Gillaspie, Joel Martin (Utah State University)
Master of Arts, History, Utah State University (2008)
In 1534, the English Parliament passed the Act of Supremacy. This effectively stripped all of the authority the Pope held in England and gave it to Henry VIII. Also because of the Act of Supremacy Henry VIII gained a new title: Supreme Head of the Church of England. However, there was a problem. The Act of Supremacy only vaguely defined the new powers that had been given to the King. Consequently, what exactly his new powers were and their limits had to be established. The other issue that had to be dealt with was the establishment of the canons of the Church of England. It was a new church with no canons or rules in place other then the establishment of Henry VIII as Supreme Head of the Church of England.
The purpose of this thesis is to explore the use of Anabaptists and Sacramentaries in the formulation of the doctrine of the Church of England and the expansion of Henry VIII’s power as Supreme Head of the Church of England. Henry was able to use the Anabaptists and Sacramentaries because they posed no real threat to the state but were easy tools to be manipulated. The main documents that will be dealt with are the November 1538 Royal Proclamation Prohibiting Unlicensed Printing of Scripture, Exiling Anabaptists, Depriving Married Clergy, Removing St. Thomas à Becket from Calendar, the trial of John Lambert, and the February 1539 Royal Proclamation Prescribing Rites and Ceremonies, Pardoning Anabaptists.