The Small Amount of Opposition to the Henrician Reformation

1453 Words3 Pages

The Small Amount of Opposition to the Henrician Reformation The Henrician reformation brought many changes to the religious and secular ways of life in England. It stripped the nation of many of its traditional Catholic ways and forced new and unheard of customs into its religious life. The monasteries were dissolved deceitfully and effectively and a once cherished tradition was brought to an abrupt end. Henry agreed to have an English Bible in his churches, something that had previously been considered an act of heresy. Other Catholic traditions such as holy relics and the belief in purgatory were discouraged in the newly revised faith. Cromwell initiated these changes to the faith, but Henry's Catholic faith ensured these changes were not too radical and chantries were still allowed to pray for souls in purgatory. Although Henry remained a Catholic, the end of papal power was signified in his becoming the head of the Church of England. However, with such movements that shook the foundations of England's faith, why was there so little opposition to the Henrician reformation? Perhaps on of the greatest tactics employed by the crown to prevent opposition was provoking fear amongst those who were likely to oppose the reformation. Henry had to start from the top, and therefore started by controlling parliament. A few bishops that had once made up a considerable part of parliament ( such as Bishop Fisher) were told to no longer attend, and Henry occasionally attended parliament, watching them as they voted, for example Henry attended debates in the Lords on 3 occasions and in 1532 he attended parliament for the passing of the 'Bill ... ... middle of paper ... ...fore it seems that a combination of tactics meant there was little opposition to the Henrician Reformation. Cromwell was an essential catalyst in making the reformation work; without his level of intelligence and ability to manipulate the reformation quite possibly may have encountered a great deal of opposition. The piecemeal and indeed relatively peaceful way in which the reformation occurred meant that people were rarely shocked by sudden change and that many would remain ignorant or unaffected by the changes that did occur. A lesser monarch might have been engulfed by the challenges such as the Pilgrimage of Grace, yet Henry and Cromwell remained consistent, and with an element of luck about the time that the changed were introduced, the Henrician reformation was successful and faced surprisingly little opposition.

Open Document