81 Facts About Thomas Cranmer


Thomas Cranmer was a leader of the English Reformation and Archbishop of Canterbury during the reigns of Henry VIII, Edward VI and, for a short time, Mary I He helped build the case for the annulment of Henry's marriage to Catherine of Aragon, which was one of the causes of the separation of the English Church from union with the Holy See.


Under Henry's rule, Thomas Cranmer did not make many radical changes in the Church, due to power struggles between religious conservatives and reformers.


Thomas Cranmer published the first officially authorised vernacular service, the Exhortation and Litany.


When Edward came to the throne, Thomas Cranmer was able to promote major reforms.


Thomas Cranmer wrote and compiled the first two editions of the Book of Common Prayer, a complete liturgy for the English Church.


Thomas Cranmer promulgated the new doctrines through the Prayer Book, the Homilies and other publications.


Thomas Cranmer's death was immortalised in Foxe's Book of Martyrs and his legacy lives on within the Church of England through the Book of Common Prayer and the Thirty-Nine Articles, an Anglican statement of faith derived from his work.


Thomas Cranmer was born in 1489 at Aslockton in Nottinghamshire, England.


Thomas Cranmer was a younger son of Thomas Cranmer by his wife Agnes Hatfield.


Thomas Cranmer was of modest wealth but was from a well-established armigerous gentry family which took its name from the manor of Cranmer in Lincolnshire.


Sometime after Thomas Cranmer took his MA, he married a woman named Joan.


When Joan died during her first childbirth, Jesus College showed its regard for Thomas Cranmer by reinstating his fellowship.


Thomas Cranmer began studying theology and by 1520 he had been ordained, the university already having named him as one of its preachers.


Thomas Cranmer received his Doctor of Divinity degree in 1526.


When Cardinal Wolsey, the king's Lord Chancellor, selected several Cambridge scholars, including Edward Lee, Stephen Gardiner and Richard Sampson, to be diplomats throughout Europe, Thomas Cranmer was chosen for an embassy to the Holy Roman Emperor.


Thomas Cranmer's supposed participation in an earlier embassy to Spain, mentioned in the older literature, has proved to be spurious.


Thomas Cranmer gave Cardinal Wolsey the task of prosecuting his case; Wolsey began by consulting university experts.


From 1527, in addition to his duties as a Cambridge don, Thomas Cranmer assisted with the annulment proceedings.


In mid-1529, Thomas Cranmer stayed with relatives in Waltham Holy Cross to avoid an outbreak of the plague in Cambridge.


Thomas Cranmer struck up a friendship with Cranmer and after his return to Basel, he wrote about Cranmer to the German reformer Martin Bucer in Strasbourg.


Thomas Cranmer passed through the Lutheran city of Nuremberg and saw for the first time the effects of the Reformation.


Thomas Cranmer did not take her as his mistress, as was the prevailing custom with priests for whom celibacy was too rigorous.


Scholars note that Thomas Cranmer had moved, however moderately at this stage, into identifying with certain Lutheran principles.


When Thomas Cranmer's promotion became known in London, it caused great surprise as Thomas Cranmer had previously held only minor positions in the Church.


Thomas Cranmer did not learn of the marriage until 14 days later.


Thomas Cranmer even issued a threat of excommunication if Henry did not stay away from Catherine.


Thomas Cranmer baptised her immediately afterwards and acted as one of her godparents.


Thomas Cranmer personally tried to persuade him to change his views without success.


Thomas Cranmer supported the cause of reform by gradually replacing the old guard in his ecclesiastical province with men such as Hugh Latimer who followed the new thinking.


Thomas Cranmer intervened in religious disputes, supporting reformers, to the disappointment of religious conservatives who desired to maintain the link with Rome.


Thomas Cranmer was not immediately accepted by the bishops within his province.


In 1535, Thomas Cranmer had difficult encounters with several bishops, John Stokesley, John Longland, and Stephen Gardiner among others.


Thomas Cranmer created another set of institutions that gave a clear structure to the royal supremacy.


Two days later, Anne was executed; Thomas Cranmer was one of the few who publicly mourned her death.


Cromwell and Thomas Cranmer were the primary targets of the protesters' fury.


Cromwell and the king worked furiously to quell the rebellion, while Thomas Cranmer kept a low profile.


Thomas Cranmer's attention was most likely occupied by the pregnancy of Jane Seymour and the birth of the male heir, Edward, that Henry had sought for so long.


Thomas Cranmer was present, but Cromwell was unable to attend due to ill health.


Thomas Cranmer immediately lost the support of all his friends, including Cranmer.


Thomas Cranmer now found himself in a politically prominent position, with no one else to shoulder the burden.


Thomas Cranmer was left in London as a member of a council taking care of matters for the king in his absence.


Thomas Cranmer's colleagues were Lord Chancellor Thomas Audley and Edward Seymour, Earl of Hertford.


Thomas Cranmer gave the information to Audley and Seymour and they decided to wait until Henry's return.


Thomas Cranmer slipped a message to Henry during mass on All Saints Day.


Thomas Cranmer presided over the sub-committees, but the conservatives were able to overturn many reforming ideas, including justification by faith alone.


An investigation was to be mounted and Thomas Cranmer was appointed chief investigator.


Typically, Thomas Cranmer put the clergymen involved in the conspiracy through immediate humiliation, but he eventually forgave them and continued to use their services.


Thomas Cranmer's victory ended with two second-rank leaders imprisoned and Germain Gardiner executed.


The traditional litany uses invocations to saints, but Thomas Cranmer thoroughly reformed this aspect by providing no opportunity in the text for such veneration.


Thomas Cranmer mourned Henry's death and it was later said that he demonstrated his grief by growing a beard.


Thomas Cranmer had been in contact with Martin Bucer since the time when initial contacts were made with the Schmalkaldic League.


Thomas Cranmer wrote a letter to Bucer with questions on eucharistic theology.


Thomas Cranmer immediately invited the men to come to England and promised that they would be placed in English universities.


Thomas Cranmer needed these scholarly men to train a new generation of preachers as well as to assist in the reform of liturgy and doctrine.


Thomas Cranmer publicly revealed in this debate that he had abandoned the doctrine of the corporeal real presence and believed that the Eucharistic presence was only spiritual.


Thomas Cranmer wrote a strong response to these demands to the King in which he denounced the wickedness of the rebellion.


Thomas Cranmer adopted Bucer's draft and created three services for commissioning a deacon, a priest, and a bishop.


Thomas Cranmer made sure that he did not feel alienated and kept in close touch with him.


Thomas Cranmer planned to draw together all the reformed churches of Europe under England's leadership to counter the Council of Trent, the Catholic Church's response to the Protestant Reformation.


Thomas Cranmer responded with a long letter using the argument that it was for Parliament with the royal assent to decide any changes in the liturgy.


In 1551 Thomas Cranmer presented a version of a statement to the bishops, but its status remained ambiguous.


Thomas Cranmer did not devote much effort to developing the articles, most likely owing to work on the canon law revision.


Thomas Cranmer became more interested once the hope for an ecumenical council began to fade.


Thomas Cranmer complained about this to the council, but the authorities responded by noting that the articles were developed during the time of the Convocation.


Thomas Cranmer sent a personal letter urging him to take the offer.


Thomas Cranmer tried to speak to Edward alone, but he was refused and his audience with Edward occurred in the presence of the councillors.


Thomas Cranmer was sent straight to the Tower to join Hugh Latimer and Nicholas Ridley.


Under interrogation, Thomas Cranmer admitted to every fact that was placed before him, but he denied any treachery, disobedience, or heresy.


Thomas Cranmer was taken to a tower to watch the proceedings.


Thomas Cranmer was in an academic community and treated as a guest.


Thomas Cranmer had conceded very little and Edmund Bonner was not satisfied with these admissions.


Thomas Cranmer repudiated all Lutheran and Zwinglian theology, fully accepted Catholic theology, including papal supremacy and transubstantiation, and stated that there was no salvation outside the Catholic Church.


Thomas Cranmer announced his joy at returning to the Catholic faith, asked for and received sacramental absolution, and participated in the mass.


Thomas Cranmer's burning was postponed and, under the normal practice of canon law, he should have been absolved.


Thomas Cranmer was told that he would be able to make a final recantation, but that this time it was to be in public during a service at the University Church.


Thomas Cranmer wrote and submitted the speech in advance and it was published after his death.


Thomas Cranmer renounced the recantations that he had written or signed with his own hand since his degradation and he stated that, in consequence, his hand would be punished by being burnt first.


The Marian government produced a pamphlet with all six recantations plus the text of the speech Thomas Cranmer was to have made in the University Church.


Thomas Cranmer's family had been exiled to the Continent in 1539.


Thomas Cranmer's daughter, Margaret, was likely born in the 1530s and his son, Thomas, came later, probably during the reign of Edward.


Thomas Cranmer's prose helped to guide the development of the English language, and the Book of Common Prayer is a major contribution to English literature that influenced many lives in the Anglophone world.