Religious change under the Tudors

  • Created by: Annagc
  • Created on: 12-09-18 17:56

Thomas Cromwell

1532: Cromwell becomes Henry's chief minister 

  • He uses anti-clerical feeling in the Commons to force clergy to submit to Henry. They agree not to call convocation or pass cannons without the king's permission. 
  • He got Parliament to pass the Act in Restraint of Appeals - stopped legal appeals being sent to Rome 
  • He used imperial kingship to encourage parliament to create statute law. 

1935: Cromwell is made Vicegerent in Spirituals 

  • He appointed new bishops e.g. Hugh Latimer
  • Starts a propaganda campaign supporting supremacy theough preaching in churches. 
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The Act of Supremacy 1534

Confirms Henry as head of the English Church.

Pre Act:

  • Marriage to Catherine of Aragon was already annulled 
  • He had disinherited Princess Mary
  • Anne and Henry's children were made his heirs


  • Gave the supremacy the authority of statute law
  • Led to Treason  Act - plotting against the king or speaking against him and the supremacy
  • Reinforced royal power over the Pope
  • Enhanced power of parliament as further religious changes needed to pass through them
  • Benefit of clergy and sanctuary was abolished 
  • FInances, admin., legal power were directly under Henry's control 
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Defining the new church and reactions

  • The Act of Ten Articles 1536: Defined the doctrine of the new Church
  • Injunctions 1536: attacked Catholic practices e.g. pilgrimages, relics, saints and holy days

Henry - accepted changes as they undermined the pope

South and south west - most orders were followed

North - met with reluctance 

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Executed: Sir Thomas Moore (Henry's ex chancellor) and John Fisher, Bishop of Rochester were executed in 1535

Conservative faction 1535-6 court based plot: Edward Stanley, Thomas Howard etc wanted to restore catholicism and saw Mary as leader. 

Northern gentry: Darcey, Hussey and Northumberland who owned vast estates 

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Monasteries prior to dissolution


  • Followed rules of poverty, chastity and obedience 
  • Monks and nuns prayed for the dead so they spent less time in purgatory


  • Support for the poor and care for the sick and elderly
  • Education
  • Monks coped old texts and books prior to printing press
  • Local employers and landlords. 
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Impact of the dissolution

  • People who relied on them for work were left unemployed 
  • Allegiances of all monks and nuns became suspect
  • Gave Henry a valuable source of income which he could use to defend England and reward supporters. 
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The process of dissolution

1. 1535 Church property surveyed for wealth 

2. Commissioners appointed by Cromwell visited monastries to find evidence of corruption to use against them.

3. 1536 Act of Parliament - authorised the dissolution of smaller monastries _less than £200 per annum)

4. Destruction of buildings

5. 1536 rebellion broke out in Loncolnshire which spread to Yorkshireand other northern areas demanding the monastries be restored. 

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Religious causes of the Rebellion

  • It was named the 'Pilgrimage' of grace.
  • Pilgrims took a religious oath
  • They carried a banner showing Christ's wounds 
  • Trigger for local risings was the closure of smaller monastries 
  • Their demands focused on religion 
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Social and Economic causes of the rebellion

  • Demands for taxation in the 1534 subsidy 
  • Hit the north hard due to 2 years of poor harvests 
  • There was resentment about government intrusion when collecting subsidy 
  • Entry fines - money paid to landlord by tenant entering property
  • Enclosure - landlord taking back their land forcing tenants off it
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Political causes of the Rebellion

  • Powerful northern nobility and gentry e.g. Sir Thomas Percy were involved 
  • Earl of Northumberland didn't stop the rebels and surrendered Wressle castle to them 
  • Support of Darcy and Hussey for the rebellion can be explained by links to the Court 
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