Persecution of Protestants

(173 words)

Historical Context Note

  • The Literary Encyclopedia. Volume : .

The decades after the death of Henry VIII were tumultuous ones for England's religious culture. He was first succeeded by his only son, Edward VI, who was crowned at only nine years old, and thus was heavily influenced by his Regency Council, led by reforming Protestant nobles. They passed various laws to enforce reformed religion on the population, including instituting a Book of Common Prayer for every church, and insisting on the removal of iconography.

By contrast, with Edward's death and the accession of his eldest sister, Mary I, a committed Roman Catholic, the pendulum swung the other way, and the population was forced to return to a strictly enforced Catholic orthodoxy. By this time, however, many people had adopted the …

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