You are not currently logged in. Please create an account or log in to view the full course.

The Tudors – Henry VIII and the English Reformation, 1509-47

4. Evangelical Advance

This is the course trailer. Please create an account or log in to view this lecture.

  • Description
  • Cite

About this Lecture


In this module, we think about the changes to the English church after the break with Rome, focusing in particular on: (i) the concept of the Henrician church as "Catholicism without the pope", i.e. a church with all the trappings, structures and beliefs of Catholicism, only with Henry as head of the church instead of the pope; (ii) the presence of evangelicals in several key positions by 1534, e.g. Thomas Cromwell as Vicegerent in Spirituals, Thomas Cranmer as Archbishop of Canterbury, Anne Boleyn as Queen of England, etc.; (iii) Anne Boleyn's influence over Henry, including her promotion of William Tyndale's The Obedience of a Christian Man (1528); (iv) the nature of Cromwell's 1536 injunctions, including the requirement for the clergy to accept Henry as Supreme Head of the Church of England, and to learn the Ten Commandments and Lord's Prayer in English; (v) the nature of Cromwell's (much stricter) 1538 injunctions; (vi) Cranmer's work on codifying doctrine, including the Ten Articles (1536) and Bishop's Book (1537); (vii) the Dissolution of the Monasteries (1536-41): the reason why Henry pursues this policy, and the disagreements between Thomas Cromwell and Anne Boleyn over what should happen to the proceeds from the sale of monastic lands; (vii) the publication of the Great Bible (1539), including the depiction of Henry himself on the frontispiece; and (viii) the continued presence of evangelicals in key positions into the reign of Edward VI, especially Thomas Cranmer as the Archbishop of Canterbury.


In this course, Dr Jonathan Willis (University of Birmingham) explores the Henrician Reformation. We begin by thinking about the 'health' of the church in late Medieval England, focusing in particular on the concept of lay piety. After that, we turn to some of the criticisms of the church that had been made prior to Henry – from Wycliffe and the Lollards in the 14th and 15th centuries to Christian humanists such as Desiderius Erasmus. In the third module, we think about Henry VIII's role in the English Reformation, tracing the events that led to the Break with Rome in 1534, before moving on in the fourth module to think about why the relatively limited changes represented by the Break from Rome led to such broader changes in the following decades.


Dr Jonathan Willis is a Senior Lecturer in Early Modern History at the University of Birmingham. He is primarily a historian of the English reformation, with interests in the history and theology of late-medieval and early modern Europe more broadly. His research focuses on the religious and cultural history of England over the course of the long sixteenth century. His recent publications include Church Music and Protestantism in Post-Reformation England (Farnham: Ashgate, 2010) and The Reformation of the Decalogue: Religious Belief, Practice and Identity and the Ten Commandments in England, c.1485-c.1625 (CUP, forthcoming 2017)

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Willis, J. (2018, August 15). The Tudors – Henry VIII and the English Reformation, 1509-47 - Evangelical Advance [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Willis, J. "The Tudors – Henry VIII and the English Reformation, 1509-47 – Evangelical Advance." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 15 Aug 2018,

Image Credits