Cranmer, Thomas
(1489-1556)
   martyred author of the Book of Common Prayer
   Chief author of the Anglican Book of Common Prayer, Thomas Cranmer was remembered even more for his martyrdom during the reign of Mary I, which helped win her the name "Bloody Mary."
   Cranmer was born at Aslockton, Nottinghamshire, in 1489. He attended Jesus College at Cambridge University. Ordained a Roman Catholic priest in 1523, he remained in Cambridge as a campus preacher. Recruited as a diplomat in 1527, he worked on the issue of annulling the marriage of Henry VIII to Catherine of Aragon, who had not produced a male heir.
   Cranmer's theological colleagues sided with Henry, and Cranmer began to rise. Four years later, he was named archbishop of Canterbury and thus head of the Church of England. Among his first acts was a declaration annulling the marriage to Catherine and legitimizing Henry's marriage to Anne Boleyn.
   By this time, Cranmer had absorbed a variety of Protestant ideas and had begun instituting reforms, suppressing masses for the dead, prayers to the saints, and pilgrimages. He worked with Miles Coverdale on a revised translation of the Bible.
   Cranmer was able to survive Henry's vacillating demands, but he reached the pinnacle of power only after Henry's death in 1547, when he was named one of the regents who would govern England in the name of the new child king, Edward VI. He was the chief voice in dictating changes that were instituted throughout the British church.
   Cranmer produced two editions of the Book of Common Prayer (1549, 1552) containing the order of worship that would replace the Roman Catholic Mass. The prayer book, though subsequently revised, remains an essential item defining the Anglican tradition. He authored the new doctrinal statement, the Forty-two Articles, which under Elizabeth was edited to become the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion still found in Anglican prayer books.
   Following the coronation of Mary as queen of England, Cranmer was arrested, partially for his acquiescence in the unsuccessful attempt to place Lady Jane Grey on the throne. He was condemned for treason (1553) and then of heresy (1554). In an attempt to avoid execution, he signed several statements recanting his Protestant views, but these did not save him from the stake. He made a last public recantation of his statements before being burned on March 21, 1556.
   See also Anglicanism; United Kingdom.
   Further reading:
   ■ P. Ayris and D. Selwyn, eds. Thomas Cranmer, Churchman and Scholar. (Woodbridge, Suffolk, U.K.: The Boydell Press, 1999)
   ■ Peter Brooks, Thomas Cranmer's Doctrine of the Eucharist, 2nd ed. (Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire, U.K.: Palgrave Press, 1992)
   ■ Thomas Cranmer, Miscellaneous Writings and Letters of Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, Martyr, 1556, ed. by John Edmund Cox. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1846)
   ■ ----, Works, 2 vols., ed. by John Edmund Cox (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1844)
   ■ Diarmaid MacCulloch, Thomas Cranmer (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1996).

Encyclopedia of Protestantism. . 2005.

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  • Cranmer, Thomas — born July 2, 1489, Aslacton, Nottinghamshire, Eng. died March 21, 1556, Oxford First Protestant archbishop of Canterbury. Educated at the University of Cambridge, he was ordained in 1523. He became involved in Henry VIII s negotiations with the… …   Universalium

  • CRANMER, Thomas — (1489 1556) Thomas Cranmer, the archbishop of Canterbury during the reigns of Henry VIII* and Edward VI, was at the helm of much of the English Reformation, but he was eventually executed during the reign of Mary I.* Cranmer was born in… …   Renaissance and Reformation 1500-1620: A Biographical Dictionary

  • Cranmer, Thomas — (1489–1556)    Liturgist, Archbishop and Martyr.    Cranmer was born in Nottinghamshire and was educated at the University of Cambridge. He was useful to King Henry VIII in the matter of his divorce from Queen Catherine of Aragon and, in… …   Who’s Who in Christianity

  • Cranmer, Thomas — ► (1489 1556) Primer arzobispo anglicano de Canterbury. Redactó los 42 Artículos de Fe. * * * (2 jul. 1489, Aslacton, Nottinghamshire, Inglaterra–21 mar. 1556, Oxford). Primer arzobispo protestante (ver protestantismo) de Canterbury. Educado en… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Cranmer, Thomas — (1489 1556)    Theologian and Churchman, b. at Aslacton, Notts, ed. at Camb., and became an eminent classical and biblical scholar. He supported Henry VIII. in his divorce proceedings against Queen Catherine, gained the King s favour, and… …   Short biographical dictionary of English literature

  • Cranmer,Thomas — Cran·mer (krănʹmər), Thomas. 1489 1556. English prelate who as archbishop of Canterbury (1533 1553) was instrumental in the marital machinations of Henry VIII, revised the Book of Common Prayer (1552), and instituted other reforms. Under Mary I,… …   Universalium

  • CRANMER, THOMAS —    archbishop of Canterbury, born in Nottinghamshire; educated at Jesus College, Cambridge; recommended himself to Henry VIII. by favouring his divorce, writing in defence of it, and pleading for it before the Pope, the latter in vain, as it… …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • CRANMER, Thomas — (1489 1556)    ARCHBISHOP of CANTERBURY And prominent PROTESTANT REFORMER whose prose the Book of Common Prayer (1552) helped shape the English language. He was burnt at the stake for HERESY during the reign of MARY TUDOR, Queen of England and… …   Concise dictionary of Religion

  • Cranmer — Cranmer, Thomas …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Thomas Cranmer — Cranmer redirects here. For other people with the surname, see Cranmer (surname). Thomas Cranmer Archbishop of Canterbury Portrait by Gerlach Flicke, 1545[ …   Wikipedia

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