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Summary: in this seminar we discuss how, in practical terms, in was possible for Henry VIII and his advisors to enact and implement the break with Rome with apparent success. A key aim will be to assess the extent and seriousness of opposition to royal policy, and the ways in which the government countered it.

Seminar and essay questions:

a) Why did the Break with Rome arouse such little opposition?

b) Who was Henry VIII’s most dangerous opponent?


Again, overviews in Guy, Tudor England; Haigh, English Reformations; Marshall, Reformation England; Rex, Henry VIII; A Ryrie, The Age of Reformation (2009), ch. 5; Elton, Reform and Reformation

G R Elton, Policy and Police, esp. chs. 6, 7, 8 (a)

----------, ‘Sir Thomas More and the Opposition to Henry VIII’, Bulletin of the Institute of Historical Research (1968), and in his Studies in Tudor and Stuart Politics and Government, vol. I. (b)

GW Bernard, The King’s Reformation: Henry VIII and the Remaking of the English Church (2005), ch 2

P Marshall, Heretics and Believers: A History of the English Reformation (2017), ch 7

S Brigden, London and the Reformation, chs 5, 6

J Gray, Oaths and the English Reformation (2013), chs 2-4

J J Scarisbrick, Henry VIII, pp 324-339 (a)

---------------, ‘Fisher, Henry VIII and the Reformation Crisis’, in B Bradshaw and E Duffy (eds), Humanism, Reform and the Reformation: The Career of Bishop John Fisher (1989) (b)

E H Shagan, Popular Politics and the English Reformation (2003), chs. 1-2 (a)

--------------, ‘Print, Orality and Communications in the Maid of Kent Affair’, Journal of Ecclesiastical History, 52 (2001) (b)

R Rex, ‘The Execution of the Holy Maid of Kent’, Historical Research, 44 (1991) (b)

D Watt, Secretaries of God: Women Prophets in Late Medieval and Early Modern England (Cambridge, 1997), ch. 3 (b)

J Guy, The Public Career of Thomas More (1980), chs 8-9

----, Thomas More (2000), ch 9

P. Marshall, Religious Identities in Henry VIII’s England (2006), ch. 11 (a)

----------, ‘Crisis of Allegiance: George Throckmorton and Henry Tudor’, in P Marshall and G Scott (eds), Catholic Gentry in English Society: The Throckmortons of Coughton from Reformation to Emancipation (2009)

---------, ‘The Last Years’, in G Logan (ed), The Cambridge Companion to Thomas More (2011)

---------, ‘Papist as Heretic: the Burning of John Forest, 1538’, Historical Journal (1998), also in Marshall, Religious Identities in Henry VIII’s England (a) – on conservative resistance strategies

--------, ‘“The Greatest Man in Wales:” James ap Gruffydd ap Hywel and the International Opposition to Henry VIII’, Sixteenth Century Journal, 39 (2008)