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  1. The English Reformation revised
  2. Character and Development of the English Reformation - Oxford Scholarship
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  4. The English Reformation Revised

There were other departures from tradition. At least initially, there was no music because it would take time to replace the church's body of Latin music. In , Parliament also legalised clerical marriage , something already practiced by some Protestants including Cranmer but considered an abomination by conservatives.

The English Reformation revised

Enforcement of the new liturgy did not always take place without a struggle. In the West Country , the introduction of the Book of Common Prayer was the catalyst for a series of uprisings through the summer of There were smaller upheavals elsewhere from the West Midlands to Yorkshire. The Prayer Book Rebellion was not only in reaction to the prayer book; the rebels demanded a full restoration of pre-Reformation Catholicism.

Kett's Rebellion in Norwich blended Protestant piety with demands for economic reforms and social justice. The insurrections were put down only after considerable loss of life. It was wrongly believed by both conservatives and reformers that the Reformation would be overturned. Warwick saw further implementation of the reforming policy as a means of gaining Protestant support and defeating his conservative rivals.

Henceforth, the Reformation proceeded apace. Since the s, one of the obstacles to Protestant reform had been the bishops, bitterly divided between a traditionalist majority and a Protestant minority. This obstacle was removed in — when the episcopate was purged of conservatives.

The newly enlarged and emboldened Protestant episcopate turned its attention to ending efforts by conservative clergy to "counterfeit the popish mass" through loopholes in the prayer book. The Book of Common Prayer was composed during a time when it was necessary to grant compromises and concessions to traditionalists. This was taken advantage of by conservative priests who made the new liturgy as much like the old one as possible, including elevating the Eucharist.

To attack the mass, Protestants began demanding the removal of stone altars. Bishop Ridley launched the campaign in May when he commanded all altars to be replaced with wooden communion tables in his London diocese. In November , the Privy Council ordered the removal of all altars in an effort to end all dispute. The removal of altars was also an attempt to destroy the idea that the Eucharist was Christ's sacrifice.

Character and Development of the English Reformation - Oxford Scholarship

During Lent in , John Hooper preached, "as long as the altars remain, both the ignorant people, and the ignorant and evil-persuaded priest, will dream always of sacrifice". In March , a new ordinal was published that was based on Martin Bucer's own treatise on the form of ordination. While Bucer had provided for only one service for all three orders of clergy, the English ordinal was more conservative and had separate services for deacons , priests and bishops. Hooper was excused from invoking the saints in his oath, but he would ultimately be convinced to wear the offensive consecration garb.

This was the first battle in the vestments controversy , which was essentially a conflict over whether the church could require people to observe ceremonies that were neither necessary for salvation nor prohibited by scripture. The Book of Common Prayer was criticised by Protestants both in England and abroad for being too susceptible to Roman Catholic re-interpretation. Martin Bucer identified 60 problems with the prayer book, and the Italian Peter Martyr Vermigli provided his own complaints. Shifts in Eucharistic theology between and also made the prayer book unsatisfactory—during that time English Protestants achieved a consensus rejecting any real bodily presence of Christ in the Eucharist.

Some influential Protestants such as Vermigli defended Zwingli 's symbolic view of the Eucharist. Less radical Protestants such as Bucer and Cranmer advocated for a spiritual presence in the sacrament. This new prayer book removed many of the traditional elements in the prayer book, resulting in a more Protestant liturgy. The communion service was designed to remove any hint of consecration or change in the bread and wine. Instead of unleavened wafers, ordinary bread was to be used.

Rather, he said, "Take and eat this, in remembrance that Christ died for thee, and feed on him in thy heart by faith, with thanksgiving". Christ's presence in the Lord's Supper was a spiritual presence "limited to the subjective experience of the communicant". In the new prayer book, the last vestiges of prayers for the dead were removed from the funeral service.

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In the baptism service, infants no longer received minor exorcism and the white chrisom robe. Anointing was no longer included in the services for baptism, ordination and visitation of the sick. Clerical vestments were simplified—ministers were only allowed to wear the surplice and bishops had to wear a rochet. Throughout Edward's reign, inventories of parish valuables, ostensibly for preventing embezzlement, convinced many the government planned to seize parish property, just as was done to the chantries.

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They were instructed to leave only the "bare essentials" required by the Book of Common Prayer—a surplice, tablecloths, communion cup and a bell. Items to be seized included copes, chalices , chrismatories , patens , monstrances and candlesticks. The confiscations caused tensions between Protestant church leaders and Warwick, now Duke of Northumberland. Cranmer, Ridley and other Protestant leaders did not fully trust Northumberland.

Northumberland in turn sought to undermine these bishops by promoting their critics, such as Jan Laski and John Knox.

The Forty-two Articles reflected the Reformed theology and practice taking shape during Edward's reign, which historian Christopher Haigh describes as a "restrained Calvinism ". Edward became seriously ill in February and died in July Before his death, Edward was concerned that Mary, his devoutly Catholic sister, would overturn his religious reforms. A new plan of succession was created in which both of Edward's sisters Mary and Elizabeth were bypassed on account of illegitimacy in favor of the Protestant Jane Grey , the granddaughter of Edward's aunt Mary Tudor and daughter in law of the Duke of Northumberland.

This new succession violated the Succession Act of and was widely seen as an attempt by Northumberland to stay in power. Both Protestants and Roman Catholics understood that the accession of Mary I to the throne meant a restoration of traditional religion. This was in part Mary's attempt to avoid provoking Protestant opposition before she could consolidate her power. Historian Eamon Duffy writes that "Protestantism was a force to be reckoned with in London and in towns like Bristol, Rye, and Colchester, and it was becoming so in some northern towns such as Hessle, Hull, and Halifax.

Following Mary's accession, the Duke of Norfolk along with the conservative bishops Bonner, Gardiner, Tunstall, Day and Heath were released from prison and restored to their former dioceses. By September , Hooper and Cranmer were imprisoned. Northumberland himself was executed but not before his conversion to Catholicism. When Parliament met in October, Bishop Gardiner, now Lord Chancellor, initially proposed the repeal of all religious legislation since The House of Commons refused to pass this bill, and after heated debate, [] Parliament repealed all Edwardian religious laws, including clerical marriage and the prayer book, in the First Statute of Repeal.

If Mary was to secure England for Roman Catholicism, she needed an heir and her Protestant half-sister Elizabeth had to be prevented from inheriting the Crown. There was opposition, and even a rebellion in Kent led by Sir Thomas Wyatt ; even though it was provided that Philip would never inherit the kingdom if there was no heir, received no estates and had no coronation.

Before reunion could occur, church property disputes had to be settled—which, in practice, meant letting the nobility and gentry who had bought confiscated church lands keep them. I come to reconcile, not to condemn. I come not to compel, but to call again. On 30 November, Pole spoke to both houses of Parliament, absolving the members of Parliament "with the whole realm and dominions thereof, from all heresy and schism".

This bill was passed as the Second Statute of Repeal. Historian Eamon Duffy writes that the Marian religious "programme was not one of reaction but of creative reconstruction" absorbing whatever was considered positive in the reforms of Henry VIII and Edward VI. There was a greater focus on the need for inward contrition in addition to external acts of penance. Cardinal Pole would eventually replace Cranmer as Archbishop of Canterbury in , jurisdictional issues between England and Rome having prevented Cranmer's removal.

Mary could have had Cranmer tried and executed for treason—he had supported the claims of Lady Jane Grey—but she resolved to have him tried for heresy. His recantations of his Protestantism would have been a major coup. Unhappily for her, he unexpectedly withdrew his recantations at the last minute as he was to be burned at the stake, thus ruining her government's propaganda victory.

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The English Reformation Revised

As papal legate, Pole possessed authority over both his Province of Canterbury and the Province of York , which allowed him to oversee the Counter-Reformation throughout all of England. Around 2, married clergy were separated from their wives, but the majority of these were allowed to continue their work as priests.


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From December to February , Cardinal Pole presided over a national legatine synod that produced a set of decrees entitled Reformatio Angliae or the Reformation of England. Clerical absenteeism the practice of clergy failing to reside in their diocese or parish , pluralism , and simony were condemned. The Council of Trent would later impose the seminary system upon the rest of the Catholic Church.

Mary did what she could to restore church finances and land taken in the reigns of her father and brother. In , she returned to the church the First Fruits and Tenths revenue, but with these new funds came the responsibility of paying the pensions of ex-religious. She restored six religious houses with her own money, notably Westminster Abbey for the Benedictines and Syon Abbey for the Bridgettines.

Only seven religious houses were re-founded between and ; though, there were plans to re-establish more. Of the 1, ex-religious still living, only about a hundred resumed monastic life, and only a small number of chantries were re-founded. Re-establishments were hindered by the changing nature of charitable giving. A plan to re-establish Greyfriars in London was prevented because its buildings were occupied by Christ's Hospital , a school for orphaned children. There is debate among historians over how vibrant the restoration was on the local level.

According to historian A. Dickens, "Parish religion was marked by religious and cultural sterility", [] though historian Christopher Haigh observed enthusiasm, marred only by poor harvests that produced poverty and want. In the parishes, "restoration and repair continued, new bells were bought, and church ales produced their bucolic profits". However, Bishop Bonner's attempt to establish weekly processions in was a failure. Haigh writes that in years during which processions were banned people had discovered "better uses for their time" as well as "better uses for their money than offering candles to images".

Protestants who refused to conform remained an obstacle to Catholic plans. Around Protestants fled England to find safety in Protestant areas of Germany and Switzerland, establishing networks of independent congregations.

The English Reformation

Safe from persecution, these Marian exiles carried on a propaganda campaign against Roman Catholicism and the Queen's Spanish marriage, sometimes calling for rebellion. In , the initial reconciling tone of the regime began to harden with the revival of the medieval heresy laws , which authorized capital punishment as a penalty for heresy.

Around Protestants were burnt at the stake for heresy. Hargrave writes that the Marian persecution was not "excessive" by "contemporary continental standards"; however, "it was unprecedented in the English experience".


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Mary's efforts at restoring Roman Catholicism were also frustrated by the church itself. Mary refused to let him go. The support she might have expected from a grateful Pope was thus denied. Despite these obstacles, the 5-year restoration was successful.