Renaissance Religion

CPA British Literature


In the early 1500's a religious revolution known as the Protestant Reformation had started in central Europe and was spreading across the continent. King Henry VIII wanted to get a divorce from his wife, but the Catholic church was not letting him due so. This resulted in King Henry VIII splitting from the Catholic Church and becoming head of The Church Of England allowing him to get his divorce. Sir Thomas More was chancellor at the time and resigned his chancellorship when Henry VIII became Head of the Church Of England but still continued to fight against the divorce which resulted in his execution in 1535.

Henry VIII

By: C. Bednarz

Growing up Henry VIII was well educated and he became an accomplished young man. At eighteen Henry’s father, King Henry VII, died. As the rightful heir to the throne Henry took over the Kingdom. Henry VIII was the king of England from 1509-1547. During his reign he began the Church of England and instated the English Reformation (Hamilton).

Henry VIII was born on June 28, 1491 in Greenwich (Bingham 47). He was the third child and second son of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York. Henry had a total of six siblings, two brothers and four sisters. When Henry was about four years old he started school (Bingham 50). As he matured and became more educated Henry arose to be a patron of the arts, an accomplished young writer, and a composer. “Henry developed into a fine all-round sportsman, enjoying hunting, riding and excelling in wrestling, archery, and tennis.”(Bingham 52).

In 1502 Henry’s eldest brother Arthur died leaving Henry to be the heir of the throne (Hamilton). Henry’s father died in 1509 (Bingham 54), and he inherited the Kingdom which had great potential. When Henry became King, he married Catherine of Aragon. For his first twenty years as king, Henry built up England. The English prided themselves on being well educated and cultured with sumptuous craftsmanship (Hamilton).With the intent to impress Europe, Henry supported the growth of the navy. He also commenced in continental politics (Bingham 56). England made an alliance with Spain and the Holy Roman Empire, this alliance was waging war against the French and the Scottish. Unfortunately it led to a financial fiasco in the royal coffers in the mid-1520s (Hamilton).

At the time of the fiasco, Henry was getting agitated that Catherine could not provide him with an heir. Henry turned to the church for an annulment for his marriage to Catherine. Pope Clement VII did not permit the annulment, Henry then decided to split from the Catholic Church. He established the Church of England and instituted the English reformation. With Thomas Cromwell’s help Parliament passed an Act of Supremacy, “which consecrated the break with Rome and formally established Henry as Head of the Church and Defender of the Faith.”(Hamilton). This act removed all financial issues.

After his divorce Henry married Anne of Boleyn, this marriage ended terribly. After Anne, he married four more times, Jane Seymour, Anne of Cleves, Catherine Howard, and Catherine Parr. Jane Seymour, Henry’s third wife, bore Henry his only son Edward VI. Henry had three daughters and one son. Catherine Parr Henry’s last wife outlived Henry. Henry VIII died on January 28, 1547, and Edward VI succeeded Henry as the new King of England (Hamilton).

Henry VIII ("Money, Money, Money" by ABBA)

Sir Thomas More

By: T. Costa

Sir Thomas More was born in London England on February 7th 1478. When Thomas was a young boy he attended St Anthony’s school in London, which was one of the most well known schools of his time and in the area. He later went on to serve at the Archbishops house as a page while he attended school. Thomas was quite the scholar at a young age. He later went on to study at oxford where he began to start writing (McGraw Hill). He wrote many, many well-known poems, many to do with arguments against the Protestant Reformation. In 1515 he wrote “The history of Richard III” which was said to be the first masterpiece of English Historiography. He later went on to publish many other significant works and poems (ABC-CLIO).

However in 1517 he entered the kings service and became one of Henry the VIII’s most effective and trusted servants. He later became knighted and became chancellor of Lancaster. Not to shortly after he took command as Lord of Chancellor in 1929 (ABC-CLIO). At this time King Henry was struggling with his divorce from his wife Catherine and the split with the church of Rome, this caused a major conflict with Thomas and he refused to help the king. In 1534 Thomas More was arrested after refusing to swear on the oath of succession for the King and was tried for treason and executed on Tower Hill on July 6th 1535 (McGraw Hill).

Sir Thomas More

Queen Elizabeth I

By: K. Lowengrub

Queen Elizabeth was born on July 7, 1533 from her mother Anne Boleyn and father King

Henry VIII. King Henry married Anne Boleyn expecting a male heir to the thrown but she

delivered a child, Elizabeth (Wilhem). Once she was born, Henry divorced her and married JaneSeymour who had delivered him the male heir he wanted, naming him Henry VI. After Henry was born, he accused Anne Boleyn for adultery and treason and executed her after a year of marriage. Besides the fact that Henry VIII had divorced her too, he remarried three more times. When Henry died, his will said he will give the throne to his son Henry VI unless he died which he will give to his eldest daughter Elizabeth. Elizabeth signed into office November 17, 1588 and

was the 5th monarch of the Tudor Dynasty (Elizabeth quote). She was the Queen of England and Ireland. While she planned to rule by good counsel, she was dependent on her advisors. While being queen, Elizabeth I made her church sect making herself Supreme Governor. (Levine) The Queen never had any children, naming her the “Virgin Queen”, which people admired about her and made a cult beyond it. One of the reasons why she didn’t marry was because child birth had a great possibility of death due to lack of medicine. One large reason why she didn’t marry was because she had other important affairs to deal with, like playing courtship. She was afraid to bear a child because it had a very high chance of being killed before she actually had

died. Although people believe that she was with Robert Dudley when his wife disappeared in 1560 (Levine) . Elizabeth I tried to avoid foreign affairs, but they crept in on her. In the 1580s Philip II gave the Spanish Armada permission to overthrow. But this didn’t stir the Queen her greatest words spoken were “I may have the body of a weak and feeble woman, but I have the heart and stomach of a king". The troops had defended the throne and Elizabeth I still died with no heir to the throne on March 24, 1603. Since then, those powerful words gave Elizabeth one of the greatest military victories. (Wilhelm)

Queen Elizabeth I Biography