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The Great Matter and Rome

It still amazes me how one man could be denied a divorce that was easily obtained by most nobles by means of various loopholes in the canon law. The intense corruption of the Catholic Church meant that such dispensations were easily achieved by rich and powerful nobles, but the same backfired on Henry. The Great Matter was divided in two phases, one when Henry tried to get Rome’s support for his divorce, and the next phase when he tried to get the work done in England by Englishmen. Wolsey was in charge of the first phase, and Cromwell of the second, bringing about the fall of the former and the rise of the latter.

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Acts of the Henrican Reformation

Henry wanted to marry Anne Boleyn, and hence started the Reformation. He dumped poor Catherine, got married and made his own church with the help of Anne, and had Elizabeth who went on to become the greatest queen evah! And then he executed poor Anne and broke all the monasteries. This is the Reformation. Alright, I am simplifying it, but after hearing so many versions of the above, I am often left pulling out my hair. There are just so many things wrong with this.

Without the divorce there would therefore have been no Reformation, which is not at all the same thing as to say that there was nothing to the Reformation but the divorce.

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The Botolf Conspiracy

On 19th May, 1540, Viscount Lisle was arrested on charges of treason. Soon after this, his wife, Honor Lisle was also arrested, along with their daughters. He was not convicted and was slated to be released after two years, but the time in the Tower had taken its toll and he died on 3rd March 1542, a couple of days after he was pardoned.

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Henry VIII, Martin Luther and Defense of the Seven Sacraments

In 1520, Martin Luther wrote and published a 3 part treatise speaking against the Catholic Church denouncing the Papal system and the doctrine of the sacraments. In response to the increasing popularity of Luther in his protests against the Catholic Church and particularly as a reply to his De captivitate Babylonica, Henry VIII wrote a treatise against Luther’s views entitled Assertio Septem Sacramentorum or Defence of the Seven Sacraments.

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