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Thomas Cranmer

(1489—1556) archbishop of Canterbury


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(1489–1556)

English cleric, a founding father of the English Protestant Church. He served Henry VIII on diplomatic missions before becoming Archbishop of Canterbury in 1532. He annulled Henry's marriages to Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, and Anne of Cleves. During Edward VI's reign, he was chiefly responsible for liturgical reform including the First and Second English Prayer Books (1549 and 1552) and the Forty-Two Articles (1553). He supported Lady Jane Grey's succession in 1553; after Queen Mary's accession he was tried for high treason, then for heresy, and finally burnt at the stake in Oxford.

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