Henry VIII and the Church - Causes of the Dissolution

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Financial Motives

  • The financial resources of the Church were huge. 
  • While the Crowns finances were healthy enough there was a clear concern about the possibilty of a Catholic crusade from European powers, Francis I and Charles V. 
  • A massive building programme of fortifications was undertaken
  • Money gained from the Dissolution of the Monastries gave Cromwell the chance to free Henry from the need to impose taxation. 
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Patronage and Greed

  • Following the 1536 Act the laity gained an increasing appetite for land.
  • Even Catholics such as Norfolk were quick to cash in on sales of monastic land.
  • Many may have been unhappy with the turn of religious events, but the pill though bitter, was easier to swallow with the wealth that dissolution brought. 
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Continental Influence

  • Religious houses were being dissolved in Germany and Scandinavia. 
  • This gave a model of what was possible in England
  • The ideas of Erasmus, Tyndale and Fish, criticising monastic life, were also gaining currency
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An End To Opponents of the Break with Rome

  • Some of the most vociferous opponets of Henry's recent legislation had come from monastic houses, espically the Franciscans and Carthusians, 
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