The Henrician Reformation 1529-1547

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  • Created by: Kitty
  • Created on: 12-04-13 07:38

Explain why Henry VIII broke from Rome in 1534?

In 1534 Henry VIII broke from Rome and thus became Head of the Church of England. There are many factors which led to Henry's decision to break from Rome, including political, economic and religious reasons.

 POLITICAL - Fundamental reason:

  • Needed a male heir - keep the Tudors on the throne of England
  • By 1526 Catherine of Aragon was 42 years old.
  • Henry believed he was being punished for taking his brother's wife - passage in Leviticus
  • Charles V (Catherine's nephew) was having military success in Italy - influence over Pope - Pope would not grant annulment



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Explain why Henry VIII broke from Rome in 1534?

ECONOMIC - Not fundamental, but certainely influential

  • Henry was a lavish King - Tudor finances in a poor state.
  • If Charles V invaded England, there would be nothing to defend the country with.
  • Large sum of money belonging to the Church - new source of income.


  • By 1526, Henry had fallen in love with Anne Boleyn.
  • By 1532, Anne Boleyn was pregnant - possible male heir.
  • Henry was desperate to divorce Catherine, marry Anne Boleyn - Child could be born in wedlock.
  • Anne Boleyn - Lutheran. Great influence over Henry.
  • Anne Boleyn was a major factor, but not as main a reason as Henry's desire for a son.


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Explain why Henry VIII broke from Rome in 1534


  • Henry influenced by strong protestants around him - Thomas Cromwell, Thomas Cramner and Anne Boleyn.
  • Henry, however, remained a strong Catholic - didn't want to break from Rome.
  • Church in a poor state - pluralism becoming a common thing, secularisation of the church - JUSTIFICATION.

EUROPEAN REFORMATION - large influence, set the blue print for Henry. It is highly unlikely that Henry, a good Catholic, would have ended Papal Supremacy without the climate of change created by the European Reformation.

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