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Assess the Significance of Religion as a Factor in Bringing About Change in the Nature of Royal Authority Between 1540 – 1642

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Assess the significance of religion as a factor in bringing about change in the nature of royal authority between 1540 – 1642

Between 1540 and 1642 England saw six different rulers; an examination into the religious changes, personality and relationship with parliament will bring about an answer in to the change of nature of royal authority.

During 1540-1642 religious change led to rebellions and conflict proved highly embarrassing and potentially fatal to the monarchy ‘The church acted as a bedrock of authority. It had been a source of authority in late medieval society’ says Nicholas Fellows. After the reformation of the church Edward VI had to deal with situation of confusion left from his father. Edward was a firm supporter of the religious reforms and by 1549 England had made a caution step towards Protestantism. The western rebellion 1547 illustrated a strong sense of religious conservatism. The complaints that caused the rebellion were the changes that were thought to have taken place in the baptism and confirmation and the rebels wanted the restoration of many of the old religious practices. Article two’s call for the restoration of the six articles undermined all the work of the Edwardian reformation, they also had a strong desire for the ceremony and ritual of catholism. The rebels attacks communion and both kinds of the new prayer book which were symbolic of the new religion, clearly most of the demands was an attack of Protestantism and furthermore an attack on Edward and his reformation.

The western rebellion was able to develop into serious challenges as firstly; it required the government to commit large military forces to defeat them. Also most risings were usually dealt with at local level by the resident nobility or gentry, but in both cases these groups were absent or unable to act against the face of the massive demonstrations,…...

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