Monday, September 7, 2015

September 1554 A.D. A new Parliament, Mary 1’s goals, & trials and convictions of English Reformed Churchmen

September 1554 A.D. A new Parliament, Mary 1’s goals, & trials and convictions of English Reformed Churchmen

A few musings on Prof. Bromiley’s work, 101ff. Bromiley, G.W. Thomas Cranmer: Archbishop and Martyr.  London: Church Book Room Press, 1956. The quotation marks indicate the Professor’s words.
By Autumn 1554 A.D, a new Parliament was seated.
The goals of Queen Mary were:
(1) The Church of England must go back to 1529 Anglicanism-version, to wit, submission to the Pope.
(2) This must be a humble submission to Papacy.
(3) This was to be strengthened by marriage to Philip—a “long-term hope of Charles V.”
(4) There was to be an influx of Spanish friars to “persuade and punish heretics.”
(5) Reginald Pole was to return to England as the Papal legate and as Thomas Cranmer’s replacement. Cranmer is in prison at this point.
In time, Mary 1’s goal would be to thoroughly abase, degrade and destroy not just the Protestant Reformation, but also to abuse and degrade Cranmer and his colleagues.
A new Parliament was seated in autumn 1554 A.D. The Parliament was “carefully packed” with members of a “wise, grave, and Catholic sort (Burnet, VI, 313-314).
The 1st Act of Convocation was to “review the statutes for the burning of heretics.”
There was some opposition in the House of Lords, but this was overcome.
By January 1555, the “heresy laws” were put in force.
The “pretense of treason” could now be dropped against the jailed Reformers. They could now by tried and convicted as heretics with “burnings at the stake” as the penalty.
The two remaining Dudleys were released.
But, Cranmer was charged with “heresy.”
Thus far, the “three leading reformers,” Cramner, Ridley and Latimer, had not been “officially tried and condemned.” They had only been “defeated” in an academic disputation at Oxford. But, the upshot from the academic trial—they were heretics.
The Papal legate appointed a trial.
Latimer and Ridley were convicted and sentenced on 1 October 1555. Both were burned 16 October 1555.  Cramer was forced to watch the burning from the roof of Bocardo Prison to bring pressure on him.
After 16 October 1555, Cranmer would get, as it were (tongue-in-cheek), special treatment. He would go through a series of interrogations and (largely) successful efforts at a thorough and diabolical humiliation. He would be reduced to ashes on 21 March 1556.

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