Protector Somerset and religious reform

  • Created by: helena.n
  • Created on: 08-11-18 16:52

Protector Somerset and religious reform

Does Somerset deserve his reputation as the 'Good Duke'?

Edward Seymour = Duke of Somerset = Lord Protector

Dilemmas facing Somerset (and Edward) in 1547

Decisions facing Protector Somerset's Government

Why they should act

Why they shouldn't act

Resume war with Scotland?

  • Henry had done this partly to prevent France using Scotland to weaken England
    • Weak succession - still fear this
  • Could they afford to lose national pride by withdrawing?
    • May appear weak and susceptible to invasion
  • Nobles and gentry had led troops in 1540s Campaigns
    • Wanted war to continue to win personal fame
    • Can the new government afford to alienate these powerful families?
  • Over £2 million already spent on the war, with no real results
    • Could they afford to keep going?
  • France would likely get involved
    • Could they risk invasion in South whilst dealing with Scots up North?

Officially encourage Protestant reform?

  • Reform group dominating council and key government posts
    • Can Somerset afford to do nothing?
  • Protestant minority, esp. in London and South-East
    • Want further change
    • Can they be ignored?
  • In the regions, most people followed Catholic Doctrines and Practices
    • Create open rebellion by using the law to change people's faith?
  • Too much change may alarm Catholic powers of Europe
    • Esp. Emperor Charles V
    • Already at war with France and Scotland

Prioritise economic and financial reform?

  • Growing popular discontent over enclosures, rising prices and breakdown of traditional village communities
    • Action satisfy - something being done?
  • Changes (esp. to enclosure rights) would attack gentry class
    • Government depend on them for support
  • Raising taxes to try and improve national finances would be unpopular
    • Could lose the new government the support it had

When Henry VIII died, the religion in England was a plethora of jumbled ideologies, neither entirely Catholic nor entirely Protestant. It featured Protestant leadership with a Catholic method of worship.

Somerset had…


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