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Tudor religion timeline

The story of religion in Tudor times is full of twists and turns. There were many changes. It must have been very confusing to ordinary Tudor people at the time!

Here's a timeline. If you want to know more, you can ask your teacher for help.

  • Henry VIII becomes king.
  • Henry marries Catherine of Aragon.
  • At this time, the people of England are Christians. They are part of the Catholic Church, led by the Pope based in Rome.
  • In Germany, Martin Luther begins a protest against some behaviour of the Catholic Church.
  • Luther and other people have some new ideas about how Christians should worship and what they should believe.
  • They become known as Protestants.
  • Henry wants a divorce from Catherine.
  • He and Catherine have a daughter, Mary. But Henry wants to marry another woman so she can give him a son (to follow Henry as king).
  • The Pope won't give Henry a divorce.
  • Henry is not a Protestant, but he is angry with the Pope.
  • Thomas Cranmer becomes Archbishop of Canterbury. This is the most important church job in England.
  • Cranmer gives Henry a divorce.
  • Henry marries Anne Boleyn.
  • The Pope excommunicates Henry (bans him from taking part in church services). This is a serious punishment for a Christian like Henry.
  • Henry splits from the Roman Catholic Church and the Pope.
  • Henry makes himself head of the Church in England.
  • A bible is published in English. (Before this, all bibles were written in Latin.) Now people can read the bible for themselves.
  • All monasteries (houses where Christian monks live a religious life together) are closed down. All their land and property now belongs to the king.
  • Despite making some changes, Henry still wants English people to believe in the main ideas of the Catholic Church.
  • Some people in England believe in the ideas of the Protestants. They can be punished by death.
  • Henry dies. Henry's son, Edward VI, becomes king.
  • Edward is still a child. His uncle, Edward Seymour, takes control of the government.
  • It is no longer against the law to hold Protestant ideas about religion.
  • Many of the men in power in England now believe in Protestant ideas. They make some changes based on those ideas.
  • Thomas Cranmer writes a new prayer book. This says what people should believe and how they should worship.
  • Edward dies, aged 16.
  • His sister, Mary I, becomes queen.
  • Mary is a Catholic. She hates the changes that have been made to religion in England.
  • All the changes made to religion in the previous years are ended.
  • The Catholic Church is back in England.
  • The Pope is the head of the Church again.
  • People who hold Protestant ideas are arrested. About 300 are burned at the stake.
  • One of those executed is Thomas Cranmer.
  • Mary dies. Her sister, Elizabeth I, becomes queen.
  • Elizabeth wants England to have peace and not be divided over religion.
  • She creates the Church of England. This mixes both Protestant and Catholic ideas and ways of doing things.
  • The queen is the head of the Church of England.
  • Elizabeth dies.
  • During her time as queen, there were attempts to get rid of her and replace her with a Catholic ruler. None worked.
  • Queen Elizabeth II is head of the Church of England.

Was there freedom of religion in Tudor England?

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