The English Reformation


Thomas Moore


An English lawyer, social philosopher, author, statesman and noted Renaissance humanist who was venerated by Roman Catholic Church as Saint Thomas Moore.

Saint John Fisher


Henry VIII ordered his execution after he refused to accept the King as Supreme Head of the Church of England, and for upholding the Catholic Church's doctrine of papal primacy. He was named a cardinal shortly before his death.

Act of Supremacy


English Parliament recognizes Henry VIII as the “Supreme Head of the Church of England.” English subjects had to declare an oath of loyalty that recognized his marriage to Anne Boleyn.

Act of Succession


Adjustments Henry made to his succession because of complicated matrimonial history. First Act- declared Mary illegitimate because of his divorce from Catherine of Aragon. Second Act- declared both Mary and Elizabeth illegitimate and vested the succession in any future offspring of new wife. Third Act- declared that should he die without heirs, Mary and Elizabeth would succeed in turn. These repeated changes, from an anxious man struggling to establish a clear succession, could only foreshadow trouble in the future.

Dissolution or Suppression of Monasteries

1536 - 1541

Group of administrative and legal processes (1536-1541) where Henry VIII disbanded monasteries, convents priories, and friaries in England, Wales and Ireland. He also appropriated their income, disposed of their assets, and provided for their former personnel and functions.

Pilgrimage of Grace


Rise against Henry VIII's break with the Roman Catholic Church. Popular event that occurred in Yorkshire in the October of 1536.

Mary Queen of Scots

1542 - 1567

Claimed throne over Elizabeth. Was the only surviving legitimate child of James V of Scotland, took the throne when her dad died at age six.

Book of Common Prayer


Implemented by Queen Elizabeth in an attempt to unify England's two main religions. The Book of Common Prayer is the short title of a number of related prayer books used in the Anglican Communion, as well as other Anglican churches.

Marriage of Queen Mary I and Phillip II of Spain


Queen Mary I of England married Philip II of Spain. Philip was not joyous with this idea, but he knew it was a good move politically because Mary had connections to Spain via her mother, Katherine of Aragon. He agreed to the marriage, despite being ten years younger than his bride. Mary, however, was reportedly excited to marry Philip.

Thomas Cranmer


Lead the English Reformation and Archbishop of Canterbury during the rules of Henry VIII and Edward VI. After the ascension of the extreme Roman Catholic Mary I, Cranmer was put on trial for treason and heresy. He was imprisoned for over two years and, under pressure, made several recantations and reconciled with the Roman Catholic Church.

Act of Uniformity


The Act of Uniformity made Protestantism England’s official faith, established a form of worship which is still followed in English Parish churches today and showed the country that Elizabeth was bent on following a middle road where religion was concerned.



Supporters of Calvinism, preaching the doctrine of the elect and advocating church government by a hierarchy of courts. Ultimate authority was the Bible and services gave great prominence to preaching. The leading exponent of presbyterianism in the Elizabethan church was Thomas Cartwright, responsible for the millenary petition to James I in 1603.

James I


Was first King of Scotland as James VI July 1567 and later King of England and Ireland as James I (from the union of the Scottish and English crowns on 24 March 1603) until his death. The two kingdoms (Scotland and England) were individual sovereign states, with their own parliaments, judiciary, and laws, but both were ruled by James in personal union.

The 39 Articles of Religion


The historically defining statements of the practices of the Church of England that ultimately served to define the doctrine of the Church as it related to Calvinist doctrine and Roman Catholic practice. Came after the excommunication of Henry VIII in 153 and the excommunication of Elizabeth I in 1570. The Thirty-nine Articles form part of the Book of Common Prayer used by both the Church of England and the Episcopal Church.

Sir Francis Drake

1577 - 1580

Famous sea captain and privateer from the Elizabethan era. Drake was an Englishman who carried out the second circumnavigation of the world in a single expedition (1577-1580), and was first to complete the voyage as captain, leading the expedition throughout the entire trip.

Defeat of the Spanish Armada


Spain’s beloved “Invincible Armada” is defeated by an English naval force under the command of Lord Charles Howard and Sir Francis Drake off the coast of Gravelines, France. Their aim was to overthrow Queen Elizabeth I and her establishment of Protestantism in England, hoping to put a stop to English interference in the Spanish Netherlands and to cause harm to Spanish interests.