English Reformation Facts

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English Reformation

The English Reformation began when Henry VIII broke with the papacy in a divorce battle. When he failed at gaining an annulment of his marriage to Catharine of Aragon, Henry VIII broke with the Catholic Church and founded the Church of England, also known as the Anglican Church or the Episcopal Church. He marriage Anne Boleyn. While Anne was queen not one person was burnt for heresy.

Henry VIII sold off all the holdings of the Catholic Church to supporters and declared the Anglican Church the official church of England in 1531. When Henry VIII died, his son Edward VI assumed the throne. The country turned protestant. When Edward VI died,  Mary I assumed the throne and officially reverted England back to Catholicism. But the country was too protestant and resistance occurred.

Mary I burned a few hundred extremists and gained the name Bloody Mary Tudor. She died after 5 years on the throne. Elizabeth I reached successful compromises with the extremists. The church was  now divided into two camps, those who believed in some form of predestination and Christian humanists who believed in free will.

Thomas Cranmer was instrumental in the English Reformation. He was the Archbishop of Canterbury during the reign of Henry VIII and Edward VI. However, when Mary I became queen, burned him at the stake for being a heretic. Other martyrs of the reformation of the English Church included Nicolas Ridley and Hugh Latimer.