Most significant changes

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Henry VIII

  • Made important changes which unwittingly encouraged the spread of Protestantism.
  • The break from Rome - ended centuries of papal supremacy and established the church of England under royal supremacy, long term significance (bar Mary I's reign) until the present day.
  • Unwittingly acted as a catalyst for religious change.
  • The change to royal supremacy meant that Edward VI and Elizabeth I could introduce their doctrinal changes.
  • Dissolution of the monasteries - severed the final papal link and gained powerful figures with a vested interest in reformationary change and long term: Mary I had to compromise on this issue during her reign.
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Edward VI

  • Introduced Protestantism as the official religion.
  • First time a vernacular service was introduced to England - promoted understanding through conviction (less significance in the mainly monoglot Wales).
  • Priests were allowed to marry and although 20% only did, it gave them a vested interest in Protestantism.
  • Printing and Press restrictions were repealed therefore the impact of the reformation became tangible to all and encouraged the spread of Protestantism.
  • His doctrinal changes set a precedent for Elizabeth I.
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Mary I

  • Aim was to restore the religious situation to it's situation in 1529 - restore papal supremacy and overall she suceeded in doing this.
  • The Act of Repeal 1553 was also significant as it got rid of Edward VI's changes.
  • However the Second Act of Repeal wasn't as successful - she couldn't restore the monastries and consequently this was significant as there were still people with vested interests in Protestantism.
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Elizabeth I

  • Religious situation finally settled - long term.
  • Act of Supremacy 1559 restored royal supremacy and appeased Catholics as she would now take the name of Supreme Governor rather than Supreme Head.
  • Restored Edward VI's doctrinal changes - restored the religion to Protestantism.
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  • All monarchs held significant changes.
  • However, Edward VI was the most significant as he was the first monarch to move towards Protestantism as the official religion and set the foundation for Elizabeth I.
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