“Of Hopes Great as Himselfe”: Tudor and Stuart Legacies of Edward VI

  • Benjamin M. Guyer
Part of the Queenship and Power book series (QAP)


This chapter uses the legacy of Edward VI to query two major trends in the recent historiography of the English Reformation. First is the influential “myth” thesis advanced by Diarmaid MacCulloch. MacCulloch believes that the so-called Laudians of the seventeenth century were the first group to proffer the myth that the English Reformation was not ideologically Protestant. However, as we will see, there was no distinctly “Laudian” viewpoint on Edward’s reign. The second historiographical trend addressed here is the assumption that iconoclasm was fundamentally ideological. This chapter notes in detailed fashion that contemporaries frequently named greed a key motivator for desecration as well. According to Tudor contemporaries and their Stuart successors, nearsighted opportunism was at least as iconoclastic as anti-Catholic prejudice. Studying Edward’s postmortem reputation can help us reassess current understandings of the English Reformation.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Benjamin M. Guyer
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of History and PhilosophyThe University of Tennessee at MartinMartinUSA

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