Reformation, Religion and Revolution in Tudor and Early Stuart England

Course summary

  • Sat 28 Jul 2018 to Sat 04 Aug 2018
  • Oxford
  • Course fees vary depending on accommodation – please see ‘Fees’, below.
  • 10 CATS points
  • Course code O17I407CAR
  • +44 (0) 1865 270396
  • Course Full

Reformation, Religion and Revolution in Tudor and Early Stuart England


Using an inter-disciplinary approach combining politics, religion and iconography, this course will explore conflict, resistance and revolt between 1500 and 1650. We will explore the expanding world of the early 16th century, the nature of the Reformation unleashed by Henry VIII and Edward VI, the Counter-Reformation of Mary and the ‘religious settlement’ of Elizabeth. We will also study the Catholic opposition under Elizabeth and the rising power of Puritanism which finally provoked Civil War and Revolution across the British Isles in the 1640s and resulted in the downfall of the monarchy and the execution of Charles I.

Programme details

Session One:
New frontiers – exploration and the ‘new learning.’

Session Two:
Reformers! Catholic and not so Catholic.

Session Three:
Henry VIII’s ‘Great Matter’ and the early Reformation.

Session Four:
England’s Josiah – Edward VI, Cranmer and The Book of Common Prayer.

Session Five:
Fires of Faith – the reign of Mary Tudor.

Session Six:
Queen Elizabeth, Religion and Foxe’s Book of Martyrs.

Session Seven:
The Reformation of Images.

Session Eight:
Gloriana! The image of Elizabeth.

Session Nine:
The English Catholic Community – martyrs or traitors?

Session Ten:
Divine Rights in early modern England.

Session Eleven:
Puritans, Regicides and Royal Martyrs.

Session Twelve:
Conclusions and Presentations.


Recommended reading

Duffy, E.  2009.  Fires of Faith.  Yale University Press.

Duffy, E.  1992.  The Stripping of the Altars.  Yale University Press.

MacCulloch, D.  1999.  Tudor Church Militant.  Penguin.

Rex, R.  2009.  The Tudors.  Amberley.

Sommerville, J.  1986.  Politics and Ideology in England 1603 – 1640.  Longman.

Spurr John.  1998.  'English Puritanism 1603 - 1689.'  Macmillan.

Note from Tutor: The above books are for background reading only - it is not necessary to bring them to class.


Concessionary Fee (No Accomm., inc. Tuition, Lunch & Dinner): £680.00
Programme Fee (No Accommodation - inc. Tuition, Lunch & Dinner): £790.00
Programme Fee (Standard Single Room - inc. Tuition and Meals): £1375.00
Programme Fee (Standard Twin Room - inc. Tuition and Meals): £1155.00
Programme Fee (Superior Single Room - inc. Tuition and Meals): £1480.00
Programme Fee (Superior Twin Room - inc. Tuition and Meals): £1245.00

Course fees vary depending on accommodation – please see ‘Fees’, below.


Dr Andrew Lacey


Andrew Lacey holds a doctorate for work on King Charles I and has been teaching in adult education for over 25 years. Currently, he is a Tutor for the Continuing Education departments at both the University of Cambridge and the University of Oxford and his historical interests range from the English Civil War to 19th and 20th century British and European history.

Course aims

This course aims to explore the effects of religious upheaval and violence on English society from Henry VIII’s reformation to the execution of Charles I.

Course Objectives

This course will enable students to:

  • Have some understanding of the key events and the significance of key personalities during this period.
  • Have some insight into the inter-relationship of politics, religion and the arts in this period.
  • Have some awareness of the causes of opposition to the Tudor regime and why militant Puritanism precipitated civil war and regicide in the 1640s.

Teaching methods

All summer school courses are taught through group seminars and individual tutorials. Students also conduct private study when not in class and there is a well stocked library at OUDCE to support individual research needs.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this course students will be expected to understand:

  • The general narrative of the English Reformation and the causes of the English Civil War.
  • Some of the ways in which religious conflict affected English society.
  • The role and significance of key people and concepts in this period.

And students will be expected to have gained and/or developed the following skills:

  • The ability to ‘read’ iconography to decipher some of the political and religious messages contained therein.
  • Awareness of the changing nature and significance of contemporary political and social theory and the reactions of some of its critics.
  • Some insight into the complex relationship between religion and politics.

Assessment methods

Students are assessed during the summer school by either a 1500 word written assignment or a presentation supported by individual documentation. To successfully gain credit (10 CATS points) students should attend all classes and complete the on-course assignment. There is also a pre-course assignment of 1000 words set. Although this does not count towards credit, it is seen as an important way of developing a student's ideas and therefore its completion is mandatory.


To enrol online, click 'Book Now', above.  To enrol by post, please see details of the application process.