Talk:Thomas Cranmer

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Improvements to the article[edit]

I have taken a look at the criticisms presented in the first FAC attempt and I would like to make a second attempt. Right now, I am gathering some sources and I just want to let other editors know that I will be restructuring and expanding this article for the next few months. --RelHistBuff (talk) 18:45, 9 March 2008 (UTC)

I will be working with you. This was one of, if not the, first GA article I edited and it show at points. Anybody else care to join us? -- SECisek (talk) 06:40, 14 March 2008 (UTC)

Count me in - I'm a Reformation History Doctoral student, so might be of some help! Hackloon (talk) 12:17, 23 March 2008 (UTC)

I didn't realise this, but the footnotes used named refs. That means that all content within the refs, i.e. page numbers, are never displayed. In order to reveal the page numbers, regular non-named refs should be used. In order to keep the footnotes short, I will use Harvard referencing. --RelHistBuff (talk) 09:40, 24 March 2008 (UTC)
Yes, Harvard referencing is the way to go. Cheers! Wassupwestcoast (talk) 16:50, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

I just came around to this position while working on Anne Bolyne. Agreed. -- Secisek (talk) 18:26, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

Apocryphal story[edit]

Is there no room for an apocryphal story: a bit of silliness albeit historically sourced silliness.

Mrs. Cranmer's box is a ribald reference to the hidden existence of Cranmer's second wife, Margaret, and her means of concealment. The story is more apocryphal than historical and describes her travelling method between Cranmer's houses.[1] Diarmaid MacCulloch traces one branch of this particular legend to a Roman Catholic source some 58 years later, which made up the story as an odd attack against Cranmer. Another branch appears to have originated at a fire at Canterbury where Cranmer showed excess concern for crates of books, so much so that on-lookers thought his wife must be in one. The tale arose that:

Cheers! Wassupwestcoast (talk) 13:47, 1 April 2008 (UTC)

The article is already pretty long and I think it may become longer. MacCulloch has a lot of interesting anecdotes on Cranmer, but how do we select which ones to include? In any case, anecdotes will not help and most likely hinder in the FA drive. --RelHistBuff (talk) 07:04, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

I do not often contradict the editor who was once accused of being my sock puppet, but I am going to go with RelHistBuff here. It is not sort of thing I would expect to see in an encyclopedia. -- Secisek (talk) 07:33, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

How do we select which anecdotes to include? Well, the silliest :-) But now that it is no longer 1 April, I'm disappointed but I understand. Cheers! Wassupwestcoast (talk) 13:46, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
Somewhere within all those IP packets, I hear the echo of a "Gotcha..." :-D --RelHistBuff (talk) 14:11, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

Well done, well done! -- Secisek (talk) 19:11, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

Enthroned[edit]

The info box now says Cranmer was made Archbishop on 3 December 1533, which contradicts the article. It is custom to date the reign of a prelate from the day of their consecration, not their election. This is important because some elected bishops are never consecrated and hence never serve. I know it is cited by McCullough, I don't if this is a misunderstanding on the part of our editor, or one of the rare but not unheard of, errors on the part of McCullough. I'll let RHB rule on this. -- Secisek (talk) 19:23, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

Actually, I will raise it here as question. Ridley and MacCulloch both say he was enthroned on 3 December in Canterbury Cathedral. But they both say he was consecrated on 30 March in St Stephen's Chapel. He took his consecration oath at that time. Clearly two different events, two different dates. Cranmer definitely acted as archbishop starting from 30 March. But the infobox says "Enthroned" for the began parameter, so which date should apply? --RelHistBuff (talk) 20:44, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

We have an expert on the subject here and I will point her here to this question. -- Secisek (talk) 20:47, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

Enthronement and consecration are two different things. Enthronement is the ceremonial first sitting of the bishop in his cathedra, or bishop's chair in the cathedral. Consecration is ritual performed by other bishops or an archbishop that makes a bishop a bishop. Enthronement is not so important to a bishop as the consecration. As far as Cranmer goes, he was elected in 1532, provided to the see (i. e. the pope said "hey, you can't elect him, it's my right to name him to the office, so here, I name him to the office") on 21 February 1533, consecrated on 30 March 1522, and given the temporalities of the see on 19 April 1533. That's from this book: Fryde, E. B.; Greenway, D. E.; Porter, S.; Roy, I. (1996). Handbook of British Chronology (Third Edition, revised ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-56350-X.  page 234. You can double check it online with Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae 1300-1541: volume 4: Monastic cathedrals (southern province) which is from 1963 so it's a bit out of date compared to the Handbook. Personally, the infobox should give the consecration date, not the enthronement date. (This just came up with William of York, in fact.) Ealdgyth - Talk 21:28, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

There you have it, thank you! -- Secisek (talk) 21:31, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
Yes, thanks Ealdgyth. I thought it should be 30 March as well. Could I ask you to change the text for the {{began}} parameter from "Enthroned" to "Consecrated" in Template:Infobox Archbishop of Canterbury? I would do it myself, but someone who is watching the template page kind of brushed me off when I asked a question on the template talk page. He/she might think I am a newbie messing around with the template. --RelHistBuff (talk) 06:36, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
Better yet, keep the {{began}} parameter (as past editors on other articles probably used the enthronement date) and add another one, {{consecrated}} for example. --RelHistBuff (talk) 06:44, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
I just noticed that Template:Infobox Archbishop has been recently created by the template guardian who brushed me off. He/she uses {{consecrated}} and instead of {{began}}, uses {{enthroned}} instead. Perhaps Template:Infobox Archbishop of Canterbury should be the same? --RelHistBuff (talk) 08:26, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

This is where I yelp for Secisek, who usually is very good about messing with templates for me! Help! Ealdgyth - Talk 13:52, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

I added the {{consecration}} parameter, but I didn't touch {{began}}. So you can add that now to your infoboxes. --RelHistBuff (talk) 16:09, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

Several people have been messing with the bishop-related templates as of late. I was going to wait until they restabilized and then do some long-desired tinkering myself. I have no idea who that editor was who blew you off. Do we need anything else done to it? -- Secisek (talk) 08:46, 4 April 2008 (UTC)

It's ok now for the case of Cranmer. You may want to fix the parameter naming. The {{began}} parameter is currently associated to "Enthroned", but perhaps a parameter name of {{enthronement}} is better and {{began}} could be deprecated. --RelHistBuff (talk) 13:37, 4 April 2008 (UTC)
Somebody recently changed the field name from "Began" to "Enthroned" as they no doubt thought it sounded more impressive, however it is incorrect as the dates that we have been using are almost always that of the consecration. This will need to be fixed. -- Secisek (talk) 16:38, 4 April 2008 (UTC)

Cranmer in Nuremburg[edit]

MacCulloch and Ridley had even stronger statements about the Nuremburg Lutheran influence on Cranmer. Ridley was the most explicit when he said, "It was almost certainly at Nuremberg that he took at least the first steps towards becoming a Lutheran...He was certainly converted to the Lutheran view as regards the celibacy of the clergy". The sentence currently in the article is in fact the mildest form (taken from Hall) because he added the clause "however moderately". There are probably other ways to state this, but I don't think it is a debatable point. --RelHistBuff (talk) 10:16, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

I am familiar with both works and several others that make this case as well. It is synthesis, albiet published synthesis, but it remains synthesis none the less. Cranmer was clear in his opposition to celebicy long before he went to the Continent and came into direct contact with Lutheran ideas. He was maried as a seminarian and to call his second marriage a "step toward Lutheran principals" is a reach on the part of scholars when they have no surviving works of Cranmer saying as much.
I have heard it argued that Cranmer had always opposed clerical celibacy because it was not based in scripture and it was not practiced in the same form in the Eastern Churches. To state that the second marriage he conducted after he was certain of a life in the Church was somehow a definitive theological step is to look for something that isn't there and discount his first marriage in seminary. Even if many modern scholars think it was, that doesn't mean wiki should endorse their unqualified opinions as fact. We need to work on this passage still.
I think it is great that this is (thus far) the only contested change from the GA version of the article. -- Secisek (talk) 10:55, 7 April 2008 (UTC)
According to the sources, the main difference between his first and second marriage was that he had taken holy orders. So the risks involved in the second marriage was far greater and is a real demonstration against priestly celibacy. He could have taken her as his mistress as many priests did at the time (and preserve his "celibacy" state), but he didn't. I don't think the scholars are pushing this too much and I don't think we can second-guess the scholars otherwise we are putting in our opinion. If there is modern scholarship that states something to the contrary, then it can be included and cited. --RelHistBuff (talk) 11:19, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

Opinion is exactly what I am trying to avoid seeing in the article. Cranmer kept his second marriage among the greatest of secrets for decades - what kind of "real demonstration against priestly celibacy" was he making? Scholars really want to find something they can point to because in his early life, there is not much there. The article even acknowledges that not much can be determined about his early opinions. The article right now is reaching and I would like to see it remain qualified as opinion rather than stated as fact, because it isn't. Opinion is indeed what I would like to see us avoid. -- Secisek (talk) 11:28, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

Looks fine to me now. Thank you. -- Secisek (talk) 11:48, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

Merle d'Aubigné[edit]

I removed the Merle d'Aubigné reference because it is mid-19th century. This source will come under severe criticism in FAC. There is no indication of the Greek church anecdote in modern sources. --RelHistBuff (talk) 21:57, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

The motivations of Cranmer's opponents are crucial to any understanding of the collapse of the Lutheran position in 1538 and the publication of the Six Articles that followed. These bishops had been quite content to break with Rome, Fischer was the only bishop who refused, yet a hard core of them refused to give way to the Lutherans. This citation is not from some Victorian "Little lives of the Archbishops" with cute-sy Cruikshank illustrations. The work of Jean-Henri Merle d'Aubigne is worthy of an article in its right. According to Brittanica he "he revitalized Protestant church historical scholarship and assembled more source documents than any other historian up to his time." This is one of the most important works ever written on the subject and the fact that it is still in print should speak of its importance. If we have to quote him directly to get the facts into the article, we will. I'll see if I can rework it a manner that will be passable. The scheme for union with the Orthodox gets very little attention from modern scholars, who seem to favor one of two narratives:
  1. The reformation in England was inevidible and the conservatives were a rear gaurd fighting a retreat for Rome. or
  2. The reformation in England did not have to happen and it was only the veniality and weakness of the English bishops that was to blame for the break, only St John Fischer...
The scheme of union does not fit neatly into these packages, but it is discussed at length in one of the most important books ever written on the subject and it merits a mention here. I'll see what I can come up with. -- Secisek (talk) 23:50, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
I have several Merle d'Aubigné books myself, but historians do not accept them as reliable. There is no doubt that he was a great scholar in the 19th century, but modern methods and new primary sources now make his books outdated. Several reviewers have pointed this out in many FAC nominations including Ealdgyth‎, Awadewit, and Qp10qp and in fact the use of unreliable sources is what killed the previous FAC drive. I will ask them to comment here. I would recommend that you find a modern source to support the statement and avoid using Merle d'Aubigné. --RelHistBuff (talk) 06:26, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
I have to go to the accountant this morning to deal with taxes (boo, hiss IRS) so all i had time to do was print out the ODNB biography on him. That'll be a good overview of what is currently considered important on him. If anyone wants a copy, I can send you a link to it that will work for 5 days. Just drop me an email, my email is enabled. I'll read the article while I wait on the accountant. Whee. I do have to say that if the Merle book is a reprint, it needs to be said in the bibliographical entry that it is a reprint of an earlier work, and a date given there. In general, I am a bit leary of older works, mainly because they are often out of date with current scholarship. With a subject like this, not only do we need to be looking at books, you need to be looking at historical journals and theological journals for the latest word on things. I'll try to look at JSTOR when I get home this afternoon. I'm sure i'll be in a pissy mood, I hate having to move to a state with a state income tax. It always makes me cranky after almost twenty years in Texas! Ealdgyth - Talk 15:14, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Using sources from the 19th century is fraught with peril. As RelHistBuff rightly points out, 19th-century historians used different methods than are now accepted as legitimate. Articles should be sourced to the highest-quality research - the most up-to-date and reliable sources. In the 19th century, the work of historians did not undergo the rigorous peer review and fact-checking that is the basis of Wikipedia's definition of reliable sources. I would also like to point out that Britannica's own definition restricts d'Aubigne's importance to his own time: "he revitalized Protestant church historical scholarship and assembled more source documents than any other historian up to his time" (emphasis added).
RelHistBuff, you write that "historians do not accept [d'Aubigne's books] as reliable". Your case would be strengthened if you had quotations stating this. These are the most difficult kinds of quotations to find, but if you had them, they might help explain the specific problems with d'Aubigne's work. Awadewit (talk) 15:20, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
I don't have any quotes, but I agree that would strengthen the case. I just meant to say exactly what you had stated. Just the fact that Merle d'Aubigné's books are examples of mid-19th century scholarship, they are now unreliable. In fact, one can easily see problems just by reading them and comparing them with recent scholarship. One Merle d'Aubigné book that I have is on Zwingli and when I compare them with the modern books, it was almost like reading about two different persons! --RelHistBuff (talk) 20:21, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
RelHistBuff has asked me to comment, and I have to say that d'Aubigné is not listed in any of the bibliographies I have just consulted in works on Cranmer and the English Reformation. On the other hand, that isn't to say there isn't a grain of truth in the information itself. Both Duffy (401) and MacCulloch (219–20) mention this, though somewhat in passing. Certainly it seems that Tunstall and Stokesley discussed the Greek Orthodox liturgy with their colleagues, looking for possible evidence of early Christian practice. I don't think we have clear evidence, however, that this was a key plank in the English discussions with the Lutheran negotiators. The closest mention seems to be in Henry VIII's dismissal of Lutheran eucharistic theory, where he said that he had learned about this "from those worthy of credit, who themselves have been present at Greek services". But the hint of Tunstall's responsibility for that line seems to derive from a later and slightly vague reminiscence from Richard Sampson—the sort of evidence which, though it shouldn't be dismissed, must be reported with caution. qp10qp (talk) 15:24, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
I did see that discussion on orthodox liturgy in MacCulloch, but he didn't mention that the conservatives bishops were seeking an union with the Greek church which is quite a provocative statement! Anyway, if there is a good source that could support that statement, then I have no problems with it. But Merle d'Aubigné is, I believe, insufficient. --RelHistBuff (talk) 17:33, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

I have been told about a possible recent source on this subject that I am in the process of trying to locate. My hope is it will support the Merle d'Aubigné material so an historical quote will become uneeded. I am uncertain of its content, but will report my findings if and when I obtain it.

Overall, really great work thus far, though. Apart from the Greeks, there have been no major changes, additions, or subtrations from the GA text, just some really great prose tweaks, colourful fleshing-out of the subjects, and improved citations that I was too lazy to go back to the library for. A barnstart effort in the making. -- Secisek (talk) 20:12, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

Some possible sources[edit]

While poking around Google scholar, I hit these. don't know how useful they might be:

Hope this helps a bit. Ealdgyth - Talk 18:50, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

Children of Cranmer[edit]

According to the cited sources, the children died without issue. If a change is to be made based on new information, then please do not simply change the text as that would wrongly attribute a contradicting statement to the sources. Rather, write a new separate sentence and cite the new source. --RelHistBuff (talk) 22:55, 14 December 2008 (UTC)

Main page[edit]

Congrats. A triumph for everyone who ever edited this article. Esp. Relhistbuf! -- Secisek (talk) 21:13, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

Thanks. I'm trying to decide which 16th century bishop or archbishop to tackle next. Parker, Hooker, Latimer, Hooper, Grindal, Ridley,... --RelHistBuff (talk) 23:33, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

Perhaps it should be mentioned that Archbishop Cranmer is a Saint of the Lutheran Church, feast day 21st of March - see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calendar_of_Saints_(Lutheran) Kosh5 (talk) 23:56, 24 February 2009 (UTC)

Illustrations from Foxe[edit]

I prefer Foxe's original picture over Kronheim's 19th century one. The main reason is that the picture is better-known as it has been included in various major scholarly books (MacCulloch, Ridley, Loades, etc.). I have never seen Kronheim's version until now. Also Foxe's image is contemporary or near contemporary. Another image could be added, but is there a need to have two illustrations of the same event? --RelHistBuff (talk) 08:36, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

The one from the 16th century copy is very low res, poorly scanned,a nd barely visible at thumbnail size. The new one clearly illustrated the burning itself. I had no expectation that providing a new illustration that clearly illustrates events in the article would prove controversial. Shoemaker's Holiday (talk) 17:30, 17 April 2009 (UTC)
Not controversial, just to discuss. In fact, at first I replaced the original Foxe image with the 19th century one, so that there is only one image. But then I got second thoughts because the original is so well-known and appears in so many books. It is even used as the cover for a book by Loades. I enlarged the image, but if you prefer Kronheim's, then go ahead and change it to that one. --RelHistBuff (talk) 17:46, 17 April 2009 (UTC)
The controversy, such as it is, is at Wikipedia:Featured picture candidates/Kronheim's Illustrations to Foxe's Book of Martyrs. I'd say keep the woodcut, even if the image quality is lower. Johnbod (talk) 18:00, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

I think both are useful, since they show different things. One's clearer at thumbnail (and, well, full size too, given the crappy quality of the other) resolution, the other's a bit more famous. Shoemaker's Holiday (talk) 18:02, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

They show the same event though. I think it would be better to get a higher resolution picture of the original woodcut; contemporary pictures are the best. Taking a look at Gaspard de Coligny, I would say the Vasari is much more preferable to the 19th century picture (the Kronheim is almost cartoonish in comparison). --RelHistBuff (talk) 12:56, 20 April 2009 (UTC)
The Vasari has real size issues, and Gaspard is not the main focus, though. Shoemaker's Holiday (talk) 20:53, 20 April 2009 (UTC)

Two pictures of the same event does not add value. The original John Foxe illustration is sufficient. If one believes the quality of the scan is not good enough, then one should look for another scan of better quality rather than adding another picture. --RelHistBuff (talk) 06:43, 22 May 2009 (UTC)

Saint or Not?[edit]

I added some information about his alleged sainthood, based in the fact that he appears in the Category of Anglican saints, but it was deleted. So, I would like to ask, he also should be deleted from that category? I wonder if that category should even exist, since the notion of a saint for the Anglican Church is rather different from the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Churches.81.193.222.128 (talk) 21:11, 19 October 2009 (UTC)

I deleted that because he has not be canonised by the Anglican church, the Church of England and other Anglican churches commemorate Cranmer on his death day but do not consider him to be a saint in the same way that the Roman Catholic church considers people to be saints. Basically everyone who is a committed Christian witness is considered a saint but they are not given the title Saint. Only one person has been canonised by the Church of England, Saint Charles the Martyr, better known as King Charles I. Dabbler (talk) 22:25, 19 October 2009 (UTC)


Additionally, I question if the title martyr should be used. I do not know of any official recognition of him being a martyr and many would object to such a title for him. MB. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 75.253.30.149 (talk) 01:48, 21 March 2010 (UTC)

I am curious what authorities you would accept for "official recognition" as a martyr. How about the Church of England? See List of Holy days in the Church of England Dabbler (talk) 13:40, 21 March 2010 (UTC)
The use of the term martyr is not unusual (our own definition is simply "somebody who suffers persecution and death for refusing to renounce a belief, usually religious"). More importantly, the term is supported by the secondary sources, i.e., historians. MacCulloch, Loades, Heinze, etc., refer to Cranmer as a martyr. --RelHistBuff (talk) 15:03, 21 March 2010 (UTC)

Idiomatic English[edit]

(The following was moved from User talk:RelHistBuff. —Srnec (talk) 04:12, 16 December 2009 (UTC))

"Cranmer was tried for treason and heresy when Roman Catholic monarch Mary I came to the throne" is less idiomatic than "Cranmer was tried for treason and heresy when the Roman Catholic Mary I came to the throne". The word "monarch" is of no use when we know that she was a queen. The absence of a definite article is journalese. "Cranmer was tried for treason and heresy when Mary I, a Roman Catholic, came to the throne" would work as well. Don't think the facts are in dispute, or the characterisation, it is only the diction. —Srnec (talk) 20:40, 14 December 2009 (UTC)

(ignore the idiot on sinus pills who pushed the wrong button please!) Sorry! Ealdgyth - Talk 20:46, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
Definite article with separated element now in. @Ealdgyth: Hope you feel better soon. --RelHistBuff (talk) 23:20, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
There is no reason to identify her as a monarch because (i) she has an ordinal attached to her name, which is enough for most people, and (ii) the sentence says she "came to the throne", which means she was a monarch. We cannot say she was "the Romanc Catholic monarch" and then add her name in parentheses because England has had many Roman Catholic monarchs. She was a Roman Catholic, which is the relevant point, hence the current wording. —Srnec (talk) 22:05, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
The word "monarch" is pointless when we know she was a queen. The word "queen" is pointless when she has an ordinal number and the sentence says she "came to the throne". The term "staunchly" is unnecessary: was she really unusually staunch? Might it be POV? Either of the wordings I've proposed is simple and to the point. I have no idea why this has engendered controversy, although the fact that the others don't know the proper use of commas and definite articles gives me a clue. —Srnec (talk) 04:12, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
Strongly agree, though I don't think "staunch" for Mary should be objected to. Johnbod (talk) 04:38, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
I prefer the nonrestrictive appositive that Dabbler had created when he added the second comma. --RelHistBuff (talk) 10:17, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
Meh, I got other more important things to do. Do what you want. --RelHistBuff (talk) 10:25, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
As I pointed out above, we need a restriction on "the Roman Catholic monarch". Thus, a nonrestrictive apposition won't do. But you've realised that now, haven't you? —Srnec (talk) 20:54, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

NPOV — a Martyr and a Traitor?[edit]

Several points in this article are written from an Anglican POV. Calling Cranmenr a martyr without qualification is one such point. Saying that historians use the word martyred is disingenuous. Historians also use the word executed. Catholic sources hold that he was properly sentenced to death for treason, should we then argue that he died a martyr and a traitor?

Also, his trial and conviction for treason predated his conviction and execution for heresy by two and a half years. The trials were entirely separate events, and the delay of execution for treason so that he might be tried for heresy is quite noteworthy. It is so misleading as to be patently false to say that he was tried for treason and heresey when Mary came to the throne. Had the papacy not insisted on the heresy trial he would have been executed for treason two years earlier.

I remind ReHistBuff that in cases of questionable POV we make judgments objective by referring to who holds them. "Jesus, the messiah" beocmes "Jesus, the Christian messiah" and so forth. Cranmer is just as much a traitor to some as he is a martyr to others. The word martyr has not been removed but objectively qualified. Wrotesolid (talk) 16:57, 14 April 2010 (UTC)

The dictionary definition of martyr, describes someone who undergoes the penalty of death for persistence in the Christian faith and also someone who undergoes death for any great cause. Cranmer is a martyr by the dictionary definition, but he is also described as a heretic and a traitor by the legal authorities of the time. Cranmer was martyred because he died for his faith. Incidentally, I notice that Thomas More is frequently described as a martyr in his Wikipedia article, though legally he was a traitor and was never charged with heresy so can hardly be said to had been condemned for his faith. He died because he was a traitor not because he was a Catholic. I hope that you will soon go over to that article to correct that Roman Catholic POV as assiduously as you are bent on correcting this Anglican one. Dabbler (talk) 19:19, 14 April 2010 (UTC)
I am an atheist, and, what is relevant here, a believer in NPOV. One way to pursue NPOV is to specify who holds a belief rather than to state the belief as if it is an objective fact or universally held.
I came to this article recently after watching Elizabeth R with Glenda Jackson. Note that I added mention of the papacy's responsibility to the article summary. I have no problem at all with the word martyr being used so long as what he was a martyr for is specified, which is Anglicanism. Cranmer wasn't a martyr for religious freedom. He wasn't a martyr for science, or for republicanism, or for democracy. He was a martyr for his version of the true church, which was the Anglican one.
If, Dabbler, you want my comment on a dispute on the Saint Thomas More page, let me know. But except as a fictional character I am no fan of his. Wrotesolid (talk) 21:40, 14 April 2010 (UTC)
I am just curious as to why you seem to be very involved creating a dispute about one or two words here but don't seem to care that the same word is used more frequently with less justification in another article, as an atheist surely you should go after the bigger target too? Or are your principles restricted to removing "POV" from Anglican articles? In good NPOV faith, even as an atheist, shouldn't you go and see what you can do over there too? Dabbler (talk) 22:13, 14 April 2010 (UTC)

Please let us nip this in the bud, Dabbler. I am not about to get into a discussion of my motives. Your imputation of an anti-Anglican bias is groundless and, with your comment "really", borderline uncivil. I refer you to WP:AGF. There is also no requirement that one fix any and all other articles before fixing this one. There's a WP catch phrase for that policy too, although it slips my tongue. My actions here are very simple. I am not deleting the word martyr from the article, it would be absurd, Cranmer is an Anglican martyr. What I am doing is following the explicit policy WP:ATTRIBUTEPOV which says that on converts POV statements to acceptable ones by attribution and specification. There is no such thing as simply being a martyr, one is always a martyr to a specific cause, and Cranmer's specific cause was not religious freedom nor the right to peaceful political dissent but for the true Church of England.


As this article stands with the current specifications that he was an Anglican martyr I have no complaints, in case you fear some further agenda.

As for now, please refrain from any further personal remarks. Wrotesolid (talk) 23:34, 14 April 2010 (UTC)

There is nothing disingenuous about using words as written in the sources. The sources are from historians not "Protestant" or "Catholic" sources. The details of the ordering and time gap of the trials are in the text and does not need to be in the lead. It is only your opinion that he would have been executed after a treason trial. It is also not clear that it was the papacy that insisted on a heresy trial. Simply, there were two trials and they were done during the beginning of Mary's reign. The reasons for the time gap are mostly speculation. --RelHistBuff (talk) 14:14, 15 April 2010 (UTC)
Concerning the qualification of "Anglican" martyr, note that at the time there was no Anglican church. Cranmer was a reformer like Luther, Calvin, and Bucer. They all believed at the time that the whole Church could be completely reformed. In Cranmer's case he died for that belief. So the word "Anglican" is not appropriate here and is anachronistic. --RelHistBuff (talk) 14:20, 15 April 2010 (UTC)

I refer you to WP:ATTRIBUTEPOV, RelHistBuff. The word execution describes an objective fact which no sane person disputes. But martyrdom is a judgment which can be countered with death as a heretic. Cranmer was not a martyr in the eyes of Catholics, but a heretic. I see no point in emphasizing that they thought he was a heretic, but to describe him as a martyr without qualification is to treat the Anglican pov as if it is an unqualified objective fact. That simply cannot be done. The solution is to specifiy and to attribute. Read the policy.

At your suggestion I have removed the reference to the papacy, although the same claim is made in the body of the article. And in light of your complaint I have changed Anglican to Protestant, since, as you yourself say, "In Cranmer's case he died for that belief." I am not prepared to continue this edit war. My next step will be to take this up as a case of ownership and pov pushing. Let's avoid that with discussion and the ability to compromise, since you do not contest the factuality of my statements, just the wording. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Wrotesolid (talkcontribs) 16:26, 15 April 2010 (UTC)

The question is the definition of the word. It is used in both religious and non-religious contexts but it simply means someone who has been put to death for refusing to renounce their beliefs. You say that "martyr" and "heretic" are opposites. However, the opposite of the POV-word "heretic" is the equally POV-word "saint". Cranmer is not being called a saint, but something neutral. However, I believe it is acceptable to change the clause to "died a Protestant martyr". The wikilink should be removed as it is a low-value link.
I would contest the addition of the text concerning the two trials. There is nothing POV about what is stated in the lead and it is sufficient. The details are in the article. I do not recall from MacCulloch on the rationale behind the gap in time between the two trials and your statement implies that there was a rationale. --RelHistBuff (talk) 16:58, 15 April 2010 (UTC)

I have just placed a warning on your talk page due to your wholesale reversions. Perhaps we can resolve this, since the above comment was made while I was issuing the warning. I will comment at length in a minute.Wrotesolid (talk) 17:01, 15 April 2010 (UTC)

First, since you accept the specification of Cranmer's dying a Protestant martyr I think that gets us almost all the way home. I will restore that wording.

Second, the word execution in the section head is npov. Changing it to Martyrdom for Protestantism or some such would be too awkward. There is no problem with the section itself.

Finally, I do not understand what your objection is to briefly mentioning the two and a half year delay between the conviction for treason and the execution as a heretic. To say that both happened upon Mary's accession is inaccurate. His trial and execution for heresy happened fully half way though Mary's reign. I will restore that wording on the assumption that you agree a delay of half her reign makes the original wording inaccurate. Wrotesolid (talk) 17:12, 15 April 2010 (UTC)

On your point about the section name, the word is a neutral word and it is historically accepted. MacCulloch even uses the word "martyrdom" in a chapter title. Ridley and Loades also uses the word.
The issue of the two trials could be resolved by changing from "when Mary I" to "after Mary I". --RelHistBuff (talk) 17:31, 15 April 2010 (UTC)

I have restored "Protestant martyr" in the summary and "execution" as npov for "martyrdom" in the section head. I have restored mention of the gap and added "reactionary Catholic forces with a reference to a Catholic source. The point is not that the previous wording was pov but that it was historically misleading. The conviction for treason was within three months of Mary's accession, while the trial for heresy lasted half way through her reign.

Finally, you mentioned something about "The wikilink should be removed as it is a low-value link." I am not sure what you were referring to, so either explain yourself here or be bold and remove the link if you haven't already. Wrotesolid (talk) 17:36, 15 April 2010 (UTC)
I have already removed the wikilink (to the word "martyr"). The text and reference that you added is a POV. I changed from "when" to "after" in order to avoid the assumption that the trials occurred just as Mary was enthroned. The text in the lead is NPOV. The gap in time is mentioned in the article. --RelHistBuff (talk) 17:42, 15 April 2010 (UTC)
If I might offer an opinion? First of all, that you too for bringing up this discussion. Questions like these keep me on Wikipedia when so much crap puts me off. Can the term 'martyr', 'martyrdom', be neutral, unquoted, in a historical essay? It would seem on one hand, it can be, for in modern language it tends to mean anyone who has died or suffered greatly for a heartfelt cause. So the poor fellow who slips off a rock face and breaks his leg can be a martyr to his (or her) abseiling. A teacher who perseveres with a challenging student is a martyr to his or her profession. And so forth. And yet on the other hand, there always seems to be some judgement value attached. The man who breaks his leg climbing could be just a bloody idiot who has no idea what he's doing. But the word 'martyr' suggests some kind of nobility to his misfortune. In the West we would never refer to a Middle-eastern car-bomber as a 'martyr'. To most of us they are foolish, deceived, cruel and desparate persons. Yet many Islamists (please note I say some- in its essence Islam is a peace-loving religion, as are most Moslems) call them martyrs. So different values are attached, depending upon who is observing the event.
And so with Thomas Cranmer. Martyr or traitor? That's another word that is never neutral.I think we simply need to describe his life in terms of the events that occurred in it. Of course, we might say, 'he is regarded as a martyr for Protestantism in England'. Just as Thomas More might be described as 'regarded as a martyr by Catholics in England'.--Gazzster (talk) 02:02, 16 April 2010 (UTC)

Let's imagine you are arrested and told you are being charged with murder. Of whom, you ask? Well, that's not important. Murder is the word used by the accuser, the sheriff answers. Can you be a murderer without murdering someone specific? Can you betray without betraying someone, or somthing? Martyr means "witness." Witness of what? Yes, one can be a martyr, but only if one is a martyr for some cause. It is proper therefore, when the issue can be specified, to specify it.

We have to be brief in section titles, but we also have to maintain an NPOV position. "Trials, recatations and execution" is perfectly NPOV. No one denies Cranmer was executed.

Finally, the summary as it stood was simply inaccurate in its implications. Would we say that after Mary came to the throne she died? It's true, but the emphasis implies that the events followed one on the other. That Cranmer's execution for high treason was stayed for two and a half years so that he might first be tried and then burnt for heresy rather than being beheaded is quite significant. Adding just a few words to show this is in the name of accuracy. Furthermore, that the Catholic Church admits its own responsibility for the heresy trial is of interest, and the reference to the Catholic encyclopedia on the matter hardly amounts to POV. Indeed, the evidence is an admission against interest and is hence highly relevant.

If anyone has a suggestion of how to better or more economically word these points while maintaining NPOV and accuracy I am quite interested in such a discussion.

Until then, and in the absence of any response on the Adminstaror's discussion, I am restoring the more accurate and NPOV language. Wrotesolid (talk) 03:14, 16 April 2010 (UTC)

RelHistBuff, I am confused as to the motivation for your delinking "martyr" and deleting the reference to the list of Common Worship holy days. I reastablished them on my last edit. Surely the link for martyr is just as helpful as that for religious images. Indeed, I would also linkify heresy the first time it appears in the article. And what was the reason for removing the external reference? The list of holidays seems of interest. There doesn't seem to be any inappropriate promotion of some, say, commercial interest. Can you explain why these should be deleted if you want them deleted? Wrotesolid (talk) 03:39, 16 April 2010 (UTC)

Looking at things in context, I suppose the charge was standard and the trial was standard. The trial would appear to have been carried out in justice according to the standards of the time. He had publicly supported the faith of Henry VIII during his reign, which, with notable ommissions of course, was the faith of Mary I.So the charge of traitor and heretic would appear to have merit.--Gazzster (talk) 05:21, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
Concerning the matter of wikilinks, this is a grey area. Certain words are already well-known and understood and do not need to be linked (so called low-value links). For example, one could argue that "plague", which is linked, is already well-known and could potentially be de-linked. Originally, "martyr" was not linked and as I believe it is well-known, I thought it could be de-linked. However, as this is a grey area, I have no problem of it being linked.
Concerning the additional text in the lead, the original text simply stated there were two trials. It is not clear why there was a gap in time. It is a speculation to blame unspecified "reactionary Catholic forces". And the use of a turn-of-the-century Catholic encyclopedia as a reference is extremely weak and it is clearly a POV-source. The original text is sufficient and the details are in the article.
Concerning the section title and the word "martyrdom", I note again that the word is used by historians and it is in the sources. The definition of someone being put to death for refusing to renounce one's belief is in fact neutral. Cranmer, as well as Latimer and Ridley, are referred to as martyrs (see Oxford martyrs) and the use of the word reflects common usage. Whether one takes the word as a POV is a matter of one's own opinion. Gazzler has brought up an interesting point about Islamists calling suicide car-bombers as martyrs. In my opinion that is a misuse of the word. There is a difference between someone putting themselves in harm's way and someone who is unwillingly put to death for one's belief. Unfortunately the word has been hijacked by current media and its meaning is now being distorted. But the original definition, common usage in the context of Cranmer, and historical support still stands. However, Wikipedia being as it is, a !vote always seems to override scholarship or external expertise. If there is a consensus to use "execution" instead then so be it. --RelHistBuff (talk) 09:22, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
As can be seen, there is no consensus to change the word, martyrdom. I will go back to the original wording which as I stated is neutral. The word is neutral, i.e., used by both Catholic and Protestants alike (see Forty Martyrs of England and Wales) and the use of the word in the context of Cranmer has support from the sources. --RelHistBuff (talk) 09:38, 10 May 2010 (UTC)

"Saint Thomas More, so far as I am concerned, was a vicious fool and murdering hypocrite who got exactly what was coming to him, regardless of Paul Scofield's efforts. I read Utopia in high school, studied More in a graduate level course on the Reformation, and wrote a term paper on him. But that's my OR POV, and not relevant."

I think this language is totally against Wikipedia principles, even in a Talk Page, and only proves that the main problem of Wikipedia is that any "vicious fool" or brainless "hypocrite" like this user can post in here.81.193.220.166 (talk) 19:12, 4 June 2010 (UTC)

Thomas Cranmer Martyrdom and Execution[edit]

I don't understand the nature of this debate. Thomas Cranmer had already recanted his Protestant views and returned to the Roman Catholic Chuch, probably not by personal conviction, but as to respect for the queen Mary I, that he still regarded as the Head of the Church of England, and to avoid his execution by being burned at the stake. Nevertheless, even being against the Canonic Law, he was going to be executed as an heretic, so he still would have been a unlikely Catholic martyr, for being executed after his recantation, or a Anglican martyr, if would return to his previous faith. Since he had nothing to loose anymore, he choose to die as a Protestant martyr.81.193.220.166 (talk) 18:52, 4 June 2010 (UTC)

Thomas Cranmer tried to save both John Fisher and Thomas More lifes by having sworn a special oath. I think this deserves being mentioned in the article.Mistico (talk) 19:21, 4 June 2010 (UTC)

File:Book of common prayer 1549.jpg Nominated for Deletion[edit]

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File:Thomas Cranmer by Gerlach Flicke.jpg to appear as POTD soon[edit]

Hello! This is a note to let the editors of this article know that File:Thomas Cranmer by Gerlach Flicke.jpg will be appearing as picture of the day on January 28, 2013. You can view and edit the POTD blurb at Template:POTD/2013-01-28. If this article needs any attention or maintenance, it would be preferable if that could be done before its appearance on the Main Page so Wikipedia doesn't look bad. :) Thanks! — Crisco 1492 (talk) 23:36, 27 January 2013 (UTC)

Picture of the day
Thomas Cranmer

Thomas Cranmer (1489–1556, depicted in 1545) was a leader of the English Reformation and Archbishop of Canterbury during the reigns of three monarchs. Ascending to power during the reign of Henry VIII, under Edward VI he was able to promote a series of reforms in the Church of England. He was executed for treason under Mary I.

Painting: Gerlach Flicke
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Archdeacon of Taunton[edit]

While working on a new article The Old House, Milverton I came across this source from the BBC and this from the University of Bristol, which say that Cranmer was archdeacon of Taunton and lived in the house - but I'm having trouble narrowing down the dates for this. Can anyone help & should this be included in the article?— Rod talk 21:32, 7 June 2013 (UTC)

This confirms it, but the start date on him holding the office is unknown. Note that the previous officeholder held until 1531, so Cranmer's holding of the office was very brief. I'm not sure it's worth a mention, it was a minor office he held briefly. Ealdgyth - Talk 21:49, 7 June 2013 (UTC)

Vicegerency is not a hyphenated word.[edit]

"Vicegerency" and "vicegerent" should not be spelled with hyphens. Why does the author insist on it?

The Wikipedia article on "Vicegerent" does not spell it that way and yet any attempt to correct the spelling in this article gets immediately reverted.

I can't find any responsible source that hyphenates that word. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 23.119.205.88 (talk) 19:35, 16 February 2014 (UTC)

In re Tag requesting further inline citations[edit]

… see first the Edit summary, and then look at the lack of inline citations in the following—

  • the opening sentences of the opening paragraphs of the "Reforms reversed…" section
  • opening sentences of paragraphs beginning...
  1. "In 1538, the king…"
  2. "In the summer of…"
  3. "Cranmer’s first contact…"
  4. "While Cranmer was…"
  5. "Cranmer was not…"
  6. "The vice-regency brought…"

Etc., etc. Bottom line, the references and work here are exceptional, but the long tracts without inline citation make impossible followup of the material by interested readers, and make scholarly verification (and so confidence in material) somewhat limited. Since, unlike Britannica, article authors here are unknown, our basis in trust comes from the solid nature of the sourcing. Le Prof Leprof 7272 (talk) 07:08, 26 June 2014 (UTC)

The six (of 49!) paragraphs that are sourced to one footnote are not at all excessive. The six paragraphs mentioned above all go to a source with decent number of pages referenced but not so many that it's unreasonable nor difficult to verify. One paragraph distilling down six or eight pages of source material is not excessive. I mean, we could just put the same ref after each sentence and that would make it "look more referenced" but it would be useless work. Ealdgyth - Talk 18:50, 26 June 2014 (UTC)
I agree with Ealdgyth -- the paragraphs in question are indeed sourced to the best scholarly sources available. It is false to say the "authors here are unknown" --MacCulloch, for example, is professor at Oxford and one of the best known scholars of the Reformation in the world. Jasper Ridley was a well-known biographer & his book on Cranmer received very good reviews. Anyone who wants to check can easily get the books in a library. Rjensen (talk) 19:14, 26 June 2014 (UTC)
    • ^ Furlong, Monica (2000). C of E: the state it's in. London: Hodder & Stoughton. p. 418. ISBN 0340693991. 
    • ^ Rupp, Ernest Gordon (1974). Six Makers of English Religion, 1500–1700. Ayer Publishing. p. 125. ISBN 0518101592.