Thomas Cromwell's destruction of history

Dec 2019
45
Los Angeles
I've read some estimates that Thomas Cromwell destroyed about 97% of all writing and art then in existence in England. If that's true, or if anywhere near that percentage, that's HUGE and there's a good possibility our current knowledge of English history is completely wrong. As in, "entire kingdoms and monarchs missing from the picture" wrong. I'm wondering why this isn't talked about much, and how much less dark the dark ages would be if not for him; during his lifetime the 500-1000 AD dark ages weren't that far removed, how much of the things he destroyed were made during that time? Unless the estimate is completely exaggerated, any mention of England before the 1500s should mention how much Cromwell's actions limit our vision of the time period in question.
 

betgo

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
6,710
Were do you get that information? He may have destroyed or sold most of Oxford's library. Oxford's theology tended to be Catholic or high church. What art did he destroy? Where do you get 97%? Is this from Roman Catholic sources?
 

johnincornwall

Ad Honorem
Nov 2010
8,021
Cornwall
The 'dark ages' is more a Western Europe type thing and is actually very complex (and more about vacuum of knowledge than art to my mind). Dont' think Cromwell would've made much impression on it either way to be honest
 
Jun 2017
734
maine
Were do you get that information? He may have destroyed or sold most of Oxford's library. Oxford's theology tended to be Catholic or high church. What art did he destroy? Where do you get 97%? Is this from Roman Catholic sources?
I found it in an online article from the Telegraph at: Thomas Cromwell destroyed all evidences of Black Rule? and in blogs at: The Depredations of Thomas Cromwell – the villian ruffian | Rasta Livewire and at:Thomas Cromwell, Oliver Cromwell, Henry VIII, Elizabeth I, Mary I (this one cites the Telegraph article as its source); The Black Page Boy as Status Symbol (same citation). There is a lot of this in the sourcing of online genealogy trees: one person says something and then lots of people copy it; people see that some fact has a lot of citations this way and says "It must be so--just look at all the sources".
 
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johnincornwall

Ad Honorem
Nov 2010
8,021
Cornwall
You could argue that as most of the books - and people to read them - were in monasteries. And art. So maybe a large percentage disappeared?

Meanwhile in Spain they were burning centuries of knowledge in Greek, Hebrew and Arabic
 
Dec 2019
45
Los Angeles
Were do you get that information? He may have destroyed or sold most of Oxford's library. Oxford's theology tended to be Catholic or high church. What art did he destroy? Where do you get 97%? Is this from Roman Catholic sources?
This is the article I got the figure from. I don't know if it's true, that's why I'm asking.

 
Dec 2019
45
Los Angeles
The 'dark ages' is more a Western Europe type thing and is actually very complex (and more about vacuum of knowledge than art to my mind). Dont' think Cromwell would've made much impression on it either way to be honest
I know it's only applicable to Western Europe, which fits my OP because I'm talking about England. Like I said, if Cromwell's destruction was anywhere near that extensive, talk of English history before the 1500s should be prefaced the way pre-Qin China is: start with a note that knowledge is a lot more limited than it should be.
 
Dec 2019
45
Los Angeles
I found it in an online article from the Telegraph at: Thomas Cromwell destroyed all evidences of Black Rule? and in blogs at: The Depredations of Thomas Cromwell – the villian ruffian | Rasta Livewire and at:Thomas Cromwell, Oliver Cromwell, Henry VIII, Elizabeth I, Mary I (this one cites the Telegraph article as its source); The Black Page Boy as Status Symbol (same citation). There is a lot of this in the sourcing of online genealogy trees: one person says something and then lots of people copy it; people see that some fact has a lot of citations this way and says "It must be so--just look at all the sources".
My source is the Telegraph article.
 

Tercios Espanoles

Ad Honorem
Mar 2014
6,708
Beneath a cold sun, a grey sun, a Heretic sun...
This is the article I got the figure from. I don't know if it's true, that's why I'm asking.

Well, in fairness, the article says, "No one can be sure of the exact figure, but it is estimated that the destruction started and legalised by Cromwell amounted to 97% of the English art then in existence." There is no mention of books.

Considering the wave of iconclasm that would occur a century later under the Puritans, I find the figure to be highly suspect.
 
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betgo

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
6,710
How could he send hundreds to the chopping block? Only persons of very high status were beheaded. He destroyed religious art? Under Henry VIII who kept the Latin mass?