Parish Priests and Their People in the Middle Ages in England

By Edward L. Cutts | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XXVI.
THE "VALOR ECCLESIASTICUS" OF HENRY VIII.

IT is convenient to take into consideration here another survey of the Church which was taken about two centuries later.

When Crown, Parliament, and Church, in the sixteenth century, determined to throw off the patriarchal supremacy of Rome, for which its monstrous pecuniary exactions in one shape and another was one prominent motive, the clergy no doubt fondly expected that they would get rid for ever of the burden of first-fruits and tenths, but found themselves grievously disappointed. One of the political motives of the king in the complex series of events which we sum up under the general name of the Reformation, was the diminution of the power and wealth of the Church. The property of the monasteries, which he confiscated, the manors of the sees, which he compelled the bishops to surrender, did not suffice him. A subservient Parliament, passing one Act in 1532 and another in 1534, put the

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