28th June 1539. Creeds of the English Church.

Today in 1539 The Six Articles received the Royal Assent of Henry VIII, having been enacted in law on the 30th of May.

The Act of Six Articles 1539.

The Act of Six Articles 1539 as amended by Henry VIII.

Opposition to the ‘Articles’ was heresy, as Latimer, Bishop of Worcester in 1535 found, when he opposed the ‘The Whip with three Strings’, which upheld the Roman Catholic doctrine, amongst other things, of transubstantiation.(1)

The doctrinal denial by Latimer resulted in his resignation, imprisonment in 1539 and execution under Queen Mary I in 1555.

The Six Articles stated that the criminal law should enforce the doctrines of transubstantiation, private masses, auricular confession, and prohibit clerical marriage.

Henry VIII’s reforms however, were dashed when his Six Articles, restating the Church’s Catholic position, was rejected by his Protestant son Edward VI, who abolished the Articles and placed the Bible as the ’Word’, at the forefront of his devotions, including it in his Coronation procession where it has been ever since.

Previous to the six articles, Archbishop Cranmer’s 1536 Ten Articles had been issued as the formulary of the new church, but four of the seven sacraments were omitted, leaving just baptism, penance and the Eucharist, which were restored in the 1537 Bishops’ Book.

The 42 Articles of Cranmer in 1553, were written when Calvinism reached its highest influence under Edward VI, though were never enforced under Mary, who became queen in that year.

Cranmer’s later arrest and execution as an heretic under Mary was to avenge his part in the divorce of her mother, Catherine of Aragon, and he had already survived in 1543, a plot from five Prebendial Canons and a  monk at Canterbury, to oust him as archbishop in the Prebendaries Plot, for his reforms which in the end proved unstoppable.

Cranmer’s 42 Articles were used as the basis for The 39 Articles, as the essential beliefs of the Anglican Church, as established by Convocation in 1563 under Elizabeth I.(2)

(1) Transubstantiation believes in the bread of the Mass being changed into the body of Christ.

(2) The 42 Articles by Cranmer, summarize the Anglican Doctrine under Edward VI representing the faith of Scriptures and the existing Catholic Creeds of 1552.

Ref:  wikipedia.org/Thomas Henry, 3rd Duke of Norfolk..

Ref: Oxford Dictionary of the English Church pp.428 and 625.

Ref: wikipedia.org/39_articles. Pic. Image.


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About colindunkerley

My name is Colin Dunkerley who having spent two years in the Royal Army Pay Corps ploughed many a barren industrial furrow until drawn to the 'chalk-face' as a teacher, now retired. I have spent the last 15 years researching all aspects of life in Britain since Roman times.

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