• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How far was England a Catholic Country by the end of Henry VIII's reign in 1547

Extracts from this document...


How far was England a Catholic Country by the end of Henry VIII's reign in 1547? Explain your answer. It is argued by some historians that the changes enforced by Henry VIII with respect to the Break with Rome suggest that England was becoming a Protestant Country. However, it is also argued that these changes were not made for religious reasons, and the strong Catholic measures put into place in the 1540s shows that England was still catholic by 1547. With both arguments taken into account, it would appear that a clearly defined religious position cannot be established. Instead perhaps, a state of "National Catholicism" with some Protestant elements mixed in would be a more accurate description. On the Protestant side of the argument, it is suggested that the measures such as the Act in Restraint of Appeals in 1533, and the Act for the Submission of the Clergy, the Succession Act, and the Treason Act would suggest that England was certainly moving away from the Catholic Church. ...read more.


On the other hand, the argument for the view that England was Catholic in 1547 begins with the suggestion that the initial changes made during the Break with Rome were made for reasons other than religion. Protestantism was never mentioned, and instead it is argued that a state of "National Catholicism" was created. G.R. Elton suggests that the reformation was an "Act of State", which would suggest that religious position of England never actually changed from that of Catholicism. Following the Pilgrimage of Grace which can be seen as a result of the Dissolution of the Monasteries, Henry became much more conservative in his actions. This Bishop's Book of 1537 included the additional four sacraments that had been omitted from the Ten Articles, showing that England may well have been moving back into a more strictly Catholic position. The Act of Six Articles was also very conservative, with the Catholic ideas of Transubstantiation and Clerical Celibacy being enforced. ...read more.


Political actions such as these may well have covered Henry's true feelings for large parts of his reign in an attempt to appease all parties that could may well pose a problem to him of his successors. On balance, it would appear that the final description of England's position in 1547 holds the most strength. With this taken into account, it is therefore reasonable to conclude that the points observed when either arguing for Protestantism or Catholicism are not incorrect, but need to be combined to fain a full reflection. It was inevitable that with individuals such as Cranmer and Cromwell in power some Protestant ideas would be incorporated into the Church and State, but Henry's underlying Catholic beliefs kept these in check and ensured that the doctrine remained predominantly strongly Catholic until 1547. Although England cannot be classified as Catholic due to the lack of Papal Power, England can be seen as following largely Catholic beliefs for most of Henry's reign and especially at the time of his death in 1547. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level British History: Monarchy & Politics section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level British History: Monarchy & Politics essays

  1. Was the Henrician Reformation inevitable?

    In spite of Henry's motives at this point being purely based on obtaining his divorce, the steps he took moved more into reform. In January 1531 the southern convocation was told Henry wanted a considerable subsidy to cover the expenses of the divorce caused by delays in Rome.

  2. To What Extent Was England A Protestant Country By 1547?

    Despite the fluctuations that occurred during this period, Thomas Cromwell during the 1930s and Thomas Cranmer throughout can be seen as two of the leading individuals at the time, along with the increasingly important Edward Seymour. All keen Reformers, they were two of the King's leading men.

  1. In order to assess how Protestant England was at the cessation of Edward's reign ...

    Henry's legacy, despite dabbling with Protestant reforms to plunder and ensure his and his progenies' authorized succession, was essentially orthodox Catholicism in doctrine and ceremonies by 1547. The period after the break from Rome between 1534 to 1547 saw Henry pressured to formulate acceptable doctrine to appease both sides, swinging between favouring either the Protestant factions (led by Cramner)

  2. How Far At the Death of Mary I, In 1558, Was England a Roman ...

    The burnings began in February, 1555. The fear that overcame Mary after the Wyatt rebellion led to the burning of the Protestants. Up until that time she had appeared lenient and fair but her attitude changed completely when she sensed that she could never feel completely safe until all heretics were shown the outcome of disobedience.

  1. The Reformation was the intellectual movement in Western Europe in the 16th century which ...

    Luther therefore believed that the greatest threat to Christianity itself were the popes, due to their unholy actions. Also, Luther had criticized the Catholic Bishops, dubbing them as "absent landlords". These Bishops ruled over Germany, yet lived in Rome; therefore they were utterly unaware of the poverty and poor conditions in Germany.

  2. Was England a Catholic or Protestant Country by January 1547?

    Yet Henry cared little after he got his divorce and so in other words the church was set free. Still approaching 1547, in 1543 England was slowly turning back to being Catholic. Henry made several changes that indicated this. Firstly, the Act for the Advancement of True Religion began once again restricting English bibles to the upper classes only.

  1. Henry VIII end of the reign.

    His Privy Council, whose role was to advise, administer and adjudicate, were trustworthy and he was not to become manipulated by them until the last months of his life. His will was one such case, where space was left for change after his death and another when Gardiner was ousted

  2. How far was England a Protestant nation on the death of Henry VIII in ...

    Wealthy clergy were supposed to support scholars at schools and universities, while parents were urged to educate their children. There was nothing unCatholic about this, but the injunctions went onto declare that clergy were to publicise and show approval of the Ten Articles (rejection of the 'Seven Sacraments' of Catholic doctrine)

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work