Henry VIII and the English Reformation

By Arthur J. Slavin | Go to book overview

KING OR MINISTER?

G. R. ELTON

G. R. Elton was born in 1921. After coming to England from Prague, he began historical studies and took a Ph.D. at University College, London. Since 1948 he has established himself as a leading authority on the Tudor period, especially on constitutional matters relating to the Reformation. He is currently Professor of Constitutional History in Cambridge University and a fellow of Clare College. Among his many provocative articles and books the most important are his The Tudor Revolution in Government and The Tudor Constitution. Among his other works Star Chamber Stories provides unique insights into the impact of government on Englishmen of every rank and station. His interests in the Reformation period outside of England are illustrated in his editorship of Volume Two of the New Cambridge Modern History and the brilliant feat of compression entitled Reformation Europe, 1517-1559.

THE QUESTION whether Henry VIII or Thomas Cromwell supplied the ideas and the policy which underlay the break with Rome is of more interest than may be imagined. Until it is answered neither the men nor the event can really be understood. The English Reformation gave to England, the English monarchy, and the English church a character quite their own: this makes it important to know just how and why and through whom it happened. It may perhaps be thought strange that so well-worked a part of English history should be supposed to retain some mysteries still. . . . On the face of it, a new study of those critical years in the 1530's might, to say the least, not be without reward. Here I shall attempt only to elucidate the true relationship between the two leading personalities of that age, for the prevailing notions seem to me to do scant justice to the genius of the minister and vastly to overrate the genius of the king. One's opinion of Henry VIII must stand by one's view of his part in the Reformation. The positive achievements of his long reign were crowded into its middle years; if he deserves the high opinion of his skill and understanding which so many moderns seem to hold it must be because he was "the architect of the Reformation." But whether he was that remains to be seen.

Since it is the purpose of this paper to set up Thomas Cromwell as the moving spirit in the early Reformation, it will be of assistance to recall that this view is far from original. It was held, to begin with, by some of Cromwell's contemporaries -- by Cardinal Pole, for instance, by the imperial ambassador Eustace Chapuys, and by John Foxe.1 It was adopted outright -- mainly in reliance on Pole and without proper investigation -- by many nineteenth-century historians. But then came Pollard, who held that the Reformation was a natural development from discoverable causes which was given its particular direction by the king himself; and he had the support of the other early-Tudor pundit of the day, Gaird

____________________
From G. R. Elton, "King or Minister? The Man Behind the Henrician Reformation," History, XXXIX ( 1954), pp. 216-32. Reprinted by permission of the author, and the editor of History, Professor Alfred Cobban .
1
The Protestant martyrologist ( Acts and Monuments, more familiarly Foxe Book of Martyrs).

-57-

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 ...
Default project is now your active project.
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
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Table of Contents v
  • Introduction vii
  • An Extraordinary Pretext 1
  • The Royal Reformer: An Apology 7
  • By a Just Judgment of God 10
  • Arbiter of Christendom 13
  • The Scourge of Popery 17
  • The Image of God upon Earth 21
  • The Judgment upon His Motives and Actions 27
  • If a Lion Knew His Own Strength 33
  • The Tyranny of Tudor Times 39
  • The English Schism: Occasion and Cause 45
  • Tudor Humanism and Henry VIII 52
  • King or Minister? 57
  • Wolsey: Prelude to a Revolution 65
  • The Fate of the Monasteries 70
  • The Origins of Protestantism in English Society 81
  • Introduction 81
  • O the Great Judgments of God! 91
  • Suggestions for Additional Reading 100
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
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?

Help
Full screen
/ 102

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    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

    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.