The Rule of Northumberland 1549-53

  • Northumberland benefitted the most from Somerset`s fall from power - he led the troops that ended Kett`s rebellion and had support within government
  • He had to work to take over from Somerset (he had no direct link to the King and therefore had to work for the support of the Council)
  • it wasn`t until February 1550 that he was fully in charge as Lord President of the Council - this was significant as it meant he had to govern through the authority of the privy council

Religious Changes:

  • Protestant reformers had the most influence and subsequently the changes made to the church were more Protestant
  • Northumberland was keen to support radical views - Conservatives such as Garidner lost their prominant positions and were sent to the Tower of London
  • In January 1552 Parliament met and a programme for reform was discussed and laws were passed
  • Treason Act reinstated
  • Second Act of Uniformity was passed making it an offense to not attend Church of Enlgnad services, punishable by fine / prison
  • 1552 Prayer Book removed all traces of Catholicism and Mass
  • 1553 - alters to be replaced by communion tables and clergy were not to wear vestements in services
  • an attack on Church wealth was started just before Edward VI`s death as a result of government need for cash
  • by summer 1553 the Church of England was Protestant. Although the doctrines were Protestant, hierarchy and government of the Church remained the same (archbishops, bishops and diocese)

Religious beliefs in Edward`s reign and the influence of Humanism:

  • Landowners were Protestant, as well as those living in and near London (there was a more direct Protestant influence from northern Europe due to trade and travel in these areas) 
  • In most areas there was acceptance, but not enthusiasm. Most people (especially the uneducated) didn`t like the disappearance of ceremonies and the limitation of Holy Days to 25 per year
  • Humanism greatly influenced the educated elites - many young people associated humansim to the new Protestant doctrines
  • Humanism also influenced education - both Edward and Elizabeth had tutors that were humanists. it also beame the focus for developments in religion / religious thoughts
  • humanists were eager to spread their knowledge, leading to an explosion in publishing during this period
  • accurate to seperate / contrast the educated elites (most of whom were Protestant) with the rest of the population (where the extent of Protestant acceptance is uncertain)

Foreign Policy 1549-53

  • complete direction change - willing to sacrifice influence in Scotland to deal with internal issues in England
  • Also realised that France may be a valuable ally against the Catholic Charles V (this occured at the same time as the Counter-Revolution…


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