The Break with Rome Part 2

  • Did Henry's Policy change, 1529-32?
  • How was the attack on the English Church carried out?
  • How did Acts of Parliament secure the Break with Rome and the Royal Supremacy?
  • How serious was oppostion to the break with Rome and the Royal Supremacy?
  • Why was there so little opposition to the Roayl Supremacy?
  • Created by: alys
  • Created on: 13-01-13 17:52

How did Royal Policy change, 1529-32?

Were Henry's views on the Great Matter changing by 1530?

  • Strengthened his existing Levitical case: opinion of European Universities. He bribed them all. Their findings were published in 1531. 7 of them supported his Levitical line and that the pope had no authority to dispense such marriages. More had to report these findings to parliament, but he did not actually agree with any of them.
  • Pressure on the pope: controlling the clergy, Wolsey and mass praemunire. In February 1531 the English Church was forced to pay a fine to Henry for endorsing Wolsey's papal posts. The whole clergy was charged with praemunire and £118,000 was paid. Rome was being pressured and Henry was stamping his authority on the clergy.
  • The Radical Opinion: the idea of the Royal Supremacy, the Pardon of the Clergy. In 1530 Henry's backers, Edward Foxe and Thomas Cramner, presented him with the Collectanea satis copiopsa. Henry was attracted by the idea of extending his power over the Church and getting the English clergy to pronounce on his divorce
  • 1531: The Pardon of the Clergy. Henry insisted on the title of 'Sole protector and supreme head of the english church and clergy'. Bishop Fisher, a diehard conservative, insisted wth the words 'as far as christ's law allows' should be added. However the radical option was becoming more appealing to Henry, increasing its significance at court.
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How was the attack on the English Church carried o

The ambiguity of 1529-32 was replaced by a definite policy:
The legislative independence of the English Church was destroyed
The Royal Supremacy and 'national sovereignty' was established and papal power destroyed.

The importance of Thomas Cromwell in the formation and execution of the Royal Supremacy:
Cromwell: architect of the Break with Rome through statute (law) and it was through this that the fabric and structure of the of the CoE was changed. Cromwell was effectively Wolsey's replacement.

The Royal Supremacy:
In 1531 the church had been forced to acknowledge Henry's title 'Supreme Head of the Church in England as far as the law of Christ allows'.

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How was the attack on the CoE carried out?

Cromwell and the Commons Supplication against the Ordinaries: this was a petition against the Church courts and clerical jurisdiction that Cromwell introduced into the commons. Cromwell was a brilliant political operator- he was able to convince the commons that this was their idea and nothing at all to do with the king or government. They were in fact endorsing Henry's attack on the legislative independence of the CoE.

Purpose of the Supplication
Cromwell called into question the power of church courts and criticised the abuse of their authority. Convocation made laws concerning secular matters which contradicted the King's law and statutes. The government was attacking the power of convocation to make laws without the consent of the laity.
Henry clearly approved of Cromwell's actions and the attack on convocation.

Limited opposition to the Changes
Convocation was stunned but could do little. Warham was too old to offer serious resistance. Oppostion was even less likely when Henry declared that the clergy were but 'half his subjects' since they took an oath to the pope.

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Consequences of the Submission

Henry was established as the supreme legislator in England. Convocation surrendered and was no powerless to withstand further attacks. The road to the break with Rome and the Supremacy was clear.

And politically...
Thomas More resigned over the Submission and tried to get out of politics. He could not reconcile his loyalty to Crown with his loyalty to the Church.
Cromwell was now the key figure at court.
The Church was effectively under Henry's control. The process had been underway since March 1532 parliament passed the Act in Conditional Restraint of Annates. 

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Securing the Break with Rome

Act in Conditional Restraint of Annates, 1532. Definition: annates were payments made to the pope taking up their sees (1/3 of their annual income). The pope would have been alarmed by their abolition since it was the main source of income from England. Henry knew that even if he got his clergy to give him his divorce in England. Catherine would appeal to the Pope.

Opposition in EnglandHenry had trouble trying to get both Houses to agree to the bill.
The clergy were probably showing bitterness at the Submission. The commons feared economic reprisals. The bill undermined the Pope's economic power and his papal rights of consecration. 

Potential papal opposition: the pope might refuse to offer bulls of consecration for new bishops if no cash
The Bill- Terms: abolition of the payment of annates and bishops could now be consecrated by English authority
The Bill- Significance of 'Conditional': Henry hoped to gain the divorce via the pope. It was contraversal.
Henry & the Passage of the Bill: Given parliamentary divisions, Henry went to the commons. 

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The Significance of 1532

  • Henry had almost given up on the annullment being granted in Rome by the Pope
  • Anne Boleyn was pregnant by December 1532. It became urgent for the divorce to be granted so that the child would be legitimate.
  • The idea of the Royal Supremacy appealed to Henry's ego
  • 1532 saw the break with Rome and the Royal Supremacy become Cromwell and Henry's first choice solution to the Great Matter

Further Acts in 1533:

  • The submission of the Clergy was put into statutory form
  • Appeals to Rome were forbidden in any forms, not just certain cases
  • The Act in Conditional Restraint of Annates was made permanent
  • English Bishops were to be appointed by the King and not by Rome
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Who should be the Archbishop of Canterbury?

Stephen Gardiner or Thomas Cramner? Cramner was chosen because he was linked to the Boleyn faction and Henry believed he would help gain the divorce. Stephen Gardiner was the next in line but had opposed the submission of the clergy.

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Acts 3, 4 & 5

(3)The Act in Restraint of Appeals, 1533
Terms; all appeals to Rome were ended; all would be heard by english courts. Any appeals relating to the Kind would go to convocation and he heard by the Archbishop of Canterbury (Cramner)
Political Significance: Catherin could not challenge any legal decision made in England, so Cramner was able to decide over Henry's marriage.
The Royal Supremacy: was clarified in full by the Act for the first time. The body politic, both spiritual and temporal was bounden to the King.
Papal reaction: excommunicated Henry; Anne was declared not to be his wife.

(4)Act of Dispensations, 1534
Terms: All payments to Rome including Peter's Pence was stopped. Now Canterbury, not Rome, would issue dispensation allowing for exemptions or departures from canon law. Ignoring the decree would lead to a charge of praemunire. 

(5)Act of Sucession, 1534
Terms: Henry's marriage to Catherine declared invalid, heirs of the first marriage declared bastards, oath introduced pledging the nation's allegiance to the new Queen. It was declared treasonable to speak against the second marriage. 

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Supremacy and the Treason Law

a) The Act of Supremacy
Terms: That the King and his heirs were the only Supreme Head in earth of the Church of England. Thus Henery had complete administrativ and legislative control over the church.
b) The Treason Law
Enforced the Supremacy by making it punishable by death to slander the Supremacy or deny the king's new title. Nor could you speak out against the new Queen (Anne). Treason could be comitted in word as well as in deed.
Significance of the Treason Law
Armstrong calls the act Henry's instrument of terror which introduced the fear factor into his rule. It was strengthened in 1535 and used to silence opponents. Henry's fear factor got worse as he got older. 
Economic Consequences of the RS
Henry could now exploit the wealth of the Church. He banned payments to Rome (annates, peter's pence) and took the money to his own pocket. He introduced greater church taxes (first fruits and tenths) which took 1/10th of the annual benefice value into the crown coffers. Cromwell was commissioned to examine the wealth of all ecclesiastical establishments.

1485-1534: the clergy paid £4,800pa to Rome. 1535: paid £46,000, 1536 over £51,000 to the crown

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Elizabeth, Holy Maid of Kent
Had visions of the Virgin Mary. Popular & notorious, used to undermine Henry's proposed marriage and backed by John Fisher. Prophesied that Henry would be removed from the throne and sent to the tower to be exectured along with four followers. Deliberately executed on the same day that Londeners were required to swear the oath of succession.
No serious threat- used by opponents. 

The Observant Friars:
Potentially dangerous. Could quickly criticise religious developments. All 7 observant houses closed down and many friars imprisoned. United. More power as a group.
The Carthusians:
Not united so less powerful. Cromwell replaced persuasion with imprisonment and torture. 6 leading Carthusians executed between May to July 1535. Dealt with with a heavy hand. 

The Bishops
The majority of bishops disagreed with Henry but weren't going to go against him. John Bishop was a high profile opponent who supported Catherine and was implicated in the Holy Maid of Kent affair. He was fined £300.

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John Fisher

Refused to swear the Oath of Succession in April 1534. Henry imprisoned him in the tower and found guilty of high treason after begging Charles V to invade. Henry had shown that no-one was beyond the law of the land; he was tough but others saw him as a tyrant. Executing an old and respected clergyman did nothing for his reputation.

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Sir Thomas More

On one level he was not a problem. He could be pragmatic- the change in the sucession had happened and he could do nothing to reverse it. However he would not compromise his conscience by swearing to the idea that the King of England had always been supreme head of the CoE. For him it was a religious obligation to defend the Catholic Church. He was a dangerous opponent who had a european reputation as a humanist scholar. Henry made him into a problem, choosing him as chancellor even though he was not on his side in the Great Matter. 

Accusations and Execution:
He had caused the king to increase power of the Pope by getting the King to write the Assertion of the Seven Sacraments in 1517. Tried and found guilty of treason on unsupported evidence of Richard Rich and executed.

More's Defence:
Argued that parliament had no right to bind men's consciences by making them swear an Oath of Supremacy. Attacked the tyrannical nature of Henry that did not allow for freedom of conscience and never incited opposition to the Crown (unlike Fisher)

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Opposition: Conclusion

There was some high profile opposition to the Royal Supremacy but there was never a coherant and organised party which tried to resist change. Opposition was rare because of fear of arrest and torture due to the treason law and loyalty to the tudor dynasty ahead of Rome.

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Why was there so little opposition?

  • Little change
  • Local affairs
  • Loyalty to the King
  • Oaths of Loyalty
  • Thomas Cromwell (propaganda)
  • No Mercy
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