The Reformation: reassessing the reign of Henry VIII
Time: 18:00 - 19:30
England’s most instantly recognisable kings. However, fictitious portraits have in many ways obscured the more
serious side of Henry, particularly his own religious beliefs and his Reformation legacies.
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
Course Code: HBH22
Duration: 6 sessions (over 6 weeks)
What is the course about?
Henry took religion far more seriously than we might think. Moving away from the simplistic assumption that he
instigated a religious Reformation just to marry his second wife Anne Boleyn, we will situate the English
Reformation in the wider context of social and religious change in Europe. The repercussions of Henry’s insistence
on Royal Supremacy, the Dissolution of the Monasteries, the persecution of the clergy and heresy will also be
This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
Week 1: The wider European context: why an English Reformation?
• Week 2: The Reformation Parliament & royal supremacy
• Week 3: The Dissolution of the monasteries in England & Wales
• Week 4: Resistance to the Reformation and rebellions
• Week 5: A reversal of reforms? Heresy, Thomas Cromwell & Thomas Howard
• Week 6: Assessing the historical impact of the Reformation.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
Assess the Reformation in the context of European social, political & religious change
• Evaluate the impact of the Reformation on royal power
• Explain the long-term impact of the dissolution of the monasteries on religious life
• Critically assess the extent to which the Reformation led to social instability in England & Wales
• Explain whether religious reforms could be ‘reversed’ in Henry’s reign
• Evaluate the long-term historical impact of the Reformation on England.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This is an introductory course and no prior knowledge is required.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
You will be taught via weekly sessions.
You will be offered the option of taking a weekly quiz, for which you will receive feedback.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
You may wish to bring a pen and notepad.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
HBH23 Bloody Mary: the life and times of Mary Tudor.