Key Terms and Events
catholic - · A strict adherence to orthodox religious convictions,
though not necessarily allegiance to the authority of the Pope;
distinguished from the capitalized "Catholic" which relates to
membership in the Roman Church.
Church of England
- Name given to the established Christian church in
England after Henry's break with Rome, formalized in the 1534 Act
of Supremacy; acknowledges the English king, in the place formerly
acknowledged to be the Roman pope's, as the supreme authority on
earth in matters of faith and of church governance.
constitutional monarchy - · A form of government where the king's right to make
law is acknowledged and supported formally by a legislative body, such
as the English Parliament, and where effective rule is shared among
the several branches of the government.
dispensation - · An official granting of permission by the Pope to act
contrary to a law or custom of the Church.
episcopal see - · The seat of a bishop's office, power, and authority;
a town with a cathedral.
heresy - · In the context of the English Reformation, a doctrine
contrary to the basic theological and sacramental teachings of
both the Roman Catholic Church and the Church of England. Under Henry's
government, it was considered a crime, punishable usually by burning
at the stake.
humanism - · A new form of learning in the early sixteenth century,
notable for its critical analysis of ancient texts, especially
classical Greek texts. Its focus was more literary and historical
than was that of the medieval tradition of learning. It was promoted
in England by Henry VIII and by his minister Sir Thomas More.
king's council - · An informal group of advisers to the king, some of
whom had regular access to him in the private quarters of the palace; formalized
as an institution known as the Privy Council in 1536.
orthodox - · In the context of the English Reformation, a term describing dogmatic
consistency with the fundamental tenets of the Catholic Church–for
example, the belief in Transubstantiation. Henry VIII sought to
preserve theological unity with the Catholic Church, but also to
deny the authority of the Pope.
Parliament - · The legislative body in England, comprised of the House
of Lords and the lower and more numerous House of Commons. It exercised
greater political power under Henry than in previous times, passing
many bills supporting his reformation of the Church.
Privy Council - · The name given to the king's council in 1536 by Thomas Cromwell,
who formalized and modernized that and other institutions of Henry's
Protestant - · Usually, a Christian denying the universal authority
of the Pope and affirming the Reformation principles of justification
by faith alone, the priesthood of all believers, and the primacy
of the Bible as the only source of revealed truth. The Church of England
originally, under Henry VIII, rejected such doctrines, and persecuted
Protestants along with Roman Catholics, who acknowledged papal
schism - · A formal split within a church, usually over disputes
in rightful authority, not always involving disputes over religious
dogmas; also the break between the Church of England and the Roman Catholic
Church in 1534, formalized with the Act of Supremacy.
Transubstantiation - · Idea that bread and wine, prayed over by a priest,
becomes thoroughly and substantially the real body and blood of
Jesus Christ. This concept has been accepted by the Roman Catholic Church,
the Church of England, and other theologically orthodox Christian
churches, and was often used as a test for the suppression of Protestants
during Henry VIII's time.
Act of Appeals - 1533 motion by Henry, passed by Parliament, which prohibited defendants
in England's church courts to appeal their cases to Rome, effectively
cutting of all legal ties to the Roman Catholic Church.
Act of Supremacy - 1534 act in Parliament which declared Henry VIII the
Supreme Head on Earth of the Church of England, formalizing the nation's
break with the Roman Catholic Church.
English Reformation - Gradual spread and political establishment of the Protestant faith
in England; it was catalyzed by Henry's break from the Roman Catholic
Church after his divorce from Catherine of Aragon in 1533.
Holy League - 1511 alliance between England, Spain, Venice, and the
Holy Roman Empire made to fight the French, who were advancing through
northern Italy and threatening the security of the Papal States.
Oath of Succession - 1534 oath required of all Church and State officials
in England, recognizing the supremacy of Henry over the Church
of England and acknowledging the legitimacy of the king's marriage
to Anne Boleyn.
Pilgrimage of Grace - 1536 uprising of Catholics and poor farmers in northern England,
mainly in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. The rebels were led by Robert
Aske and were primarily upset with the anti-Catholic developments
in Henry's government, although they were also fed up with the
burdens of high rents and bad farming conditions.
Poor Law - 1536 effort by the government to relieve the major social problem
of vagrancy, or rural unemployment, and to take responsibility
for the poorest members of English society.
Six Articles - 1539 revision of the Ten Articles. Asserted strongly
the Church of England's commitment to orthodoxy, stating that the
doctrine of Transubstantiation was true, priests should not marry, monastic
vows were inviolable, private masses were legal, and oral confessions
to a priest were necessary.
Solway Moss - August 1542 battle between 3000 English troops and 10,000 Scots
under King James V. The Scots were defeated handily; this was a
major victory for the English, and it commenced a three-year war
between the hostile countries.
against the Ordinaries - 1532 act of Parliament which deprived all the clergy
in the English Church of their legal independence from the king's government.
It was the first official step toward Henry's full break with the
Roman Catholic Church.
Ten Articles - 1536 act of Parliament which stated the official positions
of the Church of England. It upheld orthodox teachings on the sacraments
of baptism, penance, and Transubstantiation in the Holy Eucharist,
but also introduced government opposition to traditional Catholic
practices such as prayerful devotions to saints and to Mary, the
mother of Jesus Christ.