Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Pope vs. King: The History before Henry VIII's Act of Supremacy

When the pope refused to sanction Henry VIII's divorce, the king severed ties with the papacy, proclaiming himself the head of the Church in England. But if Henry had lived a thousand years earlier, would the pope have had any authority over him? For my November post on English Historical Fiction Authors, I delve into the fascinating subject of how the pope became so powerful in the country of England.
The story of the Pope’s involvement with the island of England goes back to the sixth century, nearly a thousand years before Henry VIII’s complaint. The island of Britain had been evangelized by Christian missionaries in the first several centuries A.D., but after the invasion of the Angles, Saxons, and Jutes, it became pagan once again. In the late sixth century, Pope Gregory the Great, the bishop of Rome, felt a great burden to Christianize these people. Bede records that Gregory, “prompted by divine inspiration, sent a servant of God named Augustine and several more God-fearing monks with him to preach the word of God to the English race.” (read more)

5 comments:

  1. I'm not sure if the whole of Britain reverted back to paganism again in the wake of the Saxon invasions as some of the Welsh, Cornish etc still seem to have still been Christian.

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    1. No, you're quite right. There were pockets of British Christians after the Anglo-Saxon invasion. The statement in my article is just a generalization. :-)

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    2. Wasn't trying to 'have a go' or pick holes, honest. Its just that I have read up a bit on Welsh/British ('Celtic') Christianity in the period.

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    3. No worries! I know it's one of your favorite subjects. Did you see Richard Denning posted about it today on EHFA? http://englishhistoryauthors.blogspot.com/2012/11/the-mission-of-st-augustine.html

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    4. No I didn't see that post I don't think. might look at it tonight though. I'm not sure if its one of my favorite subjects as such, though maybe. Did I say it was? Can't remember, I'm blonde!

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