Before turning to the radical reformers who regarded Luther and Calvin as too compromising, let us consider another land in which a conservative expression of the Reformation developed. If the first important center of the Protestant movement was a university community, and the second a thriving commercial city, the third was the royal court of England. The English Reformation was an act of state. Until the occasion of his break with Rome, Henry VIII (1509-1547) was considered a faithful son of the Church. He had burned several Lutheran heretics and had written a tract against Luther's Babylonian Captivity. The pope rewarded these services by giving Henry the title of "Defender of the Faith." His subjects, however, were stirring. The legacy of Wyclif and the Lollards left a strong deposit of piety and, at the same time, anticlericalism in the English tradition. Furthermore, the monarchy, supported by the middle class, had proved increasingly hostile to the wealth and authority of the Church in England and had already wrung from the papacy important concessions in the direction of a state-dominated church. [excerpt]
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Bloom, Robert L. et al. "4. The Anglican Settlement. Pt. VII: The Protestant Movement." Ideas and Institutions of Western Man (Gettysburg College, 1958), 50-54.