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Thomas Cranmer
(2 July 1489 – 21 March 1556)

image: thomas CarnmerThomas Cranmer was burnt at the stake on 21 March 1556.

Who was Thomas Cranmer?

Thomas Cranmer was born on 2 July 1489 in Nottinghamshire.

He was Archbishop of Canterbury (1533 - 1556) during the reigns of Henry VIII and Edward VI.

What is Thomas Cranmer famous for?

Reformation - England's move away from traditional Catholic worship and towards its own form of Anglican religious observance.

He was a leader of the English Reformation who was responsible for establishing the basic structures of the Church of England.

Break from Rome

He helped build a favourable case for Henry's divorce from Catherine of Aragon which resulted in the separation of the English Church from union with the Holy See. Along with Thomas Cromwell, he supported the principle of Royal Supremacy, in which the king was considered sovereign over the Church within his realm.

Common Prayer

In 1549 Cranmer helped complete The Book of Common Prayer

Why was Thomas Cranmer burnt at the stake?

Cranmer was a Protestant. When Mary I came to the throne in 1552. Mary, a firm Catholic, blamed Cranmer for her mother's divorce. She quickly had Cranmer tried for treason. After a long trial and imprisonment, he was forced to proclaim to the public his error in the support of Protestantism, an act designed to discourage followers of the religion. Despite this, Cranmer was sentenced to be burnt to death in Oxford on 21 March 1556.

Links

The Reformation - the break from Rome

Mary I

King Henry VIII

The Tudors

 

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