The Father of the English Church

His reference book on

The History of the Church




Thomas Cranmer (2 July 1489 – 21 March 1556)was a leader of the English Reformation and Archbishop of Canterbury during the reigns of Henry VIII and Edward VI. He helped build a favorable case for Henry's divorce from Catherine of Aragon which resulted in the separation of the English Church from union with the Holy See.


Cranmer became a martyr in 1556 at the hands of Queen Mary I, the Catholic daughter of Henry VIII.  His library was confiscated by the Queen in 1553, at the time of his imprisonment. 


This volume, Merlin's Quatour Conciliorum Generalium served as Cranmer's reference on the history of the Church Councils (Ecclesiastical assemblies for the discussion of doctrines or disciplines). 

Cranmer's notes in the margin bear witness to his methodical and comprehensive scholarly mind.  The content of the notes are summaries, for future reference and clarification on marriage,  baptism,  the Eucharist, the Trinity, Easter,  etc).

There are no notes directly relating to King Henry VIII's divorce,  however some notes refer to  De clericu(m) uxorib(us)   (clergical marriage)  revieling Cranmer's desires which eventually led to his (Cranmer's) secret marriage ........and his reformed opinion which resulted in his eventual support of Henry VIII's divorce.