DISSOLUTION OF THE MONASTERIES - Coggle Diagram
DISSOLUTION OF THE MONASTERIES
FUNCTIONS OF RELIGIOUS HOUSES IN 16TH CENTURY
Monasteries were central to the lives of both the
rich and the poor
It was a place where
monks said prayers
or Masses for the souls of the dead to ease their path through purgatory
Centres of arts and learning
: buildings towered and were majestic, monks produced exquisite illuminated texts using gold, as well as carvings, music and paintings.
Several Monastic Orders :
(largest of monks and nuns, probs richest)
(breakaway movement from the Benedictines, aimed for a simpler life, famous for sheep farming)
Carmelites or White Friars
Dominicans or Black Friar
Franciscans or Grey Friars
AN END TO OPPONENTS OF THE BREAK WITH ROME
Some of the most
forceful opponents of Henry's recent legislation had come from Monastic Houses,
especially the Franciscans and Carthusians.
Religious houses were being dissolved in Germany and Scandinavia, giving a model of what was possible in England.
Ideas of Erasmus, Tyndale, Fish, criticising monastic life were also gaining in importance.
PATRONAGE AND GREED
in particular, the laity gained an increasing appetite for land. Even Catholics such as Norfolk were
quick to cash in on sales of Monastic Land.
Served as a useful political purpose for Henry by pacifying potential critics of his Break with Rome.
resources of the
Church were huge.
Crown's finances were wealthy enough
, there was a clear
about the possibility of a
building programme of fortifications was undertaken and monastic wealth helped pay for it.
Money from the Church
also gave Cromwell a chance to
free Henry from the need to impose taxation again.
THE IMPERIAL IDEA
The idea of
monasteries owing allegiance to parent institutions outside England became unacceptable to Henry
, especially after the Act in Restraint of Appeals to Rome and the Act of Supremacy.
It is evidence of Henry's growing sense of
VISITATION AND THE COMPERTA MONASTICA
, Cromwell began exercising his powers and his first objective was to assess the state of the monasteries - he
assembled a team of agents
who were entrusted with task of
visiting the majority of religious houses
Monastic Visitations were not new - long history and were an accepted part of Church administration
been conducted under the authority of the bishop
(who controlled the area of the monastic community) or by
head of the religious orde
r who which clerics belonged.
between traditional visitations and ones Cromwell set up was -
searching nature of the enquiry and the attitude of the agents delegated to compile the reports.
Much of the work done in compiling the Comperta Monastica, carried out by some of Cromwell's most trusted 'servants:
John ap Rhys
Handpicked by Cromwell
as were able and ambitious and supported his reformist agenda.
Mainly clergy men who expressed doubts about value and quality of monasteries.
Commissioners instructed to record whether the monasteries were complying with Oath of Supremacy
and detail any alleged offences against the Crown.
1536 - DISSOLUTION OF THE SMALLER MONASTERIES
Closed all religious houses with lands valued at
under £200 per year.
New commissioners were sent out to supervise the closures (provoking rebellion in Lincolnshire and Yorkshire)
1539 - DISSOLUTION OF THE LARGER MONASTERIES
Parliament passed the Acts for the Dissolution of the Larger Monasteries, extending the
closures to all religious houses except chantries
(small, private chapels where prayers were said for the souls of the dead)
All land transferred to the Crown
VALOR ECCLESIASTICUS OF 1535
Represented Cromwell's ambitious project - greatest survey of ecclesiastical wealth and property ever undertaken and described as a Tudor Domesday Book.
valued taxes paid to the Crown from ecclesiastical property and income that had previously been paid to the Pope
of the Valor was undertaken by
Every parish and every monastic institution in England and Wales was visited.
As a result of their work the
government gained a solid understanding of the scale of the wealth of the Church
as a whole and of the monasteries in particular.
According to the Valor, the
net annual income of the Church
was put at between
£320,000 and £360,000
when commissions are taken into account (in today's values this would range from £103 million to £122 million).
IMPACT OF VALOR ECCLESIASTICUS AND COMPERTA MONASTICA
Valor and Comperta
provided the ammunition for those determined to close the monasteries
Valor provided a list of itemised expenditures as well as income, which Cromwell manipulated and then used to show evidence of widespread corruption
Cromwell was able to
demonstrate the bankruptcy of monasticism
by revealing that in spite of the considerable income enjoye by the religious orders, only 3% was regularly allocated to charitable works
This misapplication of funds, fraud and clerical corruption were highlighted by Cromwell, who managed to
convince the initially sceptical king of the necessity and value of the dissolution.
CONSEQUENCES OF THE DISSOLUTION
MONASTIC BUILDINGS :
Henry has been charged with cultural vandalism as a result of the wholesale destruction of magnificent Gothic church building
s - with the loss of books, images and reliquaries.
However, he did invest into the cause of Education (new grammar schools were set up across the country)
MONKS AND FRIARS
monks and friars found alternative paid employment
within the Church.
About 6500 out of 8000 moved on, having been supplied with their pensions.
significant minority were left in hardship.
less well off
- 2000 nuns were not allowed to marry or become priests
THE POOR :
Monasteries been traditional source of help for the poor
detrimental effect on poor
However, likely it only aggravated an already worsening problem
Henry had been
charged with squandering the wealth acquired through sale of monastic lands
there was a
rush to sell land
, with most of the profits being used to
finance the wars with Scotland and then France
Few gains of any long-term significance were made as a result of this major outlay of money (around £2 million)
just over half of the monastic lands remained in his possession in 1547
, suggesting that he had not been completely reckless.
1547, the crown had made about £800,000 from the sales
, mostly in cash which meant that Henry’s subjects were spared even harsher taxation.
SOCIAL CHANGE :
Sale of monastic lands meant that there was a transfer of power into the hands of the laity at local level.
As a result, the powers of patronage now lay with squires, JP's and the chief landowner, not the church.
Limited evidence to suggest that land ownership was extended down the social ladder.
Seems clear from local studies that land was transferred into the hands of men who were already established in the countryside.
-What happened was that more men had brought their way into local politics.