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Title: 'The course of the gospel interrupted by malicious enemyes' : religious conservatives at the Courts of Henry VIII and Edward VI, c. 1540-50
Author: Tadghighi, Nasim
ISNI:       0000 0004 5918 8132
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2015
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This thesis examines the religious conservative faction at the Courts of Henry VIII and Edward VI between 1540 and 1550. This period, which has traditionally received minimal attention in comparison to preceding and succeeding decades, was reputedly marked by a conservative reaction against the reforms of the 1530s. Contemporary evangelical observers, and particularly later polemicists, purported that the 1540s was marked by a regression in religious affairs. The situation was attributed to a group of prominent conservatives within the Church and Royal Court. This perception of late Henrician polity has proved enduring. Though some, chiefly Alec Ryrie, have indicated the tenacity of evangelicalism throughout these years, such critiques have questioned the influence of the conservatives through examinations into their religious opponents. This thesis focuses specifically on the conservatives and assesses their influence in late Henrician polity, and in the early years of Edward VI's reign. This study first examines the construction of the image of the religious conservatives, and contrasts the pervasive posthumous creation with contemporary reports of the group's leadership, membership and activities. The latter sources failed to provide a concise image of the composition and leadership of the group that undermines later, and still current, defined verdicts on the matter. The notion that the faction was led by Thomas Howard, Third Duke of Norfolk and Stephen Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester is robustly and repeatedly rejected. The years 1540-50 are examined in close detail, and in chronological fashion, to reevaluate the religious conservatives' roles in a number of notable events. This study emphasises the degree of consensus and cooperation between Henry VIII and his leading conservative subjects, and has deviated from the traditional view that the group assumed control over domestic and foreign affairs. It is argued that the conservatives were concerned to be seen operating within the frameworks of the law, especially during heresy investigations, and that this facet was obscured by contemporary and later accusations of their reputed seditious behavior. This thesis takes a separate but equally important departure from the established view of the religious conservatives by proposing a different date for the group's decline in fortunes. The period 1547-50, and not Henry VIII's death in the winter of 1546-7, is argued to have been a decisive moment for the conservatives.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available