Henry VIII and the English Reformation

By Arthur J. Slavin | Go to book overview

"O THE GREAT JUDGMENTS OF GOD!"

CHRISTOPHER HILL

The current Master of Balliol College, Oxford, went there to study as a young man (b. 1912), stayed as a fellow and tutor, left for the Second World War, and returned as a promising historian in 1945. Since that time he has been University lecturer in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century history there and also had the honor of the Ford's lectureship in 1962. A somewhat controversial figure because of his Marxist persuasions and his persistent exposition of an "economic determinist" position in many of his works, Christopher Hill has written several major books and numerous essays and articles, among the chief of which are: Economic Problems of the Church, Puritanism and Revolution, Society and Puritanism in Pre-Revolutionary England, and The Intellectual Origins of the Puritan Revolution.


I

THE REFORMATION in England was an act of state. The initiative came from Henry VIII, who wanted to solve his matrimonial problems. The King had the enthusiastic support of an anti-clerical majority in the House of Commons (representing the landed gentry and the merchants and of the propertied classes in the economically advanced south and east of England. Overt opposition came only from the more feudal north (the Pilgrimage of Grace in 1536). The Reformation was not motivated by theological considerations: Henry VIII burnt Protestants as well as opponents of the royal supremacy. Some supporters of the Reformation were heretics; but the wide expansion of Protestantism in England was a consequence, not a cause, of the Reformation.

This was of course the most important outcome of the English Reformation. But it also had economic and social consequences, which played their part in preparing for the Revolution of 1640-9. The most obvious effect of the Reformation in England was the weakening of the Church as an institution. At the dissolution of the monasteries landed property bringing in a net annual income of over £136,000, and bullion, plate, and other valuables worth possibly £1-million, were taken away from the Church and handed over to laymen of the propertied class. To convey the significance of these figures we may recall that royal revenue from land never exceeded £40,000 a year before 1542.

The Church's loss of economic power brought with it a decline in political power. In Parliament, the removal of abbots from the House of Lords meant that the clerical vote there changed from an absolute majority to a minority. Bishops ceased to be great feudal potentates and sank to even greater dependence on the Crown. Convocation lost its legislative independence. With monastic property the Church lost the right of presentation to some two-fifths of the benefices of the kingdom: this was ultimately to have momentous consequences. The Church also lost a great deal of that vast system of patronage -- jobs for

____________________
Reprinted by permission of Schocken Books Inc. and of Martin Secker and Warburg Ltd. from Puritanism and Revolution by Christopher Hill ( 1958), pp. 32-49. Copyright © 1964 by Schocken Books Inc.
1
The right to nominate to a vacant church living, or benefice.

-91-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Henry VIII and the English Reformation
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 102

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.