History of Britain King Henry the 8th
Defectus Par Pestelesus
A.At the time of the plague the Lords owned a great piece of land. They would typically take on a serf or a peasant who toiled a small part of this land. It was grueling labor. But it was better than dying,and the poor unlearned peasant was able to live at least. He was tied to his local lord by custom and birth and so his descendants as well. Taxing and unfair, it was the accepted way of life in medieval England 1500s and earlier.
Now the leveling force of the plague enters the picture. Mass destruction and death. It showed no favorites, played no special tune for a lord. It swept through England and the land was devastated. The country was laid waste.
Suddenly, as if by some unseen force, the harvest of the land was going to be twice as expensive to haul. Gone were the peasants who toiled in the sun for free, suddenly there were no begging peasants who were grateful to toil for free. Never leaving the land, and asking if they could marry, serfs were in for a big change of life. The laborers were scarce and now had a potent weapon. The simple law of supply and demand would now rescue an entire group of people. The serfs now had negotiating power. The abandoned farms which once knew total predominance and rule would have to bow to the terms of those previously suppressed. So we see the great plague created a middle class rather than subordinated serfs who knew only oppression and slavery.
B. The churches security was threatened; the clergy couldn't help much with the plague and there came to be a shortage of priests. In 1349 the Bishop authorized laymen to hear confessions, even women as the decree stated. Many sought the actual bible, and scripture, since the priests were not available. The lollards, a reformation group advocating the sole use of scripture without a priest,encourage others to read on their own. They were only saved from persecution by John of Gaunt- Duke of Lancaster. Who was drawn to piety having been made contrite by the onslaught of the plague. So then, the great plague had once again reformed the social and spiritual structure of the day.
C. The lollards were a threat to the church. Or more specifically, a threat to Henrys throne and rule. They advocated reading of the bible in english, without the Latin, and without a man interpreting it for you. They voiced the scriptures openly, much to the dismay of the King. They are spared persecution by the Duke as stated earlier. They liberated the bible from Latin.
D.The serfs revolt The serfs can no longer be considered the lower class, they have money now,and they don't want to lose their position. They don't want the government to tax them, and take their gains. They are now the village elite, they have moved up. Now they hold positions in the court as jurors;librarians etc. They were so threatened by the poll tax set up, they made an army of themselves.This was a class war. They formed weapons and made outlaws of themselves and marched against the nobles with their terms. They demanded a new magna carta that included the following 1,serfdom abolished 2. church liquidation 3,pardon offenders 4.make all men equal under the King. A surprising fact is that these rebels still wanted a king. They still craved for leadership; but on their terms. This was their weak link and Richard used it. The army of 5000 was stunned when Richard says yes to all their terms and the magna carta. The rebels don't see it but a scuffle arouses when Tyler is called a thief and he is killed. Now the rebels are left without a leader.Now there is time for Richards men to mobilize armed men to dispers the rebels. Then in a daring feat, Richard rides towards the rebels and claims the following; You shall have no king and leader but me.You are and always will be wretched and cannot seek equality with Lords. You will remain in bondage, we will suppress you until you die. But we will spare you if you remain faithful to us. The rebels fell to their knees in submission. Richard continues, my master God, is mustering pestilence in His clouds for you who threat the glory of my crown. The rebel serfs who still longed for a leader, and were not used to being independent of him, surrendered. Rustics believed then that they should not mingle with noble blood. Especially if they were to survive. So we can conclude that Richards speech to the rebels was deliberately ambiguous. They wanted a leader; and at the same time he was reasserting his authority as their king and ruler.They could not quite discern the two and Richard had his way, again. His position had not changed, because his heart had not. He was still a tyrant of sorts.
E. Richard had exalted visions of His kingship. He felt he belonged in the presence of the saints and the angels themselves.Reliefs and friezes were painted of him standing with John the Baptist and the virgin Mary herself. On her lapel she wore his kingly symbol, the white stag. He felt she was granting him favor and cooperating on a high level with his kingdom. His ego knew no bounds. He understood that ceremonial style and grandeur had the capacity to make men obey.Richard had built a hammerbeam roof with rows of angels, symbolizing the kings right to rule., divine right. He demanded to be called your highness and your majesty.The barons felt he was losing touch with the peoples common interest. They felt he had to be stopped or their land or life would be next on his list to be done away with in the name of the crown. The nobles were irritated, Richard was bestowing favors on close friends, ordering murders, land seizures. He had the power to bypass parliament, and this was too much power in the hands of a deluded, grandiose king. Bolingbrook takes over his reign.Richard renounces the crown after the fourth negotiation.
F. Cromwell , Henry 8th assistant.Anticipated a fight to henrys rule, not total submission, ruled unsympathetically, with clarity. Cromwell enforced royal supremacy. There were issued fierce injunctions. He vandalized churches, crushing saints and anything that threatened the kings right to rule solely. The churches now became protestant, and this exists today. The new bible was commissioned by Cromwell.He was devoted to one man, a strong king, to rule the strong church. They allowed no other bible except the one sanctioned by them. It came from'on high' from the king. It was the only authorized version allowed, the king James version. 1539, no other allowed.
G. Treason; it became English law to speak against the king. Made England into a frightened and paranoid state. Everyone feared disannounciation.
H.Priests; Considered to be guardians of the secrets of the Christian church. Including the flesh of Christ in the holy Eucharist. Only became available in communion later in history... previously only the priest could partake of the flesh of the Lord. There was no getting to heaven apart from the priest.
I. The word of God; 1530; tyndale arrested for smuggling a new testament. He was burned to death. King Henry cheered it on.
J.Henry was the autocratic new Caesar,had God like authority of the Roman empowers.
K. Anne proved royal supremacy by going back into history.,, she proved that all others ruled as one man. One king, one law, is Gods final way, was there final proclamation. If you spoke against it you were killed. 1532 submission of the clergy; kings rule over the church.