In 1533 the Act in Restraint of Appeals to Rome now recognised as Henry as the supreme head of the Church in England. This also said that Rome had no power to rule over matrimonial cases. This allowed Henry to gain his divorce as Cranmer declared Henry’s marriage with Catherine null and void, and Henry married Anne. This moves England away from the Catholic faith as he has now split with the Rome. A major part of the Catholic Church was that the Pope decided what happened, for example who gained a divorce, and Henry has now split and undermined the Pope.
This paper hopes to show both Thomas More and Richard the III's characters through the space of time, and why the people's opinion changed towards them. THOMAS MORE IN MAN OF ALL SEASONS Thomas More in Robert Bolt's book A man for All Seasons is shown as a devoted family man, a supporter of the Catholic Church, and scholar. He is also shown to be a strong man of conscience who cannot compromise his faith even to save his life. In Robert Bolt's play Henry the VIII is the King who wanted to divorce his wife to marry someone else. At the time the Church did not allow divorces, Henry decided to assign himself as the Supreme order, overriding the Pope.
He knew that if he signed it then he would accept the King as the Supreme Head of Church and thus give the King the power to “dispense with the dispensation” which to him was against his morals and religion. Of course the marriage was associated with other things -attack on the abbeys, the whole Reformation policy-to which More was violently opposed. When told by Norfolk that his parish attire is a disrespect to the King and his office. More replies that “the service of God is not a dishonor to any office”(Bolt, p.26) Even though he loves the King to death as proved by Mores loyalty towards him, he values his morality and religion more. For his conscience is a “little area where I must rule myself”(Bolt,p.34).
The King's Great Matter The Spanish-English marriage alliance of Catherine of Aragon and Prince Arthur was arranged when the children were very young. Catherine traveled to England only to face tragedy when her young husband, Arthur died in 1502.Henry VII wanted to marry Catherine to his younger son, who would be, Henry VIII so that he did not lose the dowry money from Catherine's parents and to secure some other agreements between the two countries. In the Catholic Church, it was forbidden to marry the wife of a deceased brother. A papal dispensation was required for the marriage. It was easily obtained from Pope Julius II.
Henry did not want Lutheranism to spread, so he chose to write "Defense of the Seven Sacraments," which was a retaliation towards Luther. The Pope of the time was very grateful for Henry's defense of the religion, therefore deeming him "Defender of the Faith." Many years later, after years of marriage to Catherine of Aragon, Henry wished for an annulment because of Catherine's inability to provide him with a male heir to the throne. However, Catherine wasn't willing to agree to the divorce, so therefore the Pope denies the annulment. In spite of the Pope's disagreement, Henry chose to remarry in secret, forcing the clergy to follow his demands.
Henry VIII wanted to get a divorce with Catherine of Aragon and get married to Anne Boleyn. In the eye of the Catholics he could not divorce Catherine of Aragon. Henry VIII wants his children inherited the throne; he introduced the act of succession and made himself head of the Church of England. When Henry VIII made Thomas More the Lord Chancellor, Henry VIII expected Thomas More to support him but Thomas More did not support him. Thomas More did not like the idea of Henry VIII getting divorce.
The Church also plays a vital role in Charles abandoning Joan, because the influence of the Church is so powerful in deciding the destiny of France and the King. All of King Charles important decisions involve his advisors and are usually decided based on public response. King Charles will not have the support of his people if he does not have their satisfaction. Therefore Charles must do whatever it takes, even if it means he has to sacrifice Joan, in order to prove he is powerful and that he is the rightful king. When Joan first arrives and meets Charles at the castle of Loches, and she tells him of her plans and her mission from God, he acts as if the whole deal is a joke at first.
It was given as a bribe and he did not realise it until after receiving it and decides not to keep it. At the same period, King Henry VIII wishes to divorce and remarry since Queen Catherine did not give birth to a male heir. More objects to this but holds his peace. Cardinal Wolsey, Lord Chancellor of England, writes a letter to Pope to dissolve the King’s marriage and More reviews it. More makes it clear that the Pope made an exemption once when he agreed to the marriage of King Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragorn because she was the widow of King Henry’s brother.
Wolsey then scolded More for being so moralistic and told him to be more practical instead. After that, Wolsey asked More how he planned to give the king a male heir. More said that he would “pray for it daily” but Wolsey wanted to “secure a divorce” so that King Henry VIII could marry Anne Boleyn and most likely produce a male heir, which he felt would solve the issue immediately, since he was making the effort to do something, unlike More, who would rather pray for help. Area of dispute: More believes that it is not right to ask the Pope to dispense with his dispensation of the Christian law (a man cannot marry his brother’s widow) just for state affairs. However, Wolsey places the country’s interests above his own personal conscience as he feels that it is his job to ensure that the king will have a male heir to ascend the throne in future.
Holy roman emperor Charles V, Catherine’s nephew, strongly opposed the divorce, and pope Clement VII, who Charles had made a prisoner, could not disprove the marriage without displeasing his captor. In 1529, the pope released the case to Rome. When the prospect of securing a papal annulment seemed hopeless, Henry dismissed Wolsey and appointed Sir Thomas More. In 1532 Henry married secretly married Anne Boylen, who was crowned queen after Thomas Cranmer, declared the marriage with Catherine void and that with Anne valid. Although Henry was immediately excommunicated, he repudiated papel jurisdiction in 1534 and made himself the supreme ecclesiastical authority in England.