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Tudor Minute December 17: Henry VIII is Excommunicated

Hey, this is Heather from the Renaissance English History Podcast, and this is your Tudor Minute for December 17.

Today in 1538 Henry VIII was excommunicated by Pope Paul III over his divorce from Catherine of Aragon. The timing is interesting because this was already a year and a half after Anne Boleyn had been executed. Henry had first been threatened with excommunication in 1530 when Pope Clement VII threatened it.

Of course, at that point it was a threat designed to have Henry break off his relationship with Anne Boleyn, and welcome his wife back. But it didn’t work. Henry kept pursuing Anne, and pushing Katherine of Aragon aside.

Clement VII died in September 1534, and Paul III, born Alessandro Farnese, became Pope. Paul III first issued his sentence of excommunication in August of 1535, after the executions of Bishop Fisher and Thomas More.  That sentence was suspended, hoping that Henry would stop pursuing religious reforms, and return to Katherine. Eventually it became clear that Henry was set on his own path, and today in 1538 Henry was officially excommunicated.

That’s your Tudor Minute for today. Remember you can dive deeper into life in 16th century England through the Renaissance English History Podcast at englandcast.com where we did an entire series on the Reformation in England.

Episode Links:

Reformation Month –

From the shop:

Cromwell: Coffee first, Because Reformation-ing is hard mug –