The history of English religion in the Tudor period centres inevitably on the events of the English Reformation. In England, as in other European countries, the Catholic Church came under fierce attack from critics of its organisation, powers and doctrines. The great English radical William Cobbett, writing in the 1820s, declared that ‘the “Reformation”, as it is called was engendered in lust, brought forth in hypocrisy and perfidy, and cherished and fed by plunder, devastation and by rivers of innocent English and Irish blood …’1 Cobbett’s History of the Protestant Reformation was neither the first nor the last in a long series of polemical and partisan accounts of the events of the period. But the cooling of religious passions in the present century has permitted an objective analysis of the causes of the Reformation.
KeywordsLife Imprisonment Henry VIII Chief Minister Roman Supremacy Parish Church
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