Today we mark two events that are related. On November 12, 1555, Mary I’s Parliament reestablished the Catholic faith in England and was reunited with the Pope. It’s also the day of the death of Stephen Gardiner, who died on the very same day.
Stephen Gardiner worked under Cardinal Wolsey, and, being an astute politician, he managed to stay alive throughout the tumultuous years of the Reformation. He was always a conservative, though, and in Henry’s later years he was instrumental in plots against Katherine Parr and Thomas Cranmer. During the reign of Mary he would become Lord Chancellor, and was responsible for many of the punishments against Protestants, though there is debate about how far he wanted to punish them.
It is fitting that on the day of his death, today in 1555, England also officially became Catholic again through an act of Parliament.
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 there is a series on the Reformation in England.