Full Text for Church History 2- Volume 46 - The Death of Edward and the English Reformation (Video)

File 46. >> I think I remember this from my world history classes, but when Edward died at such a young age, who took over and what happened to the reformation? Doesn't Catholicism still play a large role at some point in this history? >> It sure does, Nick. And that was under the reign of Edward's successor, his half sister Mary, who was the oldest child of Henry VIII. She was the daughter of Henry by his first wife, Catherine of Aragon. Now, it's interesting that at the end of Edward's reign, when it seemed pretty clear that Edward wasn't going to last very long, there actually was an attempt to kind of short circuit the inheritance of the throne by Edward's sister, Mary. Edward actually had a cousin by the name of Jane, Jane Grey, who was a Protestant, and Edward was persuaded to write a will in which he left the throne to his cousin, Jane. And so when he died, those closest to Edward, his advisors, proclaimed Jane as the queen. Lady Jane Grey, sometimes described in history as the nine days queen because Edward's advisors tried to tried to make the case that she should inherit the throne. But it didn't work. If they were going to make it work, they needed to have Mary in custody. They didn't have her in custody. And so she gathered her supporters around her and rode toward London, where she was acclaimed as the lawful monarch. As a result, some of those advisors who had attempted to replace her by Lady Jane were tossed into the Tower of London, and so, also, was Jane herself. So Edward's successor was basically Queen Mary. Now, Mary was a Catholic. She had refused to compromise the faith of her mother even during the reign of her brother, and so when she assumed the throne, everybody knew that she was going to be restoring Catholicism. But because the Protestant religion had been imposed by the King acting through Parliament, Catholicism needed to have a Parliamentary basis also. So Mary summoned a Parliament and the first Parliament of her reign cancelled all of the Protestant legislation going back to the reign of her Father. The prayer books were out, and other provisions for the implementation of Protestant worship in England. The Parliament, however, refused to go along with two changes. One, they refused to restore all of the lands and property that had been confiscated from the church by the government. As we mentioned on an earlier occasion, many of the landed gentry were now in possession of those lands and they weren't eager to diminish their own property and wealth for the sake of restoring the Catholic church. And the other point that the Parliament balked at was they didn't want to revoke the royal supremacy. So that, although most of the Protestant legislation was cancelled, Mary in the first months of her reign remained supreme head of the church of England. As a result, she restored the Catholic religion using power that she didn't really want to have. Now, that situation didn't last a very long time. Mary subsequently called a second Parliament. Some serious negotiations were made with the Pope whereby the Catholic church finally agreed not to press the issue of the church lands in exchange for the Pope being recognized fully in England as he was, and Mary, then, had her title of supreme head revoked as well as the other Protestant legislation. In short, then, Mary restored the church of England to communion with the church of Rome. Now, Mary's agenda was really quite simple. She wanted to bring back in Catholic doctrine and Catholic practices, and, for the most part, the people of England were willing to go with the flow. That seems to be the case here, whether we're talking Henry VIII or Edward VI or Mary. There's a great deal of acquiescence at the local level to whatever kind of religious policies the monarch is trying to impose. However, at the upper echelons, there were people who wouldn't go along with Mary's changes. So, for example, 13 of the bishops were, in effect, fired because they would not accept the restoration of Catholicism. Mary, as time went on, decided that this re Catholicization of her country needed to actually be enforced by religious persecution, if necessary, and so under her authority, or at least with her pushing and prodding, church officials began to go after people who wouldn't accept the restoration of Catholicism. That meant some of the Protestant bishops that we talked about in the reign of Edward VI were imprisoned and finally executed for their faith. These are people like Latimer and Ridley and Hooper, and no less than the archbishop of Canterbury himself. That is, Thomas Cranmer. Now, one of the interesting things about this period was the fact that an English clergyman collected records and eyewitness accounts of these executions and later, during the reign of Elizabeth, published them and distributed them in England. This was John Foxe. He was an Anglican clergyman who published a huge work really devoted to the theme of religious persecution. Representatives of the evil church persecuting the good church all throughout history, but especially during the reign of Queen Mary. And so we have accounts of how these people died. Often they died just very, very bravely on behalf of their faith. And since their executions were public, they were seen by a lot of people and they actually inspired inspired others with the kind of the force of their example. And it wasn't only the bishops, although, as I said they did were executed. Over the course of Mary's reign, perhaps as many as 300 people were put to death for their Protestant faith, and yet they made kind of a mark upon the psyche of the English people that this was how Protestants could die for their faith when asked to make the ultimate sacrifice. There were several hundred other Protestants who managed to escape to the to the continent. These are called the Marian Exiles. And they were taken in as refugees in a variety of places on the continent. For the most part, it was in the reformed, rather than Lutheran, parts of Protestant Europe here in the 16th century. So we find English exiles in Zurich and we find English exiles in Geneva as well as as well as other places. Now, those exiles in Geneva are kind of interesting, because while they're in Geneva, they decided to try to improve on the English Bible, and so they worked, first of all, in preparation of a New Testament, then the Book of Psalms, and then finally in 1560, they were able to publish a kind of a brand new edition of the English Bible that came to be known as the Geneva Bible. And when the government changed again in England, it was the Geneva Bible that became the most popular form of the English Bible for the rest of the 16th century. It really was kind of the first big bestseller among the English Bibles, and it was produced by those Marian Exiles in Geneva. Now, closer to home again, talking about Mary Mary was not a popular monarch. And part of the reason for her lack of popularity was her foreign policy. She decided to promote the policy that would most fit her mother's family, and that is, to kind of renew the ties between England and her mother's dynasty on the continent. Now, the House of Aragon had married into the House of Hapsburg, so that by the time we get to Mary, her Spanish relatives belonged to the Hapsburg dynasty, the family of Charles V, and Mary wanted to renew those ties. And the best way for a monarch to renew diplomatic ties or to make treaties with other countries was by means of a marriage alliance. And so Mary sought a foreign marriage with her Hapsburg relatives. Her English advisors, even her, you know, pro Catholic English advisors, did not think this was a good idea, because they thought that would tie England too closely with the political events of the continent and England would become just a pawn in the interests the international interests of the Hapsburg dynasty. But that didn't matter. Mary persisted in this, and she actually was married to Charles V's son. This was Prince Philip of Spain. And he actually, in the course of his marriage to Mary, inherited the throne of Spain from his father. So for a short period of time, the queen of England was actually married to the king of Spain. Now, if Mary had lived longer, she might have been able to ensure the success of her religious policy in England. Or if Mary and Philip had had children, the story of the reformation in England might have been different. As it was, they didn't have children and Mary didn't live very long either. She died in 1558, after a reign of only about five years. And that means that her policies, both her foreign policy and her religious policy, came to an end with her death just five years after she had initiated them.