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The Reign Of Edward VI Essay, Research Paper

The Reign of Edward VI

The reign of Edward VI saw great spiritual turbulence from a Protestant

faith that was Catholic in nature to a more clearly defined and extremist

quasi-Calvinism. In that sense spiritual policy hardened. But the policies and

ideal ne’er became profoundly entrenched and accepted throughout the state and

frequently merely existed to function the involvements of those who enacted them, and non the

future stance of the church. Under Somerset the alterations involved simply making

a Protestant face lift, and merely under Northumberland did sweeping group

alterations emerge. However, policy ne’er hardened plenty, or became recognized plenty,

to forestall it being disintegrated when Mary came to power in 1553.

The spiritual state of affairs was extremely unstable at the clip of Edward & # 8217 ; s

dominance. Although Henry had allowed Protestant tilting churchmans to rule

in the ulterior twelvemonth of his reign, most spiritual legislative acts remained Orthodox, and

conservative. But under Somerset Protestants who had antecedently fled to Europe

after the six articles, such as Hooper, Becon, and Turner, all returned. Many

were authors banned under Henry VIII, along with Luther and other European

Protestants. Guy points out that 159 out of 394 new books printed during the

Protectorate were written by Protestant reformists.

Reformers predominated the Privy council under Somerset, and reform was

popular amongst the aristocracy of the clip. But outside London and East Anglia

Protestantism was non a major force. In footings of spiritual hardening, it is

unlikely that the rush of Protestantism had any peculiar long term impact

outside these countries. It was merely in these countries that violent iconoclasm took

topographic point. Elsewhere far more moderate reforms such as common Christian bibles and

services were introduced.

The statute law of the Somerset epoch besides did small to help a definite

hardening of spiritual policy. The Privy council remained loath to do any

extremist moves. The Council, parliament, and the convocation all wanted reform,

but non of the type that would firmly thrust the state into extremist

Protestantism. Moderate propensities were all that was desired, and this was

reflected in the two major pieces of statute law, the Chantries Act and the

Treason Act, which both did small to decide doctrinal uncertainnesss. The new

book of common supplication besides trod a careful way between Protestantism and


Jordan states that? These old ages & # 8230 ; were characterised by forbearance with

the bishops, about half of whom were conservative in their positions and Catholic

in their doctrinal understandings, though all, trained as they were in the reign of

Henry VIII, lent complete support to the Act Supremacy in all its constitutional

and political deductions & # 8230 ; the lesser clergy and the temporalty were with few

exclusions under no considerable force per unit area to conform, even after the transition of

the Act set uping the first Book of Common Prayer. ?

Guy suggests that the Protestant stance was merely of all time introduced by

Somerset to advance his ain involvements. ? Although accurate figures are missing,

approximately one fifth of Londoners were Protestant by 1547 & # 8230 ; but elsewhere

Protestantism had hardly progressed. Yet London militants had a disproportionate

influence on functionary policy & # 8230 ; secret cells of? Christian brethren & # 8217 ; existed to

distribute the word ; links were forged with Lollard folds, the Protestant

book trade established & # 8230 ; Since so many of Somerset & # 8217 ; s protagonists were extremist,

he had an inducement to absorb the domination to their involvements. The danger

was that spiritual sentiment would polarize and take to civil strife ; uniformity

was the anchor of order. ?

Bush argues that due to the political motive behind reform, existent

spiritual ardor was non evident, the evident hardening Protestantism merely a

nominal gesture. ? The outstanding feature of the colony was its

moderate enforcement. Victims were comparatively few, sufferer at the interest were

non-existent, and the conservative bishops tumbled from office in any figure

merely after Somerset & # 8217 ; s fall & # 8230 ; the government surely showed a noticeable lenience

in the persecution of spiritual dissent within the context of the age. ?

Northumberland presided over moves to a far more extremist faith.

Ridley was appointed Bishop of London and Hooper Bishop of Gloucester.

Protestantism had already been hardened through philosophy and procedural alterations.

By Northumberland & # 8217 ; s autumn, Communion tabular arraies had been moved into the Centre of the

church, and 2nd new supplication book was issued in 1552. Communion no longer

resembled mass. Merely apparent excesss were allowed, and the 1553 42 articles

produced far more Protestant doctrinal alterations than had been seen before. The

new slang Bible was reinforced by the new manner of service. Besides, the

figure of priests get marrieding under the new Protestant regulation created a vested

involvement within the church for the prolongment of Protestantism. In the long

term, this doubtless helped indurate Protestant values at the grass roots degree

within the church.

Such alterations enacted a hardening of Protestantism in legislative act merely.

Throughout the state many in-between category and aristocracy resented the stricter trade name

of Protestantism, and the eroding of Catholicism.

The balance of the Privy council swung far more to a great extent to radical

reformists under Northumberland, and this is likely reflected n the hardening

of spiritual policy seen. Conservatives were rapidly driven from office.

Gairdiner was imprisoned in the Tower of London, Bishop Bonner of London was

retired and deprived of his bishopric, to be replaced by reformer Ridley.

Reformers were later installed into the dioceses of Rochester,

Chichester, Norwich, Exeter and Durham.

Parliament was recalled in January 1552 and presented with a significant

plan or spiritual reform. The new Treason Act, the Act of Uniformity, the

modification of Holy yearss to 25, the new and about Calvinist Book of Common Prayer,

the redefining of the Eucharist and a vestments ban were all introduced.

However, it is ill-defined as to whether the purpose was to procure a

hardening of Protestantism. If it was, it didn & # 8217 ; t win. At the autumn of

Northumberland Protestantism was accepted but non widely supported. In the

state Catholicism was still slightly endearing. Surely, there was small

grounds that Protestantism was increasing in popularity in the state, or any

grounds of a long term entreaty. Jordan states that: ? the push of

Northumberland & # 8217 ; s

policy had been n the way of an evangelical Protestant

party & # 8230 ; whose theological penchants were Zwinglian or Calvinistic, whose

position of religion and worship displayed no nostalgia whatever for the ancient church,

and whose rule involvement it was that all staying Roman endurances be swept

off and that a pure, an immaculate, Protestantism be smartly preached and

enforced throughout the realm. ? That is what Northumberland preached, but it

besides poses important doctrinal jobs. Calvinism and Zwinglism were

per se different and could non be merged into some Protestant cocktail,

yet Northumberland allowed both positions to rule. And more alarmingly, as

Jordan reveals, ? Northumberland died in 1553 a professed and a communication

Roman Catholic, doing the astonishing statement that his understandings had been

in secret Catholic during the whole of the Edwardian epoch. ?

The authorities & # 8217 ; s subsequent plundering of church wealth therefore

nowadayss a more likely inducement for spiritual ardor. In 1552 an exhaustive

study of church wealth was conducted, gauging a entire value of over? 1m.

Northumberland so attacked the church to derive control of every bit much of this

wealth as possible. For illustration the Bishopric of Durham was halved, stock lists

of gold and Ag home base were conducted and removed.

There is nevertheless, much grounds that Protestant spiritual policy was

hardened during Edward & # 8217 ; s reign. In 1547 Somerset succeeded in doing Parliament

license Communion of both sorts, and to revoke the unorthodoxy Torahs, including the Act

of Six Articles. The new Injunctions besides strengthened the Protestant stance of

the church.In 1549 the new Protestant supplication book merged traditional Catholic

ideal with more extremist Lutheran impressions, and by the clip of the supplication book of

1552 Protestantism was even more apparent. Priests were later allowed to

marry. The new supplication book was declared a monopoly, all old edition were

ordered to be destroyed. A new ordination rite was created that denied the full

priesthood to curates. Mass was reduced to little more than a nominal process

and church monasteries and chapels were all dissolved during Edward & # 8217 ; s reign. The

supplication book of 1552 was enforced by a new Act of Uniformity and the Forty Two

Articles of 1553. At this phase spiritual policy had been hardened in that there

was a distinguishable policy & # 8211 ; the state was officially Protestant, in philosophy and

in jurisprudence. Previously there had been no such clear policy and the state as a

whole had non known definitively where it stood.

Merely the visual aspects were get downing to alter well. Catholic

spiritual groups, chantries, educational constitutions such as chantry schools

seemed to stay untasted, except for their now increasing Protestant instruction.

Such was the hardening of Protestantism in England, moderate Lutheran

influences had given manner to the more extremist church-state ideals of Calvin and

Zwingli by the terminal of the reign, ideals that would ne’er hold been tolerated

under Henry VIII.

Devils suggests this led to the? reorientation from the Saxon to the

Swiss accent going decisive. ? He continues, claiming, ? when Cranmer sought

to name a conference to unite European Protestants he was rebuffed by the

sterile Lutherans. On the other manus, 1000s of spiritual refugees, the

great bulk of them owing no direct commitment to Luther & # 8217 ; s Wittenburg, came

to settle in England. Martin Bucer and several other high foreign theologists

occupied cardinal stations in the universities, while the great company of aliens in

London were given the Austin Friars and at that place allowed by Cranmer to organize

their folds along Swiss lines. ?

One manner in which spiritual policy was arguably hardened was the manner in

which personal domination was undermined. Elton claims that? in the first topographic point,

the Edwardian Acts of Uniformity went a long manner towards resting the Holy Eucharist and

ceremony of the church on the authorization of Parliament ; the 2nd act could

speak of the first Prayer Book as a? really godly order set Forth by authorization of

Parliament & # 8217 ; and the 2nd as annexed to the act. Alternatively of simply implementing,

by punishments, personal edict of the supreme caput, Parliament therefore to the full

participated in the ultimate exercising of his power, the definition of true religion.

It could be argued that the hardened spiritual place was non a consequence

of Protestantism but merely to beef up the power of cabals at tribunal. Loades

suggest: ? the Edwardian church was every spot as much an instrument of authorities

propaganda as that of Henry had been. Sermons, preachments and exhortation of every

sort urged the sacred responsibility of obeisance to the Prince, terming rebellion? .

..the puddle and sink of all wickednesss against God and man. & # 8217 ; So obvious was the

confederation of convenience between the Protestant Godheads and the layman

politicians that the conservative regarded the reserves of the former with

pardonable intuition & # 8230 ; the earnestness and spiritual strong belief which really

inspired them became apparent merely when political power had been stripped off. ?

In decision, the reign of Edward VI did see a hardening of spiritual

policy in that such policy was clearly defined. Protestant ideals and thoughts were

strengthened, but non needfully for devotional or theological motivations. The key

supporter of extremist alteration, Northumberland, still proclaimed his Catholisism

on his death-bed. Besides, the state as a whole did non see Protestantism as a

great spiritual promotion, and merely in London and East Anglia can local degree

spiritual policy be said to hold hardened. Another factor is that none of the

spiritual policy became firm or hardened to the extent that it could non be

brush off even more rapidly than it had been enacted.


Guy, J. Tudor England, Oxford ( 1988 ) , p203

Jordan. W, Edward VI, the Threshold of Power, George Allen & A ; Unwin 1970, p240.

Guy. J, Tudor England, Oxford 1988, p 204.

Bush M. , The Government Policy of Protector Somerset, Arnold 1975, p101.

Jordan. W, Edward VI, the Threshold of Power, George Allen and Unwin 1970,


Jordan. W, Edward VI, the Threshold of Power, George Allen and Unwin 1970,


Dickens. A.G. , The Reformation Crisis, Ed Joel Hurstfield, Edward Arnold 1965,

P 53.

Elton. G.R. , The Tudor Constitution, Cambridge 1962, p335.

Loades. D, Politics and the Nation, Fontana 1980, p200

? The reign of Edward VI saw a definite hardening of spiritual policy. ? Do you



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