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2. Was Henry VIII’s lack of a male heir the main reason for reforms to the English church in the years 1529-40?
About this Lecture
In this module, we consider the question, ‘Was Henry VIII’s lack of a male heir the main reason for reforms to the English church in the years 1529–40?’, focusing in particular on: (i) the extent to which not having a male heir represented a problem for Henry; (ii) the relatively negative experience of queenship in recent European history, especially the reign of Joanna of Castile (= Joanna the Mad); (iii) the extent to which Henry’s illegitimate son, Henry FitzRoy, represented a viable candidate for the succession; (iv) the importance of Anne Boleyn’s religious beliefs; and (v) the importance of Thomas Cromwell’s religious beliefs.
In this course, Professor John Morrill (University of Cambridge) explores the politics and religion of Tudor England through ten key questions: (1) To what extent was religion in England changed significantly during the reign of Henry VIII?; (2) Was Henry VIII’s lack of a male heir the main reason for reforms to the English church in the years 1529-40?; (3) How far was religious change in the years 1547–63 driven by the personal religious beliefs of successive monarchs?’; (4) How accurate is it to say that Catholicism survived in the reigns of Edward and Elizabeth because of the tolerance shown by government?; (5) Were the legacies of Mary's reign wholly negative?; (6) How accurate is it to say that the changes that took place in the role of parliament were very limited in the years 1509-58?; (7) Was Parliament a help or a hindrance to Elizabeth?; (8) How far did the role played by Cardinal Wolsey as Henry’s principal servant remain the same when Thomas Cromwell served the king?; (9) Was being Queen of Ireland the biggest of all the problems faced by Elizabeth I?; and (10) How well did Elizabeth I deal with the problem of her cousin, Mary Queen of Scots?
John Morrill was educated at Altrincham Grammar School (Cheshire) and at Trinity College Oxford (BA 1967, DPhil 1971). He was a Research Fellow there (1970-4) and a Lecturer at Stirling University (1974-5) before moving to Cambridge in 1975 as Lecturer, Reader and now Professor. He has been a Fellow of Selwyn College since 1975 and was Director of Studies in History 1975-92, Tutor 1979-92, Admissions Tutor 1982-7, Senior Tutor 1987-92 and Vice Master 1992-2001. He was elected as a Fellow of the British Academy in 1995 and served as Vice President from 2001-9. He is also an Honorary Member of the Royal Irish Academy and the Academy of Finland, and he holds honorary degrees from several universities and is an Hon. Fellow of Trinity College Oxford and Trinity College Dublin. He is also a permanent deacon in the Roman Catholic Church and holds several senior positions in the Diocese of East Anglia (eg Chair of the Commission for Evangelisation and Assistant Director for Diaconal Formation) and he teaches Church History and pastoral theology one weekend a month at St John's Seminary, Wonersh.
Cite this Lecture
Morrill, J. (2020, May 27). The Tudors – Politics and Religion, 1509-1603 - Was Henry VIII’s lack of a male heir the main reason for reforms to the English church in the years 1529-40? [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://massolit.io/courses/the-tudors-politics-and-religion-1509-1603-john-morrill/was-henry-viii-s-lack-of-a-male-heir-the-main-reason-for-reforms-to-the-english-church-in-the-years-1529-40
Morrill, J. "The Tudors – Politics and Religion, 1509-1603 – Was Henry VIII’s lack of a male heir the main reason for reforms to the English church in the years 1529-40?." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 27 May 2020, https://massolit.io/courses/the-tudors-politics-and-religion-1509-1603-john-morrill/was-henry-viii-s-lack-of-a-male-heir-the-main-reason-for-reforms-to-the-english-church-in-the-years-1529-40