Although England in the time of Henry VIII was a mostly Catholic country there were many reasons for the general public not to oppose change. There was already a certain amount of opposition to the Church, even within the Catholic ranks it was often said that the Church could use a certain amount of cleansing. Monasteries took a lot of money from the rich and powerful, and did not seem to provide a service to anyone apart from the poor, who, due to the policy of “Laissez faire” were supposed to be left to fend for themselves. They also did not have a reputation for being Godly, and many of the people in positions of power would have liked to see them reformed.

Another reason for supporting the reformation was the issue of transubstantiation. Although the King was in favour of the idea that the host does indeed literally turn into the body and blood of Christ, many people were beginning to become of the view that Christ had been speaking metaphorically. This was a very important issue to many people, and at this time it was still considered heresy to claim that it did not transubstantiate. In the climate of the time this law would have not met much opposition if it were changed.

English Bibles were another issue of the time. William Tyndale had reasonably recently translated the Bible from it’s traditional Latin, into English. Again the King was against the idea of “holy verse being quoted in the ale houses of the kingdom,” but much of the lower literates, the gentry and yeomen would have welcomed the chance to actually understand the verse that was quoted to them every Sunday in Mass. A law legalising the distribution of the translated works would have certainly been popular amongst the majority in the country.

Although there was opposition to much of Protestantism, there was space at this time to phase in a few of the more minor aspects of it, this allowed Europe to believe that England was becoming protestant, but left Spain to believe that at heart, England would be Catholic.

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