of the Bible that that a man should not
marry his brother's wife, and Catherine of Aragon had
previously been married to Henry's brother. This made Henry
believe that the reason that their marriage had produced so
many still births and the only surviving children were girls
was that their marriage was cursed.
4. Henry had also been encouraged by the Protestant
reformers such as the Lollards
Henry broke with Rome through the Act of Royal Supremacy that
was introduced in 1534 which stated that the crown was
reclaiming powers that they already possessed, that the Pope had
usurped during the previous 400 years. However, by the end of
1534, the Church of England was still recognisably Catholic as the
doctrine hadn't changed at all.
The Real reforms of the doctrine started with the Dissolution of
the monasteries, which was completed in the four years between
1536-40. The reasons for this were not purely for getting rid of
Catholicism, rather because:
1. Henry feared that they could have been used as centres for
Roman Catholic opposition and therefore he believed that
they posed a serious threat to his security.
2. Henry could double his annual income and this would assist
with his want to be remembered as a great king
3. He would also gain lots of ex-monastic land which he could
use to Bribe the Nobles and Gentry into supporting him if he
were to need it
4. Monasteries were also supposedly houses of sin according
to the checks that teams led by Cromwell, although this
was probably highly exaggerated as Cromwell was keen to
see further reforms

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This act did have a large contribution of getting rid of Catholicism
as monasteries were very large Catholic institutions where
prayers for the dead were said (Catholic belief) and also that
provided medical care, education and places to stay. Once the
monasteries had been dissolved, it would be very difficult for them
to be restored.
The Act of 10 Articles was the next major religious reform that
Henry introduced. This act was introduced to set the churches
new faith.…read more

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Clerical marriage, which had crept in, was condemned
and vows of chastity were now held to be unbreakable. The Act of
Six Articles seemed to limit any further reform and instead, undo
all of Henry's recent religious reforms and policies.
Also under this act heresy became a crime. This was a clear sign
that Henry would no longer tolerate people with radical religious
views. Protestants were punished for violating the six articles,
and papists were punished for denying the Royal supremacy.…read more

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Also in 1549, the first Book of Common Prayer was introduced
which began to introduce Protestant ideas into the church of
England but it was more of a compromise between the two
1552-The Second Book of Common Prayer was introduced. This
included the following:
Altars were abolished and replaced by simple tables
Priests were not to wear elaborate vestments
The Mass was abolished and replaced with Holy
Communion-the difference being that the bread and wine
now only represented Christ, rather than actually becoming
Christ.…read more

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However, this was actually not the case. The senior nobility were
divided over many religious issues; however they all were united
about the Royal Supremacy. This is because the break from Rome
and the establishment of monarchical power as being supreme in
England was, by this point, an accepted way of life. Mary's plan to
restore Papal authority in England was bound to be highly
controversial, so much so that even Pope Julius III urged Mary to
be careful.…read more

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November 1554-Pole arrived back in England. This was significant
as he had remained in the safety of Catholic Europe while the
initial reforms occurred. Therefore, it is assumed that he must
have felt that it was safe to return to England as the Papal
Also in this month, Parliament passed the Second Statute of
Repeal. This got rid of Royal Supremacy and Restored Papal
authority. It also removed all of the religious reforms that
parliament had passed between 1529 and 1547.…read more

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Elizabeth I-Significant Religious Changes:
Elizabeth was a hugely popular Queen, and she is still remembered
a great Queen. Elizabeth was the daughter of Henry VIII and Anne
Boleyn. Elizabeth herself was a protestant and had been brought
up and educated as one. However, she did like the Catholic colour
and therefore her religious settlement was very a reflection of her
own religious beliefs.
Elizabeth I's most significant religious change was her
introduction of the Elizabethan Religious Settlement.…read more

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