Dissolution of the Monasteries

  • Created by: elyornais
  • Created on: 17-03-15 12:00
In 1530, how many religious houses were there in England and Wales?
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Why were the monasteries important?
They carried out good work and duties for the general public, such as, education, caring for the sick and poor and providing a place to stay for travellers.
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What vows did monks and nuns take?
Poverty, chastity and obedience.
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When did Cromwell commission the Valor Ecclesiasticus?
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What did the valor ecclesiastical reveal about religious houses?
Total income of the religious houses was over £160,000 a year and about one third of landed property was in monastic hands.
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Where did monastic wealth come from?
Mostly from rents but also from tithes(1/10th of the produce of land and livestock payable to the church) and the profits of pilgrimage.
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How much was monastic income compared to royal estates?
More than three times more.
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Give three reasons why the monasteries were dissolved?
Allegiance to Rome. Abuses and Decay. Wealth.
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When did Cromwell send out royal commissioners to invite the heads of houses to hand over to the crown?
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Why did many surrender willingly?
Because of the generous pension on offer if they took secular jobs.
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How did some monasteries start to secure their financial security?
Leasing land and selling off gold-plate.
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How did Cromwell respond?
Wrote to them to reassure them that general suppression was not planned and all recent suppressions were voluntary. (hidden warning that threat of force would be used if they continued)
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What happened to heads of houses involved with the Pilgrimidge of Grace?
Declared traitors by the Act of Attainder and executed and Monasetries given to the crown?
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What did other Abbots do after the PoG?
Gave up hope of resistance and surrendered freely.
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What was the Court of Augmentations?
Carried out overall supervision of monastic property.
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Who was in charge of it?
Richard Rich.
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Who set it up?
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When was it set up?
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What did royal commissioners do and when?
1538- sent to each county to oversee closures, anything that could be moved was sent to London and land was rented out or sold and the money went to Henry.
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What happened to the Monks?
Moved to larger houses OR release from vows (except chastity) became secular/ non-church jobs.
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How much did they get?
20-30 shillings.
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What did the heads of houses get?
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How many smaller monasteries were dissolved?
over 300.
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They were seen as dens of vice, places of manifest sin, vicious carnal and abominable living.
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How many escaped closure-why?
67 were granted exemptions by Henry because they were not corrupt. They still had to pay money to stay open. Gilbertines didnt close as their master was Cromwell's friend.
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When did Cromwell pass the Act for dissolution of all religious houses with a net income of less than £200 per year?
spring, 1536
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When was the Act of Parliament passed?
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What did it mean?
That voluntary surrenders were legal.
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What happened in November 1539?
Two of Cromwell's most trusted servants, Thomas Legh and Richard Layton, were given instructions to suppress or alter all remaining monastries(converting into cathedrals)
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What was the last monastery to be dissolved?
Warham Abbey 1540.
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What happened to more stubborn monks?
Forced to resign and replaced by men who would do what Cromwell wanted.
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What do protestant historians think about the dissolutions?
That monsticism was outdated and unnecessary in its existence and beliefs. They think the dissolution was the natural and logical step in english reformation.
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What is the evidence that Henry did have faith in the monastic ideal and didnt really want to dissolve the monastries?
He hardly subscribed to doctrines put forward by protestant writers. He had re-founded two monastries so that frequent prayers were said for him and his family.
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Why does the idea of a threat from the pope was the reason for monastic revival seem unlikely?
Because religious houses did not really owe a special obedience to rome but to leading monastries in Europe and were mainly founded by the crown and most monks had shown loyalty to the crown over rome by taking oath of supremacy.
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What was used to justify the dissolution of the monasteries?
Corruption. Eg; Monks living lives of country gentleman, having mistresses and children.
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How were people convinced of the need for dissolution?
Tales of immorality findings of visitations read out in parliament.- they were misleading.
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Why was the financial gain important to Henry?
Eager to fill Crown's Coffers and bolster England's defences against threat of foreign invasion. It would double his income and free him from dependence on parliamentary grants.
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Thoughts about dissolution being pre-planned?
Cromwell may have planned it from 1530s. Financial and evangelical.Easy target.
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Thoughts that it wasnt pre-planned?
1535 valor ecclesiasticus revealed full extent of monastic wealth.- Cromwell and Henry decide. More reactive than planned. Initial reason for valor was to assess how much clerical institution would have to pay to meet the 10% of income.
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Why would they decide to dissolve larger houses?
It became clear throughout 1538 and 39 that larger houses could be swept away with ease. Henry impressed by amount from smaller so wanted Cromwell to finish the job.
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Why did dissolution make no difference to increasing levels of poverty?
Valor Ecclesiasticus said only 2% of houses' income went to helping poor.
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What may have lead to increasing levels of poverty?
Dissolution put an end to monastic charity(Shelter, caring for sick, helping poor) However Laymen did continue to fund hospitals.
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Why wasnt land sold off immediately?
More could be gained from leasing it out for regular source of income.
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How did the crown achieve some educational and spiritual reform?
New cathedral schools, Trinity college, Cambridge founded- no where near the scale of reform promised.
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Why is the dissolution seen as cultural vandalism by catholic historians?
Got rid of architectural treasures forever and left just ruins. Monastic art and libraries sold off for money.
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What was more likely to cause poverty?
Rising population, pressure on land and rapid inflation.
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Card 2


Why were the monasteries important?


They carried out good work and duties for the general public, such as, education, caring for the sick and poor and providing a place to stay for travellers.

Card 3


What vows did monks and nuns take?


Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4


When did Cromwell commission the Valor Ecclesiasticus?


Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


What did the valor ecclesiastical reveal about religious houses?


Preview of the front of card 5
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