The lost Reformation : why Lutheranism failed in England during the reigns of Henry VIII and Edward VI
This thesis examines the reasons why England became Reformed rather than Lutheran at the Reformation. When King Henry divorced his Catholic Queen, Catherine of Aragon, and defied the Roman See, Lutheranism seemed the natural religion for his realm. Henry authorised and supported dialogue with the Germans, hoping for a religious and political settlement, and the Lutheran message was winning English converts. Yet despite all this, both Henry and his son Edward rejected Lutheranism, though for widely different reasons. The thesis focuses on the religious beliefs and motives of Henry and his chief minister Thomas Cromwell, and studies the religious legislation of Henry's reign. It seeks to explain why, after an apparently promising start, Henry's Lutheran policy first stalled then suddenly collapsed. It also compares the English experience with that in Germany and Scandinavia, where Lutheranism succeeded. Finally it considers why the religious settlement of Edward VI, though owing much to Luther, was nonetheless decisively Reformed.