The English Reformation to 1553
England had a reputation for maintaining the power of the king over the pope. Edward I rejected efforts of the pope to not tax the clergy. Parliament passed the Statutes of Province and the Praemunire in the mid-14th century to lessen payments to Rome. Lollardy, humanism and anticlerical feelings paved the road for Protestant ideas in the early 16th century. Preconditions of Reform
William Tyndale translated the New Testament into English in 1524-1525 while residing in Germany. It was printed in Cologne and Worms. It began to circulate in England in 1526. The chief minister to King Henry VIII, Cardinal Thomas Wolsey and Sir Thomas More, Wolsey’s successor, guided the opposition to Protestantism. The king earned the title “Defender of the Faith” by protecting the 7 sacraments against Luther’s attacks. Thomas More wrote Response to Luther in 1523. The King’s Affair
The King’s marriage kick started the English Reformation. Catherine Aragon would not produce a male heir for King Henry VIII, only Mary, and Henry wanted a divorce. Catherine had first been the wife of Henry’s brother, Arthur, but he died, so Henry inherited Catherine. They were married in 1509 with a special dispensation from Pope Julius II himself. By the time of his divorce conflict, Henry was in love with Anne Boleyn, one of Catherine’s ladies-in-waiting. He wanted to wed Anne instead of Catherine. However, he could not get a divorce because Pope Clement VII was a prisoner of Charles V. Cardinal Wolsey, who was in charge of securing and annulment, was dismissed in shame when he failed to do so. Thomas Cranmer and Thomas Cromwell, both of whom harbored Lutheran sympathies then became Henry’s most trusted advisors. They wanted to create an English church of which the King would be the head. This allowed Henry to annul his own marriage. The “Reformation Parliament”
In 1529, Parliament convened for a seven-year session. It was called the “Reformation Parliament”. During this period, it passed legislation that placed reins on the clergy. In 1531, the Convocation recognized that the King was the head of the Church. The Parliament published grievances against the Church, ranging from indifference to the laity to too many religious holidays. Parliament also passed Submission of the Clergy which brought canon law under royal control, and the clergy into royal jurisdiction. In 1533, Henry wed Boleyn and Parliament made the king the highest court of appeal for citizens. Also in 1533, Cranmer led the Convocation to annul Henry’s marriage to Catherine. In 1534, Parliament ended all payments by the laity and clergy to Rome and gave Henry power over ecclesiastical appointments. The Act of Succession made Anne Boleyn’s children legitimate. The Act of Supremacy made Henry the only head in earth of the Church of England. When Thomas More and John Fischer refused to recognize the Act of Succession and the Act of Supremacy, Henry had them executed to prove a point. In 1536 and 1538, Parliament dissolved England’s monasteries and nunneries. Wives of Henry VIII
In 1536, Anne Boleyn was executed for treason and adultery, and her daughter Elizabeth was declared illegitimate. Jane Seymour died in 1537, after giving birth to Edward. On the advice of Cromwell, he wed Anne of Cleves. The marriage was annulled by Parliament and Cromwell was executed. Catherine Howard, the fifth wife, was killed for adultery in 1542. Catherine Parr lived. The King’s Religious Conservatism
Henry remained decidedly conservative in his religious beliefs. With the Ten Articles of 1536, he made mild confessions to Protestant tenets and maintained Catholic Doctrine. He forbade the clergy to marry or have concubines. Henry wrote the Six Articles of 1539 to strike at Protestant views. They reaffirmed transubstantiation, denied the Eucharistic cup to the laity, declared celibate vows inviolable, provided for private masses, and ordered the continuation of oral...