Respond to the following sets of questions (each with a 6-8 sentence answer) below:
-Who were the authors of these texts (make reasoned speculations)? What kind of people were they (status, identity, etc.)? When were these texts written? What kind of texts are they (e.g. diary? pamphlet? law code? secondary scholarly source?)? What are each of these texts “doing” (What are these texts describing? What are these texts arguing? Why would the author write these texts?)?
-How do these texts show the changes of the Reformation in England (from Henry to Edward to Mary)? How did the dissolution of the monasteries proceed, and how great of an impact did it have (hint: compare official accounts to inventory list)?
-Compare and contrast the different accounts of Cranmer’s death: how did a Catholic and a Protestant perceive Cranmer’s actions and the meaning of his death? Try to describe the “worldview” that informed both similarities and differences in how they construct their accounts.
17 thoughts on “Reformation Revolutions Texts Discussion”
The author of the Churchwarden’s accounts of st. Edmund’s parish church was written by the respective Churchwarden and includes inventory and spending records from the years 1527-1528 to years 1557-1557. The author of examples of reports of commissions for the dissolution of monasteries was John Ap Rice who worked and reported to Thomas Cromwell written November 5th, 1535. The accounts of the burning of the Oxford martyrs were written by John Foxe and include a primary source letter written by a Catholic eyewitness as well as drawings of the account. The dates regarding the creation of these documents pertaining to Cranmer are unknown however relate to his execution on March 21, 1556. The purpose of the accounts and inventories of St Edmund’s parish is to illustrate the rise and fall of expenditures and inventories of the local monasteries and parishes and were initially intended to be used as a most basic form of accounting. The example of reports of commissions for the dissolution of monasteries is a letter written to Thomas Cromwell with the intention of dissolving a local church based on the hard evidence found regarding the indulgencies of the abbot and disloyalty to both the crown, god, and people of the kingdom. Unveiling this corruption whether accurate or not makes it clear that the intention is to use this evidence to remove the respective local church as part of King Henry’s plan for the dissolution of monasteries to help increase income as well as loyalty to the crown. The accounts of the burning of the oxford martyrs were written to show the differences between the protestant and catholic perspectives of the burning of heretics by Queen Mary, especially of Archbishop Cranmer.
The texts each show the reformation in England and the changes in the church from Henry to Edward to Mary via the focus on the experience of the individual via the transformation of the monasteries. For example, the dissolution of the monasteries proceeded by the encountering of information that these monasteries were run by monks that were out of touch with their holy lives and enjoyed corruption and indulgence of unholy activities. This decision to dissolve the monestaries can, therefore, be seen in the basic form of accounting records kept by the church that show an increase of spending for a short time to transform the once more grandeur church of catholicism to that of a more simple protestant structure. When looking at the inventory lists much of the expensive silver and other precious more expensive items are replaced by brass and less expensive items. After this transition period spending at the respective monastery falls to less than it was even before the transformation.
When comparing the accounts of Cranmer’s death it is apparent that the author used a Catholic perspective to denounce Catholicism and their actions against Protestants. While both of these accounts regarding the death of Cranmer show the great disapproval of the opposing religion, both sides appear to pity the individuals who are burned for being heretics. The depiction before the assembled mass is recorded very differently between a Protestant and Catholic perspective. With the Protestant perspective greatly illustrating the low level that Cranmer is ultimately esteemed to, while the Catholic perspective identifies Cranmer properly accepting his sins. The burning of Cranmer is pitied by both accounts and is included by the protestant author to show that even a catholic is somewhat shocked that a man who had so much power and influence over the greater community could be sentenced to death in a way such as this. The author of the text truly embodies this catholic perspective and asserts his protestant perspective stating “Cranmer’s example is an endless testimony that fraud and cruelty are the leading characteristics of the Catholic hierarchy.” Overall, the different accounts of Cranmer’s death are included to illustrate the wrongdoings of catholicism and in some ways, Catholics are acknowledging the atrocities.
The first text, “Accounts and Inventories of St. Edmund’s Parish, Salisbury, 1527-57 “, is a collection of primary source documents from St. Edmund’s Parish of Salisbury. The documents contain information regarding the inventory and records of maintenance or changes for certain periods within this timeline. The documents were most written by a clergymen in charge of keeping records of such details. This text is keeping record of the inventories and accounts for the church and by doing so is evidencing the changes of religious order from one English ruler to the next. The second text, “Reports of commissioners for the dissolution of the monasteries”, is a collection of letters written in 1535 and 1538. These primary sources discuss the dissolution of monasteries being orchestrated at the time by the English Crown. These letters are both addressed to Thomas Cromwell, the first from John AP Rice in 1535 and the second from John London in 1538. The third document, “Accounts of the Burning of the Oxford Martyrs, 1556”, is a series of letters and first-person accounts of the burning at the stake of multiple Protestant clergymen. These texts were written shortly after the event in 1556 and each details the event as the author witnessed it themselves. There is also an excerpt from John Foxe’s Book of Martyrs.
The first text, “Accounts and Inventories of St. Edmund’s Parish, Salisbury, 1527-57 “, very evidently shows the change of the Reformation in England from Henry to Edward to Mary. The earlier inventories are an example of the move from a more traditionally Catholic church to a more Protestant-styled church. This is evidenced by the switch to an altar in the inventories dating from 1550-1551. Also when Mary assumes rule, the inventories from her time period show a return to Catholic form. In the accounts are the necessities for all the Catholic sacraments and activities that were previously left out in earlier inventories. The closing of monasteries is evidenced in the second text “Reports of commissioners for the dissolution of the monasteries” which is a primary source addressing such occurrences. According to the reports Lord Cromwell sent officers to the monasteries to handle the closings of them. These officers would investigate the monasteries for their heresies and report back to Lord Cromwell.
The Protestants and Catholics and differing views on the death of Cranmer and the other martyrs. The Protestant view of Cranmer’s death was very aligned with the martyrdom mentality. The account of the Protestant view highlights Cranmer’s condemnation of the Pope and Catholicism. The account also reacted to the death of Cranmer as a very heavy loss for the Protestant community in England as Thomas Cranmer was one of the most influential and powerful Protestant reformers. The Catholic view of Cranmer’s death viewed it more as a moment of closure. The revenge of Queen Mary against the Protestant reformers would be satiated with the blood of Thomas Cranmer. The Catholic worldview was that this was an uprising of a new idea and with these killings that uprising movement had finally been ceased. The Protestant worldview was similar but opposite in the sense that this was their movement that was being cut from the head almost literally had they been beheaded instead of burnt at the stake.
The first text, a primary source, is “Account and Inventories of St. Edmund’s Parish” was written in 1527 by a church warren, which was taking record of the purchases being made on the church during King Henry VIII. This inventory long was taken at a time when the church was going through a reform and major changes were being made. These changes to the church are reflected in what the church was purchasing. For example under Henry VIII, the church swapped the extravagant altar for a modest table. A simple change from an altar to a table, symbolized the changing beliefs of the church from going from overstated object to a place of worship that was less focused on materialism. Rather, during Henry VIII’s control everything was much more simple and the church was more concentrated on making the services about God. Everything on the list is very humble, for example, “oil for the bells” and, “paper and ink”, both of which are basic necessities. The author of this text was simply keeping log of the purchases being made, for reference and it could used to highlight the alterations of what was being bought since Henry’s coming of power. Also, during his reign the king dissolved countless monasteries, historians estimate the number to be over eight hundred. The demolition of English monasteries under Henry VIII transformed the power structures of English society. Henry had since broke from the Roman Church, declaring himself head of the new Church of England. His aim in demolishing the monastic system was both to secure its wealth and to suppress political opposition. In just four short years, the over 800 monasteries that were taken over were home to more than 10,000 monks, nuns, friars and canons. This can be shown in the inventory list based on the volume and quantity of things being ordered.
The next works were letters from commissioners, John Rice and Dr. London about the suppression and dissolution of the monasteries. Written in 1535 and 1538, these letters were during the peak time that Henry VIII was closing many of the monasteries, for aforementioned reasons. In the first letter, John Rice is telling Cromwell and the King about The Bury monastery. Monks had become aware of what the King was trying to do with their assets so in opposition the Abbots were beginning to get rid of everything they possessed and sell it off. Fortunately for Cromwell, and the King, they were not very good had fencing their goods or conducting sale discretely. Similar things are occurring in Dr. London’s letter to Cromwell a few years later, where people are stealing and defacing things from the Church. “I have taken inventory of them, and have locked them away up behind their high altar and have the key in my keeping”, meaning it had come to the point where Dr. London was having to hide things away. He taking inventory as well as locking items behind the high altar and carrying the key around with him to ensure the items safe keeping. On the inventory list it can be seen was he was keeping.
The last excerpts highlight different views on Cranmer’s death. Cranmer was put to death front of a crowd through the means of burning, to prove to others what would happen if they chose to go against the Church. Since Cranmer, was a man who supported the translation of the bible into English. This was seen as a sin in the eyes of Catholics and greatly forbidden; yet Cranmer continued to push boundaries anyways. In 1545, he wrote a litany that is still used in the church, and a few years later in 1549 he helped complete the book of the common prayer. Though once the country was no longer under the reign of Edward, Queen Mary came to power. She was a strict Catholic and was devoted to returning to the Catholic ways. During her short time as Queen she put hundreds of heretics to death and was given the nickname, “Bloody” Mary. This change in power meant that Cranmer’s beliefs put his safety in danger. After a long trial and imprisonment, Cranmer was forced to proclaim to the public his error in the support of Protestantism, an act designed to discourage followers of the religion. However, at his execution on March 21, 1556, he withdrew his compulsory admission, and declared the certainty of the Protestant faith. To prove his faith in once last act he put his hand in the fire and said, “This hath offended!” Even though the Catholics might have won by killing anther Protestant his last words and bold declaration only proved to inspire other Protestants. It proved that his faith could not be broken and that until the very end he believed in what he preached. The accounts different in the sense if Cranmer was painted in the light of a devote Protestant who served as an inspiration or as a crazy heretic who was causing mayhem and ruining the Church.
The first of the three Reformation revolution texts, “Accounts and Inventories of St Edmund’s Parish, Salisbury, 1527-1557” was an account of inventory written by the church warden of St.Edmund’s parish, containing the purchases and inventories of the parish from 1527-57. The second of the text, “Reports of commissioners for the dissolution of the monasteries” is a letter written by John AP Rice to Cromwell in 1535 about the suppression of monasteries. The text also includes a second letter written in 1538 from Dr.London to Cromwell about the relics he found at a local church.The last reformational text, “Accounts of the Burning of the Oxford Martyrs” included an account of the burning of the Oxford martyrs by John Foxe and letter detailing an account of Crammers death by eyewitness. The purpose of the accounts of the parish is to show the differences in transactional history the english reformation and Mary’s ascent to power. The transactional history shows us how the needs and expenses of the parish at each point in time change. The reports of commissions for the dissolution of the monasteries is a letter from John AP Rice to Cromwell regarding the dissolvement of a local church based on evidence about the Abbot’s indulgences and other malpractices of the local church. It shows that through the dissolvement of monasteries that there were other malpractice reasons for also shutting down certain local churches.The two different accounts of the burning of Oxford show the differences in catholic and Protestant perspectives about the burning of hetericts by Mary.
The first reading, “Accounts and Inventories of St Edmund’s Parish, Salisbury, 1527-1557” shows accounting evidence and insight into the change in the reformation from Henry to Edward to Mary. The dissolution of monasteries came about as a result of the view that the monks weren’t needed anymore as well as their indulgences in corrupt practices. The dissolution of monasteries can be seen in the first reading which shows a shift from a Catholic monastery to a more prodistant oriented view. This is evident by the periods of large expenditure to revert the internal placements of the church as well as the significant drop in annual expenditure after the reforms were implemented. The second reading shows the process of Cromwell sending out other people to investigate churches for violations before deciding to shut them down.
The catholic and prodistant perspective offered different accounts of the death of Crammer and others. The catholic view was more about trying to end what Henry VIII had started with the English reformation by executing protistant leaders. The catholic account stated that crammer had confessed his sins and renowned his prodistant beliefs by confessing his sins and the actuality of Catholicism and the sacraments. The protestant perceived his death as a great loss for the prodistant community in England. It was more about the disbelief of the painful death that he had to endure. The account also states that even when facing death, he continued to hold onto his prodistant beliefs and refused to renounce them. One similarity is that both parties pitied Crammer and had hints of slight disbelief that Crammer would be sentenced to death in such an inhumane manner.
The three texts I read were “Accounts and inventories of St. Edmunds parish, 1527”, “Reports of commissioners for the dissolution of the monasteries”, and “Accounts of the burning of the Oxford martyrs”. The “Accounts and inventories of St. Edmunds parish” was written between 1527 and 1557 by Churchwardens. These accounts are records from these years. The “Reports of commissioners for the dissolution of the monasteries” was written by John AP Rice to Lord Cromwell. This text was written on November 5th, 1535. This text was written to inform Cromwell of the corruption in a local church. This is because Rice had evidence that the church was not loyal to the crown. The dissolution of the monasteries was King Henry’s way of getting rid of people who go against the crown. The “Accounts of the burning of the Oxford martyrs” was written by John Foxe. The date of this text is unknown but are written about the death of Cranmer in 1556. This was written to show the reactions to the burning of these people. Three Catholics and three Protestants were burned.
The texts show the changes in the reformation in England during each of the rulers time in power. The first text illustrates this by showing the change in style of church. The change to an altar shows the more protestant style. The dissolution of the monasteries showed that these monasteries were disloyal. This was a way for them to take away the people who rival them. They would investigate the groups of people and report them as seen in the text. This was a more protestant style of belief. This changes in mary’s time period which is evident in the accounts from text one. This is because they report more on the catholic way of life which was not the focal point of the other reports.
The burning of the Oxford martyrs was viewed differently by the catholics and the protestants. The catholics viewed this as Mary getting back at the reformers. The catholics believed that the death of Cranmer was the end of the uprising of the
protestant reforms. This was known as the revenge of queen mary against the movement. The protestants viewed this as the death of one of their leaders. Cranmer was a very important protestant reformer and was a leader in the protestant community. The big picture for the protestants was that their movement was basically ended or at least put to a halt.
The first text, “Accounts and Inventories of St Edmund’s Parish,” is the inventory of the church taken by the churchwarden. The inventory is from 1527 to 1557, which allows the text to show the transformation of the physical church during the changes in monarch. The second text, “Examples of reports of commissioners for the dissolution of the monasteries,” is a collection of letters: one from 1535 and one from 1538. These letters were written during the reign of King Henry VIII in which he began to close monasteries. The third text was written by John Foxe in his book Book of Martyrs. He published the book in 1563, but is describing the burning of Thomas Cranmer that occurred in 1556. He published this book during the early years of Queen Elizabeth’s reign. This text is depicting what protestants went through during the reformation. Also included in the third text is a letter written by someone who witnessed the burning of Thomas Cramner.
The first text shows that during Henry VIII’s reign all the way to Mary’s reign, the church went through numerous physical transformations. The changes in inventory directly reflect the changes of ideology of the English people during the Reformation. During the reformation, people began to focus less on the ornamental aspects of their church, preferring bare walls to ones covered in deities. The most apparent change was the switch was from an altar to a table. These physical modifications represent the portestant notion that there should be emphasis on preaching and sermons. The second text suggests that the dissolution of the monasteries was not necessarily violent, but it was not welcomed by those that were involved. The letters describe the monk’s heresies which were to eventually be reported to the king, and they would be shut down.
The catholic and the protestant had subtle differences in their perceptions of Cranmer’s death. While the catholic does have some remorse that he must die, she wrote, “ Alas, it is too much of itself, that ever so heavy a case should betide to man, and man to deserve it.” As a Catholic, she couldn’t say that the king was wrong in sentencing Cranmer to death, but she does describe the events as an “…unfortunate end, and a doubtful tragedy…” The protestant’s reaction differs in that he finds a greater tragedy in Thomas Cramner’s death. He claims that Cranmer was accused of “the most atrocious crimes,” and implies that he disagrees with that assertion. John Foxe ends his account by stating, “Cranmer’s example is an endless testimony that fraud and cruelty are the leading characteristics of the catholic hierarchy.” He makes the animosity that he has-as a protestant-towards the catholics very clear.
Each of the three text that I read are based within the continued period of the English Reformation dating 1527 through 1557. Each of these readings are primary sources encompassing the format as an inventory record, letters, and a witness documentation of events. The first text, Accounts and Inventories of St. Edmunds Parish, Salisbury, 1527 -1557, is a primary record of the activities, proceedings, and the laborers associated with St. Edmunds Parish in Salisbury. The second text, Reports of Commissioners for the Dissolution of the Monasteries, includes to letters. The first dated 1535 from John Ap Rice to Cromwell documents one case of the oppression of monasteries. Rice speaks about his inability to find many materials worthy of confiscation yet that through verbal inquisition he was able to gather information that would please Cromwell and likely the king as well. Within the second letter, dated 1538, and written by Dr. John London again to Cromwell speaks also of the suppression and raiding of monasteries. London’s letter however, also includes a detailed inventory list of relics that were gathered and confiscated at the location. The last text, Accounts of the Burning of the Oxford Martyrs, is written by John Foxe and describes the details, proceedings, and execution of three martyrs Bishop Latimer, Bishop Ridley, and Bishop Cranmer. It is important to note that the disputations and convictions of these Bishops took place within the first two years of Queen Mary I reign. Through the comparison of these texts the changes that took place throughout the English Reformation, from the divorce of Catherine of Aragon and Henry VIII to the crowning of Queen Elizabeth I.
Though the comparison specifically of the first two texts, the inventory list of St. Edmunds Parish and the letters regarding the oppression of the monasteries an outline of the changes occurring through the end of Henry VIII’s reign, Edward VI’s, and Mary I’s reign can be drawn. However it is first beneficial to recognize the fact the the reformation began during Henry the VIII’s reign decently before Edward VI was born, but Mary I was already old enough to have baptized, raised, and developed religious beliefs that aligned her self with the Catholic faith. The letters each written to Cromwell paint a picture of political leanings against catholic customs during the years of 1535 and 1538, a time located well into Henry VIII’s reign, but still well before Edward VI was crowned. Both letters discuss the confiscation of relics which is very interesting because in the inventory record for the year 1531-1532, St. Edmunds Parish recorded the making of a relic of ST. Wolfrise, something that less than 5 years later would be considered outlawed. In the inventory records during the middle of Edwards VI reign it is apparent that St. Edmunds parish was now being taken care of through a list of laborer cleaning and repairing activities, vs. where the letters detailed like places being raided and possessions taken. This contrasting mentality of taking care of religious places is detailed even further as the record dates advance into Mary I’s reign. It is evident that elements of religious ornamentation is being brought back within to the houses of prayer through the requests for cushions and cloths, details that were eventually omitted during the later part of Henry VIII’s rule. Even though both of these texts outline the changes that occurred throughout the reformation and the successions of monarchs they do not clearly display the differences in emotions of the catholics and protestants to the going ons of the time.
The last text, which outlines the grievances and deaths of the Bishops – Cranmer, Latimer, and Ridley displays accounts and emotions of individuals on each side of the religious debate. Which goes on to show the discontent and lack of unity of the common people when it came to the catholic vs protestant England. Additionally it should be first understood that these disputations and executions were of protestant shops under Mary I’st orders. The events and emotions surrounding Bishop Cranmer death can be used to illustrate the perspectives of catholics and protestants at the time due to his reputation as a leader of the reformation and loyal service to both Henry VIII and Edward the VI. The record describes the church when Cranmer entires as “the catholics rejoicing, and the protestants deeply in spirit,” clearly depicting the differences in the two party’s. However after sermons are given and Cranmer has an opportunity to speak for himself he was able to persuade the on lookers of all opinions to the point that his impact was described as having, “completed a greater ruin upon his enemies in the hour of death, than he did in this life.” Thus, it can be said that Cranmer’s death did have a great impact on those of England and maybe even that of the world. His contributions to the English Reformation and his own journey from the “darkness” of Catholicism to the light of the reformed beliefs and his ability to sum this up upon his death bed increased the impact that he was able to have leading to the protestant worldview.
The first text, “Accounts and Inventories of St Edmund’s Parish, Salisbury, 1527-1557,” is a primary source with each inventory being written by the various churchwardens of the time period 1527-1557. The purpose of this text is to record the expenditures of the parish for various materials needed for religious activity. The second texts, “Reports of commissioners for the dissolution of the monasteries,” are also primary sources written in 1535 and 1538. There are two letters within this text from John Ap Rice and Dr London to Oliver Cromwell, the chief minister to the King. Both Rice and London are commissioners to King Henry VIII. They are commissioned to aid with the dissolution of the monasteries, which was part of Henry VIII’s strategy in converting over to the Church of England. The purpose of these letters is to update Cromwell and the crown on the progress of the dissolution. The third text, “Accounts of the Burning of the Oxford Martyrs, 1556,” contain a secondary source and a primary source. The first account is an excerpt from John Foxe’s book, “Book of Martyrs” written in 1563. Foxe was a historian who wrote of Christian martyrs, the purpose of this text is to describe the burning of Archbishop Cranmer and engrave him in history as a martyr. The second account is a letter by a Catholic witness to the execution of Cranmer.
“Accounts and Inventories of St Edmund’s Parish, Salisbury, 1527-1557” shows several differences in terms of changes in the Reformation and changes in rule. There is a drastic change in inventory in 1554 due to the fact that Mary came into power. Prior to Mary’s rule the church had more protestant ideals, tables instead of alters, less excessive art and decoration, etc., however, after Mary got the throne she brought with her Catholicism and therefore wanted to go back to more traditional churches, with silks, velvets and large chalices. Another piece of the reformation can be seen in the second text regarding the dissolutions of monasteries. The monasteries were being dissolved on Henry VIII and Cromwell’s orders, and the land was being taken by the crown. This process happened through commissioners who would go and find corruption within the clergyman of the monastery. For example, John Ap Rice describes the “frequence of women” coming and going from the monastery along with the fact that the abbot had a taste for betting money in dice and card games. Being able to point out corruption within the church without being called a heretic is a freedom that came with the Reformation. Finally, the last source, “Accounts of the Burning of the Oxford Martyrs, 1556,” shows regression within the Reformation as ‘bloody’ Queen Mary I executes many protestants, one of them being Archbishop Cranmer, who was very powerful during the Reformation and aided Henry VIII in his divorce as well as in establishing the structure of the Church of England.
The final text is an account of the burning of Archbishop Cranmer on the orders of Mary I. There is a description of the event from a Catholic viewer and Protestant John Foxe. There were both similarities as well as differences between these two texts. Both accounts have the same worldview when it comes to people who die for their religion, which is a high respect, probably going back to the fact that Jesus was the first martyr of Christianity by dying on the cross. This is seen in the Catholic viewpoint when he/she says “I could worthily have commended the example, and matched it with the fame of any father of ancient time: but, seeing that not the death, but cause and quarrel thereof, commendeth the sufferer, I cannot but much dispraise his obstinate stubbornness and sturdiness in dying, and specially in so evil a cause.” The Catholic is moved by Cranmer’s devotion to his religion despite believing him to be a heretic. However the view of Archbishop Cranmer greatly differs between the sources, John Foxe believes him to be a martyr whereas the Catholic viewpoint is that he betrayed the Church not only by being a Protestant but by helping Henry split from the Roman Catholic Church. These differences in worldview are what causes Cranmer to be burned at the stake.
This week, we covered three different primary sources. “Accounts and Inventories of St. Edmunds Parish, Salisbury, 1527-1557″,”Reports of Commissioners For The Dissolution of The Monasteries”, and “Accounts of the Burning of The Oxford Martyrs”. The first text mentioned was most likely taken by an overseer of St. Edmunds Parish, who kept track of all inventory and finances with regards to the church during the time period 1527-1557. A man named John Ap Rice authored the second text on November 5, 1535. Rice reported to Thomas Cromwell and sent this letter specifically to war Cromwell of the newly developed disloyalty for the crown within the church. Is important to note that at the time the letters were written, King Henry VIII was moving on shutting down many monasteries and targeting monk’s personal possessions as well. Their alleged disloyalty to a church that was practically grounded in the state and Henry’s wants was more than enough reason for the king to deem these monasteries useless and shut them down. The last document contained multiple accounts from the deaths of three prominent Bishops at the time, 1556. The multiple documents do a good job displaying multiple sides and interpretations of the same events and their purpose and necessity.
Through all three of these documents, it is clear that the Church of England and the political ties that come with it are forever evolving both in purpose and meaning. The dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII was clearly due to his personal belief that they were no longer necessary, as well as seeing them and their churches as corrupt and no longer staying loyal to the crown. With Henry being able to make such a massive decision essentially based off of his own intuition, as well as some around him who would not likely oppose an idea, it is clear that church is evolving into more of a political function. With regards to the dissolution of the monasteries and that effected the spending of the church, you can note in the first document that spending did increase for the purpose of replacing whoever was seen as corrupt and restructuring church practices. Eventually, inventory and spending actually appeared to become lower than before the changes by the government.
No matter their religious beliefs and overarching ideas as to how the government and religion should be connected, it became clear after reading the letters contained within the third document that both Protestants and Catholics felt sympathy for those being burnt as heretics. Such massive bishops in the eyes of their communities such as Cramer being sentenced to die in such a graphic, heinous fashion amazed both religions alike and most likely brought questions to many of their heads regarding he necessity of these practices, at least in the moment. However, Catholics still see Cramer as a heretic nonetheless and that becomes clear in their accounts at the time. On the other side, John Foxe likely represented most Protestants’ views of the event at the time in which Cramer was seen as a martyr.
The first text is by Henry James Fowle Swayne and it is a church inventory list. It is describing a church’s transactions during the reformation from King Henry through Edward VI and then into the reign of Mary and the return of Catholicism. The second text is two letters written to Oliver Cromwell detailing dissolutions of monasteries. They both detail the alleged wrongdoings of the friars and explain why the monasteries were dissolved. The final text is eyewitness accounts of executions of two bishops and then the execution of Thomas Cranmer. These texts give insight to the confessions and apologies of these bishops and show the cruelty of the reformation. All of these texts give insight to the reformation but also the relationship between the crown and the Catholic Church.
These texts all show the changes during the reformation in England through the reigns of Henry, Edward, and Mary but the text that may show it the best is the inventory from the Church. The inventory starts with typical Catholic church payment such as payments for fixing broken pews but changes start appearing around the year 1550. In 1550 payments for pulling down the altar and white washing the church appear which are two signature signs of the beginning of the reformation. Then in 1554 payments for altar clothes appear again which shows the return to Catholicism under Mary. This shows how the English church bounced between Catholicism and Henry’s church during the reformation. These texts also show how the monasteries were dissolved especially how all the relics were removed from each monastery. This also shows how the reformation affect England as another key view of the reformation was that relics should not be had. The dissolution of monasteries was also shown to be believed to be due to the supposed corruption of the friars and showed how the reformation also happened to oppose the corruption of the Church.
The final text was very interesting because it gave a view of Thomas Cranmer’s execution from the eyes of a Catholic and a Protestant. Both accounts were similar in the fact that they were both saddened and disgusted by the execution but there were a few differences. The Protestant eyewitness almost idolized Cranmer at some points specifically when he denies the Pope and all his teachings and declares him an antichrist. The protestant witness is amazed by this by seeing the shocked and awe of all the Catholics who saw this as a grievous sin. The Catholic witness wrote with more of a sense of pity. He seemed to believe that Cranmer deserved this punishment but he felt pity for his soul in specific. This text does a great job at comparing and contrasting Catholic and Protestant views through such a significant event as Thomas Cranmer’s death.
The authors of these texts, beginning with “Accounts and Inventories of St. Edmund’s Parish, Salisbury 1527-1557” (text one) were written either by government or church officials, making an official government/church document accounts for parish goods which revealed the changing beliefs of the country. In the case of text one this particular author was given the task of overseeing both the de-catholicization of the church and the attempts to re-catholicize it by Queen Mary as the text spanned the time frame of all three rulers Henry VIII, Edward VI, and Mary I in order to cover the initial tug of war of a catholic leaning Church of England versus a Protestant leaning one, to the decidedly Protestant stamp King Edward VI puts on it, before finally concluding with Mary who forces the country back into Catholicism. These lists over time are showing the back and forth of religion in England. The text goes from describing how altars are taken down and churches are whitewashed, to how altars are put back and the church now has a variety of silk pillows and vestments, and a chalice to replace what once was simply a glass. When the inventory is made up of mundane items it is clear the Church of England is on a Protestant track however while it has silver and other expensive items it is clearly more Catholic. Text two, “Reports of Commissioners for the dissolution of Monasteries,” is a series of letters written by people under the King’s command carrying out the dissolution of the monasteries and reporting back about it to Thomas Cromwell during just after the Act of Supremacy. These letters reveal the many, many relics the Catholic church holds at once and shows one of the staunch differences as since Protestants believes one should pray to god only and not saints. Text three, “Accounts of the burning of the Oxford Martyrs, 1556” are personal accounts written during Queen Mary’s reign and the re-catholicization of England. The first was written by John Foxe, a Protestant, who leaves behind his biased account which eventually becomes one of the most popular books in England after publishing to frame Mary I’s reign as cruel, dark time in English history with Queen Mary as the ultimate tyrant. Meanwhile the Catholic account gives the alternate side to the story allowing readers to see both sides of Mary I’s alleged atrocities.
These texts show the changes of the Reformation in England through the changes made to the actual church. In text one it is clear in Henry’s reign the back and forth of with the chalices, the silver candlesticks, crucifixes, relics, bells for ringing on holy days, to the “pulling down of the altars,” “whitewash the walls,” and a simple “glass to serve communion.” In church inventories over the years the visible shift from the grandeur of the Catholic church to the humbleness of the Protestants. Then another shift is visible when Mary I takes the throne and once again the inventories possess “chalices,” “vestments of red and blue,” “silk curtains,” “cushions of silk, ” “altar clothes of silk,” “painting the walls,” a “canopy,” and of course a “mass altar.” Meanwhile the dissolution of the monasteries thoroughly confiscated any Catholic leaning paraphernalia. The friars were forced to leave in secular clothes, english and latin scriptures were left along with the royal coat of arms, as well as countless relics were taken away. However it’s impact was not as profound as expected as a few decades Henry VIII’s daughter, Mary, reverses the steps he takes towards a Protestant church and as seen in text one re introduces the Catholic splendor to England.
The Protestant and Catholic accounts of Cranmer’s death were different for several reasons. Firstly, the overall tone of the two accounts were incredibly different. The Protestant account read like a tragic tale while the Catholic’s read like a regular historical account. In the Protestant account, Cranmer’s actions seen as bold and revolutionary as “Cranmer, like Sampson, having completed a greater ruin upon his enemies in the hour of death, than he did in his life.” The Protestants saw Cranmer’s death as a stand against Mary and Catholicism. Foxe believed that “Cranmer’s example is an endless testimony that fraud and cruelty are the leading characteristics of the Catholic hierarchy.” After seeing so many heretics die at Mary’s hand, the fact that despite his imminent execution, Cranmers still stood and shouted his heretical beliefs was a pivotal moment for the Protestants of England. Meanwhile the Catholic account saw nothing particularly special about Cranmer’s death other than “his obstinate stubbornness and sturdiness in dying, especially so evil a cause.” the Catholic believed that people were sad about cranmers death but only because of the usual pity for a dying man, and that there was nothing else special or noteworthy about Cranmer’s demise as heretics have constantly been burned with Catholics watching.
The author of the first text is a Churchwarden of St. Edmund’s Church in Salisbury. The records of Church expenditure are documented from 1527 to 1557. This is an official record of Church expenses. These texts aren’t arguing anything, but rather shed light on the evolution of Church practices during the reformation. The author wrote the text simply to keep record of monetary transactions, but they allow us to understand how worship evolved during the Reformation. The author of the second text is John Ap. Rice, a friend and reporter to Thomas Cromwell. He seems to be a servant to Cromwell, signing his letter “your servant most bounden.” It was written in November of 1535. The text type is a letter. The text is describing Rice’s visit to a monastery on behalf of Cromwell. The author wrote this letter to inform Cromwell of the pleasures he witnessed monks indulging in on his visit. The author of the third text is John Foxe, a Protestant author. The excerpt comes from Foxe’s book, The Book Of Martyrs. The text describes the killings of the Three Oxford Martyrs. The texts also include woodcut images from his book, which detail the killings of the martyrs. They all depict them dying heroically, with many loyal followers surrounding them. They do not depict monks favorably.
The first text isn’t necessarily opinionated, it just reflects the general attitudes in regard to worship at the time. After the death of King Henry, the decorative purchases begin to steeply decline. This reflects the “white washing” of the Church, or the decrease in ornamentation. Decorations were thought to distract churchgoers from their purpose. The second text describes John Ap. Rice’s visit to a monastery on behalf of Thomas Cromwell. Rice describes that the abbot at the monastery enjoyed playing cards (hence spending money) as well as being involved in superstitious activities. This reflects the prelude to Henry VIII’s dissolution of the monasteries and shows that the King is becoming increasingly suspicious of the monks and their behaviors. The third text describes the death of three protestant Martyrs during the reign of Queen Mary. They were killed for being heretics and not conforming to Catholic rule. It is important to acknowledge that John Foxe, the author, was a Protestant himself, which might explain his bias in relaying the story. He describes the Latimer and Ridley as fearless as they meet their painful deaths, as well as flocks of supporters present to witness the killings. His stance against Queen Mary’s views are also made apparent, and he calls her views “bigoted.” When describing Cranmer’s death, he describes his many recantations, including his sworn loyalty to the king and queen, as well as recognizing the pope’s jurisdiction over England. He then describes Cranmer’s ultimate rejection of his “false recantations,” diverging from the script he submitted to read before his death. Cranmer swears against the pope as “antichrist” and reaffirms his Protestant beliefs.
Written from 1527 to 1557, the first article, “Accounts and Inventories of St Edmund’s Parish, Salisbury, 1527-1557,” describes the expenses of a church called St Edmund’s over 30 years. Due to the text being an administrative document, it was most likely written by a churchwarden, someone in charge of the management of the church. The purpose of this article was to document and keep track of funds, and therefore was not intended to reflect any viewpoint or opinions, however, information about the period can be gleaned from what money was being allocated towards. The second article, “Reports of commissioners for the dissolution of the monasteries,” features two letters written to Thomas Cromwell, the first written in 1535, and the next 3 years after. The first letter, written by John Ap Rice, describes the practices of monks and nuns that were most likely used to justify the dissolution of the monasteries. The second letter, written by Dr. London, describes the seizure of a monastery by the government, and a list of the many idols and religious items that were confiscated. Similar to the first letter, Cromwell most likely used this to justify the seizure of monasteries by the King due to the idolatry practiced by the monks. The last text, “Accounts of the Burning of the Oxford Martyrs, 1556,” written in 1556, illustrates the burning of three protestant figures: Archbishop Cranmer, Bishop Ridley, and Bishop Latimer. The first description was most likely written by a protestant sympathizer, as it describes the deaths of Ridley and Latimer in a more angelic and holy light, and at the same time criticizes the Catholic Stephen Gardiner, describing him as, “Ambitious, cruel, and bigoted.” The second passage is a telling of Archbishop Cranmer’s death and was most likely also written by a protestant sympathizer. The main detail that suggests this is the description of Cranmer as a “lamb” being unjustly killed. Additionally, the language the author uses when they refer to Catholics (“idolaters,” “pestilent monks and friars”), suggests a strong hatred for those still loyal to the Pope. Finally, the last passage is also a description of Cranmer’s death, but was written by a Catholic and not a Protestant. One detail that confirms the author’s bias is their description of the spectating friars, “And when the friars saw his constancy, they said in Latin to one another ‘Let us go from him: we ought not to be nigh him: for the devil is with him.'” While the first author described the friars as animalistic and pestilent, this author describes them as patient, holy, and almost scholarly. Also featured in this text are two illustrations of Cranmer. The first is drawn from a Protestant perspective, as Cranmer is being torn down from a stage by friars. The second is drawn from a Catholic perspective, as Cranmer is reaching into the flames consuming him, suggesting that he has embraced sin or heresy.
Due to the fact that these articles were written anywhere from 1527 to 1557, we see changes in how religion is handled as the throne shifts from Henry VIII to Edward VI, to Mary I. The first text, “Accounts and Inventories of St Edmund’s Parish, Salisbury, 1527-1557,” illustrates this change in how this particular church spent its money. In the list of expenditures from 1550-1551, the church is allocating lots of resources towards taking down altars in the church. This shows Edward VI’s influence as the country moves closer towards mainland Protestantism. In the next list, from 1556-1557, we see funds being allocated towards the restoration of the church’s altars. This shows the return to Catholicism that Mary I enforced alongside Stephen Gardiner. In the second text, we see the effect of Henry VIII’s decision to dissolve the country’s monasteries. The two letters suggest that agents sent by Lord Cromwell would travel to monasteries and spectate what was happening and would carry out the seizure of the property. Included in this seizure was the seizure of dozens of holy relics that the monks would have prized and protected. This shows that, to the Protestants, the relics have become just mere objects, and are discarded without much thought.
In the final text, “Accounts of the Burning of the Oxford Martyrs, 1556,”, there are two firsthand accounts of the death of Thomas Cranmer. One element that unites the two descriptions is the care to describe the other spectators. However, although both authors described the spectators, they did it in very different ways. The first author, who was most likely Protestant, describes Cranmer as being, “insulted all the way by the revilings and taunts of the pestilent monks and friars.” In this passage, the author is describing the friars and monks as being very hostile and savage. In contrast to this is the other author’s description of a particular friar as being, “a godly and well learned man.” While the first author’s description reflects the growing hostility to friars and monks due to the dissolution of the monasteries, the second represents the more traditional reverence to them. In this way, the two letters represent contrasting worldviews and perspectives on the death of Cranmer. While the first author most likely is surrounded by Protestant sympathizers and is familiar with Protestant literature, the other author was most likely raised as a proud Catholic and harbors no Protestant sympathies.
There are three texts. The first is, “Accounts and inventories of St. Edmunds parish, 1527” which was written in 1527-1557. These were first hand records (primary source) of the Church of St.Edmunds written by the Churchwardens. The second texts is “Reports of commissioners for the dissolution of the monasteries”. This was written on November 5, 1535 by John Rice who was addressed to Lord Cromwell. These primary sources spoke on the wronging of the Monasteries which were not showing its loyalty to the King and the crown. The third and final text is “Accounts of the burning of the Oxford martyrs”. The dates supposedly fall in the year 1556, and was written by John Fox. Again, this was a primary source which was a first hand experience of the burnings of three Catholics and Protestants respectively.
There were many ways these texts showed the changes in the Reformation in England from Henry to Edward to Mary. The first and second texts showed a shift towards a more protestant way of life. The dissolution of monasteries led to a belief that the monasteries were untrustworthy and could not display their loyalty. This had a big impact compared to text one.
Catholics and a Protestants perceived Cranmer’s actions and the meaning of his death in two different ways. On one hand, the Catholics saw this as Queen Mary showing power and degrading the actions of those opposing her. This was thought of as the end of the protestant movement and reforms. On the other hand the Protestants saw this as in a more inspirational way with one of their superiors and leader in a sense died and became a martyr. Overall this slowed down the Protestant reformation regardless of the opinions or views of the catholics or protestants.
The first text, “Account and Inventories of St. Edmund’s Parish, Salisbury”, was a text made in 1527-57 most likely done by a church or government official who job was to oversee the changes in St. Edmund’s parish. This is clearly an account of everything that came in and out of the St. Edmond’s. You could see by some of the specific items the transition from the Henry’s reign, to his son’s reign, and then to Bloody Mary’s reign. These texts show the differences in Henry’s beliefs, Edwards beliefs, and Marys beliefs moving from decentralizing the church with Henry, then even farther with Edward, and finally a push back to catholicism with Mary. The second text, “examples of reports of commissioners for the dissolution” has a series of letter which we had to read three of dating one back to 1535 and the other to 1538. These letters are written by commissioners for the dissolution of monasteries all sent to Cromwell, the man Henry put in charge of the dissolution. In each letter, you can recount the taking indulgences and the shut down of many monks in the monasteries. They act as a clear representation of the changes acted under Henry VIII during his part of the English reformation. The third text is two separate text both reliving the same moment but from different perspectives. You have the “Excerpts from John Foxe’s book Book of martyrs” which recounts the deaths of Bishops Ridley, Latimer, and Cromwell as they died at the stake by the perspective of a protestant in 1556. The second part of the third text is a letter written by a catholic as he watched the death of Cromwell. Both authors clearly try to show there own side of the story, from both perspectives (catholic and a protestant).
These texts try to point out the differences in the ruling power from Henry to Edward to Mary. When you look at the first text, you can see the transition from the church to the reformed moments of Henry VIII by the altar. In the inventories, you can see the pulling down of the altar piece and flashy objects that are taken down, such as white washing the wall and making it limestone, under his reign shows the transition. He then replaces it with a regular communion table as they cut down on spending for the church. You can also see later the transition to the power of Mary later down the list under her reign when she starts to bring back the flashiness to the church. She starts to bring back the exotic colored vestments and cope and she ups the spending on the church.. She also brings back the altar showing the transition back to the old church ways. You also can see a transition of power in the letters to Cromwell about the dissolution of the monasteries. You see in the letters the taking of indulgences and the taking of titles from monks and abbots for being superstitious. You can see that Henry’s son Edward carries the same ideas as Henry as the last two letters are written under Edwards reign. Edwards continues the dissolution of monasteries and the destruction of friars like his father would have wanted.
When you look at how a protestant and a catholic perceived the burning of Cromwell, you manage to see distinct differences between the two. John Foxe, the protestant, looks at Cromwell as a hero and he looks as Cromwell’s death with great sadness. He believes everyone around him to feel the same way about the situation. When you look at the Catholics point of view, he looks at Cromwell as a heretic who has done wrong and deserves to die. However, as the catholic recalls Cromwell’s last words, you begin to understand that the catholic felt a bit of pity for his death. That being said, the catholic still stood strongly against Cromwell’s ideas and that the belief that Cromwell should have died.
The author of “Accounts and Inventories of St. Edmund’s Parish, Salisburh, 1527-1557” was likely various churchwardens throughout the years who were in charge of keeping track of the church’s possessions. Clergy members had a debated role in society, some believing they should hold more power, some believing that they already held too much. Regardless, churchwardens did not hold as much power as priests or bishops at the time, but were still respected enough to have a role in the parish. This text is a record-style document, for data sake. These records serve the purpose of keeping track of the church’s possessions and expenses. This way the government can see where money is coming and going with the church, as the churches’ rights to property was controversial and widely seen as becoming too vain. Not only was this a legal responsibility of the church, but record keeping was also useful for their own bookkeeping purposes. “Reports of Commissioners for the Dissolution of the Monasteries” is a series of letters. The two which are highlighted are both addressed to Thomas Cromwell, with one from John London and the other from John Ap. Rice. Both serve to inform Cromwell about the state of the churches and what the property and wealth looked like there. Cromwell likely used this information to push harder for the dissolution, as it would collect a lot of money for the king by selling church land and possessions to wealthy aristocrats. In “Accounts of the Burning of Oxford Martyrs, 1556” there are two authors. One author, John Foxe, writes in his book recounting the death of Cranmer. Writing in a book carries the legacy of Cranmer’s death and allows for the spreading of information through his eyes, as a Protestant. The other account, written by a Catholic eyewitness, is a letter. This means that the account was more personal and possibly more emotional than that of a formal recount.
These texts work hand in hand to show the effects of the Reformation at the time. In “Accounts and Inventories of St. Edmund’s Parish, Salisbury, 1527-1557,” readers find that many expenses of the church over time becomes less upkeep and more style after Henry’s rule. Less items are purchased for performing sacraments, as those were less popular in practice. Following the Reformation, most payments were made for cleaning and paying those servicing the church. With Mary’s emphasis on going back to pre-Reformation styles, it is evident that there is more spending towards style. Also along with Mary’s rule, in “Reports of Commissioners for the Dissolution of the Monasteries,” there are many more items related to Saints and their significance with reliquaries, and more items revolving the sacraments are bought.
Cranmer’s death through the eyes of a Protestant was the act of a martyr, one ot be revered and prayed for through awed eyes. Protestants saw this death as Cranmer sacrificing himself. He spoke his teachings until his final moments in life, and that was seen as a divine moment. However, to Catholics, his adamant convictions upon his death was seen as a dangerous stubborn sin. The Catholic account states that it was certainly a pitious event, but ultimately Cranmer deserved it if he had the devil in him and refused Catholicism. Both writings quote Cranmer, using the vernacular language. Also, both writings interestingly pity Cranmer–to a degree.
The first text is a log of the financial accounts and inventories of the church during a crucial period of the Reformation. The log would have been written by the clergy of St. Edmund’s parish from 1527 – 1557. The text is written to record how the church spends money, and what items and artifacts the church possesses. The second text, which includes two letters, written by John AP Rice and Dr. London, both addressed to Cromwell. The letters detail how the writers have executed the orders to dissolve local monasteries. They are written to report to Cromwell the state of the churches upon their arrival, and how they effectively cleaned them up. Their viewpoint shows their distaste for the relics they found, with the first letter calling them “relics of vanity and superstition.” This illustrates one aspect of the reformation of the church. The third text includes accounts of Cranmer’s death, both by a Protestant and a Catholic, as well as a passage about Bishop Ridley and Bishop Latimer. It was written to give a perspective on their deaths, and establish their legacy as martyrs.
The texts show the progress of the Reformation in England starting with Henry. Initially, the Reformation is focused on the church returning to serving the people, and removing unnecessary items that impede this objective. For example, removing relics or replacing the altar with a simple table. In later years, under Mary, the Reformation takes a more violent turn. Mary’s attempt to return England to Catholicism led to many Protestant reformers being burned at the stake, as discussed in the last text.
The Protestant view on Cranmer’s death portrayed him as a martyr. He was glorified in the text, with statements such as, “the man whom king Henry’s capricious soul esteemed for his virtues above all other men,” supporting his martyrdom. The text also discusses how Catholic leadership is corrupt, and leads to the unnecessary of great men such as Cranmer. The Catholic account of Cranmer’s death commends Cranmer for his conviction, but also calls him stubborn and a supporter of an evil cause. This account does not mourn for Cranmer as the Protestant account does, but rather the author seems to believe that Cranmer deserved to be burned because he was a heretic.