How much Catholic land taken by Henry VIII and English revolutions of 1600s?

Oct 2012
166
#1
I recently read that one reason for the opposition to James II was the fear by large landowners that a Catholic restoration would entail a restoration of all the Catholic land taken by Henry VIII and in the course of the revolutions of the 1600s--7/10ths of the entire area of England.
Is this figure--7/10ths--accurate? I have seen the amount of land held by the Church in 1534 described as 1/3. Does anyone know how much Catholic land was expropriated by Henry VIII and in the course of the revolutions of the 1600s?
 

authun

Ad Honorem
Aug 2011
4,971
#2
I recently read that one reason for the opposition to James II was the fear by large landowners that a Catholic restoration would entail a restoration of all the Catholic land taken by Henry VIII and in the course of the revolutions of the 1600s--7/10ths of the entire area of England.
Is this figure--7/10ths--accurate? I have seen the amount of land held by the Church in 1534 described as 1/3. Does anyone know how much Catholic land was expropriated by Henry VIII and in the course of the revolutions of the 1600s?

Historic UK claim that at the time of Henry VIII, the catholic church owned 1/4 of the land which Henry appropriated and parcelled out to his new supporters.

https://www.historic-uk.com/HistoryUK/HistoryofEngland/Dissolution-of-the-Monasteries/
 
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Oct 2012
166
#4
Why absurd? If Henry took 25%, that leaves 45% to make 70%. Is it so absurd that the Royalists controlled 45% of the land? Land ownership is certainly far more concentrated than that today.
 

Linschoten

Ad Honoris
Aug 2010
15,497
Welsh Marches
#5
I don't understand your argument, you asked if seven tenths of the area of England had passed into secular ownership as a result of the dissolution of the monasteries, and I said that that was an absurdly high figure, much more was in private and royal ownership, even if the amount that was owned by the church could make it difficult for rising families to acquire estates (that is why the alienation of church property was popular among the gentry, irrespective of their religious views). I had always heard it to be around a quarter (which is certainly a lot, especially because of the ratchet effect as more land was left to the church by people worried about the fate of their souls!), and authun has gives a link that offers a figure of that kind. By the latter part of the 17th Century, there could have been no question of even the most purblind Catholic ruler trying to confiscate land that had been owned by the church during the reigns of Henry VIII and Edward VI, it would simply not have been practical for all kinds of reasons.
 
Oct 2012
166
#6
"I don't understand your argument, you asked if seven tenths of the area of England had passed into secular ownership as a result of the dissolution of the monasteries, and I said..."

I asked: "all the Catholic land taken by Henry VIII and in the course of the revolutions of the 1600s"
 

Linschoten

Ad Honoris
Aug 2010
15,497
Welsh Marches
#7
I don't want to get into an argument with you, this is a straightforward historical question; almost all (or all?) the land that passed out of the possession of the church into the possession of the crown or of private citizens did so as a result of the dissolution of the monasteries. It was nothing like seven-tenths of the land in England, if anyone can put forward any evidence that it was much than a quarter, I will consider it.
 

authun

Ad Honorem
Aug 2011
4,971
#8
I guess it depends on what you mean by 'catholic land', land owned by the catholic church or land owned by catholic people. The land was owned by one or the other before the reformation. Henry confiscated church land and the lands of those individuals who opposed him. It depends on whether you want to combine the figures.
 

authun

Ad Honorem
Aug 2011
4,971
#10
It makes no sense to describe the land of private citizens as being 'Catholic land'!
Any act of allegiance to the Pope was considered treasonous because the papacy claimed both spiritual and political power over its followers. Hence catholics were deemed traitors, their titles forfeited and their lands seized. How should one otherwise describe such a land grab? Hence the recusancy acts. Forfeiture of land was a punishment.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recusancy
 
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