Cranmer, Cromwell, and Cromwell: A Brief Guide.

Cranmer, Cromwell, and Cromwell sound a lot like a law firm, but actually, those names identify three famous and important men in church history. When I was a student, I would regularly confuse these three men and would have to quickly look up their specific contributions to the church. I recently read an article by Dr. Michael Haykin on the life of Thomas Cranmer, so I thought it might be helpful for the rest of us to have a simple and brief outline of these three men for a quick reference guide.

Thomas Cranmer (1489-1556)
– First Protestant Archbishop of Canterbury (1533-1556)
– A leader of the English Reformation
– A loyal servant to King Henry VIII
– Reformed the worship of the Church with the Book of Common Prayer
– Executed by fire in 1556 by Queen Mary I

Thomas Cromwell (1485-1540)
– The principal adviser to King Henry VIII
– Proposed plan to replace Papal power in Rome with royal supremacy
– Brought an end to all English monastic institutions
– Was executed by the authority of the king for treason
– King Henry VIII would express regret for killing Cromwell

Oliver Cromwell (1599-1658)
– An important figure during the English Civil War
– Supported the execution of King Charles I
– A devoted religious man and a devout Puritan
– Ruled England as “Lord Protector” after the death of King Charles I
– After his death in 1658, the monarchy was restored
– King Charles II had his body dug up, hung, and beheaded

So there you go! An easy way to remember three important men in English church history.