ISBN 978 1 85944 175 6.
First published by Headstart History 1991, 2014 4th printing by Davenant Press. Thomas Cranmer was the first Protestant Archbishop of Canterbury. He was consecrated in 1533 and burnt at the stake in Oxford in March 1556. His death, along with Latimer and Ridley is marked by a monument in the city centre. He was not a saint or even great theologian but at a chance meeting with Edward Foxe and Stephen Gardiner both close to Henry VIII that Cranmer put forward an opinion on the King’s ‘great matter’ – how to end his marriage to Catherine of Aragon so he could marry Anne Boleyn.. His views led to his elevation to Canterbury on the death of William Warham.. He remained archbishop under Edward VI and in 1548-9 introduced the First Book of Common Prayer though it was probably the second Prayer Book of 152 which better reflected his views. It was the early death of Edward and accession of the Catholic Mary I which led to his martyrdom. Between 1530-1540 Cranmer created an ecclesiastical polity which suited Tudor monarchy. After Mary’s death she re-established Cranmer’s polity and it was her longevity which guaranteed its security.