From the Reformation to the founding of Queen Anne’s Bounty
Christianity came to the British Isles with the Romans early in the first millennium AD and ‘organised Christianity’ can be dated to the arrival of St Augustine in Canterbury in AD597. In the early 16th century the Lutheran Reformation broke out in Central Europe; in England a theological and political argument between the Pope and Henry VIII on power and authority resulted in a break from Rome, creating a Church that was still “one holy, catholic and apostolic” yet with the King at the top. Amongst the legal and financial changes that ensued, taxes on Church livings were no longer paid to the Pope but instead went to the Crown. Two centuries later the money would be used to benefit poor clergy via the auspices of Queen Anne’s Bounty.
1509 Accession of Henry VIII, who marries Catherine of Aragon, his brother’s widow.
1521 The Pope grants Henry the title "Defender of the Faith" for An Assertion of the Seven Sacraments Against Martin Luther.
1531 The Clergy buy a royal pardon from the charge of Praemunire (swearing allegiance to a power outside the realm, ie. here the pope) for £118,000 and recognise Henry as "protector and only supreme head of the English Church".
1532 The Act of Conditional Restraint of Annates – allows taxes on first fruits and tenths (of benefice’s income) to be transferred from the Pope to the King.
1533 Cranmer becomes Archbishop of Canterbury, marries Henry to Anne Boleyn and dissolves his marriage to Catherine. Elizabeth I is born a few months later. The Act in Restraint of Appeals abolishes legal appeals to Rome.
1534 Act of Supremacy (Henry made ‘supreme head in earth of the Church of England’), and Act of the Submission of the Clergy (clergy can no longer make their own laws in contradiction to common law).
1536 Dissolution of the smaller monasteries. The Ten Articles (statements of the Church of England’s doctrine - moderately reformatory).
1539 Dissolution of remaining monasteries. The Six Articles (revised statements, more conservative).
1547 Henry dies, Edward VI succeeds. 1549 Cranmer’s first prayer book (under the conservative protectorate of Somerset, Edward’s uncle).
1552 Cranmer’s second prayer book (under the radical protectorate of Northumberland).
1553 Accession of Mary I, reinstatement of Roman Catholicism.
1558 Accession of Elizabeth I, return to the Church of England.
1559 The Religious Settlement – the finalising of the establishment of the Church of England. The Book of Common Prayer is reissued.
1571 39 Articles – final moderate statement of the Church’s beliefs, still used today.
1603 Accession of James I.
1611 The King James Bible is published (the ‘Authorised Version’).
1625 Accession of Charles I.
1642-45 English Civil War.
1645 Archbishop Laud of Canterbury executed.
1649 Charles I executed.
1660 Restoration of Charles II.
1662 Final version of the Book of Common Prayer – still in use today.
1685 Accession of James II (a Roman Catholic). 1689 Protestant William III and Mary II replace James.
1702 Accession of Anne.
1704 Letters patent created for ‘The Governors of the Bounty of Queen Anne for the Augmentation of the Maintenance of the Poor Clergy’.