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Edwardian Protestantism

Edwardian Protestantism. Religion & Religious Change in England, c.1470-1558. A child king ‘Mid-Tudor Crisis’?: Disastrous foreign policy R ebellions Attempted political coup (the Grey affair) EVI’s birth solved one succession crisis – his death provoked another Lead only to Mary I

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Edwardian Protestantism

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  1. Edwardian Protestantism Religion & Religious Change in England, c.1470-1558

  2. A child king • ‘Mid-Tudor Crisis’?: • Disastrous foreign policy • Rebellions • Attempted political coup (the Grey affair) • EVI’s birth solved one succession crisis – his death provoked another • Lead only to Mary I • Waiting for Glorianna – jolly jumping Elizabethans…….. The odd reign:

  3. Questions of Henry’s reign: • King or minister? • Catholic or Protestant? • Look considerably easier to answer • Where does this leave the Royal Supremacy? • Marked by a vacuum? • 40 years of ‘tyranny’ released • An unrecognised ‘revolution’? The other side – Reformation blitzkrieg:

  4. Big H & Little E:

  5. HVIII’s legacy important: • Hezekiah, Solomon, David • Old Testament kings who combined secular and religious authority with a divine mandate to purge the land of idolatry • Justify and express the Royal Supremacy • Josiah – Old Testament king: • Boy king of Judah who restored Jewish worship to ancient purity. • Propaganda-go-go…. Josiah:

  6. Foxe, Actes & Monuments (1563):

  7. Edwardian myths: • ‘Idolatry’ – Catholicism as a false religion: • Alogical outgrowth of JBFA. • Salvation initiated and controlled by God • Faith a gift from Him – humanity little role in the process. • Positing that priesthood could mediate God’s grace was offensive: • Whole basis of LMC – works of charity to accrue grace/ help souls in purgatory – a vast con on the part of the Roman Church. • Not just wrong – imperils souls, offends God, and makes a God of the Pope • Direct contravention of the 2nd Commandment • As were images/cult of saints • Thus iconoclasm: inveighing against images (offensive to God to assume could be pictured) Edward may have been a child, but we should not assume that he had no agency, or that this Reformation was the result of his ministers alone. Not the ‘sickly child’ of legend We know that he died young. They did not know that was going to happen – policies had to be written on the assumption that this ‘Godly Imp’ would reach maturity.

  8. Destroying: Rebuilding: • 1547 – Act of Six Articles abolished • HVIII Treason Laws abolished (space for evangelical work) • 1547 – preaching licenses suspended • New Book of Homilies (JBFA) – 31/7/47 • Royal Injunctions – 31/7/47 • Eradication of images/ shrines/ relics • Roods and altars in 1549 • No longer a numinous world • 1548 – Chantries suppressed • No more foundations which supported prayers for the dead • Purgatory now theologically unacceptable • 1548 (Easter) – Communion in Both Kinds • Still Latin Mass • 1549 – 1st Book of Common Prayer (Cranmer) • Half-way house • Some steps towards a Protestant liturgy – but not satisfy evangelicals • 1549 – Clerical marriage legalised • 1550 – new Ordinal (consecration of clergy) • Counter to Catholic doctrine • Evangelical Bishops (Nicholas Ridley/ John Hooper) take over from conservatives (Edmund Bonner) • 1552 – 2nd Book of Common Prayer • Finalised version of 1549 with few of the fudges • Fully Protestant Communion service (Lord’s Supper replaced the Mass) • 1552 – ReformatioLegumEcclesiasticarum • Protestant Church law (replace Canon Law) • Divorce/ Marriage/ Heresy / Moral Discipline (Bucer influence) • Defeated in the House of Lords (too much power to the Church?) • 1553 – 42 Articles – statement of faith • Influence of Martin Bucer(Strasbourg); Peter Martyr Vermigli Chronology:

  9. Plenty of division (although often fairly indirect rather than open warfare) • Positive or negative: • MacCulloch (idealism and motives for social justice) • Duffy (ruthless destruction of pre-Reformation Catholicism forced on a populace that did not want it) • Coherent policy? • HVIII’s was not (unless you are George Bernard) – seemed to develop ‘on the run’ • Why should EVI’s be any different? • MacCulloch – continuity and consistency typified a Reformation steered by Cranmer • Haigh– uncertain and spasmodic (like HVIII); politics and context equally as important as earlier. • Was it a tale of two Dukes? • HVIII – tale of two halves (evangelical ‘30s; conservative ‘40s) • EDVI – Somerset (1547-49); Northumberland (1549-53) • Liberal/moderate ‘good duke’ • Unprincipled opportunist ‘bad duke’ • Impact at a local level: • No-one disputes the dramatic change to the material culture/fabric of England’s parishes • But how durable that change was/extent to which made people ‘Protestant’ at issue: • Elton – allowed a ‘Reformation from below’; England Protestant • Duffy/Haigh – not so; traditional religion durable. Historiography:

  10. Purge of the evangelicals: • 1540 ‘conservative turn’ (arguable) – exiles/ clamp down on bible reading / felt betrayed – no longer working with HVIII’s regime towards Reformation. • Evangelicals small, but disproportionately active – flirting with Reformed theology (not Lutheran) • 1546 – HVIII falling ill; sudden purging of evangelicals: • Anne Askew – outspoken Lincolnshire woman • Conservatives hoped that she would give evidence against her friends in high places (refused to break under torture) – very public denunciation of her persecutors. • Political moderation (evangelical) and conservatism both discredited. • Effect – push towards reform: • Previously, labels in limbo • Now, more earnest ascension to Reformed Protestantism • Cranmer abandoned his Lutheran view on the Eucharist – towards Reformed • This was a centre-point of a more iconoclastic form of Protestantism – key in triggering Reformation that would follow 1546 & all that…….

  11. Child king a problem – realm needs stability: • Last child king (Edward V) lasted one month • Issue – noble honour • Problem – Duke of Norfolk & loose-cannon of a son, earl of Surrey • Concern that they would monopolise control of EVI (or worse) • Surrey – new coat of arms emphasising royal blood • December 1546 – Norfolk & Surrey imprisoned on charges of treason (latter beheaded) • Clear EVI going to need a governor – rivals compete 1546 • Question: if HVIII fundamentally Catholic why was EVI government not stuffed with evangelicals? • Dec 1546-Jan 1547 – prominent conservatives excluded from power • Leading cleric Stephen Gardiner (Bishop of Winchester) – feud with king over lands: • Being ‘conservative’ fine • Being a ‘papist’ not – HVIII suspect Gardiner; rumour of contact with Cardinal Pole • Dictates of Royal Supremacy overtake suspicion of evangelism • Seen in EVIs education • Was HVIII moving in a reformist direction purely to safeguard to Royal Supremacy? • NB – no-one at this point a fully-fledged Calvinist • Legacy of Thomas Cromwell: • Officers still in court • 1545 – HVIII no-longer signed documents: • Stamp of signature in hands of Anthony Dean (chief gentleman of the Privy Chamber) • Inadvertently handed ‘evangelical’ party considerable power • This stamp signed the will, not the king’s hand Forging Edward VI’s Government:

  12. Council not follow the stipulations of HVIII’s will: • HVIII stipulated a regency council (evangelicals and conservatives like Lord Chancellor, Thomas Wriothesley) • HVIII d.28/1/47 –kept secret 48 hours whilst power structures ironed out: • Thomas Seymour/William Paget undermined idea of a regency council of equals • Elect Seymour Lord Protector – near kingly powers • Elevated to Duke of Somerset February 1547 • No real experience of government; not particularly well thought of • Alienated everyone – Paget could not control him • ISSUE HERE - POLITICAL VACUUM:ENGLAND ACCUSTOMED TO AUTOCRATIC RULE, NOT CONCILIAR • PROBLEM FOR SOMERSET – NO LEGITIMATE CLAIM OF AUTOCRACY. • Three years of rampant change – collapsed about him. • Nevertheless – seen to be the ‘good duke’ Forging Edward VI’s Government:

  13. Three year rule defined by three things: • Religious Reform • Foreign Policy • ‘Commonwealth’ policies Somerset:

  14. Religious reform - ENERGY: • HVIII – evangelicals side-lined 1540s • Now, release of energy – liberating for them; horrifying for conservatives (battle-lines drawn which would culminate bloodily under Mary I) • Freedom to say what they wished – sense of ‘finishing’ the Reformation. • Images being smashed by evangelicals on the ground during 1547 – regime not prevent Religion:

  15. Marked by two things above all else: • Preaching: • Latimer returned (had resigned under HVIII) • Preaching at Court – torrent of sermons before EVI to ensure reform in his blood • Printing: • 1547/48 surge in printing (trebled in terms of output) • Helped by the arrival of Dutch printers from Antwerp • Mocking of Catholicism • Translation of key continental works • EVI authored tracts against the Pope • Often going far beyond letter of the law – outpacing the regime in Reformation (was this a ‘Top Down’ reformation)? • International situation crucial (as always): • Seen with HVIII that official policy often change in light of happenings in Europe (especially re: Franco-Habsburg relations) • 1546, Charles V finally secures ascendency over Reformation – crushed the Protestant princes at the Battle of Mühlberg • Somerset/Cranmer see as an opportunity, not a problem • Offer shelter for beleaguered Protestants • ‘Big name’ theologians arrive in England (crucial in shaping the theology and form of EVIs reformation – and by extension, Elizabeth’s) • Presence of ‘Stranger Churches’ – exiled Protestant congregations (Dutch, French, Italian, Spanish) Religion:

  16. Martin Bucer Peter Martyr Vermigli The ‘Big Hitters’:

  17. Autumn 1549 – war with Scotland increasingly problematic: • Secure borders • French influence in Scotland – particularly House of Guise • Continuation of role under HVIII (inconclusive war in Scotland to push marriage of EVI to MQS) • Felt had been prevented from fighting it how he wanted – now had space to do so. • French aid allowed Scots to push English forces back • Humiliation for England (and Somerset in particular) • Somerset looked weak (for losing) and foolish (for engaging in it in the first place) • Financial ruin – vast debts to pay: • July 1549 – Exchequer no money • Debased the coinage = rampant inflation Foreign Policy:

  18. Significant reason for Somerset’s reputation as ‘the Good Duke’: • W.K. Jordan – moderate/ tolerant • Certainly a lot less bloody than HVIII/MI – only Gardiner deprived of Bishopric, only Thomas Seymour a cause célèbre murder. • Allowed prominent Catholics to continue to hear Mass (was this to placate foreign powers?) • Explain economic problems/population pressure: • Population bottomed-out 1348-50 (Black Death) • Thereafter rising steadily: c.1500 regained mC14th levels • After that considerable pressure on resources – agricultural output not increase in line with population. • Subsistence economy – a real problem. • No real economic thought/theory – seen to be moral problems/human agency: • Greedy landowners to blame. • Certainly more visible – division rich/poor in villages • Inheritance laws. The Commonwealth:

  19. Christian Humanists ran with moral arguments - necessity of reforming the commonwealth: • Evangelicals, too – Hugh Latimer. • Somerset threw lot in with – 1548/49 Royal Commissioners tried to stem enclosure • His Reformation both spiritual & temporal – many historians think that was a genuine (if misguided) policy. • Courting popularity – a power play? • Michael Bush – opportunistic, used to help finance his war in Scotland (and force MQS to marry EVI) • Many concerned about this policy – courting disaster? • Combined with effects of Scottish war – inflation • Dissolution of the chantries felt like plunder (same landlords benefitting from) • Enclosure unrest in Hertfordshire/ Middlesex/ Essex/ Norfolk in 1548 Commonwealth:

  20. Two Rebellions: • Kett’s rebellion: • Significant parts of the country (Norfolk/Suffolk/ Cambridgeshire/ Hertfordshire/ Essex / Kent/ Middlesex/ Surrey/ Hampshire / Berkshire/ Buckinghamshire/ Oxfordshire / Wiltshire/ Somerset) • Groups of peasants left the land, camped, made demands of the gentry & Lord Protector • Tore down enclosure fences/ gentry property • Aped language of Christian Humanists – evidence of preachers’ success in linking economic and religious reform? • Regime’s response: • Tudor ‘norm’ = brutality • Somerset no money to do this – army in Scotland • Also the case that the campers taking him at his word • Response confused: negotiation and repression. • Shagan – expression of popular politics • Alarmed elites because Somerset appeared to be taking the rebels seriously • Eventually most return home – little bloodshed outside Norfolk, where John Dudley put it down brutally (thousands of casualties). Western Rising & Kett’s Rebellion – coincided (although arguably distinctive causes) Little bloodshed, but a damning indictment of the government’s legitimacy (because could not keep order)

  21. Looked weak • Many thought his ‘commonwealth’ posturing had provoked the rising; his Scottish campaign had left the regime vulnerable to it. • Not a smart courtier: • Monarch’s duty to spread patronage around – honour culture • Somerset spread it too closely • Execution of his brother, Thomas Seymour: • Married HVIII widow (Katherine Parr) – died in childbirth • Then started to court Elizabeth (15 years old) – power-play • Real rivalry arrogance between the two – over the issue of whose wife should take precedence at court. • Vultures were circling – Somerset kidnap EVI and absconded to Windsor 6/10/49 • Deposed as Lord Protector 13/10/49 Somerset’s downfall:

  22. Everyone expected Mary to become regent: • EVI not like her • Dudley had worked with conservatives to oust Somerset (then excluded them from the council). • John Dudley, created himself duke of Northumberland (1551) but never Lord Protector • Lord President of the Council – conciliar government • EVI increasingly active in government – in this sense, Northumberland/Somerset not comparable. • No obvious evangelical urges – but inclined to yield to EVI’s will. • Practical successes: end war with France/ partial revaluation of the coinage/curtail ‘commonwealth’ agenda. Northumberland – the ‘bad Duke’:

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