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Anglicanism most commonly refers to the beliefs and practices of the Anglican Communion, a worldwide affiliation of Christian churches. There is no single "Anglican Church" with universal juridical authority, since each national or regional church has full autonomy. As the name suggests, the communion is an association of churches in full communion with the Archbishop of Canterbury. With an estimated 80 million members, the Anglican Communion is the third largest communion in the world, after the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Churches.
Anglicanism, in its structures, theology and forms of worship, is understood as a distinct Christian tradition representing a middle ground between Roman Catholicism and Protestantism and, as such, is often referred to as being a via media ("middle way") between these traditions. Anglicans uphold the Catholic and Apostolic faith and follow the teachings of Jesus Christ. In practice Anglicans believe this is revealed in Holy Scripture and the creeds and interpret these in light of Christian tradition, scholarship, reason and experience.
(1501/1507–19 May 1536) was the second wife
of Henry VIII of England
and the mother of Elizabeth I of England
. Henry's marriage to Anne, and her subsequent execution, made her a key player in the political and religious upheaval that was the start of the English Reformation
. In 1525, Henry VIII became enamoured with Anne and began his pursuit of her. It soon became the one absorbing object of the king's desires to secure an annulment from his wife, Catherine of Aragon
so he could marry Anne. As a result of Anne's marriage to the king, the Church of England
was forced to break with Rome
and was brought under the king's control. Anne gave birth to a baby girl who would one day reign as Queen Elizabeth I of England
. When Anne failed to quickly produce a male heir, the king grew tired of her and a plot was hatched by Thomas Cromwell
to do away with her. Although the evidence against her was unconvincing, Anne was beheaded on charges of adultery
, and high treason
in 1536. Following the coronation of her daughter Elizabeth as queen, Anne was venerated as a martyr and heroine of the English Reformation, particularly through the works of John Foxe