Edwardian Protestantism II Religion and Religious Change in England, c.1470-1558
‘Revolution’ or ‘Crisis’? • Decisive/Linear Reformation; or a product of context? • ‘English’ or ‘European’ Reformation? • Driven by iconoclasm/idolatry – release of evangelical energy restrained under HVIII Re-cap - last lecture:
Evangelical ascendency 1547 (explaining the improbable) • 1546: Royal Supremacy trump fear of ‘popery’ • Somerset & Paget’s coup (in the regency council) • Somerset’s fall: • Commonwealth policies • Foreign policy • Rebellion (Northumberland showed leadership) • Court politics • Northumberland: • Worked with conservatives to oust Somerset; then excluded them • Not an evangelical; but served EVI’s wishes (no-one knew he would die) • Never Lord Protector Re-cap - ‘Good’ duke vs ‘Bad’ duke:
Cranmer: Had long been planning to reform the liturgy (constrained under HVIII) By 1547 thinking on the Eucharist gone beyond Luther: Anne Askew and the summer of 1546 – battle-lines drawn for ‘Reformed’ Protestantism. Eucharist contentious – broad spectrum of belief in England (therefore proceeded with baby-steps)
Book of Common Prayer: main source of liturgy in the Church: • i.e. HOW people worship – what ideas look like in communal form. • New orders for all the principal public services • Long-term: English language begun to be standardized – used under Elizabeth and beyond. • Two versions: 1549 & 1552 Cranmer: Book of Common Prayer
1549: 1552: • Work in progress: • Pressure – anti-Mass in print from 1548 onwards; service said in English at St. Paul’s before technically legal to do so. • 1549 a half-way house – to ‘stay innovations’/ appease zealots. • Very fact in English must have been shocking • Confused – because Cranmer confused? Or because of his ‘genius’ in recognising the softly/softly approach needed to inculcate Protestantism in the English people? • Still novel enough to shock English laity (Western Rebels singled out in their articles) • No longer a daily Mass – rather daily services of morning prayer/ evening prayer • When Communion celebrated – people received bread & wine (equality with clergy; deny special status) But….. • But still described Communion as ‘the Mass’; sign of the cross (implying presence in the bread); placed into believer’s mouth (i.e. they could not handle the holy). • ‘The body of our Lord Jesus Christ which was given for thee, preserve thy body and soul unto everlasting life’ – implied an objective presence; odd in light of Cranmer’s pruning all language implying that the rite was a sacrifice • Advanced 1549 • Influence of Reformed Protestantism • Sense that the Cranmer had finally worked out what he thought about the Eucharist; • AND a way of expressing it in a broad Church. • No longer ‘the Mass’ • No longer celebrated at the altar behind the Rood; but on a table in the nave of the Church • Doctrine of transubstantiation now directly excluded; and used ordinary bread): • JBFA • No mediation from Priesthood • No sense of being meritorious for grace • ‘Take and eat this in remembrance that Christ died for thee, and feed on him in thy heart by faith, with thanksgiving’. Book of Common Prayer:
A ‘European’ Reformation? • Tried to lure Melanchthon • Peter Martyr Vermigli (Italian, allied to Reformed Church in Zurich) • Martin Bucer (Strasbourg): • Point of contact both Lutheran and Calvinist Protestants • In the ‘Reformed’ camp (pioneering on moral discipline) • Not like Zwingli model – distant on the issue of state/church assimilation; less literal on Eucharist • RegiusProfessor of Divinity, Cambridge • Died in 1551 • Emotive impact/ inspiration (as much as tangible/practical) • Conciliator – inspired Cranmer’s dream of holding a pan-European council • Injection of cutting-edge theology which England lacked: • ‘Protestant’ rather than ‘evangelical’ – specifically ‘Reformed’. • Ideas; how to put them into practice Cranmer – lead in Protestant Europe: Use networks to bring leading theologians to England Letters with most of the leading lights (exchange re: problems) ‘Stranger Churches’: Self-governing Churches in London, Southampton Dutch, French, Italian, Spanish Example to emulate – practical demonstration of Protestantism. Engaged with city authorities.
Imported European divisions: • Cranmer (inspired by Bucer) – closer to Strasbourg/Geneva • Christ spiritually present during the Lord’s Supper (in the Elect) • John Hooper (closer to Zwingli) – Eucharist symbolic only • 1550, Bishop of Gloucester – refused to wear the traditional Bishop’s rochet and chimere for consecration (‘popish’) • Led to imprisonment in 1551 • John Knox (later leading light of Scotland’s Reformation) • Dispute over the 1552 Prayer Book • Theologically Reformed • But liturgy still fairly standard – was it enough to move people from ‘popery’? • Cranmer authored a preface damning those who inveighed against the ceremonies retained • Kneeling whilst receiving the host particularly contentious: • Part of traditional liturgy • Suggested that there was something in the bread that merited kneeling for (i.e. the presence of Christ) • Knox refused to kneel: • Northumberlandencouraged – perhaps as a means of weakening Cranmer’s position • Knox’s railing forced Cranmer into action – added a ‘Black rubric’ to the ceremony which made it explicit that kneeling did not imply veneration • Reformation LegumEcclesiasticarum (1552): • Protestant Church law – would have overhauled the structures of the English Church (a bugbear of Puritans under Elizabeth) • System of moral discipline – like Reformed churches • Potential that many could be excluded from the Church • Church claiming powers of discipline – seemed more like a state • Issues of conflict around Royal Supremacy – did the Church have the right to make moves towards independent jurisdiction? • Defeated by Lords, 1552 – Northumberland blocked • Coalition with Northumberlandunder strain – friction with Cranmer • Foot-dragging over the passing of the 42 articles • Disputes over the uses of the Churches resources for preaching/godly education – Northumberland increasingly accused of being a money-grabber. • Remember HVIII • 1550/1551 – several diocese amalgamated/ property seized by the Crown. • 1551 – survey of Church goods called for the surrender of all plate to the Crown. Divisions:
WHAT DO THESE DISPUTES TELL US? • WEAKNESS? • THAT THINGS STILL BEING SORTED OUT? • OR, SO CONFIDENT IN POSITION THAT NOW ABLE TO DISPUTE REFORM OPENLY – DISAGREEMENT A LUXURY. • Certainly missed opportunities and displays of cynicism: BUT leading reformers shared commitment to transforming society through the gospel’s liberation.
Impact: • Fabric of parish life/ beliefs underpinning them: • 1548 Injunctions • Dissolution of the Chantries • Impact of dissolution on poor relief: • Clergy – no longer a sacramental priesthood: preaching ministry • 1551 visitation in Gloucester – pointed to poor ‘education’ of clergy (but never been expected to fulfil that role). • Abolition of Mass lower clerical status? • Clerical marriage – many wives abused by community as ‘priest’s whores’ • Most probably not like changes, but had to engage with them: • Fearful that Northumberland’s government money-grabbing, communities sold goods off the prevent government getting hands on. • Not WANT to implement change; but were doing – Reformation by proxy, if not for noblest of reasons. • Closing the book on LMC, whatever the motivations. • Haigh– cumulative impact of all of this was to reduce the Church as a focal point of communal identity Bigger story in terms of Reformation historiography more broadly Traditional view – ‘howling success’ Revisionists – the long-Reformation (even 1603 not end the story) Post-revisionists – was a success, a slowly/slowly approach to Reform which slowing weaned from late-medieval Catholicism over a series of generations 1547-53: little softly/softly
If so radical/unprecedented – why was there no conservative reaction? • Why did 1540 not repeat itself? • Especially odd considering: • HVIII not leave much of an evangelical legacy • The evangelism of Somerset founded on a coup at the centre of government/ spawned two rebellions/ and a disastrous foreign war. Big question:
A: context and contingency. • Gardiner: • Main brain of the conservatives • Good argument - regents did not have to power to undue HVIII’s royal will • Essentially saying the Somerset could not rule with full authority • With a faction behind him, could have blocked evangelism in Parliament • Sept 1547 – Gardiner arrested (rest of realm in prison); 1551 deprived of Bishopric • Other Bishops slowly purged (Edmund Bonner, 1549; Cuthbert Tunstall, 1552) • Propaganda: • Accuse religious conservatives of ‘popery’ • Not match with a conservative campaign of any vigour. • Royal Supremacy used to squash many elements of traditional Catholicism as ‘popish’ • Little staunch conservatism: • Therefore no martyrs – much less bloody than HVIII’s reformation • No boost to traditional religion • Also, everyone openly embrace Royal Supremacy – a technical checkmate, as very hard to attach the regime’s actions without denying the Supremacy • Forced many into a position where they had to outwardly accept change (BCP) • As EVI’s own evangelical views increasingly prominent – obvious that conservative hopes were in vain. • 1549 – an opportunity: • Somerset’s fall – could the tide be reversed? • Leading opponents conservative – Wriothesley (earl of Southampton); Mary. • John Dudley, earl of Warwick – victory over Norfolk rebels/powerbase in king’s household proved decisive in elevating him. • Several nobles committed Protestants – would have made Mary as regent in 1549 seem foolish for Dudley’s position. • KEY POINT: NONE OF THIS WAS PRE-ORDAINED. • IN 1549 EVI’S REFORMATION HUNG IN THE BALANCE – ONLY POLITICAL INTRIGUE AT COURT SAVED A REVERSAL OF FORTUNE AND CREATED SPACE FOR CRANMER TO WORK Q: why no conservative reaction?
If there was no ‘conservative reaction’, how did England end up with Mary I? Big question 2:
1547 – evangelism a small minority isolated from politics for 7 years • 1553 – England looked destined to undergo a full Reformation • doctrine/liturgy/iconoclasm/European centre • 1552 42 Articles very strong statement • How do we get to Mary I and Catholic England? Are each of England’s ‘Reformations’ really a matter of the Succession?
Jane Grey – more whimper than bang…… • Jane Grey: • Scheme drawn up to allow EVI’s cousin take over. • Most of the political establishment consent (sign of evangelical gains). • Northumberland married his son to Jane Grey. • EVI d. – Mary & Norfolk refuse to recognize Jane Grey • Damp squib – London did not support Jane Grey/ councillors change side with the political winds. • Sign of Northumberland’s stupidity? • Might have been EVI’s idea. • If EVI lived long enough to ratify, could have been legal. • All EVI doing was claiming the same power as his father – to nominate his successor. • Mistake was allowing Mary to be free – rallying point for opposition. Succession a difficult issue: 1543 – HVIII ruled that if EVI died childless Mary would succeed. But Mary/Elizabeth technically illegitimate – room for manoeuvre. Mary last person EVI want to succeed; many in government agreed.
Two big issues to think about: • 1) What does the speedy return of Catholicism under Mary tell us about the nature of Edwardian Protestantism? • Not LMC – novel type of Catholicism • Destruction – whether it was wanted or not – had an impact on Purgatory/saints • Was this still as communal as 1500? Was it still as numinous a world? • Not the intended impact, but an impact nonetheless • 2) Elizabeth’s Reformation made no dramatic changes to EVI’s template: • BCP – Cranmer’s words and form lasting – defined the Church of England • Doctrine • Success on terms of those who implemented it. Concluding thoughts - the longer term: