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John Knox

Preacher responsible for the reformation in Scotland that spoke out against Catholic beliefs and practices


Simon Renard

Advisor of the emperor Charles V and later Philip II. Ambassador of Spain in France and England. Critics say he had greater influence than the Privy Council


Edward Courtenay

Potential English suitor for Mary, implicated in Wyatt's rebellion


Philip II

Eldest son of Charles V and king of Spain


Cardinal Pole

Yorkist claimant to the throne who took a stand against Henry's annulment.
Appointed papal legate and returned to England in 1554 and made Archbishop of Canterbury in 1557
One of three key members of the Council of Trent


Catholic who was Bishop of London twice, wanted to reflect new ideas with A Profitable and Necessary Doctrine to be read by parish priests to their congregation but Cardinal Pole rejected it. 10,000 copies of his book were made

Bishop Bonner


Pope Paul IV

Pope from 1555-1559. Sought to restrict the influence of the Habsburgs and stripped Pole of his titles of Legate. This meant there were seven dioceses vacant by 1558


Replaced Cromwell as Chancellor at the University of Cambridge after his death, persuaded Henry VIII to pass the Act for the Advancement of True Religion and raised concerns to Henry about Catherine Parr's religious beliefs.

Imprisoned during Edward's reign but released in 1548.

Mary's Lord Chancellor, responsible for economy and some foreign policy (marriage). Proposed a number of bills to the second parliament which were not passed and a few to the third parliament which were passed. Took part in persecution of Protestants including Hooper.

Stephen Gardiner


Archbishop of Canterbury during the reign of Edward, executed by Mary despite recanting his Protestantism. He took back his recantation as he died. Responsible for the direction of doctrinal change under Edward including the two books of common prayer, 42 articles and the homilies he produced

Thomas Cranmer


Lord Russel

Lord Admiral and Lord Privy Seal, appointed by Somerset to restore law and order with an inadequate force to deal with the Western rebellion


John Foxe

Exiled during the reign of Mary and wrote an account of Christian martyrs emphasising the sufferings of English Protestants


Edmund Grindal

Made Bishop of London by Elizabeth having spent time in Strasbourg during Mary's reign. Wanted a return to the 1552 prayer book


Julius III

Pope from 1550-1555. Sent cardinal Pole to England to restore Catholicism


Made archbishop of Canterbury in 1559. A married priest that had preached in the rebels' camp during the Kett revolt but managed to stay in the country during Mary's reign as he was moderate.

Responsible for the Advertisements during the Vestiarian controversy.

Matthew Parker


Bishop Jewel

Returned to England in 1559 after being in exile through the reign of Mary I. Became Bishop of Salisbury in 1560 and wrote a series of Polemics against vestments etc. Eventually accepted Elizabeth's moderate views


Appointed to the Privy Council in 1540, member of reformist faction. Supported Edward Seymour and was made a Knight of the Garter during Edward's reign but became concerned during the reign and wrote to him in 1549 with these concerns. Lost power when Somerset fell but appointed to Mary's Privy Council

William Paget


Robert Kett

Wealthy yeoman farmer who led a rebellion in 1549, sympathetic to new religious ideas


Earl of Leicester during the reign of Elizabeth I, he was one of Elizabeth's leading advisors and potential suitor in the early years of her reign, although this was blocked by the Privy Council. When Elizabeth was ill with smallpox she signed an agreement for him to become Protector of the Real and to give him a title together with £20,000 a year although this was never enacted. Protestant and implicated in the plot to marry Mary, queen of Scots

Robert Dudley


William Cecil

Secretary of State under Elizabeth I. A cautious Protestant, he was the longest serving minister of any Tudor monarch. In 1561 made master of the Court of Wards and Liveries


William Paulet

Privy Councillor for thirty years, served under all four monarchs. He managed to stay in favour and was appointed Lord Treasurer by both Mary and Elizabeth, making him responsible for their economic reforms such as the Book of Rates