the dissolution of the monasteries

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The origins of Monastasism; The growth of Monastasism in England; The decline of the monasteries; Henry VIII's Dissolution of the Monasteries.

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Reformation History Course : 

Welcome Reformation History Course

Opening Prayer + Thomas Aquinas : 

Creator of all things, true source of light and wisdom: deign, we beseech Thee, to enlighten our understanding, and to remove from us all darkness of sin and ignorance. Thou, who makest eloquent the tongues of those who lack utterance, direct our tongues, and pour on our lips the grace of thy blessing. Give us a diligent and obedient spirit, quickness of understanding, capacity of retaining, and the powerful assistance of Thy holy grace; that what we hear or learn we may apply to Thy honour and the eternal salvation of our own souls. Amen. Opening Prayer + Thomas Aquinas

Slide 3: 

The Dissolution Of The Monasteries Michael Fischer

Introduction : 

From any point of view the destruction of the English monasteries by Henry VIII must be regarded as one of the great events of the sixteenth century. Henry sought to abolish the entire monastic system in order to add to the royal coffers and to break down opposition to royal supremacy. The Dissolution of the Monasteries (which includes abbeys and convents), covers the four years between April 1536 and April 1540. In April 1536, there were over 800 monasteries, abbeys, nunneries and friaries that were home to an estimated 10,000 monks, nuns and friars. By April 1540 there were none left! Today, we will explore the origins of monasticism; the growth and role of the monasteries in England; the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII and its consequence. Introduction

Monasticism in Britain : 

Monastic communities, both of men and women, have played an important role in the history of Britain. In a society which presented few options or opportunities, this way of life offered many attractions. What the life lacked in glamor, it more than made up for in serenity and stability. The monastic life offered social mobility for some, and a refuge for others. The monasteries provided the opportunity for education, freedom from some of the economic uncertainties of the times, and, often, a career path that could lead to a very high station in life. Monasticism in Britain

Early Christian Monasticism : 

The monastic spirit in Christianity owed much to the example of Jesus, who was himself unmarried, poor, and without a place "where to lay his head." At a very early period there were Christian men and women who abstained from marriage, flesh meat, and the use of wine, and gave themselves up to prayer, religious exercises, and works of charity. This they did in their homes, without abandoning their families and human society. Some early Christians fled to the Egyptian deserts to live alone (monos) with God. These ‘Desert Fathers’ greatly influenced the development of monasticism, both Eastern and Western. At the heart of the monastic impulse is the rejection of the world, and the recreation of paradise. The Desert Fathers were, at first, solitaries (eremitic). Later hermits gathered into small communities and shared some aspects of life together (cenobitic). This tension is often reflected in the history of monasticism. Early Christian Monasticism

Famous Desert Fathers … : 

Famous Desert Fathers … Paul of Thebes, commonly known as Saint Paul the First Hermit or Saint Paul the Anchorite (d. c. 341) is regarded as the first Christian hermit. The legend is that, as a young man, Paul fled to the desert during the persecution of Decius and Valerianus in c. 250. He lived in the mountains of this desert in a cave near a clear spring and a palm tree, the leaves of which provided him with clothes and the fruit of which provided him with his only source of food till he was 43 years old, when a raven started bringing him half a loaf of bread daily. He remained in the cave for the rest of his life, almost a hundred years.

Famous Desert Fathers … : 

Famous Desert Fathers … Saint Anthony the Great or Anthony of Egypt (c. 251–356), was a prominent leader among the Desert Fathers. While still young he got rid of all his possessions and lived among the local ascetics, and then withdrew into the desert, where he lived in complete solitude and was repeatedly tempted by the devil. Remaining steadfast, he attracted a number of disciples to a hermit's life in the desert and a small monastery was formed at the place. From there he, in 311, went to Alexandria to encourage the confessors during the persecution of the Emperor Maximinus Daia.

Famous Desert Fathers … : 

Famous Desert Fathers … St Pachomius (292-348), also known as Pakhom and Pachome, is generally acknowledged as the founder of Christian cenobitic monasticism. Born in Thebes to pagan parents, he was forced into the roman army and held as a prisoner. Here came into contact with Christians, and when freed, he was baptised. Initially he lived as a hermit in the desert, but was called by God to build a dwelling for the hermits to come to. Pachomius created the community or cenobitic organization, in which monastics lived together and had their possessions in common under the leadership of an abbot or abbess. Pachomius himself was hailed as "Abba" (father) which is where we get the word Abbot from.

The Desert Mothers … : 

These women lived in the fourth and fifth centuries, A.D. Their way of life came into being after Christianity had become legal and Christians were no longer under persecution. Some had deep questions about an expression of the faith that was taking on the trappings of the Roman Empire. We know the names of four of these women whose sayings have been preserved: Amma Matrona, Amma Sarah, Amma Syncletica and Amma Theodora who was what we might call a spiritual director to bishops and other men in pubic position. She was clear in her teaching and strong in her rebukes. The Desert Mothers …

Saint Basil of Caesarea (330 – Jan 1, 379) : 

The basic human need for social interaction gradually brought the hermits together, at first in small groups and then in larger communities, or monasteries. The next step was to give the scattered monasteries a common organization and government. Those in the East gradually adopted the regulations which Saint Basil, a leading bishop and churchman of the 4th century, drew up for the guidance of the monks under his direction. Saint Basil's Rule, as it is called, has remained to the present time the basis of monasticism in the Greek Church. Saint Basil of Caesarea (330 – Jan 1, 379)

Saint Benedict Of Nursia (480–547) : 

Saint Benedict Of Nursia (480–547) The founding of Western Monasticism is attributed to St. Benedict of Nursia (c.480 -c.547). As a young man, Benedict had sought to escape from the vice about him by retiring to a cave in the Sabine hills near Rome where he lived as a hermit for three years. Benedict shut himself off from all human interaction, wearing a hair shirt, and rolling in beds of thistles to subdue "the flesh." His experience of the hermit's life convinced him that there was a better way to gain religious peace of mind. The fame of St. Benedict as a holy man attracted many disciples, and he began to group them in monastic communities under his own supervision. The most important monastery of St. Benedict was at Monte Cassino, between Rome and Naples. It became the capital of monasticism in the West.

The Benedictine Rule : 

To control the monks of Monte Cassino, St. Benedict framed a Rule, or constitution, which was modelled in some respects upon the earlier Rule of St. Basil. So although Benedict did not originate monasticism in the West, but he regularized it, altering something here and adding a bit there to provide a more balanced and moderate style of monasticism. Benedict stressed the cenobitic life – a community of monks presided over by an abbot, who held office for life. To the abbot every candidate for admission took the vow of obedience. Any man, rich or poor, noble or peasant, might enter the monastery, after a year's probation; having once joined, however, he must remain a monk for the rest of his days. The monks were to live under strict discipline. They could not own any property; they could not go beyond the monastery walls without the abbot's consent; they could not even receive letters from home; and they were sent to bed early. A violation of the regulations brought punishment! The Benedictine Rule

The Benedictine Vows : 

St Benedict’s Rule required a vow of stability which unites a monk for life to the particular monastery in which his vows are made (an extremely important new development). The vows of the Benedictine monks were: Obedience, Stability and Conversion in the way of life The word monk (monos) means single, and both celibacy and poverty went without saying. The Benedictine rule specified that monks should own nothing (if that is what poverty is) but this was not incorporated as a vow. The vows of Poverty and Celibacy were a much later addition to the thinking and rule making of the church. These are required of the later religious institutions such as Franciscans, Dominicans and Jesuits.  The Benedictine Rule was already in place for 500 years before these other orders were established.  Manual labour and prayer comprised the focus of monastic life and is reflected in the Benedictine motto, "Ora et Labora." Manual labour was later interpreted to include academic labour. The Benedictine Vows

Saint Augustine of Canterbury : 

Benedict's Rule was brought to Britain in 597, by St. Augustine, who had been sent by Pope Gregory the Great to preach to and convert the Saxons, who had taken over control of the island, by this time. The Benedictine observance co-existed with other observances of Celtic origin for some 50 years, but, in the end, prevailed at the Synod of Whitby in AD 664. By the 10th century the Benedictine Rule prevailed everywhere in western Europe including England. In the 12th century 418 monasteries were founded in England; in the next century, only about a third as many (140). In the 14th Century only 23 monasteries were founded in England. Saint Augustine of Canterbury

The Monastic Buildings : 

The principal buildings of a monastery were grouped around an inner court, called a cloister. These included a church, a refectory, or dining room, with the kitchen and buttery near it, a dormitory, where the monks slept, and a chapter house, where they transacted business. There was also a library, a school, a hospital, and a guest house for the reception of strangers, besides barns, bakeries, laundries, workshops, and storerooms for provisions. Beyond these buildings lay vegetable gardens, orchards, grain fields, and often a mill, if the monastery was built on a stream. The high wall and ditch, usually surrounding a monastery, shut it off from outsiders and in time of danger protected it against attack. The Monastic Buildings

A Typical Monastery : 

A Typical Monastery

The Monastic Way Of Life : 

Monastic life consisted of a regular round of worship, reading, and manual labour. ‘Ora et Labora’ Every day was divided into eight sacred offices, beginning and ending with services in the monastery church. The first service came usually about two o'clock in the morning; the last, just as evening set in, before the  monks retired. In addition to their attendance at church, the monks spent several hours in reading from the Bible, private prayer, and meditation. For most of the day, however, they worked hard with their hands, doing the necessary washing and cooking for the monastery, raising the necessary supplies of vegetables and grain, and performing all the other tasks required to maintain a large establishment like the monastery. The Monastic Way Of Life

The Role of the Monastery : 

The monastery fulfilled many roles as farm, inn, hospital, school and library. The uses of a monastery included the following: Receiving pilgrims and travellers, at a period when western Europe was almost destitute of inns. Performing many works of charity; feeding the hungry, healing the sick who were brought to their doors, and distributing their medicines. Providing education for boys who wished to become priests and those who intended to lead active lives in the world. Copying the manuscripts of classical authors preserving valuable books that would otherwise have been lost. Keeping records of the most striking events of their time and acting as chroniclers of local and national history. The Role of the Monastery

The Growth of The Monasteries : 

Over time, many monasteries became wealthy land owners and the monks became increasingly involved in the ‘worldly’ affairs of managing their estates. Nearly 30% of all land was owned by the monasteries. Thirty of the ‘wealthiest’ Abbotts were members of the House of Lords and spent large periods away from their monasteries. By the 12th Century, many people felt the Benedictines no longer followed the Rule of Saint Benedict, becoming lax in their prayers and work and so the Cistercian order was founded. The Cistercian's favoured solitude and so built their monasteries in the middle of moors and mountain valleys. The Augustinian order was also founded at around this time, and they were dedicated to evangelism, teaching and working with the poor and sick, and so lived near towns and castles. In the 13th Century, orders of Friars were founded and they depended upon the charity of the people they ministered to. This group of religious are called Mendicant or ‘begging’ monks. The Growth of The Monasteries

1348 + The Black Death : 

The Black Death was one of the deadliest pandemics in human history, peaking in Europe between 1348 and 1350. Thought to have started in China, it travelled along the Silk Road and had reached the Crimea by 1346. From there it spread throughout the Mediterranean and Europe. The Black Death is estimated to have killed 30% – 60% of Europe's population. In England, historians propose a range of pre-incident population figures from as high as 7 million to as low as 4 million in, and a post-incident population figure as low as 2 million. By the end of 1350 the Black Death had subsided, but it never really died out in England over the next few hundred years. 1348 + The Black Death

The Effect Of The Black Death … : 

The 14th Century had already seen the start of a period of monastic decline, with little new building and few people willing to become a religious. The Black Death compounded the problem and by the end of the Century most of the great monastic houses were half empty, although the cycle of prayer was maintained. In the Norfolk, out of 799 priests 527 died of the plague; William Bateman, Bishop of Norwich, applied for and obtained from Pope Clement VII, a Bull allowing him to dispense with 60 clerks, who were only twenty-one years of age, and to allow them to hold rectories, as 1000 livings had been rendered vacant by death. The Effect Of The Black Death …

The Alien Priories … : 

By the time Henry VIII turned his mind to the business of monastery reform, royal action to suppress religious houses had a history stretching back more than 200 years. The first case was that of the so-called 'Alien Priories'. As a result of the Norman Conquest some French religious orders held substantial property through their daughter monasteries in England. Some of these were merely agricultural estates others were rich foundations. In the Late Middle Ages, England and France were constantly at war and successive governments objected to money going overseas to France from these Alien Priories ('trading with the enemy') where the French king might get hold of it, and to foreign prelates having jurisdiction over English monasteries. King John (1199-1216) was the first to seize the alien priories, compelling them to pay into the royal treasury the sums or tribute — usually termed ‘apport’ — which they had been forwarding to the continent. The Alien Priories …

The Alien Priories … : 

In 1294, when Edward I (1272 to 1307) was at war with France, many of the alien priories were seized (about a 100), and their revenue used to pay for the war. In order to prevent the foreign monks in coastal areas giving possible help to invaders, he deported many of them to other religious houses away from the coast. Edward II (1307-1327) subsequently followed this example, taking the alien priories into his own hands, often appointing their Priors (after receiving bribes) obliging them to pay to the Crown the apport due to their superiors. When Edward III (1327-1377) came to the throne he restored many of the alien priories to their original owners and waived the arrears of payments due to the Crown. But ten years later, when war broke out again, he again seized the property of these French aliens. For 23 years the foreign houses remained in his hands; but with the peace of 1361 most of them were restored, only to be seized again eight years later when the war was renewed. The Alien Priories …

The Alien Priories … : 

In the time of Richard II (1377-1399) the alien priories continued mostly in the hands of the Crown. In 1378, all the monks in alien priories were expelled. Some of the Alien Priories were allowed to become naturalised, for instance Castle Acre Priory, on payment of heavy fines and bribes, but for the rest their fates were sealed when Henry V (1413 – 1422) dissolved them by act of Parliament in 1414. The properties went to the Crown; some were kept, some were subsequently given or sold to Henry's supporters, others went to his new monasteries of Syon Abbey and Sheen Priory, others went to educational purposes. All these suppressions enjoyed Papal approval, though successive 15th century Popes continued to press for assurances that, the confiscated monastic property would revert to religious and educational uses. The Alien Priories …

Reform by The English Bishops … : 

Although the conduct of the monastic orders had long been targets of criticism, early attempts at reform were slow and sometimes unsuccessful. During the first 20 years of Henry's reign some small houses were closed, with the nuns and monks being relocated to houses that had space for them. This was a process led by the Bishops themselves, indeed Bishop Alcock of Ely and Bishop Fisher of Rochester used the proceeds to endow some of the colleges at Cambridge. When the Bishop of Winchester proposed to build a college at Oxford for young monks of his cathedral priory, his friend Hugh Oldham, Bishop of Exeter advised him to abandon the plan and in its place to fund a college for secular priests: 'Shall we build houses and provide livelihoods for a company of bussing monks, whose end and fall we may live to see?  No, no; it is more meet a great deal that we should have to care and provide for such who by their learning shall do good in the Church and commonwealth' Reform by The English Bishops …

Cardinal Wolsey’s Suppression : 

Cardinal Wolsey did not think things quite as bad as Bishop Oldham implied but he did recognize that some of the monasteries were not able to do their jobs.  In 1524 he appealed to Pope Clement VII for authority to dissolve a number of small monasteries.  The Pope gave his permission, and Wolsey suppressed about 30 religious houses in which the number of inmates had dwindled to single figures.  In only five was there a community of eight or more, and the net income in all but six was less than £200 a year. He then used the income to found a grammar school (The King's School, Ipswich) and Cardinal College in Oxford. The college in Oxford was renamed after Wolsey's fall. Today, it is known as Christ Church. Cardinal Wolsey’s Suppression

Quiz Time : 

What does ‘eremitic’ mean and who was the first? What does ‘cenobitic’ mean and who is credited with its origin? Name one of the Desert Fathers/Mothers and what country is the ‘desert’ in? Who is credited with founding western monasticism? What are the three Benedictine monastic vows? Who brought Benedictine monasticism to England? What percentage of all land did the monasteries have at the height of their power? Where did the Black Death originate and how was it spread? What did Bishop’s Fisher and Alcock do with proceeds from supressed religious houses? How many religious houses did Cardinal Wolsey supress? Quiz Time

Quiz 1 - Answers : 

Quiz 1 - Answers What does eremitic mean and who was the first? A monastic tradition that stresses solitary life – a hermit. Paul of Thebes What does cenobitic mean and who is credited with it’s origin? The monastic tradition that stresses community life. St Pachomius. Name one of the Desert Fathers/Mothers and what country is the ‘desert’ in? Paul of Thebes, Anthony of Egypt, Pachomius, Matrona, Sarah, Syncletica, Theodora. Who is credited with founding western monasticism? Benedict of Nursia. What are the three Benedictine vows? Obedience, Stability and Conversion in the way of life Who brought Benedictine monasticism to England? St Augustine of Canterbury

Quiz 1 - Answers : 

Quiz 1 - Answers What percentage of all land did the monasteries have at the height of their power? 25-30% - a lot!!! Where did the Black Death originate and how was it spread? China; spread by fleas carried on rats that were on merchant ships that traded around europe. What did the likes of Bishop’s Fisher and Alcock do with proceeds from supressed religious houses? They founded or funded new Oxford and Cambridge University colleges, e.g. John Alcock, Bishop of Ely: Jesus College, Cambridge (1496). William Waynflete, Bishop of Winchester: Magdalen College, Oxford (1484). John Fisher Bishop of Rochester: St John's College, Cambridge (1522). How many religious houses did Cardinal Wolsey supress? About 30 in total, using the money to found a Grammar School in Ipswich and Cardinal College in Oxford.

Henry VIII’s Dissolution : 

1509 – Henry VIII becomes King Sept 1527 – Henry VIII asks the Pope if he can divorce Katherine of Aragon. Answer: NO!!! 25 Jan 1533 – Henry VIII marries Anne Boleyn July 1533 – The Pope excommunicates Henry VIII Nov 1534 – Act of Supremacy by which Henry VIII becomes the Head of the Church in England Jan1535 – Thomas Cromwell appointed Vicegerent for spirituals and Vicar general April 1535 – Those who would not swear the Oath of Supremacy where arrested and sentenced to death. Henry VIII’s Dissolution

Acts of the Reformation Parliament : 

Acts of the Reformation Parliament

1535 + The start of the Visitations : 

1535 – The Visitations: Henry and Cromwell ordered a survey of all monasteries and church property to determine: How wealthy they were: The returns of these were gathered together in the Valor Ecclesiasticus (July 1535). The monasteries were valued at £100,000 a year from land and £25,000 from other means. The state of their ‘moral and spiritual’ health: Six men set out in September 1535. The information they collected was compiled in the Compendium Compertorium. It was undertaken largely for effect and to gather damaging evidence of the state of monasticism' 1535 + The start of the Visitations

1535 + The Preachers : 

Preachers were commissioned to go over the country in the early autumn, to bias public opinion against the monks. These pulpit orators were of three sorts: "railers", who declaimed against the religious as "hypocrites, sorcerers, and idle drones, etc." "preachers", who said the monks "made the land unprofitable" those who told the people that, "if the abbeys went down, the king would never want any taxes again." This last was a favourite argument of Cranmer, in his sermons at St. Paul's Cross. 1535 + The Preachers

The Dissolution of the Smaller Monasteries : 

March 1536: Parliament passed an act stated that any monastery with an income of less than £200 a year (as assessed by the Valor Ecclesiasticus) was to be dissolved and their property passed to the Crown. The heads of the houses were to be offered a pension while those who lived in each religious house were given the choice of transferring to a larger one or going to live in society free of any vows. Three hundred religious houses fell within this category of having an income of less than £200 a year. The majority were closed down but at least 67 were given royal permission to remain open as the act gave Henry the right to do this. However, those that were ‘saved’ had to pay for their survival. This was usually a year’s income. The Dissolution of the Smaller Monasteries

The Court of Augmentations : 

The Court of Augmentations was founded in 1536 to administer monastic properties and revenues confiscated by the crown at the dissolution of the monasteries. The court had its own chancellor, treasurer, lawyers, receivers and auditors. Some of the monastic buildings remained in religious use - Henry allowed some monasteries to be refounded as secular cathedrals served by dean and chapter instead of priors and monks, and in rare cases the church buildings, or parts of them, were bought by locals to act as the parish church. Generally, however, the properties and lands were simply sold off to wealthy lay people, with the Court of Augmentations set up to deal with the spoils. In 1547, the Court of Augmentations was amalgamated with the Court of General Surveyors, which had been established in 1542 to administer crown lands. In 1554, the roles of the Courts of Augmentations, General Surveyors, and First Fruits and Tenths were taken over by the Exchequer The Court of Augmentations Edward North – Treasurer of the Court of Augmentations, who was given the Manor of Wormley on the dissolution of Waltham Abbey in 1540 Sir Richard Rich an unscrupulous Lawyer and Chancellor of the Court of Augmentations who acquired the real estate and holdings of the Priory of St Bartholomew the Great.

The Pilgrimage of Grace : 

In the south and east of England little opposition was seen against the dissolutions. However in the north things were different. Two rebellions broke out, one in Lincolnshire and one in Yorkshire. The rebellion in Lincolnshire was easily dealt with, because it lacked leaders of any quality. 50 rebels were executed. However, the Yorkshire rebels were a different matter. Robert Aske, a lawyer and landowner managed to get together an army of 30,000. They adopted a banner showing the five wounds of Christ. He referred to his followers as pilgrims and not rebels. Many Priests and monks joined the rebellion. They were doing God's work. Aske wanted no killing or stealing. By 24 October, Aske and his army had captured York, and were joined by the Archbishop of York, and Thomas Darcy, a powerful local Baron. The Pilgrimage of Grace

The Aims Of The Pilgrimage of Grace : 

The Pilgrimage of Grace made the following demands: The return of the Pope's power in England. The removal of Cromwell from power. The immediate stop to the dissolution of the monasteries. Parliament was to be called to discuss new laws and to look into poverty in the north of England. Princess Mary Tudor to be renamed as heir to the throne. The punishment of those Commissioners responsible for writing bad reports on the monasteries. Henry had an army of only 8000 in the north and this was not large enough to deal with the rebellion. He had to stall Aske and play for time so he sent Thomas Howard, the Duke of Norfolk to discuss terms with Aske. He agreed to all the demands that Aske made saying that nobody who took part in the rebellion would be punished. The Aims Of The Pilgrimage of Grace

Henry VIII’s Revenge … : 

A few days later, Henry met Aske, and even gave him a gold chain as a sign of friendship and said that Aske could have everything he wanted so long as the Aske's followers went back to their homes. In truth, Henry had no intention of keeping his side of the bargain, despite the faith which Aske had put in Henry's word. Aske dismissed his army, and then Henry acted by sending his army into Yorkshire. Aske was captured and held in prison for 6 months. He was then dragged through the streets of York and then left to hang from a tree, loaded with heavy chains. He took three days to die. Henry ordered that one man should be hanged from every village that had taken part or supported the rebellion. Over 200 rebels including some monks were hanged. The other leaders were also executed. The monasteries and land of the ‘traitorous’ monks were seized. Henry VIII’s Revenge …

The Consequences Of Failure : 

What were the consequences of the failure of the Pilgrimage of Grace? It sealed the fate of the monasteries in England. The involvement of monks in the rebellion gave Henry and Cromwell further ammunition and excuses for their continued programme of dissolutions. A 'Council of the North' was set up to rule the north of England. No more rebellions took place in Henry’s reign. He had dealt with the Pilgrimage of Grace with cunning, deceit and great brutality. The 200 or so executions were a stark warning to those who challenged Henry’s authority. The Consequences Of Failure

Voluntary Surrender : 

Dissolutions that were not a consequence of convictions for treason, were legally "voluntary"; this was taken a stage further with the voluntary surrender of Lewes priory in November 1537, when for the first time the monks were offered life pensions if they co-operated, and were not given the option of transfer to another house. Abbots came under pressure from their communities to offer voluntary surrender, if they could obtain favourable terms for pensions. In 1538 applications for surrender became a flood, and Cromwell appointed local commissioners to encourage rapid compliance with the King's wishes, to supervise the orderly sale of monastic goods and buildings, and to ensure that the former monks and nuns were provided with pensions, cash gratuities and clothing. The endowments of the monasteries, landed property and appropriated parish tithes and glebe, were transferred to the Court of Augmentations, who would thereon pay out life pensions at the agreed rate (subject to a 10% tax deduction). Voluntary Surrender

1538 + The Friars … : 

The legislation & visitation did not apply to the houses of the friars. At the beginning of the 14th century there had been around 5,000 friars in England, occupying extensive complexes in all towns of any size. But by the 16th century their income from donations had collapsed, their numbers had shrunk to under 1,000 and their buildings were often ruinous, or leased out commercially. Almost all friars were now living outside their friaries; many, in contravention of their formal rules, supported themselves through paid employment and some held personal property. In 1538 Cromwell deputed Richard Ingworth, Bishop of Dover and former Provincial of the Dominicans, to obtain the friars' surrender; which he did by drafting new injunctions that strictly enforced each order's rule, giving the friars the choice of compliance with the king's wishes, or starvation. On surrender, the friars received a gratuity of 40 shillings each, but were not offered pensions. 1538 + The Friars …

The Dissolution of the Larger Monasteries : 

In April 1539 Parliament passed a new law legalising acts of voluntary surrender, but by then the vast majority of monasteries in England, Ireland and Wales had already been dissolved. The Abbots of Glastonbury, Colchester and Reading all attempted to resist the closures. A BIG mistake! All of them were hanged at the gates of their monasteries in order to teach a lesson to other would be troublemakers. The Abbot of Glastonbury was dragged through the town, hanged, beheaded and his head impaled on his abbey gates. The buildings on monasteries were stripped of doors, lead, timber, glass, art and literature, gold plate, silver, gold and jewellery. Livestock was seized. Land was sold to the wealthy who fell over themselves to buy it up. The buildings were bought by the wealthy who turned some into fine country houses. If buildings were not sold, they were used as quarries where individual stones were sold off to local builders. The Dissolution of the Larger Monasteries

10 April, 1540 + The Final Closure : 

The last Abbey to be closed was ... 10 April, 1540 + The Final Closure

One Escaped Henry’s Closure… : 

St Benet's is the only religious house not closed down by Henry VIII. Instead he united the Abbacy with the bishopric of Norwich and the Bishops of Norwich have remained abbots of St Benet's to this day. After the Dissolution, the majority of the buildings at the site, with the exclusion of the gatehouse, were demolished. In the second half of the eighteenth century, a farmer built a windmill, later converted to a windpump, inside the abbey gatehouse, removing the second floor in the process. The windmill had ceased operating approximately a century later, falling into ruin itself. On 2 August 1987 a cross made from oak from the Royal Estate at Sandringham was erected on the High Altar. The Bishop of Norwich, as Abbot, arrives once a year and preaches at the annual service on the first Sunday of August. One Escaped Henry’s Closure…

The Destruction of the Buildings : 

The Destruction of the Buildings The most marketable fabric in monastic buildings was likely to be the lead on roofs, gutters and plumbing, and buildings were burned down as the easiest way to extract this. Building stone and slate roofs were sold off to the highest bidder. Many monastic outbuildings were turned into granaries, barns and stables. Cromwell had already instigated a campaign against "superstitions": pilgrimages and veneration of saints, in the course of which, ancient and precious valuables were grabbed and melted down; the tombs of saints and kings ransacked for whatever profit could be got from them, and their relics destroyed or dispersed. Great abbeys and priories like Glastonbury, Walsingham, Bury St Edmunds, and Shaftesbury which had flourished as pilgrimage sites for many centuries, were soon reduced to ruins.

Some Buildings Survived ….. : 

The commissioners were instructed to ensure that, where abbey churches were also used for parish worship, this should continue. Accordingly over a hundred former monastic churches remained in use for parochial worship in whole or in part, in addition to the fourteen former monastic churches that continued as cathedrals. These include Gloucester Cathedral, built in the late fourteenth century; Ely Cathedral, begun in 1090; Chester Cathedral, from the late thirteenth century; Durham Cathedral, begun in 1093 to house the relics of St. Cuthbert; Norwich Cathedral, begun in 1096; St. Albans Abbey, begun in 1077; Peterborough Cathedral, begun in 1117 and which houses the tomb of Catalina of Aragon; and Winchester Cathedral, which houses the relics of Cnut. Some Buildings Survived …..

The Effects of the Dissolution : 

Henry VIII now had an enormous amount of additional money. The Dissolutions provided him in an EXTRA £150,000 a year between 1536 and 1547 (£63,606,300 as of 2011), although around £50,000 (£21,202,100 as of 2011), of this was committed to fund monastic pensions; Henry’s normal income was £100,000 a year . Much of this money went towards the construction of Henry's Royal Navy and the building of new fortifications on the south coast and the casting of new cannons for ships and forts. Henry gained an enormous amount of land. However, he needed money urgently to fund the war with France and Scotland. Therefore he sold the land to over 40,000 people including nobles, merchants and self-made men, usually at the market rate of twenty years' income; raising over £1,400,000 (£481 million as of 2011) by 1547. Henry squandered the money on futile, fairly unsuccessful wars. If he had held on to the land it would have provided him with a larger amount of money over many years. The Effects of the Dissolution

The Effects of the Dissolution : 

Henry had, by accident, created a group of landowners who would always be opposed to the return of the Catholic faith. They would be unwilling to give up the monastery land they had bought. 7000 monks were pensioned off. Even in 1551, this pension scheme was costing the treasury £44,000 a year. Most monks were treated well. Some monks went to work in local parish churches. However, some monks wandered around the country as vagabonds. The Abbots lost their seats in Parliament reducing the influence of the church establishment on government. Many of the people employed by monasteries found themselves without jobs and they too became vagabonds. Unemployment and poverty increased. This was worse in the north of England (where the Pilgrimage of Grace had started). The Effects of the Dissolution

The Effects of the Dissolution : 

The closure of the monasteries resulted in a reduction of hospitals, schools, places of accommodation, and care for the poor. In some places where the monastery was the centre of life, the community collapsed. Sheep farming increased, producing enormous profits for landowners. Sheep farming requires fewer workers and therefore this situation also added to the unemployment problem. The dissolutions resulted in the loss of works of art and literature that were destroyed. Beautiful buildings were left ransacked and left to scar the countryside for centuries. The last strongholds of the power of the Pope were destroyed. Henry now had complete control over the Church in England. The Effects of the Dissolution

Lets Look At Some Ruins … : 

Lets Look At Some Ruins … Fountains Abbey, Yorkshire

Tintern Abbey, Wye Valley : 

Tintern Abbey, Wye Valley

Rievaulx Abbey, North Yorkshire : 

Rievaulx Abbey, North Yorkshire

Walsingham, Norfolk : 

Walsingham, Norfolk

Quiz Time : 

What was the Valor Ecclesiasticus? What was Compendium Compertorium? What year did the Dissolution of the Lesser Monasteries start in? What income value defined the Lesser Monasteries? Who led the Pilgrimage of Grace and what was his fate? What was the Court of Augmentations? Why did Abbotts come under pressure from their communities to surrender? What does mendicant mean and name one of the mendicant orders. Name at least one Abbot who was martyred during the dissolution? Where and when was the last Monastery to be closed and, which abbey escaped closure by Henry? Quiz Time

Quiz 2 - Answers : 

What was the Valor Ecclesiasticus? A survey of the finances of the church in England, Wales and English controlled parts of Ireland made in 1535 on the orders of Henry VIII. What was Compendium Compertorium? A survey of the moral and spiritual health of the monestaries undertaken by Cromwell and his commissioners in 1535/36 – sometimes called the ‘black book’. What year did the Dissolution of the Lesser Monasteries start in? The Parliamentary Act was passed in March 1536 What income value defined the Lesser Monasteries? Less than £200 Who led the Pilgrimage of Grace and what was his fate? Robert Aske, Land owner and Lawyer. Executed at York – Hung in Chains What was the Court of Augmentations? The Court of Augmentations was founded in 1536 to administer monastic properties and revenues confiscated by the crown at the dissolution of the monasteries. Quiz 2 - Answers

Quiz 2 - Answers : 

Why did Abbotts come under pressure from their communities to surrender? So as to gain favourable pensions and avoid their monastery being seized and then loosing everything. What does mendicant mean and name one of the mendicant orders. Mendicant means begging or relying on charity. The Franciscans & Dominicans are mendicant orders. Name at least one Abbot who was martyred during the dissolution? The Abbots of Glastonbury (Bld. Richard Whiting), Colchester (Bld. John Beche) and Reading (Bld. Hugh Cook Farrington) all attempted to resist the closures and were executed. Where and when was the last Monastery to be closed and which abbey escaped closure by Henry? Waltham Abbey - 10 April 1540; Saint Benet's Abbey in Norfolk. Quiz 2 - Answers

Glastonbury Abbey : 

Class Dismissed! Glastonbury Abbey

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