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March 8, 2013


Friday Fun 38: Swotting up on the English Reformation (part 2)

by quaesitor

Boys and girls, last week’s lesson was only the beginning, the tip of the iceberg. How could you possibly imagine that we had plumbed the depths of the English Restoration? There is more work to be done – not least because Bluff King Hal left quite a legacy, much of which was left much to be unravelled amongst his 3 children and successors.

What a mess web he weaved.

In case you missed last week’s Henry VIII account, click here.

End of Wolsey

1066 all that Cardinal Wolsey, although (as is well known) he had not thought to shed a tear about all this, did ultimately shed a memorable one. Having thus fallen from grace (indeed he had already been discovered entertaining some Papal Bulls) Wolsey determined to make a Pil­ grimage to Leicester Abbey, saying to himself: ‘If I had served my God as I have served my King, I would have been a Good Thing.’ Having thus acknowledged that he was a Bad Man, and being in due course arrived at the Abbey, Wolsey very pluckily expired after making a memorable speech to the Prior, beginning, ‘Father Abbot, I come to lay my bones among you, Not to praise them…’

The Monasteries

One of the strongest things that Henry VIII did was about  the  Monasteries. It was pointed out to him that no one in the monasteries was married, as the Monks all thought it was still the Middle Ages. So Henry, who, of course, considered marrying a Good Thing, told Cromwell to pass a very strong Act saying that the Middle Ages were all over and the monasteries were all to be dissolved. This was called the Disillusion of the Monasteries.

Edward VI and Broody Mary

Callous-Broody-MaryEDWARD VI and Broody Mary were the two small Tudors who came in between the two big ones, Henry VIII and Elizabeth. Edward VI was only a boy and consequently was not allowed to have his reign properly, but while he was sitting on the throne every­ one in the land was forced to become Protestant, so that Broody Mary would be able to put them to death after­wards for not being Roman Catholics. A good many people protested against this treatment and thus it was proved that they were Protestants, but most of the people decanted and were all right. Broody Mary’s reign was, however, a Bad Thing, since England is bound to be C. of E., so all the executions were wasted.

Cramber and Fatimer

It was about this time that a memorable Dumb Cram­ mer and one of Henry VIII’s wives called Fatimer, who had survived him, got burnt alive at Oxford, while  try­  ing to light a candle in the Martyr’s memorial there: it was a new candle which they had invented and which they said could never be put out.

Shortly after this the cruel Queen died and a post­ mortem examination revealed the word ‘CALLOUS’ engraved on her heart.

From Terry Deary's inimicable Horrible Histories

From Terry Deary’s inimicable Horrible Histories

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