Primary Source Analysis: The Act of Supremacy 1534 Essay

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Primary Source Analysis: The Act of Supremacy 1534

The primary source I chose to research is The Act of Supremacy (1534). This was an act passed by the English Parliament establishing the English monarch, which at the time was Henry Tudor VIII, as the head of state and religious head of the Church of England. Although there is always some glamorization in the writing and depiction of historically based movies, I enjoyed both “The Other Boleyn Girl” and the cable series “The Tudors”. I found Henry VIII quite interesting, twisting both law and religion to suit his particular wants. The ideas for The Act of Supremacy document, I assume, would have been from King Henry VIII but was written by Lord Thomas Cromwell to be made into
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Initially, Lord Cromwell ordered “Valor Ecclesiasticus” which was a reporting of all of the finances of all the Catholic churches in England, Wales and English controlled Ireland. This reporting provided the King and his advisors a clear depiction of the wealth of the Catholic churches. Because of Henry VIII’s lavish lifestyle and his need for military glory, his inheritance quickly diminished. The king’s advisors, including Lord Cromwell, convinced the king to remove all the wealth and property from the monasteries, priories, convents and friaries and refill the king’s coffers, since that wealth would have been redistributed to the Vatican, or so these advisors wanted Henry VIII to believe. With this new information, Lord Cromwell ordered dissolution of the monasteries, priories, convents and friaries. The monasteries were dissolved then closed or forced to pay financial homage to Henry VIII.
This document was written in the 16th century in November of 1534. Around this time, the king wished for the Pope to annul his marriage to Catherine of Aragon so that he could marry Anne Boleyn. The king believed that mere pressure on the Pope would provide the desired effects. Catherine of Aragon was previously the wife to the king’s older brother, Prince Authur who died in 1501. She later married Henry in

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