1853: Nicholas Saul and William Howlett, teenage New York gangsters 1547: Not Thomas Howard, because Henry VIII died first

Themed Set: The English Reformation

January 29th, 2008 Headsman

Simultaneous with — but in many senses outside — the Protestant Reformation sweeping continental Europe, England in the 16th and early 17th centuries shook with the day’s fatal upheaval.

If the transition from Catholicism proposed by Henry VIII appears theologically mild in retrospect, it wrought earth-shattering changes: desperate conflict between faiths in shifting dynastic alliances; the germ of a vast middle class seeded with confiscation of the Church’s enormous estates; the evolution of governmental forms — and political theory — to comport with a landscape of redistributed power.

Many thousands suffered the ultimate penalty in those days for reasons godly, venal, or a little of both. The next three dates frame the contest over a century’s time, the violent birth of modern England.

On this day..

Entry Filed under: Themed Sets

14 thoughts on “Themed Set: The English Reformation”

  1. Headsman says:

    Yeah, if you had to make a list of everyone Henry had executed and pick one to receive the get-off-the-scaffold golden ticket … well, who knows if he was the least deserving: there was a lot of competition. But it doesn’t exactly make you feel all tingly with the presence of an underlying force for good in the universe that this old bastard got to hang on a few more years.

    Thanks for the reminder about his role in Anne’s trial. I updated the entry with that bit.

  2. Fiz (UK) says:

    Thomas Howard was a horrible man who caused the death and downfall of many others during the reign of Fat Harry! He even voted for Anne’s death! If anyone should have be executed, it was him! I suppose the Devil looks after his own…

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