The Reformers: Thomas Cranmer

As Archbishop of Canterbury from 1533 to 1556, Thomas Cranmer promoted reforms that led to the formation of the Church of England. Just four years after the execution of Reformer William Tyndale, Cranmer wrote the preface for the Great Bible, the first authorized English Bible. He also compiled the Book of Common Prayer, a liturgy filled with biblical content that was used in church services in England—the first to be printed in English! Cranmer’s popularity ended with the death of King Edward VI in 1553.

When Queen May came to the throne, her officials arrested Cranmer and convinced him to recant of his Protestant beliefs. But he reversed his recantation at his execution. He was burned at the stake while praying, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!”

To learn more about the Protestant Reformation visit www.museumofthebible.org/reformation.

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