The State of the Church and belief by 1547

Who was in charge?

Last period of H's reign was the longest period in which he did not have a chief minister to direct his goverment. Whilst H was undoubtedly in overall control of both state and the church, there were attempts by the reformists and conservatives within his inner circle to influence and manipulate him.

The absence of a cheif minister meant that the disputes between different interest groups were more exposed. Each of the two groups was determined to pursue its own interests to the detriment of the others

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Disagreements over doctrine and practice

Religious policy was the greatest area of contention. Conservatives were determined to resist any attempt to reform further doctrine and practice of the C. Conservatives fearful of the influence of CM+CP, suspected CM wanted to introduce greater emphasis on word of God and salvation of faith. Sought to undermine them by linking them to known radical reformers such as Anne Askew, who H regarded as a heretic.

CP influenced by the work of Erasmus. Conservative faction sought to demonstrate that where she differed was by going beyond the Humanist views of Erasmus and being sympathetic to the beliefs of Ps like Anne Askew. CM was even more vulnerable, conservative faction under the DON saw CM as a major obstacle to returning the C to a more conservative position and attempted to undermine H's confidence by linking him with heretical views. Opportunity arose in 1543 in what was known as the Prebendaries' Plot. CM appointed by H to investigate himself + gave CM his personal ring - symbolic of K's trust in him + could be sent to K if CM was under threat. This demonstration of confidence was sufficient to ward off any challenge by the conservatives

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Scotland and France

H was now richer (due to dissolution of monasteries and chantries) could now afford a more aggressive foreign policy. H still wanted to stake his claim to F + wanted to force the Scots to recognise his superiority in territorial and military terms. Hoped to encourge JV to break with R.

H's main aim was to acquire territory and prestige in F, but due to Auld Alliance he was forced to defeat Scots to prevent them attacking E whilst the army was active in F.

H+JV=complicated relationship. JV was H's nephew but didn't offer his the deference+ support which H expected as the senior monarch. JV provided sanctuary for some of the rebels from POG + in 1541 JV failed to attend a meeting in York which H had arranged = offended H as H had marched to York with the majority of his court in great pomp, keen to impress his power on a region that has recently supported POG.

Oct 1542- H army under DON, launched attack on S. Not a carefully planned and executed attack, instead it was an attempt to demonstrate E superiority though burning property, attacking people and stealing. Nov 1542- S led an army of 20,000 to fight E at Solway Moss, battle more of a skirmish but was a decisive defeat of S by a smaller E army. H claimed victory and signif no of Scot prisoners. JV died shortly after, was said through shame

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Scotland and France 2

H now in complex situation. JV's heir a 2 week old MQOS whose mother was a French princess. S regent was superfically pro-E, so there was a possibility that H's son would marry MQOS and S would be brought under E control. Signed Treaty of Greenwich in July 1543 which seemed to secure E+M marriage, H influence in S rapidly curtailed. 1544- Auld Alliance re-established, Treaty of Greenwich repudiated and a pro-F regent in power.

1544- H launches invasion of F. The Habsburg-Valois truce had been broken + H decided to try gain F territory and assert his right toat least the payment of the F pension by joining CV in an attack on Paris. New treaty signed between H+CV on 11 Feb 1543 to mount a joint attack. Ambitious plans began to unravel. H's army of 48,000 men (largest army ever to leave E until that date) it was led by two aged commanders + was encumbered by moving at a pace H himself could travel. Real problem was that CV had no real intention of mounting a serious attack on Paris+ H also quickly decided to abandon such plans. H aimed to achieve a swift territoral gain to prove his strength and bargaining power by taking Boulogne.

H's army successful occupied Boulgne but cost was enormous. CV outraged by H's abandonment of the plan ceased his attack + made peace with F. Freed from threat of Imperial+E armies, F launched counter-attack on E.

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Scotland and France 3

Led to the invasion of the Isle of Wight, during which H's flagship, the recently restored Mary Rose was sunk with the loss of 500 men.

June 1546- H signed Treat of Camp with the F. Gave H control of Boulgne for 8 years + F agreed to restart payments of the pension.

Little doubt that this had been a hugely expensive mistake.

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Growing Influence of Seymours+CM

Events at Boulogne signif as mark of the importance of E in relation to key European powers of Habsburg +Valois in a minor way also signif in terms of balance between Seymours + Howards

Following invasion and capture of Boulogne, Earl of Surrey (DON's heir) had been made Captain of Boulogne. Unfortunately for conservative faction, Surrey with excessive confidence spearheaded a bold attack on a French fortress. Attempted on 7th Jan 1546- part of Surrey's army deserted him + he was forced to save himself as best he could. Details of this reached Willaim Paget,  H's Principal Secretary + other members of reformist faction like CM who hoped to ensure during E's reign CIE would be more P. They were instrumental in demoting Surrey+ replacing him with E Seymour, Lord Hertford who had recently proved his strength of purpose if S campaign.

Final political upheavel in H's reign caused the downfall of the Howards and the loss of influence of the conservative faction. This was a critical time as H was considering who should determine political and religious policy during the minority of E. Crisis of the Howards occured in 1546 when H= ill and E was far from his majority. Earl of Surrey produced a new coat of arms which included reference to E the confessor. Such a claim was sufficient enough for the enemies of the Howards to attack. Surrey+ DON taken to TOL - 26th Jan 1547 Surrey executed for treason. Only death of H next day prevented DON from also being executed

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Seymours and CM 2

Downfall of Howards suggests that the disputes between factions dominated H's last years, it would be incorrect to believe that during his last two years H was impotent and that the factions more important than him.

H continued to play as signif role in gov concerns with foreign policy and religious affairs as he had throughout his reign.

Increasingly the conflicts between factions was more to do with who would determine the inheritance of H during the period of E's minority.

Nevertheless, access to the bedridden H and control of the Dry Stamp, which would enable members of H's inner circle to determine what received royal assent were increasingly in the hands of those who favoured changes in Religion.

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The Importance of the Sucession

E was succeed to the throne as a minor (he was 9 when H died). He would inherit the supremacy with H's death- wouldn't be something he'd only inherit at 18

H chose not to have a single regent for E- result of H's suspicious nature + his fear that if one person was chosen, this person would establish a seperate power structure at court which would be difficult for E to deal with when he assumed full power at 18. Of the reforming faction, E Seymour , brother-in-law to H and E's uncle was the leader of those who were left to act on E's behalf until he came of age. The council ruled as E was so advanced he would come of age at 16.

H's speech to PT made a year before his death summarises a number or key elements which determined what followed. One element is the importance of H himself, the legacy of H, his imposing majesty, his imperial ambitions had to be protected. Other key message is CIE whose doctrine and liturgy had been created by H, was what he wished to preserve. Crucial that the power and supremacy he established should be protected for E.So disputes should be resolved, H was aware that the consquences of division in gov could be civil war.

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Much religious change between 1536-47, by 1547 the C which H wanted his son to inheirt had established a clear doctrine and liturgy, as HOTCIE H had established a C which reflected his humanist beliefs.

It had a Catholic doctrine which was centred on the Eucharist but had sought to remove supersition. H had wished to emphasise the importance of reading the Bible, the later restrictions had shown the dangers of allowing individuals to interpret the word of God for themselves.

Innovation of the E liturgy and CMs homilies were very small scale and had limited impact. What was uncontestable for H was that his C was seperate from R and the continuation of a seperate  CIE was his paramount concern when planning the succession.

By 1547 H, in his own mind, secured the Tudor dynasty, established himself as the equal in magnificence and power of any European prince, + re-established the doctrinally true religion in E. The treason laws meant few would challenge this vision. 

England's security was now in the hands of a nine year old boy

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