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Explain the role played by Thomas Cranmer in achieving the Royal Divorce

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Introduction

Transfer-Encoding: chunked Paper 11 June 2012 Explain the role played by Thomas Cranmer in achieving the Royal Divorce Thomas Cranmer, along with Foxe and Gardiner, were tasked with trying to solve King Henry VIII?s Great Matter. First they decided to appeal to the great universities of Europe in 1530, but it became apparent that there was nothing that could be done within canon law. Therefore Cranmer, along with the Archbishop of Hereford, turned to a collection of documents known as the Collectania satis copiosa. This was a collection of ancient English manuscripts and Anglo-Saxon Chronicals which referred to the king as head of state and church. They set forward a legal and historical basis from which Cranmer used to argue that Henry had the authority to achieve a divorce without the consent of the Pope. ...read more.

Middle

Men such as Cranmer and Cromwell were more important than ever in 1530-32 because Henry saw them as his greatest chance of getting a divorce. The historian Ian Dawson believes that Henry chose them over the conservatives because the conservatives could only offer a stalemate with no solution. Cranmer was an evangelical, both pro-protestant and anti-papal. He had an agenda of his own that he wanted to achieve, and he believed that securing a divorce would mark the beginning of the English reformation that he desired. Henry was impressed with Cranmer?s work and he was appointed a royal chaplain for the house of Anne Boleyn?s father. When the Archbishop of Canterbury, Warham, died in August of 1532 he was replaced by Cranmer in February 1533. ...read more.

Conclusion

Cranmer met with Convocation at St Peter?s Priory in Dunstable which was not far from where Catherine was staying in Ampthill. Cranmer issued a declaration on 23rd May 1533 which stated that the Argonese marriage was nul and void, and that the secret marriage to Anne four months earlier was valid. Catherine did not appear. Catherine had launched an appeal to the Pope back in 1529, before the Act of Restraint of Appeals, so therefore Cranmer?s declaration was in direct defiance of the Pope. The Act of Succession in 1534 confirmed this decision and had the backing of the European universities. Cranmer had been successful in obtaining the divorce, but he was greatly helped by the political acumen of Thomas Cromwell. ...read more.

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