Until 1529 the traditional religion of the English people retained the approval of the English government. From 1529, however, a complex of political, financial, and personal factors combined to produce a significant modification of official attitude. Increasing hostility to the papacy culminated in the act declaring royal supremacy over the national church in 1534. This was followed in 1536–40 by the suppression of all religious houses. The financial and legal privileges of the clergy were eroded, while their status as the prime provider of religious knowledge was undermined by the legitimisation of the English Bible in 1538. The founding of chantries was restricted in 1529, and the confiscation of their property threatened in 1545. Saints’ days were reduced in 1536. Pilgrimage, relic veneration, and offering to images were prohibited by the royal injunctions of 1536–8. Despite the continuing persecution of heretics, particularly after the Six Articles of 1539, these years thus witnessed an unmistakable alteration of official attitude towards vital components of traditional religion.
Swipe to navigate through the chapters of this book
Please log in to get access to this content
To get access to this content you need the following product:
- Local Responses to the Henrician Reformation
- Macmillan Education UK
- Sequence number
- Chapter number