The English reformation. Henry VIII and his heirs. Lady Jane Grey.
THE English reformation
why did it come about?
The dissolution
Military might during the reign of Henry VIII
The heirs of Henry VIII. Edward VI
Lady Jane Grey (10 July – 19 July 1553)
Mary I – Bloody Mary ( 1553 – 1558)
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The English reformation. Henry VIII and his heirs. Lady Jane Grey

1. The English reformation. Henry VIII and his heirs. Lady Jane Grey.

2. THE English reformation

The English Reformation was a series of
events in 16th century England by which
the Church of England broke away from
the authority of the Pope and the Roman
Catholic Church. These events were, in
part, associated with the wider process of
the European Protestant Reformation, a
religious and political movement that
affected the practice of Christianity across
all of Europe during this period. Many
factors contributed to the process: the
decline of feudalism and the rise of
nationalism, the rise of the common law, the
invention of the printing press and
increased circulation of the Bible, and the
transmission of new knowledge and ideas
among scholars, the upper and middle
classes and readers in general.

3. why did it come about?

Henry VIII( ruled from 1509 to 1547) decided to marry a
different woman(Anne Boleyn) because his first
wife(Catherine of Aragon) had failed to produce a male heir to
the throne. However, a divorce was not a simple issue,
because the Roman Catholic Church did not allow it. If
Henry allowed himself a divorce, the pope could
excommunicate him. This meant that under Catholic Church
law, your soul could never get to Heaven . To Henry this was a
real fear. So in 1533, Henry VIII broke with the church and
married the now pregnant Anne Boleyn in a secret ceremony.
Thus the English reformation had begun.

4. The dissolution

The most wealthy Catholics in England were the monasteries where monks lived.
They were also the most loyal supporters of the pope. This made them a threat to
Henry. By the time of Henry, many monks had grown fat and were lazy and all they
seemed to do was take money from the poor. Therefore Henry decided to shut
down the monasteries of England. He wanted to make the Dissolution (his attack on
the monasteries) appear to be backed by law. He sent round government officials
to check up on what the monks were doing. This was organized by his chief
minister, Thomas Cromwell, who had helped the king to break with Rome. The
officials knew what the king wanted in their reports – information that the monks
were not working, were not saying their prayers.

5. Military might during the reign of Henry VIII

Henry VIII's early military campaigns began when he joined Pope Julius II's Holy
League against France in 1511. Wolsey (the King’s chief advisor) proved himself to
be an outstanding minister in his organisation of the first French campaign and
while the Scots saw this war as an opportunity to invade England, they were
defeated at Flodden in 1513. However war with France ultimately proved expensive
and unsuccessful.
Henry VIII is known as the 'father of the Royal Navy.' When he became king there
were five royal warships. By his death he had built up a navy of around 50 ships. He
refitted several vessels with the latest guns including the Mary Rose, which sank in
Henry also built the first naval dock in Britain at Portsmouth and in 1546 he
established the Navy Board. This set up the administrative machinery for the
control of the fleet.

6. The heirs of Henry VIII. Edward VI

Henry VIII had several children. The
best-known are the three legitimate
children who succeeded him as
monarchs of England – Edward VI,
Mary I and Elizabeth I.
Edward VI (ruled from 1547 to
1553) was born on 12 October 1537.
Edward became king at the age of
nine. His father had arranged that a
council of regency should rule on his
behalf, but Edward’s uncle, Edward
Seymour, Duke of Sommerset, took
power and established himself as
protector. Him and Thomas Cranmer
(the archbishop of Canterbury)
wanted to make England a Protestant
state. An English Prayer book was
issued in 1549 to enforce it.


In 1549 peasants revolted in protest against the Prayer Book.
Kett’s Rebellion in Norfolk was focused on economic and
social injusties. At the same time, the French declared war on
England. The Norfolk rebellion was suppressed by John
Dudley, Earl of Warwick. Protestant reform was stepped up –
the new Prayer Book of 1552 was avowedly Protestant.
It soon became clear that Edward was suffering from
tuberculosis and he died on 6 July 1553 (he was 15 years old).

8. Lady Jane Grey (10 July – 19 July 1553)

She is remembered in British history as the monarch with the
shortest reign…just nine days. She was the greatgranddaughter of Henry VII. She was proclaimed Queen
after the death of her cousin, the protestant king Edward VI.
She was actually fifth in line to the throne, but she was a
Protestant and Mary, Henry VIII’s daughter, was next in
line and was a Catholic. Edward wanted to keep England
firmly Protestant and he knew that Mary would take England
back into the Catholic faith. John Dudley(he was like
Protector to King Edward VI) persuaded the dying young
king to will his crown to Lady Jane Grey. However, the
country rose in favour of the direct and true royal line, and
the Council proclaimed Mary queen 9 days later. Lady Jane
Grey’s advisors were incompetent and as her father was
involved in a rebellion, she was viewed as a threat to the
crown. Thus she was executed on 12 February 1554.

9. Mary I – Bloody Mary ( 1553 – 1558)

Mary I was the first queen to rule in her own right rather
than by being the wife of a reigning king. She ascended
to the throne in 1553. She married Phillip II of Spain, who
was distrusted, and pressed on with the restoration of
Catholicism. She persecuted Protestants, hundreds of
whom were burned at the stake (thus earning her the
nickname Bloody Mary) . This provoked disillusionment
with Mary, which was deepened by an unsuccessful war
against France which led to the loss of England’s last
possession in France in 1558.
Childless, sick and deserted by Philip, Mary died on 17
November 1558. Her hopes for a Catholic England died
with her.

10. Questions

What was the main reason for the English
Why was Lady Jane Grey’s reign so short?
Why was Mary I called “Bloody Mary”?
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