The Break with Rome


When Henry VIII wrote a defence of the Seven Sacraments in 1521, Pope Leo X awarded him the title ‘Defender of the Faith’.

Henry VIII


A series of parliamentary enactments culminated in the Act of Supremacy (1534) declaring Henry supreme head of the English Church.


Nevertheless determined to annul his first marriage with or without Papal sanction, Henry appointed an able scholar, Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury.


The Great Bible in English, ordered by Henry VIII to be set up in all churches


The resistance of leading churchmen like Bishop John Fisher and Henry’s former Chancellor, Thomas More, resulted in their execution.


The king proceeded to dissolve the monasteries, secularising their property, but continued to resist doctrinal reform.


A surviving archway from the medieval priory at Walsingham, Norfolk