Assess the Significance of Religion as a Factor in Bringing About Change in the Nature of Royal Authority Between 1540 – 1642

2133 Words Oct 12th, 2012 9 Pages
Assess the significance of religion as a factor in bringing about change in the nature of royal authority between 1540 – 1642

Between 1540 and 1642 England saw six different rulers; an examination into the religious changes, personality and relationship with parliament will bring about an answer in to the change of nature of royal authority.

During 1540-1642 religious change led to rebellions and conflict proved highly embarrassing and potentially fatal to the monarchy ‘The church acted as a bedrock of authority. It had been a source of authority in late medieval society’ says Nicholas Fellows. After the reformation of the church Edward VI had to deal with situation of confusion left from his father. Edward was a firm supporter
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This all gave the rebellions a good chance to develop.

After Edwards’s death it was planned for Lady Jane Gray to succeed to the throne. Edwards was anxious about the catholic succession under his half sister Mary as it would seem he was a devout protestant. Furthermore on a more pragmatic level those who had gained from the dissolution feared that Mary would seek to return it to the Catholic Church. ‘The protest reformation has failed to win the hearts of the majority of the people, of who were still catholic’ says Christopher Haigh who argues that England was still largely catholic on Mary’s accession and it seemed that the people welcomed her Certainly it was not apparent that she would act intolerantly. ‘Mary had staged the only successful English revolt of the entire century’ says Robert Titler, Mary’s revolt could be seen as undermining royal authority as Mary did overthrow Lady Jane Gray the queen at the time and it was Edward wish to have Lady Jane as his successor. But on the other hand it could be argued that it showed powerful Tudor authority as Mary was a true Tudor and had right to the throne as it was left in Henry VIII will if Edward should died, Mary would be his Successor. But overall, one factor

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