The Reformation Parliament: 1529-36
The Reformation Parliament:
Initial criticisms were focused on abuses and church practices, rather than on the Church's doctrine or liturgy. Whilst many MPs were influenced by new religious ideas, it would not have been acceptable for the church to be challenged on doctrinal issues in 1529, when the king was still seeking an annulment.
Acts of 1534: there were 2 meetings of parliament in 1534, both of which were overseen by Cromwell, as a member of H's privy council. The first meeting- confirmed the prohibition of Annates to Rome. Also granted the rights for bishops to be consecrated in England, could elect bishops and abbots to king. Final confirmed H's supreme legal authority, appeals from church courts were to go to the king in Chancery.
First Act of Succession 1534
Act of Supremacy 1534,
parliament had to ensure H was presented as supreme head, whilst not disrespecting God. The act meant that: H had the right to collect first fruits and tenths, and it treasonous to cal the monarch heretic or schismatic.
Act forbidding papal dispensation of Peter's Pence 1534
Main criticisms were:
.excess fines with clergy charges for probate
. the payment of mortuary fines, e.g. Hunne
.land owned by church restricted the capacity for poor peasants
.clergy were promoted to the houses of great men, which left parishes without educated clergy to preach
.learned clergy were accused of pluralism, many parishes lacked well-educated clergymen
KEY REASONS FOR MARRIAGE TO ANNE BOLEYN: need for a male heir, willingness of Cranmer, Francis I was also in support of the marriage and as an international superpower he was key to H's securing of more power, especially as an increasingly Protestant nation surrounded by mostly Catholic countries (and some Lutheran states, e.g. Hesse).
Clergy were weakened by Wolsey's fall, but added the get out clause of 'as far as God allows'. This enabled the clergy to continue to add word of god in the rulings and legal decisions of the church.
The act to prevent appeals to Rome where overseen by Cromwell, to undermine COA's powers. Parliamentary support was needed for an AOP that would give England powers that had previously belonged to Rome. This change would speed up the legal process and keep money in the hands of English Lawyers. The Act in Restraint of Appeals was passed in March 1533 and was a general statute that placed all ecclesiastical powers in H's control. King was final legal authority in England.
On 5th April 1533 the Convocation of Canterbury ruled that H and COA's marriage could be nullified, but only by that court.
The Court of Chancery was set up to ensure fairness in common law.
In the space of 4 years the clergy had gone from speaking about the corruption of Wolsey, to overseeing a formal break with Rome. The break was as much motivated by the pressures from Anne Boleyn as it was from the slowness of the pope.
Supplication against the ordinaries 1532: passed in 1532 HOC, result of grievances against the clergy, clergy would have to consider income of families when charging probate fees.
Henry had little trouble passing his antipapal legislation. The bishops and abbots, who formed a majority in the House of Lords, owed their sees* to the Crown. The House of Commons was composed of landowners and wealthy townspeople who were interested in acquiring Church lands. In addition, the social and economic teachings of the Church, and pluralism and illiteracy among the clergy, fuelled an atmosphere of anticlericalism in the Houses of Parliament.
When Archbishop Warham died in 1532 this gave H more options for annulment, ad Warham had worked with the pope against this. By their trip to Calais in 1534 Anne had been made Marchoness of Calais for the trip, but Francis I refused to accept her formally.
Thomas Cranmer replaced him as AB and married H and A in secret in 1533, following discovery of A's pregnancy. By now the only real way to H to secure a formal annulment from COA was by overseeing this himself.
Legislation to the establishment of Royal Supremacy:
By 1532 H still did secure divorce. Pope believed H's desires for divorce would soon pass, submission of the clergy and supplication of the ordinaries was not enough.. Neither Anne or H was willing to accept the pope's delays. In Autumn 1532 H and A wanted to travel to Calais with support of Francis 1.
The Submission of The Clergy helped to combine financial pressures upon the pope, with wider pressures for an annulment. H tried to combine his two main challenges together.
Prior to the dissolution itself, as Wolsey's chief advisor Cromwell had already dissolved 30 monasteries.
Legislation leading to the establishment of Royal Supremacy:
Submission of the clergy:
(1531-34), in late 1530 H charged 15 churchmen in England and Wales should be charged with praemunire. The accusations were made against those that had increased W's power as papal legate. The clergy later promised to make H 'supreme head of the English church' (as far as god allows), this would be agreed through an AOP.
1529: parliament summoned.
clergy legal privilege removed by AOP.
praemunire charges brought against 30 leading churchmen.
submission of the clergy.
act in restraint of appeals.
act forbidding papal dispensation and the peter's pence.
act of succession.
act of supremacy.
Pressures on the papacy:
By 1530s, Henry was frustrated with Wolsey for not getting annulment and was making a variety of plans for how to deal with getting divorce. H planned to suppress the will of churchmen, based on praemunire, this was known as 'Submission of the Clergy'. H believed the will of the pope could be changed with financial pressure. H wanted to take legal control of church authority.
embodied much of what was seen as the failings of the church, Wolsey attended court everyday attended by a group of soldiers, he did not show the humble piety that was expected of churchmen. Wolsey was ABOY and had the livings of Winchester and Durham. Lawyers were also very critical of the practices of church courts. Increasing monopoly of cases in church courts were an issue.
Main desire of clergy was their desire to get an Act of Attainder against Wolsey, Wolsey was easy to target MPs, partly as he failed to get success at Blackfriar's court. Henry had dismissed Wolsey as LC. Wolsey was forced to retire to York where he still remained Archbishop. Wolsey was summoned to London, accused on treason, he fell ill on way to trial and died in 1530.
Ordinaries: bishops who have immediate jurisdiction. Supplication: offences bishops were charged on.
Act for the Submission of the clergy 1532: finally passed in 1534 and gave statutory authority to the submission of the clergy which was drawn up by the Bishop of Hereford and passed by the Convocation of Canterbury in 1532.
Parliaments were usually called when the king needs money to held gain investments for wars in foreign countries, Henry VIII had called 3 parliaments before 1529.
Act to Remove Annates 1532: direct finance attack on finances of Rome. This act of parliament was passed without full support of the HOC, Henry attended parliament when acts were being voted on- to put pressure on people.
Cromwell successfully took control of certain MPs, and managed to suppress the anger of the more conservative MPs. He moved more towards a legal break with Rome.
When Henry's second parliament met in 1515 there was also evidence criticisms made against the church. When Parliament met in 1529 it was a small group of MPs and lawyers and politicians who attacked the abuses of the church. The main concern was the excess prices in the probate of wills, the common fine placed upon the nobility for probate was £666. Wolsey was cited as one of the men who had asked for this payment.
In 1534 H aded 'Supreme Head of the Church of England' to his title, this did not add any more powers.
Henry VIII did not seek Protestant reform, but the abolition of papal jurisdiction inevitably encouraged the emergence of Protestant sympathizers. In 1539 Henry issued the Act of Six Articles, against those who advocated such Protestant reforms as marriage for the clergy or the denial of the doctrine of transubstantiation.