Thomas Cranmer


1489 July 2. Born at Aslockton, Nottinghamshire, second son of small landholder

1503–11 Undergraduate studies at Jesus College, Cambridge

1515 Marries; wife dies in childbirth

1515–26 Fellow of Jesus College; ordained; university preacher; completes doctorate


1527 Henry VIII seeks to annul his marriage to Catherine of Aragon

1529 Cranmer suggests Henry seek university opinion on the divorce question

1530-32 Serves as an ambassador to the Continent; marries Margaret, niece of Lutheran reformer Osiander

1533 Becomes Archbishop of Canterbury; declares Henry’s marriage invalid; Anne Boleyn becomes queen

1534 Act of Supremacy recognizes king as “supreme head” of church in England

1536 Ten Articles outline early Protestant theology; Parliament dissolves smaller monasteries

1537 Bishop’s Book, a commentary on the Ten Articles; Pilgrimage of Grace, a popular Catholic uprising against reforms

1538 Henry VIII orders English Bible to be put in every parish church

1539 Remaining monasteries dissolved; Henry’s Six Articles enforce a more Catholic theology, including priestly celibacy; Cranmer sends his wife to Germany

1543 Henry’s King’s Book prohibits Scripture reading; Cranmer accused of heresy, but Henry protects him

1547 Henry dies holding Cranmer’s hand


1547 Nine-year-old Edward VI becomes king; Somerset becomes Lord Protector; priests required to preach from Cranmer’s Homilies

1549 Act of Uniformity orders use of Cranmer’s Book of Common Prayer; Northumberland becomes Lord Protector

1552 Cranmer revises Book of Common Prayer; Cranmer’s Forty-Two Articles outline a Calvinist doctrine for Church of England

1553 Cranmer supports Lady Jane Grey ...

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