Influence of Thomas Cranmer

The death of Henry in 1547 made it possible for Cranmer and King Edward VI to carry the ecclesiastical changes further. Cranmer directed the clergy to read the Ten Commandments and the Lord’s Prayer weekly in the churches, together with a chapter from the Old Testament and another from the New. A new edition of the Bible, known as the Great Bible, was placed in every church, and the priests were supplied with homilies for popular instruction. The organization of the church was left virtually unchanged, however. The two archbishops of Canterbury and York remained under the pope, and the Episcopal arrangement of bishops was not abolished. The king continued to be the head of the Church and made the appointments of bishops and archbishops.

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English Reformation

The cumulative effect of these various influences prepared the public mind for Henry’s act of rebellion. Parliament was submissive enough to the king’s will to ratify his action and vote him the title of Supreme Head of the Church of England. It transferred to him the power of appointment of the higher clergy. Appeals to Rome were abolished and the dispensing power was given to the Archbishop of Canterbury. By these specific acts, the separation from Rome was made complete by 1535.

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