- Edward VI
- ( 15 3 7-1553)child: kino; of England under whom Protestantism flourishedThe boy king (r. 1547-1553) who became the instrument of the Reformation in England, Edward VI, the son of HENRY VIII and his third wife, Jane Seymour, was born on October 12, 1537. He became king in 1547 at the age of nine.The Council of Regency that ruled on Edward's behalf was dominated by Edward Seymour, duke of Somerset. Together with the Protestant-leaning archbishop Thomas CRANMER, Seymour worked to further the Reformation cause. He ordered a royal visitation of all the parishes, distributing to each priest a copy of Cranmer's Book of Homilies, Erasmus's Paraphrase of the New Testament, and most important, the new Book of Common PRAYER written by Cranmer, which supplied an order of worship to replace the Roman Catholic Mass. Parliament repealed the Six Articles, Henry's Roman Catholic statement of belief, ordered all relics and images removed from parish sanctuaries, dropped rules on fasting, and released priests from their vows of celibacy. Cran-mer recruited Protestant intellectuals from the Continent to take up residence at British universities. Their Calvinist beliefs influenced the Forty-two Articles issued by Cranmer toward the end of Edward's reign.Edward died on July 6, 1553. His sister and successor, MARY I, systematically reversed all the Protestant reforms undertaken during his five-year reign.Further reading:■ Arther G. Dickens, The English Reformation, rev. ed. (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1991)■ Christopher Haigh, English Reformations: Religion, Politics, and Society under the Tudors (New York: Oxford University Press, 1993)■ C. S. Knighton, ed. Calendar of State Papers, Domestic Series Edward VI1547-1553 (London: Public Record Office, 1992)■ Alison Weir, The Children of Henry VIII (New York: Ballantine Books, 1996).
Encyclopedia of Protestantism. Gordon Melton. 2005.