The church and the crown
Between 1527 and 1533 King Henry VIII plunged his realm into
crisis with a series of measures which were designed to give
him the power to award himself a divorce from Catherine of Aragon
and allow him to marry Anne Boleyn, who he hoped would give him
an heir. In doing so he took the church in England and Wales
out of papal control and under supremacy of the crown.
changes would have come to the church without the kings
personal needs is unclear, but there were reforming influences
reaching Britain from abroad at the time. Few of these, however,
appear to have had much effect on Wales.
New ideas on doctrine might possibly have reached the English
speaking towns of Wales through printed material, but the principality
was essentially rural and in the countryside a largely monoglot
Welsh population were isolated and ministered to by an impoverished
and ill-educated clergy. When Henrys Act of Supremacy required
the clergy to take an oath of loyalty to the crown as head of
the church, the vast majority of the Welsh clergy did so without
Appointments of senior clergy inclined towards reform in Wales
and the enforcement of Injunctions against Idolatry and
other traditional observances began to change the practices in
parish churches all over Wales.
Sir John Price of Brecon published the
first Welsh language printed book,
Yn y Lhyvyr Hwnn, which contained the Creed, the Lords
Prayer and the Ten Commandments, and in the preface urged the
printing of Welsh language religious texts.
There are 4 pages on the Reformation
in Wales. Use the box links below to view the other pages.