Cromwell and the dissolution of the monasteries

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What did the Act of Supremacy allow Henry to do?
“Reform and redress all errors, heresies and abuses” in the Church. Significant because the routine management of the Church passed from clerical into lay hands. Would be the king and his representatives rather than the Archbishop of Canterbury
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When was Cromwell appointed as the king’s vicegerent in spiritual matters?
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Why was vicegerent significant?
Enormous power because this power legally belonged to the king. Cromwell involved himself in day to day matters.
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What was the Act Extinguishing the Authority of the Bishop of Rome and when was it passed?
It was the most important Act in eradicating papal authority completely in England
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What were some of the terms of the Act Extinguishing the Authority of the Bishop of Rome?
Access to and collection of clerical taxes, the power of appointment to Church offices , the authority to determine matters of religious doctrine, the right to grant dispensations and personal exemptions and the use of his title in England.
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What happened to clerics who defended papal authority?
Condemned with Treason Act, punished by death.
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What was believed to be the main reason for the dissolution of the monasteries?
Financial reasons. Henry and Wolsey had struggled to finance the French war of 1522-3, when tax payers resisted taxation
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Why were the monasteries an easy target?
Monasteries no longer commanded enough respect to justify the great wealth. Wolsey met no opposition when he dissolved 29 houses in the 1520s
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What/when was the Visitation and the Comperta Monastica?
Commissioners were instructed to record whether or not the monasteries were complying with the Oath of Supremacy and to detail any alleged offences against the Crown. Dismissive of relics and pilgrimages.
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Who wrote the Comperta Monastica?
Cromwell's servants EG John Vaughan, Richard Layton and Thomas Legh.
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How many monasteries did Cromwell dissolve in 1520's?
29 houses
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What was the Valor Ecclesiasticus? When was it?
Greatest survey of ecclesiastical wealth and property ever undertaken in 1535
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What did the Valor do?
Valued taxes paid to the Crown from ecclesiastical property and income that had previously been paid to the Pope. Undertaken by gentry
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What was the net annual income of the Church?
£320,000 and £360,000 when omissions are taken into account.
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What was the impact of the Valor Ecclesiasticus and Comperta Monastica?
Provided the ammunition for those determined to close the monasteries
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How did Cromwell manipulate the Valor?
By revealing only 3% of funds was to regular charitable work. Misapplication of funds, fraud and clerical corruption were highlighted by Cromwell.
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What was the significant confessions in the Comperta?
Tales of widespread immortality and sexual perversion. Cromwell was able to provide signed confessions of monks and nuns who had admitted breaking their vows of chastity.
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When was the Act for the Dissolution of the Smaller Monasteries passed?
March 1536
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What was the annual income needed for the house not to be dissolved?
£200. If not, the property would go to the Crown.
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How many houses were suppressed? How many were exempt?
399 suppressed. 67 exempt.
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Resistance to the dissolution?
North especially, violent reactions. Cromwell sometimes was prevented from conducting their business by angry mobs determined to defend the monasteries and the Pilgrimage of Grace
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Summarise the Pilgrimage of Grace.
40,000 Northeners opposed to the dissolution of the monasteries. Led by Robert Aske, between 1536-7. Size and geographical scale of the rebellion shocked Henry: Lincolnshire, Yorkshire, Cumberland and Westmorland. Dissolution process halted.
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An Act of Parliament in 1539 made the closing of the rest of the monasteries legal, by the end of 1540 how many monasteries had been closed?
Every one of the 800 monastic houses had been closed, but only a small percentage of them had been transformed into the “bishoprics” “schools” and “hospitals” mentioned by Marillac.
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Who was Marillac?
The French ambassador, who wrote to Francis II stating England were only thinking about reducing the monasteries when in fact, they had nearly all been destroyed by this point in May 1539.
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How did the monasteries react to the dissolution?
Majority accepted their dissolution. The piecemeal closures of late 1538 and early 1539 were probably intended to test the resolve of the remaining monastic communities.
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When was violent action necessary to monasteries that resisted?
abbots of Glastonbury, Reading and Colchester. Richard Whiting, Abbot of Glastonbury who was head one of the richest monasteries in the country was executed
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Why was there a lack of opposition to the dissolution of the monasteries?
Oath of Supremacy in 1535, the nuns and monks, Henry ruled.Majority of senior clerics had been bought off: deprived the rank/file of leadership they needed to resist. Will to resist: broken with Submission of the Clergy.
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Why was it more of a rebellion of the laity than the clergy?
Abbots outnumbered their secular counterparts, the bishops, in Convocation so that monastic submission (to the king) was already well established before the dissolutions took place. Some received support from a number of northern monasteries.
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Positive social impact of the dissolution of the monasteries?
Saved impressive churches, turned into Cathedrals EG Bristol, Gloucester, Chester and Westminster.
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Negative social impacts of the dissolution of the monasteries?
Loss of great abbeys like Glastonbury and Fountains. Argued that removal of this and other charitable incomes mounted to 5% of net monastic income and finally "sturdy beggars" that plagued late Tudor England lead to crime and instability
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Positive economic impact of the dissolution of the monasteries?
Others bought by their local communities: to be able to serve parish churches
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Negative economic impact of the dissolution of the monasteries?
Vast amounts of monastic property were sold quickly, at far less than market value
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When was Cromwell appointed as the king’s vicegerent in spiritual matters?



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Why was vicegerent significant?


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What was the Act Extinguishing the Authority of the Bishop of Rome and when was it passed?


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What were some of the terms of the Act Extinguishing the Authority of the Bishop of Rome?


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