Problems of Assessment

  • B. W. Beckingsale


While it appeared to historians that the Reformation dominated modern European history, it was to be expected that their interest in Cromwell would be focused upon his contribution to the religious and ecclesiastical changes in the reign of Henry VIII. Although John Foxe established Cromwell’s position in the English Reformation for his protestant countrymen, later ecclesiastical historians, such as Thomas Fuller, tended to pay more attention to Henry VIII, the Supreme Head, and to Thomas Cranmer, the Archbishop of Canterbury, than to Cromwell, the Vicegerent. Nevertheless Foxe’s picture of Cromwell as an active reformer endured. Of Cromwell Foxe wrote, ‘His whole life was nothing else but a continual care and travail how to advance and further the right knowledge of the Gospel and reform of the House of God.’1


Sixteenth Century Body Politic Early Modern Period Bureaucratic Government Henry VIII 
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    Foxe, Acts and Monuments, V, 384; T. Fuller, The Church History of Britain (1842), ed. J. Nichols, III, 98–100.Google Scholar
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© B.W. Beckingsale 1978

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  • B. W. Beckingsale

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