Charlotte Elizabeth con Female Martyrs of the English Reformation: Annotated (English Edition)
The religious chaos that England and Wales had undergone since the late 1520’s was renewed after the death of Edward VI. By the time of Edward’s death, England had a state church that was very obviously Protestant. Whether Luther inspired it, or Calvin is a separate topic, but all remnants of Catholicism had seemingly been erased. Edward had been educated as a Protestant; there was no surprise at the direction of the Church during his reign. There was also no misperception concerning the course the Church would take with Mary I as Queen. Mary had been educated as a Roman Catholic and she was quite mindful that the issue of religion started with Henry VIII’s effort to divorce her mother, Catherine of Aragon. When Mary became queen in 1553, it was a certainty that she would return the Church to both Rome and Catholicism.
Mary’s strategy was basically to utilize the old penalty for un-repentant religious disagreement ─ burning at the stake. It is difficult for us in the modern age, instructed as we have been in the ideas of human rights, to conceptualise that in the sixteenth century one was not necessarily a monstrous psychopath to believe that fines, imprisonment, corporal punishment, and even the death penalty were justified in the interest of establishing and maintaining the religious unity of society. Yet we must not trivialize the appalling human cost of Mary’s policies. The number of some 300 Protestants burned at the stake in 1555 to Mary’s death in 1558 makes this one of the most vicious oppressions in the entirety of sixteenth-century Europe. [The Tudors, by Richard Rex].