Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Iconoclasm during Edward Seymour's Protectorate (Theonomy Applied)

Edward Seymour, Lord Protector of
England from 1547-1549, worked to
abolish images and other Roman Catholic
influences on worship.
Edward Seymour (1506-1552) was the brother of Jane Seymour, King Henry the VIII's third wife and mother of Edward VI. When Edward VI came to the throne of England at a very young age, the Royal Council established Edward Seymour as Lord Protector of England for two years (1547-1549)

During his protectorate, Seymour (who became the Duke of Somerset) worked to abolish images and other Roman Catholic influences on worship. 

On Somerset's iconoclasm Will Durant writes:

"Under his lead parliament (1547) ordered that every picture on church wall or window, commemorating a Prophet, Apostle, or saint, should be extirpated 'so that there should remain no memory of the same.'

"Most of the stained glass in the churches was destroyed; most of the statues were crushed; crucifixes were replaced with the royal arms; whitewashed walls and stainless windows took the color out of the religion of England. There was a general scramble in each locality for church silver and gold; and in 1551 the government appropriated what remained. The magnificent medieval cathedrals barely remained."


     [1] Will Durant, The Reformation: A History of European Civilization from Wyclif to Calvin: 1300 - 1564 (New York, NY: Simon and Schuster, 1957), 580.

Note about the Theonomy Applied Series: In quoting any particular law, we do not necessarily endorse every aspect of that law as biblical, whether it be the prohibition, sanction, court procedure, etc. Rather, we are merely showing the more or less attempt to apply biblical law in history, whether or not that application was fully biblical. Moreover, in quoting any particular law, we do not necessarily consider those who passed and/or enforced such a law as being fully orthodox in their Christian theology. Professing Christian rulers in history have ranged in their theology from being orthodox (that is, Reformed Protestants) to heretical (for example, Roman Catholics). 


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