One of the current lower sixth A level topics is The Church in England: the Struggle for Supremacy, 1529–1547. This page is intended for loading and storing resources, readings and useful links related to this topic.
For a timeline of key eventsclick here
For a set of Tudor Top Trumps cards (useful for revision purposes, even if you might dispute the scoring!): click here. You may wish to print out 4 or 2 to a page.
For help with researching the Tudors, try this great website Luminarium.
Even better – see John Guy’s website – Tudor.org.
The Pre-Reformation Church
Humanism Overview (ppt)
The following video provides a neat summary of the theological background to the Reformation and if you have any doubts at all about what distinguished Lutheranism from Catholicism, then I would recommend you watch it and take notes. You should ask yourself, as you watch it, how close the Henrician Reformation went towards Luther and how far it tried to remain Catholic.
The King’s Great Matter and the Break with Rome
The Dissolution of the monasteries and the Pilgrimage of Grace 1536-7
A useful website for this topic, with an odd name: Mists of Avalon
This document provides a brief summary and is a good place to start:
Dissolution of the Monasteries (word)
Why and When were the monasteries dissolved?
- This document is useful for summarising those motives (financial, political, personal, religious):
- Why did Henry dissolve the monasteries? (word)
- The following is in-depth and strongly recommended – it really grapples with the evidence for and against the idea that the dissolution was planned from the beginning:
- Dissolution of the monasteries – why and when? (ppt)
How were the monasteries dissolved?
- The following outlines HOW the monasteries were dissolved – i.e. the methods employed and when:
- How the monasteries were dissolved (word)
The Consequences of the Dissolution
- Strongly recommended for detail:
- Consequences of the Dissolution (word)
The Pilgrimage of Grace
- A brief overview account can be found here (word).
- The following is a good, more detailed power point, outlining the debate:
- The Pilgrimage of Grace (ppt)
- This review provides further insight into the debate:
- Patrick Collinson reviews ‘The Pilgrimage of Grace and the Politics of the 1530s’ by R.W. Hoyle · The London Review of Books, 1 November 2001 (pdf)
- The following summarises Michael Bush’s work and provides further insight into the debate about purpose and about the level of threat posed by the Pilgrimage:
- Nick Fellows, ‘The Pilgrimage of grace, October-December 1536’, Historical-Review, September 2000
The Impact of the Reformation on Church and State, 1535–1541
It is probably helpful to begin by looking at the key religious changes between 1535-41. There is a clear consensus that Henry VIII was a religious conservative even if he had been a political radical. In ecclesiological terms he was ‘protestant’, but in theological terms he was still catholic. Debate concerns the extent to which the evangelical agenda, driven by others, was allowed to transform England and why, from 1539, the Reformation was ‘reversed’. G.W. Bernard argues that Cromwell is merely Henry’s servant rather than an independent force driving a more radical agenda and that throughout the period 1536-1547 the Articles, Bishops’ Book, Injunctions and Parliamentary Statutes consistently reflect Henry’s ‘via media’. By contrast, most historians, see Cromwell along with Cranmer as the driving forces behind a more radical Reformation that they tried to implement between 1535 and 1540 before Henry stepped in to take control. According to these historians it is partly this volte-face in government policy that explains Cromwell’s fall in 1540.
The following power point looks in detail at religious change in the years 1535-1540.
The following is excellent for helping you think about the extent of the Reformation –
- Was there really a Henrician Reformation?
- Was England Protestant by 1547?
– and it is useful for understanding the role of different factors in promoting or demoting protestant ideas – e.g. Henry himself, the need for cash, foreign policy, Cranmer and Cromwell, the influence of ‘faction’:
A useful powerpoint on change/continuity – Protestant/Catholic debate:
Change or Continuity: 1535-1547 (ppt)
Was there an English Reformation? (word)
Henry’s final years: consolidation and court intrigue, 1542–1547
More to come here.
Faction at the Court of Henry VIII 1540-47 (ppt)
Tudor Faction 1529-47 (word)
the debate over faction 1540-47
Henry VIII’s Foreign Policy (ppt)
Henry’s Final Year 1540-7 summary of domestic and foreign policy (ppt)
Past Papers and mark schemes for AQA HIS2B
Some model responses