Theme 2 - Religious changes under the Tudors: General overview

  • Created by: f_grant
  • Created on: 18-05-19 16:11

Henry VIII: Dissolution of the monasteries


1) Saw monasteries as a threat to his power as the head of the church.

  • After the Royal Supremacy, concerned that monks and nuns would ignore loyalty oaths. 
    • Valor Ecclesiasticus - report by Cromwell to value all church lands
    • Comperta - commissioners instructed to look into all moral and spiritual standards of monasteries. Exaggerated widescale corruption.

2) Wanted wealth of church for himself

  • Later dissolutions 1539 - closure of 522 larger houses. Richard Rich led Court of Augmentations to deal with property taken from houses and abbeys. Redirection of papal taxes.

3) Knew that the monasteries were corrupt and sinful

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Henry VIII: Acts before 1535

Act in Restraint of Appeals 1533

  • Testimony, matrimony, tithes all now heard in ecclesiastical courts in England rather than Rome. Prevented Katherine appealing to the pope. Terms England as an empire and Henry VIII an emperor.

Act of Supremacy 1533-34

  • Confirmed Henry as head of the Church in England and Wales.
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Edward VI

  • Raised a protestant but minority meant he was unable to strongly influence state policy at first.
  • Regents: Duke of Somerset 1547-1549. Executed 1552. Duke of Northumberland Lord President of the Council 1549-1553. Executed 1553.

Edward's government and law was largely protestant but evidence suggests that the people as a whole remained catholic - rebellions.

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Mary: Campaign against heresy

  • Mary a Roman Catholic and wanted to restore England to the authority of the Pope. 

Campaign against heresy:

  • 280 burned as heretics.
  • Known from Foxe's Book of Martyrs - history of religious persecution of protestants. Published 1563 and dedicated to Elizabeth. Accounts corroborated by contemporary descriptions. 
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Elizabeth's Religious Settlement

  • Came to throne after serios of bad harvests, country at war with France
  • Situation complicated by 1558 - protestantism split into number of different factions: followers of Luther, Calvin, Zwingli
  • 125 commissioners appointed to visit churches and enforce oath of supremacy. 
  • Church ornaments destroyed and 400 clergy removed 
  • Lands and wealth of the church restored to the crown
  • Process of enforcement in Lancashire and Yorkshire took a long time
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Puritans in Elizabeth's reign

  • Puritans belived Elizabeth compromised too much with Catholics
  • Presbyterians wished to reform the church and remove bishops they thought too Catholic. Wanted national system with series of regional councils.
  • Separatists wished for individual congregations to decide on religious doctrine themselves.
  • Edmund Grindal: Archbishop of Canterbury 1575-83. Argued with Queen, suspended 1577.
  • John Whitgift: Attacked puritans with The 3 Articles 1583. Oath required by clergy modified by the council. Those that refused to swear it became presbyterians or separatists.
  • Thomas Cartwright: Spoke against bishops in lectures at Cambridge 1570. Sacked and fled to Switzerland.

Presbterians in parliament:

  • 1584 - Dr Turner MP tried to introduce presbyterian settlement - queen vetoed immediately.
  • 1587 - Anthony Cope MP tried to introduce Genevan Prayer Book

Separatists - Brownists led by Robert Browne. Published treatise 1582 named The Treatise of the Reformation Without Tarrying for Any - argued people should not wait and that the church was corrput and infested by Catholics. 1583 - 2 men hanged for distributing it.

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