Lord God, save Thy chosen people of England.
O Lord God,
defend this realm from Papistry; and maintain Thy true
religion, that I and my people may praise Thy holy Name for
Thy Son Jesus Christ's sake.
VI's prayer on his deathbed (6 July 1553)
Edward's reign, laws were passed which made England a Protestant
country. Edward was only a child, so these laws
were passed - with Edward's agreement - by the 'Protectors'
(the regents) who ruled the country for him.
Seymour (the Duke of Somerset) passed most of the key laws
which introduced Protestantism:
Latin Mass was abolished;
new Prayer Book, in English, with Protestant beliefs, was
were allowed to marry;
of the saints were removed;
on church walls were whitewashed;
altars were taken out of the churches and replaced by
simple wooden communion tables.
To teach the people about the new religion, Protestant missionaries were
sent out round the country, who told the people about the new
things they should believe, and who gave people English Bibles
1549 there was a rebellion against the new Prayer Book in
Devon and Cornwall. It was easily put down, but
Somerset fell from power. John Dudley, the Duke of
Northumberland, took over.
was a very extreme Protestant, and he was also trying to bring
the Protestant religion before Edward (who was ill with
tuberculosis) died. Under Northumberland:
new, stricter Prayer Book was introduced;
such as candles and goblets were sold;
glass windows were smashed;
bishops were imprisoned in the Tower of London.
Edward's reign, Protestantism became the state religion of
this propaganda picture, the dying Henry hands over rule to
Edward VI and (on his left) Protector Somerset, while Catholic
monks flee in terror and the Pope is knocked down by the
English Bible. In the window, Protestants are
smashing statues of the saints and the Virgin Mary.
everyone liked the new religion. In 1549 the
rebels in Devon and Cornwall called the English Prayer Book
'but like a Christmas game'.