from an old textbook:






HENRY VIII's son Prince Edward was only nine years old when his father died in 1547 and left him to be king; so a council was appointed to govern, and the Duke of Somerset ruled as "Protector" in the little king's name till he should be of age. 



It was under Protector Somerset's rule that the "re- formed" doctrines were for the first time officially allowed in England, and finally adopted as the State religion. The followers of Luther and others who had cut themselves away from the authority of Rome became known as " Protestants," because they "protested" against some of the old beliefs. 



The destruction of religious shrines and the confiscation of their property begun by Henry VIII was now carried still further.  All images in the churches were ordered to be destroyed.  Parliament passed a "Chantries Act," which declared all property belonging to chantries (see Book i) and gilds that had been used for religious purposes, such as having prayers offered for the dead, to belong now to the State.  Although chantry schools were kept on, they no longer received incomes from their lands, for these had been declared the property of the State; instead the teachers in these schools were paid a salary for their labours. 



A great deal might have been done for education with the revenues taken from the chantries and gilds; but very few were used for this purpose, so education in general suffered at first through this confiscation. 



With the coming of Protestant rulers Archbishop Cranmer of Canterbury could openly show his Protestant beliefs. He had always leaned towards the new doctrines and had even set aside the Church's law of celibacy by taking a wife him- self though secretly, for fear of Henry VIII 's anger. And now he was given the important task of making the first English Prayer Book. The prayers which had always been used in the Mass in Latin were put into English. Parliament passed an Act of " Uniformity," ordering this English Prayer Book to be used in every parish church in the land. 


The Prayer Book

But in 1552 the Prayer Book was revised and re-published by Cranmer and Bishop Ridley. Some people thought that the first one had not gone far enough from the Church of Rome, so the second book was made to go much further. The prayers were now so worded that it was impossible for any person holding the doctrines of the Church of Rome to use the book, for it denied some of the most important of these doctrines. But it was enforced in all parish churches by Act of Parliament, and in this way England was made officially a Protestant country, because the law declared that no other form of Prayer Book might be used. 



So the English Book of Common Prayer was adopted as the official prayer book of the Protestant English nation, and such it remains to this day. 



These religious changes were not imposed upon the country without great trouble.  In certain districts, especially the west, people showed that they did not like them by rising in revolt. But the power lay with the Protector and the Parliament that made these changes, and rebellions could easily be put down...


Margaret Elliot, Britain under the Tudors and Stuarts (1961)