Did Edward VI transform the English Church?

Edward ruled England for just six years, but in our last lesson we saw some important changes he began to make to the English Church. Did Edward successfully transform the English Church? And what does the Prayer Book Rebellion tell us about this transformation?

You can download the worksheet here. If you are unable to download the worksheet, complete the tasks as outlined in the yellow boxes below.

Rapid change = a change that occurred very quickly.
Partial change = a change where some things changed, but other parts remained the same.
Complete change = where everything changes.
Clergy = someone who works for the Church.

STARTER: Complete the boxes

Look at the table below on the Catholic Church, Henry VIII’s Church and Edward VI’s Church. Can you fill in the missing boxes to explain what happened to the Church when it was ruled in this way? Use the information you have found in the last few lessons. Some of the boxes have been completed for you.

TASK ONE: What does the Prayer Book Rebellion tell us about Edward VI’s changes to the English Church?

Read the information below on the Prayer Book Rebellion. Answer the following questions after you have finished reading the information:
1) Why is Cornwall historically different to the rest of England?
2) Why did the Cornish people rebel against Edward VI?
3) What does this show about Edward’s changes to the Church? Did everybody agree with his changes?
4) CHALLENGE – Can you think of a reason why people did not protest like this when Henry was King. HINT: Think about the table you completed for your starter.

The Prayer Book Rebellion of 1549

Where is Cornwall and Devon?
The events of the Prayer Book Rebellion, 1549.

Cornwall is an interesting place to study in English History. For a long time, people from Cornwall did not speak English (they instead spoke Cornish) and many did not want to be ruled by an English King. Cornwall was also largely Catholic, and had ignored Henry VIII’s attempts to change the Church. 

The Cornish people became extremely angry when Edward VI forced all churches in England to adopt an English prayer book. Many could not understand it. The English crown had also increased the tax on sheep farmers. Considering many people in Cornwall farmed sheep, many became fed up with their King. They pledged to “kill all the gentlemen”. 

In July 1549, 2000 men seiged the town of Exeter, demanding that all Protestant clergy leave Devon and Cornwall. In response, Edward VI sent forces to put down the rebellion, which was becoming stronger as time passed. At least 4000 rebels were killed, and their leaders were tried and hung for treason. 

TASK TWO: What kind of change did Edward make?

Look back at the answers you wrote in your table in the starter, and the answers you came up with for the Prayer Book Rebellion. Based on this, can you write a short PEE paragraph on the type of change Edward made to the English Church?

Use the following keywords (look at their meanings above!)
– Rapid change
– Partial change
– Complete change

Clear point/argument: I think Edward made a ____ change to the English Church.
Now show evidence as to why you believe this: This can be seen because…
Now explain why this shows the change that you have argued: This shows that a ____ change occurred because…

CHALLENGE: Could you argue that Edward made more than one kind of change to the English Church. For example, could you say he made a rapid change and a partial change? Why?

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