The term thegn, from Old English þegn, ðegn, "servant, retainer", "one who serves", is used to describe either an aristocratic retainer of a king or nobleman in Anglo-Saxon England, or, as a class term, the majority of the aristocracy below the ranks of ealdormen and high-reeves. It is the term for an early medieval Scandinavian class of retainers. Old English þeġn is cognate with Old High German Old Norse þegn; the thegn had a military significance, its usual Latin translation was miles, meaning soldier, although minister was used. Joseph Bosworth describes a thegn as "one engaged in a king's or a queen's service, whether in the household or in the country", adds: "the word in this case seems to acquire a technical meaning, to become a term denoting a class, however, several degrees". But, like all other words of the kind, the word thegn was changing its meaning, and, "the name, like that of the gesith, has different senses in different ages and kingdoms, but the original idea of military service runs through all the meanings of thegn, as that of personal association is traceable in all the applications of gesith".
After the Norman conquest of England in 1066, William the Conqueror replaced the Anglo-Saxon aristocracy with Normans and the new Norman ruling class replaced the Anglo-Saxon terminology with Norman. In this process, king's thegns became barons, the thegn class merged with the norman knight class; the precursor of the thegn was the gesith, the companion of the king or great lord, a member of his comitatus, the word thegn began to be used to describe a military gesith. It is only used once in the laws before the time of Aethelstan, but more in the charters. H. M. Chadwick says that "the sense of subordination must have been inherent in the word from the earliest time", but it has no connection with the German/Dutch dienen, to serve. In the course of time it extended its meaning and was more used; the thegn became a member of a territorial nobility, the dignity of thegnhood was attainable by those who fulfilled certain conditions. The nobility of pre-Conquest England was ranked according to the heriot they paid in the following descending order: earl, king's thegn, median thegn.
In Anglo-Saxon hierarchic society, a king's thegn attended in person upon the king, bringing with him his men and resources. A "median" thegn did not hold his land directly through an intermediary lord; the thegn was inferior to the ætheling, the member of a kingly family, but he was superior to the ceorl and, says Chadwick, "from the time of Æthelstan the distinction between thegn and ceorl was the broad line of demarcation between the classes of society". His status is shown by his weregild. Over a large part of England this was fixed at six times that of the ceorl, he was the twelfhynde man of the laws divided from the twyhynde man or ceorl. In a document known as Geþyncðo we learn: "And if a ceorl throve, so that he had five hides of his own land and kitchen, bellhouse and burh-gate-seat, special duty in the king's hail was he thenceforth of thegn-right worthy." A hide of land was considered sufficient to support a family. And again—"And if a merchant throve, so that he fared thrice over the wide sea by his own means was he thenceforth of thegn-right worthy."
In a similar manner a successful thegn might hope to become an earl. In addition to the thegns there were others who were thegns on account of their birth, thus thegnhood was inherited and acquired; the twelve senior thegns of the hundred play a part, the nature of, rather doubtful, in the development of the English system of justice. By a law of Aethelred they "seem to have acted as the judicial committee of the court for the purposes of accusation," and thus they have some connection with the grand jury of modern times; the increase in the number of thegns produced in time a subdivision of the order. There arose a class of king's thegns, corresponding to the earlier thegns, a larger class of inferior thegns, some of them the thegns of bishops or of other thegns. A king's thegn was a person of great importance, the contemporary idea being shown by the Latin translation of the words as comes, he had certain special privileges. No one save the king had the right of jurisdiction over him, while by a law of Canute we learn that he paid a larger heriot than an ordinary thegn.
In Domesday Book, OE þegn has become tainus in the Latin form, but the word does not imply high status. Domesday Book lists the taini who hold lands directly from the king at the end of their respective counties, but the term became devalued because there were so many thegns. Compare the separate development of the concept of "vassal", from a warlord's henchman to one of Charlemagne's great companions. During the part of the 10th and in the 11th centuries in Denmark and Sweden, it became common for families or comrades to raise memorial runestones, fifty of these note that the deceased was a thegn. Examples of such runestones include Sö 170 at Nälberga, Vg 59 at Norra Härene, Vg 150 at Velanda, DR 143 at Gunderup, DR 209 at Glavendrup, DR 277 at Rydsgård. Abthain Fyrd Thain Thane Abels, Richard P. Lordship and Military Obligation in Anglo-Saxon England, British Museum Publications ISBN 0-7141-0552-X David Roffe, "The King's thegns on the eve of the Norman Conquest" Mats G. Larsson, "Rinkar, karlar svenner" in Populär Historia April 2002 Canute, King of the English: Heriots and reliefs, c. 1016 - 1035: the equivalent of "death d
Lord is an appellation for a person or deity who has authority, control, or power over others acting like a master, a chief, or a ruler. The appellation can denote certain persons who hold a title of the peerage in the United Kingdom, or are entitled to courtesy titles; the collective "Lords" can refer to a body of peers. According to the Oxford Dictionary of English, the etymology of the word can be traced back to the Old English word hlāford which originated from hlāfweard meaning "loaf-ward" or "bread keeper", reflecting the Germanic tribal custom of a chieftain providing food for his followers; the appellation "lord" is applied to men, while for women the appellation "lady" is used. However, this is no longer universal: the Lord of Mann, a title held by the Queen of the United Kingdom, female Lord Mayors are examples of women who are styled Lord. Under the feudal system, "lord" had a wide and varied meaning. An overlord was a person from whom a landholding or a manor was held by a mesne lord or vassal under various forms of feudal land tenure.
The modern term "landlord" is a vestigial survival of this function. A liege lord was a person. Neither of these terms were titular dignities, but rather factual appellations, which described the relationship between two or more persons within the stratified feudal social system. For example, a man might be Lord of the Manor to his own tenants but a vassal of his own overlord, who in turn was a vassal of the King. Where a knight was a lord of the manor, he was referred to in contemporary documents as "John, lord of". A feudal baron was a true titular dignity, with the right to attend Parliament, but a feudal baron, Lord of the Manor of many manors, was a vassal of the King; the substantive title of "Lord of the Manor" came into use in the English medieval system of feudalism after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The title "Lord of the Manor" was a titular feudal dignity which derived its force from the existence and operation of a manorial court or court baron at which he or his steward presided, thus he was the lord of the manorial court which determined the rules and laws which were to govern all the inhabitants and property covered by the jurisdiction of the court.
To the tenants of a certain class of manor known in Saxon times as Infangenthef their lord was a man who had the power of exercising capital punishment over them. The term invariably used in contemporary mediaeval documents is "lord of X", X being the name of the manor; the term "Lord of the Manor" is a recent usage of historians to distinguish such lords from feudal barons and other powerful persons referred to in ancient documents variously as "Sire", "Dominus", "Lord" etc. The title of "Lord of the Manor" is recognised by the British Government for any such title registered at Her Majesty's Land Registry before 13 October 2003 but after that date titles can no longer be registered, any such titles voluntarily de-registered by the holder cannot be re-registered; however any transfer of ownership of registered manors will continue to be recorded in the register, on the appropriate notification. Thus in effect the register is closed for new registrations; such titles are classified as "incorporeal hereditaments" as they have no physical existence, have no intrinsic value.
However a lucrative market arose in the 20th century for such titles for purposes of vanity, assisted by the existence of an official register, giving the purchaser the impression of a physical existence. Whether a title of "Lord of the Manor" is registered or unregistered has no effect on its legal validity or existence, a matter of law to be determined by the courts. Modern legal cases have been won by persons claiming rights as lords of the manor over village greens; the heads of many ancient English land-owning families have continued to be lords of the manor of lands they have inherited. The UK Identity and Passport Service will include such titles on a British passport as an "observation", provided the holder can provide documentary evidence of ownership, as will Passport Canada; the United States however, forbids the use of all titles on passports. Australia forbids the use of titles on passports if those titles have not been awarded by the Crown or the Commonwealth; the Scottish title Laird is a shortened form of'laverd', an old Scottish word deriving from an Anglo-Saxon term meaning'Lord' and is derived from the middle English word'Lard' meaning'Lord'.
The word is used to refer to any owner of a landed estate and has no meaning in heraldic terms and its use is not controlled by the Lord Lyon. Lord is used as a generic term to denote members of the peerage. Five ranks of peer exist in the United Kingdom: in descending order these are duke, earl and baron; the appellation "Lord" is used most by barons, who are addressed by their formal and legal title of "Baron". The most formal style is'The Lord': for example, Alfred Tennyson, 1st Baron Tennyson, can be called as "The Lord Tennyson", although the most common appellation is "Lord Tennyson". Marquesses and viscounts are also addressed as Lord. Dukes use the style "The Duke of", are not referred to as'Lord'. Dukes are formally addressed as'Your Grace', rather than'My Lord'. In the Peerage of Scotland, the members of the lowest level of the peerage have the substantive title'Lord of Parliament' rather than Baron. "Lord" is used as a cour
Paulerspury is a civil parish and small village in Northamptonshire, within the district of South Northamptonshire. It is 3 miles south of Towcester and 8 miles north of Milton Keynes along the A5 road; the parish contains the hamlets or villages of Pury End, Pury Hill and Heathencote. The 2011 population was 1,018; the village is mentioned in the Domesday Book as Paveli's Peri - a reference to orchards in the area and the lord of the manor Paveli. It was the birthplace in 1761 of William Carey, son of a weaver, who first established the Protestant mission in India. In the 1800s, the place was known as Pauler's Perry. Paulerspury has known significant historical events. Although the site of the final battle of Queen Boudicca is not confirmed, one of the three locations believed most is Cuttle Mill in Paulerspury. During Elizabethan times, the lords of the manor, the Throckmortons became prominent nobles, local legend has it that the Queen and her favourite Sir Walter Raleigh stayed in the village.
The restored church displays good Early English work. The effigies of Sir Arthur Throckmorton and his lady lie on a long tomb. There are two rare wooden figures, representing Sir Laurence de Paveley and his wife. During the industrial revolution, little industry developed in the area, it being an agricultural community, the main produce other than agriculture was lace; this led to an impoverished community. This is in stark contrast to the village of today, a wealthy commuter village for Milton Keynes and London; the village has an elected Parish Council. It is in Daventry parliamentary constituency. Paulerspury has a Church of England primary school, the Barley Mow pub, it is the headquarters of the Rolls-Royce Enthusiasts' Club. Edward Bernard English scholar, Savilian professor of astronomy at the University of Oxford, from 1673 to 1691, was born in the village. William Carey English missionary to India Justin Wilson English racing driver, was buried in Paulerspury. Media related to Paulerspury at Wikimedia Commons Paulerspury parish website Interesting information at waymarking.com
The English Reformation was a series of events in 16th-century England by which the Church of England broke away from the authority of the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church. These events were, in part, associated with the wider process of the European Protestant Reformation, a religious and political movement that affected the practice of Christianity across western and central Europe during this period. Many factors contributed to the process: the decline of feudalism and the rise of nationalism, the rise of the common law, the invention of the printing press and increased circulation of the Bible, the transmission of new knowledge and ideas among scholars, the upper and middle classes and readers in general. However, the various phases of the English Reformation, which covered Wales and Ireland, were driven by changes in government policy, to which public opinion accommodated itself. Based on Henry VIII's desire for an annulment of his marriage, the English Reformation was at the outset more of a political affair than a theological dispute.
The reality of political differences between Rome and England allowed growing theological disputes to come to the fore. Until the break with Rome, it was general councils of the Church that decided doctrine. Church law was governed by canon law with final jurisdiction in Rome. Church taxes were paid straight to Rome, the Pope had the final word in the appointment of bishops; the break with Rome was effected by a series of acts of Parliament passed between 1532 and 1534, among them the 1534 Act of Supremacy, which declared that Henry was the "Supreme Head on earth of the Church of England". Final authority in doctrinal and legal disputes now rested with the monarch, the papacy was deprived of revenue and the final say on the appointment of bishops; the theology and liturgy of the Church of England became markedly Protestant during the reign of Henry's son Edward VI along lines laid down by Archbishop Thomas Cranmer. Under Mary, the whole process was reversed and the Church of England was again placed under papal jurisdiction.
Soon after, Elizabeth reintroduced the Protestant faith but in a more moderate manner. The structure and theology of the church was a matter of fierce dispute for generations; the violent aspect of these disputes, manifested in the English Civil Wars, ended when the last Roman Catholic monarch, James II, was deposed, Parliament asked William III and Mary II to rule jointly in conjunction with the English Bill of Rights in 1688, from which emerged a church polity with an established church and a number of non-conformist churches whose members at first suffered various civil disabilities that were removed over time. The legacy of the past Roman Catholic Establishment remained an issue for some time, still exists today. A substantial minority remained Roman Catholic in England, in an effort to disestablish it from British systems, their church organisation remained illegal until the 19th century; the Reformation was a clash of two opposed schemes of salvation. The Roman Catholic Church taught that the contrite person could cooperate with God towards their salvation by performing good works.
Protestants taught that fallen humanity was helpless and under condemnation until given the grace of God through faith. An earlier reform movement that anticipated some Protestant teachings but remained outside the religious mainstream was Lollardy. Derived from the writings of John Wycliffe, a 14th-century theologian and Bible translator, Lollardy stressed the primacy of scripture and emphasised the preaching of the word over the sacrament of the altar, holding the latter to be but a memorial. Unlike Protestants, the early Lollards lacked access to the printing press and failed to gain a foothold among the church's most popular communicators, the friars. Unable to gain access to the levers of power, the Lollards were much reduced in numbers and influence by the 15th century, they sometimes faced investigation and persecution and produced new literature after 1450. Lollards could still be found—especially in London and the Thames Valley, in Essex and Kent, Bristol and in the North—and many would be receptive to Protestant ideas.
More respectable and orthodox calls for reform came from Renaissance humanists, such as Erasmus, John Colet, Dean of St Paul's, Thomas More. Humanists downplayed the role of rites and ceremonies in achieving salvation and criticised the superstitious veneration of relics. Erasmus and Colet emphasised a simple, personal piety and a return ad fontes, back to the sources of Christian faith—the scriptures as understood through textual and linguistic scholarship. Colet's commentaries on the Pauline epistles emphasized double predestination and the worthlessness of human works. Anne Boleyn's own religious views were shaped by French humanists such as Jacques Lefèvre d'Étaples, whose 1512 commentaries on Paul's epistles stated that human works were irrelevant to salvation five years before Luther published the same views. Humanist scholarship provided arguments against papal primacy and support for the claim that popes had usurped powers that rightfully belonged to kings. In 1534, Lorenzo Valla's On the Donation of Constantine—which proved that one of the pillars of the papacy's temporal authority was a hoax—was published in London.
Thomas Cromwell paid for an English translation of Marsiglio of Padua's Defensor pacis in 1535. The conservative cleric Stephen Gardiner used Marsiglio's theory of a unitary realm to defend royal power over spiritual as w
Henry II of England
Henry II known as Henry Curtmantle, Henry FitzEmpress or Henry Plantagenet, ruled as King of England, Duke of Normandy and Aquitaine, Count of Anjou and Nantes, Lord of Ireland. Before he was 40 he controlled England, large parts of Wales, the eastern half of Ireland and the western half of France—an area that would come to be called the Angevin Empire. Henry was the son of daughter of Henry I of England, he became involved by the age of 14 in his mother's efforts to claim the throne of England occupied by Stephen of Blois, was made Duke of Normandy at 17. He inherited Anjou in 1151 and shortly afterwards became the Duke of Aquitaine by marrying Eleanor of Aquitaine, whose marriage to Louis VII of France had been annulled. Stephen agreed to a peace treaty after Henry's military expedition to England in 1153, Henry inherited the kingdom on Stephen's death a year later. Henry was an energetic and sometimes ruthless ruler, driven by a desire to restore the lands and privileges of his grandfather Henry I.
During the early years of his reign the younger Henry restored the royal administration in England, re-established hegemony over Wales and gained full control over his lands in Anjou and Touraine. Henry's desire to reform the relationship with the Church led to conflict with his former friend Thomas Becket, the Archbishop of Canterbury; this controversy lasted for much of the 1160s and resulted in Becket's murder in 1170. Henry soon came into conflict with Louis VII and the two rulers fought what has been termed a "cold war" over several decades. Henry expanded his empire at Louis' expense, taking Brittany and pushing east into central France and south into Toulouse. Henry and Eleanor had eight children -- five sons. Three of his sons would be king, though Henry the Young King was named his father's co-ruler rather than a stand-alone king; as the sons grew up, tensions over the future inheritance of the empire began to emerge, encouraged by Louis and his son King Philip II. In 1173 Henry's heir apparent, "Young Henry", rebelled in protest.
France, Brittany and Boulogne allied themselves with the rebels. The Great Revolt was only defeated by Henry's vigorous military action and talented local commanders, many of them "new men" appointed for their loyalty and administrative skills. Young Henry and Geoffrey revolted again in 1183; the Norman invasion of Ireland provided lands for his youngest son John, but Henry struggled to find ways to satisfy all his sons' desires for land and immediate power. By 1189, Young Henry and Geoffrey were dead, Philip played on Richard's fears that Henry II would make John king, leading to a final rebellion. Decisively defeated by Philip and Richard and suffering from a bleeding ulcer, Henry retreated to Chinon castle in Anjou, he was succeeded by Richard. Henry's empire collapsed during the reign of his youngest son, John. Many of the changes Henry introduced during his long rule, had long-term consequences. Henry's legal changes are considered to have laid the basis for the English Common Law, while his intervention in Brittany and Scotland shaped the development of their societies and governmental systems.
Historical interpretations of Henry's reign have changed over time. In the 18th century, scholars argued that Henry was a driving force in the creation of a genuinely English monarchy and a unified Britain. During the Victorian expansion of the British Empire, historians were keenly interested in the formation of Henry's own empire, but they expressed concern over his private life and treatment of Becket. Late-20th-century historians have combined British and French historical accounts of Henry, challenging earlier Anglocentric interpretations of his reign. Henry was born in France at Le Mans on 5 March 1133, the eldest child of the Empress Matilda and her second husband, Geoffrey the Fair, Count of Anjou; the French county of Anjou was formed in the 10th century and the Angevin rulers attempted for several centuries to extend their influence and power across France through careful marriages and political alliances. In theory, the county answered to the French king, but royal power over Anjou weakened during the 11th century and the county became autonomous.
Henry's mother was King of England and Duke of Normandy. She was born into a powerful ruling class of Normans, who traditionally owned extensive estates in both England and Normandy, her first husband had been the Holy Roman Emperor Henry V. After her father's death in 1135, Matilda hoped to claim the English throne, but instead her cousin Stephen of Blois was crowned king and recognised as the Duke of Normandy, resulting in civil war between their rival supporters. Geoffrey took advantage of the confusion to attack the Duchy of Normandy but played no direct role in the English conflict, leaving this to Matilda and her half-brother, Robert of Gloucester; the war, termed the Anarchy by Victorian historians, degenerated into stalemate. Henry spent some of his earliest years in his mother's household, accompanied Matilda to Normandy in the late 1130s. Henry's childhood from the age of seven, was spent in Anjou, where he was educated by Peter of Saintes, a noted grammarian of the day. In late 1142, Geoffrey decided t
In English common law, real property, real estate, realty, or immovable property is land, the property of some person and all structures integrated with or affixed to the land, including crops, machinery, dams, mines and roads, among other things. The term is historic, arising from the now-discontinued form of action, which distinguished between real property disputes and personal property disputes. Personal property was, continues to be, all property, not real property. In countries with personal ownership of real property, civil law protects the status of real property in real-estate markets, where estate agents work in the market of buying and selling real estate. Scottish civil law calls real property "heritable property", in French-based law, it is called immobilier; the word "real" derives from Latin res, used in Middle English to mean "relating to things real property". In common law, real property was property that could be protected by some form of real action, in contrast to personal property, where a plaintiff would have to resort to another form of action.
As a result of this formalist approach, some things the common law deems to be land would not be classified as such by most modern legal systems, for example an advowson was real property. By contrast the rights of a leaseholder originate in personal actions and so the common law treated a leasehold as part of personal property; the law now broadly distinguishes between real personal property. The conceptual difference was between immovable property, which would transfer title along with the land, movable property, which a person would retain title to. In modern legal systems derived from English common law, classification of property as real or personal may vary somewhat according to jurisdiction or within jurisdictions, according to purpose, as in defining whether and how the property may be taxed. Bethell contains much historical information on the historical evolution of real property and property rights. To be of any value a claim to any property must be accompanied by a verifiable and legal property description.
Such a description makes use of natural or manmade boundaries such as seacoasts, streams, the crests of ridges, highways and railroad tracks or purpose-built markers such as cairns, surveyor's posts, official government surveying marks, so forth. In many cases, a description refers to one or more lots on a plat, a map of property boundaries kept in public records; the law recognizes different sorts of interests, called estates, in real property. The type of estate is determined by the language of the deed, bill of sale, land grant, etc. through which the estate was acquired. Estates are distinguished by the varying property rights that vest in each, that determine the duration and transferability of the various estates. A party enjoying an estate is called a "tenant"; some important types of estates in land include: Fee simple: An estate of indefinite duration, that can be transferred. The most common and most absolute type of estate, under which the tenant enjoys the greatest discretion over the disposal of the property.
Conditional Fee simple: An estate lasting forever as long as one or more conditions stipulated by the deed's grantor does not occur. If such a condition does occur, the property reverts to the grantor, or a remainder interest is passed on to a third party. Fee tail: An estate which, upon the death of the tenant, is transferred to his or her heirs. Life estate: An estate lasting for the natural life of the grantee, called a "life tenant". If a life estate can be sold, a sale does not change its duration, limited by the natural life of the original grantee. A life estate pur; such an estate may arise if the original life tenant sells her life estate to another, or if the life estate is granted pur autre vie. Leasehold: An estate of limited term, as set out in a contract, called a lease, between the party granted the leasehold, called the lessee, another party, called the lessor, having a longer estate in the property. For example, an apartment-dweller with a one-year lease has a leasehold estate in her apartment.
Lessees agree to pay a stated rent to the lessor. Though a leasehold relates to real property, the leasehold interest is classified as personal property. A tenant enjoying an undivided estate in some property after the termination of some estate of limited term, is said to have a "future interest". Two important types of future interests are: Reversion: A reversion arises when a tenant grants an estate of lesser maximum term than his own. Ownership of the land returns to the original tenant; the original tenant's future interest is a reversion. Remainder: A remainder arises when a tenant with a fee simple grants someone a life estate or conditional fee simple, specifies a third party to whom the land goes when the life estate ends or the condition occurs; the third party is said to have a remainder. The third party may have a legal right to limit the life tenant's use of the land. Estates may be held jointly as joint tenants as tenants in common; the difference in these two types of joint ownership of an estate in land is the inheritability of the estate and the shares of interest that each tenant owns.
In a joint tenancy with rights of survivorshi
Dissolution of the Monasteries
The Dissolution of the Monasteries, sometimes referred to as the Suppression of the Monasteries, was the set of administrative and legal processes between 1536 and 1541 by which Henry VIII disbanded monasteries, priories and friaries in England and Ireland, appropriated their income, disposed of their assets, provided for their former personnel and functions. Although the policy was envisaged as increasing the regular income of the Crown, much former monastic property was sold off to fund Henry's military campaigns in the 1540s, he was given the authority to do this in England and Wales by the Act of Supremacy, passed by Parliament in 1534, which made him Supreme Head of the Church in England, thus separating England from Papal authority, by the First Suppression Act and the Second Suppression Act. Professor George W. Bernard argues: The dissolution of the monasteries in the late 1530s was one of the most revolutionary events in English history. There were nearly 900 religious houses in England, around 260 for monks, 300 for regular canons, 142 nunneries and 183 friaries.
If the adult male population was 500,000, that meant that one adult man in fifty was in religious orders. At the time of their suppression, a small number of English and Welsh religious houses could trace their origins to Anglo-Saxon or Celtic foundations before the Norman Conquest, but the overwhelming majority of the 625 monastic communities dissolved by Henry VIII had developed in the wave of monastic enthusiasm that had swept western Christendom in the 11th and 12th centuries. Few English houses had been founded than the end of the 13th century. 11th- and 12th-century founders had endowed monastic houses with both'temporal' income in the form of revenues from landed estates, and'spiritual' income in the form of tithes appropriated from parish churches under the founder's patronage. In consequence of this, religious houses in the 16th century controlled appointment to about two-fifths of all parish benefices in England, disposed of about half of all ecclesiastical income, owned around a quarter of the nation's landed wealth.
An English medieval proverb said that if the Abbot of Glastonbury married the Abbess of Shaftesbury, the heir would have more land than the King of England. The 200 houses of friars in England and Wales constituted a second distinct wave of foundations all occurring in the 13th century. Friaries, for the most part, were concentrated in urban areas. Unlike monasteries, friaries had eschewed income-bearing endowments; the Dissolution of the Monasteries in England and Ireland took place in the political context of other attacks on the ecclesiastical institutions of Western Roman Catholicism, under way for some time. Many of these were related to the Protestant Reformation in Continental Europe. By the end of the 16th century, monasticism had entirely disappeared from those European states whose rulers had adopted Lutheran or Reformed confessions of faith, they continued, albeit in reduced numbers and radically changed forms, in those states that remained Catholic. But, the religious and political changes in England under Henry VIII and Edward VI were of a different nature from those taking place in Germany, France and Geneva.
Across much of continental Europe, the seizure of monastic property was associated with mass discontent among the common people and the lower level of clergy and civil society against powerful and wealthy ecclesiastical institutions. Such popular hostility against the church was rare in England before 1558; these changes were met with widespread popular suspicion. Dissatisfaction with the general state of regular religious life, with the gross extent of monastic wealth, was near to universal amongst late medieval secular and ecclesiastical rulers in the Latin West. Bernard says there was widespread concern in the 15th and early 16th centuries about the condition of the monasteries. A leading figure here is the scholar and theologian Desiderius Erasmus who satirized monasteries as lax, as comfortably worldly, as wasteful of scarce resources, as superstitious. At that time, quite a few bishops across Europe had come to believe that resources expensively deployed on an unceasing round of services by men and women in theory set apart from the world be better spent on endowing grammar schools and university colleges to train men who would serve the laity as parish priests, on reforming the antiquated structures of over-large dioceses such as that of Lincoln.
Pastoral care was seen as much more important and vital than the monastic focus on contemplation and performance of the daily office. Erasmus had made a threefold criticism of the monks and nuns of his day, saying that: in withdrawing from the world into their own communal life, they elevated man-made monastic vows of poverty and obedience above the God-given vows of sacramental