Act of Supremacy 1534

Topics: Henry VIII of England, English Reformation, Anne Boleyn Pages: 6 (1851 words) Published: March 28, 2013
Anglophones worlds

Henry VIII’s Act of Supremacy (1534)

The act of supremacy is a legal document passed in the sixth session of the reformation Parliament in November –December 1534.
1.2 Context
Henry VIII (1491–1547), reigned 1509–47. He was the second Tudor monarch after his father Henry VII. Ascended to the throne of England in 1509 after his elder brother, Arthur died, becoming the next in line to the throne. At that moment the country was Catholic and was controlled by the Pope in Rome. Henry had six wives (Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Anne of Cleves, Catherine Howard, and Katherine Parr); he executed two and divorced two. His first divorce, from Catherine of Aragon, was opposed by the Pope, leading to England’s break with the Roman Catholic Church

In the establishment of the protestant faith in England, the English Reformation, there were several Key changes during the 1530s. Between 1531 to 1535 Henry obtained a series of act of Parliament, replacing the Pope’s power over the church of England with his own, and declaring it treason to oppose this step. The break with Roman church was catalysed with the Act of Supremacy in 1534 when the act in Parliament declared Henry VIII the Supreme Head on Earth of the Church of England.

The origins of the break with Rome are to be found in the 1520s. By 1527 Henry wanted to annul his marriage to Catherine of Aragon. The main reason why Henry wanted to end the marriage that had lasted for eighteen years could vary depending on the view of the historian, Some propose that he wanted to end a marriage that he believed to be against God’s will; Others that he wanted a new wife who provide him a legitimate heir, (Catherine wasn’t able to do), a male heir to carry forward the Tudor dynasty; and others support that he had fallen in love with Ann Boleyn.

He seek for an annulment from the highest authority, the Pope and asked Thomas Wolsey , Henry’s first great minister to use his influence in Rome to get a papal annulment of Henry's marriage so that he could remarry with Anne Boleyn.

Wolsey was unable to accomplish this, mainly because Catherine's nephew, the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, dominated the pope at the time. If Clement conceded annulment, therefore admitted that his predecessor, Julius II, had erred.

In one of Henry’s attempted of annul his marriage he used The Book of Leviticus (the third book of the Hebrew Bible, and the third of five books of the Torah) to justify his annulment as he should never have married his Brother Arthur’s wife. When Pope Julius II had issued a dispensation (from ecclesiastical law) allowing the marriage of Henry to Catherine.

In 1529 Wolsey complete failure to arrange an annulment for Henry and was replaced. Wolsey's replacement as Lord Chancellor was Sir Thomas More.
In the 1530s had influence by different people as Thomas Cromwell a leading figure who He helped build a favourable case for Henry's divorce.
Cranmer participate in key events carried out the ceremony of married of Henry and Anne Boleyn in secretin 1533 after Ann was pregnant, in December 1532. The wedding was in January and in April Cranmer ruled that henry’s marriage to Catherin was invalid, whereas his marriage to Anne was legal. In may 1533 Ann was crowned as Queen of England

Cranmer suggested Henry make himself head of the English church. Also with Thomas Cromwell, they supported the principle of Royal Supremacy, in which the king was considered sovereign over the Church within his realm.

The reasons form the reformation could been political, economical, lust. As it was a Religious Catholic king is hard to find a religious cause but this doesn’t mean that England hadn’t a background they want a religion change.

At the end of the 15th century there was a movement of anticlericalism that could influence to the reformation, surviving until 16th century there were the Lollardy founded by John Wycliffe. It main...
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