Thomas Cranmer and His Role In The English Reformation

Essay by RollingStoner174High School, 10th gradeA+, February 2007

download word file, 13 pages 0.0

Downloaded 31 times
Keywords , , , ,

Thomas Cranmer, the Archbishop of Canterbury from 1533 to 1556, was one of the most vital contributors to the Anglican Protestant split from the Roman Catholic Church. His career with the English throne went from dealing with Henry VIII's "Great Matter" of his divorce, to being Archbishop of Canterbury, to translating the Bible into English. He is a martyr for all Anglicans due to his staunch support of Protestant views and refusal to succumb to Mary I's threats. If not for him, the Anglican movement may never have gained momentum, and the United Kingdom would be as Catholic a country today as France.

Born in Aslacton, Nottinghamshire on 2 July 1489, little is known about his childhood, except that he had two brothers and at least five sisters (Foxe 351). When he turned fourteen, he was sent to Jesus College, Cambridge University; here he received his M.A. eleven years later in 1514 and became a fellow of the college.

Approximately one year later in 1515, he married a woman known only as "Black Joan of the Dolphin." Unfortunately, because of his marriage, he became barred from his Fellowship at Jesus (Ridley 16). However, when Black Joan died during childbirth, Cranmer regained his Fellowship, and three years later took holy vows (Ridley 19-20). He became a University Preacher in 1520, and for the following years, he studied the Bible in order to have an unbiased point of view on the Protestant situation. In effect, by doing this, he became a heretic in the eyes of the Roman Catholic Church - Catholics were supposed to believe that the current Pope's word is law, and one's own interpretation of the Bible amounts to naught. At that time (after 1520), all Lutheran books were banned in Cambridge; therefore, there is the extreme likelihood that...