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  • Created by: Rosa
  • Created on: 06-05-13 09:25


When Henry died in Jan 1547 , Henrys heir was son Edward (son of Jane Seymour), who was just age 9. Within hours of Henrys death there was a bloodles coup d'etat. There death of the King was kept quiet so that Edward Seymour , Edwards Uncle could take charge of the boy and realm. Henry said when he died that sixteen named should rule in Edwards name until he became older, however bribed and persuaded the councillors with money and titles that a Protector was needed to create a stronger and more untied government and  that he was the ideal candidate (Kings uncle). In March 1547 a special commission was pronounced that Seymour was legally Protector of the realm and had 'full power and authority'. Seymour awarded himself a dukedom (SOMERSET) , and began to rule without consulting the council. 

Somerset was able to rule by issusing proclomations .  Act of proclomations was passed in 1537 , this was so that in dangerous and unsettled times proclomations could be used to ensure a strong and effective government- this suited Somerset however the proclomation had to be signed by 12 councillors , not good for Somerset as some of his methods sometimes made him unpoular- however Somerset had the act reapealed and that proclomations now could be issued without the need of Councillors. Somerset had good grip and control as Edward never interfered , Edward was celarly protestant  and would have no doubt approved with the general direction - however the well-educate and intelligent boy was probably not consulted in detail - Somerset ruled in his name but not under authority

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How important were Somersets Religious Policies?

Religious Policy - Somerset proceeded cautiously without any sense of direction. First step was dissolution of monastries. Introduction of 'Book of Homilies' (1547) it contained sermos written by Cranmer & others to help those priests not used to preaching (book highlighted key problem in order to become a protestant nation you needed Protestant preachers). It would take a least a generation to produce ministers that were comitted Protestants. 

Royal Proclomations - all churchers were now to have a copy of Erasmus 'Paraphrases on the Gospels'to go alongside their English Bible- parts of the ceremony of the Mass were to be performed in English. Clergy were told to preach 4 times a day those who did not had to read from the Book of Homilies. However proclomations may not be so practiced outside main areas and cities as proclomation cut across traditional beliefs

Destruction of the Henrician Settlement in religion- Act of Revliers allowed laity to recieve wine and bread at Mass and reaffirmed the real presence of Christ in both (discourage more radical protestants). Seymour got rid of Treason Acts and heresy laws, which destroyed the act of six articles open floodgates to reform. However Somerset created problems as old was swept away but there was no new had arrived, Somerset had no religious settlement to hand- results where chaotic

Destruction of the Chantries - this policy bought in much needed money. 2,400 chantries , 90 colleges and 110 hospitals were dissolved , unlike the monastries being dissolved chantries & colleges were in towns and represented a more visible Protestant destruction which was not always popular- destruction of chantries represented a major attack on doctrine of Purgatory - which was very much thought after

Abolition of ceremonies and removal of images - Privy council abolished a series of Catholic Ceremonies , Palms on Palm Sunday , Ashes on Ash Wednesday and more. Adding to this council ordered for all images remianing in churches or chaped had to be removed including stained-glass windows and wall paintings 

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How important were Somersets Religious Policies?

Prayer Book of 1549- first English prayer book was part of Act of Uniformity it demanded all preiests to know the new Prayer Book- brought in English services throughout the land- now there would be one standard English prayer book in use everywhere (unlike Catholic). In order to have the book accepted Cranmer toned down anything radical or clearly protestant in terms of doctrine- book was a translation of Sarum Rite - the Prayer book only encountered limited opposition - however many priests avoided the full impact of the book by mumbling the English (might as well have been latin). Prosecutions for not using the book were mild & there were few prosecutions - key thing was that conservatives realised they could use book without abandonning Catholic beliefs- Prayer book not moved nation to full blown Protestanism- could not risk that. 

Priests allowed to marry - Early 1549 Act was passed which allowed priests to marry- may had more impact than the Prayer Book in announcing Reformation of the Church- it did not encourage priests to mary but removed rules forbidding it. 

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How Serious at threat was the Western Rebellion?

In Devon and Cornwall there was resitance to change in religion and prayer book and a rebellion which showed opposition to Somersets reforms (religous). In Cornwall William Body was unpopular as he tried to enforce the act of dissolving the chantries- he was set up on by a mob and killed (april 1548). The next year when Prayer Book announced 1549 , the rebels drew up articles against religious changes and advanced into Devon. Meanwhile a SEPERATE rebellion had begun in Devon and 2,000 rebels went towards Exeter where the government lost control of the area for 2 months. Somerset underestimated the scale of the rebellion and had insufficent forces to put the rebellion down by force (most forces directed to East Anglia where there was a bigger rebellion). Lord Russel felt ready to fight rebels , with seeveral hundred killed Russel regained control of the area and remaining rebels dispearsed. 

Causes of the Rebellion:

  • Religious changes - didnt like Bible aswell as Prayer Book in English- they demanded a prayer book in Cornish return to religion in the last few years of Henry- they thought religious practices were being introduced by faction and no such changes should be made until the king is mature - they said 24
  • Some economic grievances - somerset intorduced new taxes on goods e.g. sheep and woolen cloth- lots of sheep farming in devon - hit hard- lack of food raising prices - MAIN REASON WAS RELIGION 
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How Serious at threat was Ketts Rebellion?

Ketts rebellion broke out in East Anglia at the same time of the Western Rebellion. Rebellion was organised by Robert Kett and began with a few riots in Norfolk in a few villages before spreading across the whole of Norfolk. Kett quickly had a strong force of 16,000 well organise men outside norwhich , capital went to protesters without violence - second biggest city in hands of rebels. Rebels were orgainsed and peaceful , however Ketts inital succes meant that a stronger force would now be sent and 6,000 appeared led by Earl of Warwick- he was a soldier and men were willing to fight . Ketts forces were destroyed on Mousehold Heath just outside Norwhich - rebellion came to a traumatic end when 3,000 of Ketts men killed and Kett himself was captured and executes. 

Causes of the Rebellion - were due to economic and social issues , they were opposed to enclosure and other practices associated with reforming landowners- problem when dissolution of monatries when land went to new landowners. Landowners in the risings were captured and tied to a tree- many of these landowners were increasin rents. Rebels were happy to live with new Prayer book but felt that the Reformation should be seen as a whole sale reform of society and not just religious changes. They thought that the confiscation of church wealth would lead to more schools , hospitals and charitable institutions, cranmer and bishops claimed Reformation would bring these changes. People felt new reforming landowners often new to the area were more greedy than the old ones and more corrupt. English Reformation had not delivered promises 

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Fall & Overthrow of Somerset - Appearance of Warwi

The rebellions of the summer had done much to undermine the confidence in Somerset, he had been slow to react to them and even worse he showed sympathy towards the rebels. Conservative Councillors including Earl of Arundel who overthrow Somerset , Somerset negotiated with his enemies and realising that he had done wrong agreed to go provided that his life and lands were kept. The overthrow of Somerset shows that the forces opposed to religious reforms and were still powerful. Many hoped Mary who was a devout Catholic would become regent as the Henrician Settlement may be revived, it would also allow the king to become more educated in more conservative religious opinions - However Mary refused the offer

This left the way open for Warwick, he also elevated himself to the top rank with the title Duke of Northumberland . By early 1550 his power seemed secure and did not make himself protetector, instead he was Lord President of the Council - more humble and democratic. During the faction fightin of 1549 to 1550 Northumberland was able to ditch the conservatives and replace the Council with men with a reformin spirit- King Edward now started to appear at council meetings . 

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Edwardian Reformation under Northumberland & relig

Northumberland moved religion into a Protestant direction 

The New Ordinal - 1550 Cranmer bought in New Ordinal- order of service for the ordination of new priests - The Ordinal stressed the ordinand's preaching function instead of the function in carrying out ritual and ceremonies- sacraments had not dissapeared but were not so important 

Further Protestant Moves - A number of conservative bishops were deprived of their sees e.g. Nicholas Heath of Worcester for opposing the new ordinal- they were replaced with men of a reforming spirit. Nicholas Ridley Bishop of London ordered all altars should now become Communion tables, altars were moved from east end of church , rotated 90 degrees and placed lengthways in the nave of the church (some places stone altars were destroyed and replaced with a new wooden table). In traditional Mass , the Body of Christ was really present and was being sacraficed on the altar, under the forms of bread and wine- this was underscored by the position of the altar By placing it in the nave of the church and calling it a table reforming clergy were showing supprot for Protestant ideas about a purley spiritual presence or no presence at all. - saw more protestnat propaganda - more part of European protestant movement

Prayer Book of 1552- made the movement of altars an official policy. Traditional colourful vestments worn by priests were now replaced with a plain white church gown. There was an important change in the Eucharist , it was a move away from transubstantiation towards a memoralist view , where Christs body was not actually present , but was represented by bread and wine, it was renamed the Lords Supper. However the book did not come into force until Nov 1552 so it is not clear how many parishes actually made use of it as Edward died just 8 months later- the Prayer Book was claimed to be the Prayer Book for England only- it was introduced via Parliament and not convocation. Knox and Hooper but pressure in Northemburland to abolish kneeling for communications during the Lords supper , as a result Cranmer reluctlantly inserted the 'Black Rubric' in to the book which enforced kneeling, but proclaimed that it was done for order and did not imply superstitious reverence for the bread and wine 

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Religious Policies - Edward

Forty-two articles- it was a national set of article of religion , if no national set appeared each see might have its own set according to bishops taste, sent final version for approval to Council in November 1552 however they were not submitted to parliament until 1553. In the end the articles were issued in the June just a few weeks before the Kings death. There were 3 key areas that were clearly Protestant

  • Centrality of Bible - article 5 proclaimed the centrality of the Bible to matters of doctrine ,cerenomy&salvation
  • Justification - Article 11 & 12 - good works were no longer important
  • Predestination - Article 17 gave English people their first official encounter with the doctrine of predestination - it meant not only could mankind not hope to acheive salvation by good works but also God had already chosen who would be saves . 

Lay Control of the Church - after 1532 laity had much power in the Church and controlled it. The taking of wine and bread by the laity was a symbol of the Protestant view that laymen and clergy were not seperate orders of men. Council was refusing to promote a new set of canon (church) laws which might give the church more freedom from laity control. (confiscate many jewel and plate from church and a large proceeds ended up in pockets of comissioners - during Edwards reign)

Death of King Edwars - boy contracted measels and small pox in 1552 and by July 1553 he was dead. 

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How far had England become a protestant country by

Clearly Protestant Country : 

  • Church run by King and Ministers and not the Pope- pope had no authority
  • Series of Protestant reformers intoduced e.g. English Prayer Book 
  • Churches lost Catholic decoration and ornamnets
  • every church had an English Bible + communion table
  • Monastries , chantries and prayers for the dead had all been abolished 

Changes were Limited

  • Edwards reign only lasted 6 years- last years of Henry were more catholic 
  • religious change under edward had been cautious and gradual
  • second prayer book only introduced few months before King died 
  • Somerset or Northumberland was a commited protestant - conservative faction still powerful - managed to overthrow Somerset 
  • Next heir to the throne was Mary and she was a commited Catholic- many ordinary people still clung to old beliefs 
  • King was incredibly young and lacked authority - MARY WOULD BRING BACK CATHOLICISM
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