The Henrician Reformation

A set of revision cards about the acts made during the Henrician Reformation.


Supplication against the Ordinaries - 1532

  • Drafted by Thomas Cromwell (Henry's chief minister)
  • It asked the King on behalf of the House of Commons to curb the legislative power of the Church (it was particularly against Church courts and clerical jurisdiction)
  • Cromwell used his political skill to convince the HoC that it was their bill but it was actually Henry's 
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Submission of the Clergy - 1532

The Convocation of the Clergy completely gave in:

  • The submission recognised Henry as Supreme Head of the English Church (Henry saw himself as God's representative)
  • All existing and future canon law required royal consent (the Church courts were brought under royal control)
  •  'As far as Christ's law allows' was added due to pressure from opponents such as Fisher

With this Submission, Henry began to dismantle the Catholic Church's hold, particular the legal hold it had with the Church courts.

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Act in Conditional Restraint of Annates - 1532

Annate: the payment of 1/3 of the income of a benefice to the Pope when a new bishop took up his post

The act was aimed at stopping this and directing it instead to Henry (he needed the income)

Convocation and Parliament (afraid the act would impact the wool trade with the Netherlands which were owned by Charles V, a Catholic) both opposed.

  • Henry attended Parliament in person (the speaker normally represented him) to make sure it passed
  • He wrote a letter to Pope Clement telling him of the Act and that Parliament pressurised him to pass it
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Act in Restraint of Appeals - 1533

This act was aimed at Catherine of Aragon to stop her seeking the judgement of the Pope during the divorce

It increased Royal Supremacy as all 'spirituality and temporality' was under the control of the King.

The act gave authority to the Archbishop of Canterbury who would hear cases instead of the Pope (was loyal to the King).

  • Cranmer was able to annul the marriage (claimed that the Papal dispensation given in 1509 was invalid, the annulment was settled by law not religion)
  • Henry thought that the Pope would give in if Henry continued to chip away at Catholic hold in England

The act led to Pope Clement excommunicating Henry (which undermined his authority and was very dangerous) and declaring that Anne was not his wife.

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Act of First Fruits and Tenths - 1534

As a result of his Royal Supremacy, Henry was able to exploit the Church's wealth.

All new benefice holders had to pay the Crown a fee of 1 year's income and then 1/10 in subsequent years

  • Thomas Cromwell carried out the Valor Ecclesiasticus 
  • it detailed all clerical income and provided Henry with a picture of all property and revenue belonging to the Church (also the corruption within it) 
  • led to the dissolution of the monasteries (because a) they had money that Henry needed and b) monasteries held alligance to the Pope)
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Act Extinguishing Papal Authority - 1536

The act that finalised the break from Rome and the move to Royal Supremacy.

  • Removed the Papal right to preach and teach in England
  • The final word of matters of Church doctrine and practice passed to Henry

Henry had become Supreme Head in all aspects of control of the Church and the spiritual life of the laity. 

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