Henry VIII and the Reformation

Henry VIII and the Reformation

Henry VIII and the Reformation

Henry VIII and the Reformation

Excerpt

Some years ago I published a book called Pre-Reformation England. In it I attempted to describe the condition of the country and the Church on the eve of the Reformation, and to show how many were the tendencies, social and religious, that made for change. In consequence, many of the subjects that the reader might expect to be treated of in this volume are to be found in the other, which ended with a long account of the Catholic reformers, Colet, More, Erasmus and Henry VIII in his pre- Boleyn days. The conclusion then reached was that a reformation was overdue. In the present book I describe in what a haphazard way the Reformation came to pass.

The book is divided into two parts -- the first is concerned with the political and the second with the religious reformation. The first has to do with the break from Rome, the royal supremacy, the submission of the clergy, the dissolution of the monasteries, and with the ebb and flow of Lutheran influence coinciding with the fluctuations of Henry's foreign diplomacy. The second part starts with the New Learning at Cambridge, and goes on to tell the story of the English Bible and its reception, of the attempts to provide formularies of faith, and of projects for liturgical revision. The wide differences of belief are explained, and the insistence of all parties on uniformity. The book ends with an account of some martyrs, Catholic and Protestant, who preferred to die rather than to conform with Henry's standard of orthodoxy.

First, I have to thank Professor Hamilton Thompson and the late Bishop of Gloucester for their kindness in reading my typescript; secondly, I have to thank Mr. Lennox Morison and the Reverend James Nankivell for helping me with the proofs; thirdly, I have to thank Professor Hamilton Thompson and my brother for undertaking the wearisome task of verifying references; and fourthly, I have to thank the reader of Messrs. R. & R. Clark for the pertinent queries he has written in the margins of the proofs.

I must also thank Mr. William Liversidge for the copious extracts he sent me from the Venetian State Papers, and the late Mr. Geoffrey Baskerville for answering questions arising out of his English Monks and the Suppression of the Monasteries. Lastly, I have to thank the Reverend J. F. Mozley for the patience and . . .

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