Archbishop of Canterbury
as for the Pope, I refuse him, as Christ's enemy, and antichrist,
with all his false doctrine."
- Born 1489 Aslacton, Nottinghamshire.
- Ordained 1523
- 1529 Advised Henry VIII regarding divorce from Catherine of
- Married Margaret Osiander 1532 (in contravention of Canon
- 1532 Appointed Archbishop of Canterbury by the Pope.
- During reign of Henry VIII, Cranmer helped introduce such
reforms as he could, including propagation of English Bible.
- The break from Rome began before Cranmer became Archbishop
but was finalised during his office.
- In reign of Edward VI, Cranmer introduced first reformed liturgies,
Articles of Religion (42 Articles) and began revision of Canon
- Reluctantly supported Lady Jane Grey to succeed Edward.
- On accession of Mary Tudor, Cranmer resisted the undoing of
the reformation, was imprisoned, tried and convicted.
- Under great pressure Cranmer recanted, but was nevertheless
- At the stake he reasserted his reformed faith and declared
the Pope to be Antichrist.
- Martyred 21 March 1556 in Broad Street, Oxford.
On the death of Mary
many of Cranmer's works, including his Prayer Book and Articles
were re-introduced. The Prayer Book was only modestly altered,
the Articles were reshaped into 39.
Since the Settlement
of 1662 the Prayer Book has been part of the doctrinal backbone
of the Church of England.
For fuller history
see the articles below by Hirst and
Articles about Thomas
Cranmer, his work and legacy.
Cranmer - 450th anniversary of his martyrdom. Cross†Way
article on Cranmer's life and legacy.
'From Fear to Faith' - Sermon by David Samuel on the 500th Anniversary of the birth of Thomas Cranmer.
Cranmer (Churchman 48/2 1934) by Rev E Hirst
Cranmer Speaks Today - Some extracts from the works of Thomas Cranmer (Cross†Way article).
Cranmer after Five Hundred Years (Churchman 104/1 1990)
by Roger Beckwith
Cranmer, a Man under Authority: An Introduction. Churchman article by Maurice Elliott (1995)
Cranmer's Attitude to the Bible: 'Lucerna pedibus meis verbum tuum.' Churchman article by Maurice Elliott (1995)
Cranmer's Attitude to the Papacy: 'And as for the Pope, I refuse him as Christ's enemy.' Churchman article by Maurice Elliott (1995)
Cranmer's Attitude to the Monarchy: Royal Absolutism and the Godly Prince. Churchman article by Maurice Elliott (1995)
Cranmer's Attitude to the Episcopate: Bishops, Priests and Deacons. Churchman article by Maurice Elliott (1995)
The Giant and the Dwarfs (conclusion to the four previous articles on Cranmer's attitude to authority) Churchman article by Maurice Elliott (1995)
Cranmer's Doctrine of the Lord's Supper in its Gospel Context. Churchman article by Roger du Barry
Thomas Cranmer's 'True and Catholick Doctrine of the Sacrament.' Churchman article (1990) by D A Scales
to Communion: Thomas Cranmer on a Favourite Puritan Theme (Churchman 116/3
2002) by Ashley Null
‘For the More
Explanation’ and ‘For the More Perfection’:
Cranmer’s Second Prayer Book (Churchman 116/3 2002) by Roger
1552 Reform of English Church Discipline (Churchman 116/3 2002) by Gerald Bray
Other articles on Cranmer
from Churchman have not yet been put online.
See also History of the 39 Articles
Click to enlarge
Cranmer's Final Testimony
“And now I come to the great
thing, which so much troubleth my conscience, more than any thing that ever
I did or said in my whole life, and that is the setting abroad of a writing
contrary to the truth; which now here I renounce and refuse, as things written
with my hand, contrary to the truth which I thought in my heart, and written
for fear of death, and to save my life if it might be; and that is, all such
bills and papers which I have written or signed with my hand since my degradation;
wherein I have written many things untrue. And forasmuch as my hand offended,
writing contrary to my heart, my hand shall first be punished there-for; for,
may I come to the fire, it shall be first burned.
“And as for the pope, I refuse him, as Christ’s enemy, and antichrist,
with all his false doctrine.
“And as for the sacrament, I believe as I have taught in my book against
the bishop of Winchester, the which my book teacheth so true a doctrine of
the sacrament, that it shall stand at the last day before the judgment of God,
where the papistical doctrine contrary
thereto shall be ashamed to show her face.”
From Foxe's Acts and Monuments