Thomas Cromwell's destruction of history

betgo

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
6,669

The article is easier to read and access above. It refers to the looting of art in the dissolution of the monasteries. It doesn't refer to destruction but to giving and selling the art. Likely the same thing was done with the papist books taken from Oxford, The church lands were also a great source of wealth for Henry and others and helped buy loyalty,

They may have looted 97% of the art in monasteries, but most of it was not destroyed. Presumably a large percentage of art at that time was in churches and private collections.
 

johnincornwall

Ad Honorem
Nov 2010
7,982
Cornwall

The article is easier to read and access above. It refers to the looting of art in the dissolution of the monasteries. It doesn't refer to destruction but to giving and selling the art. Likely the same thing was done with the papist books taken from Oxford, The church lands were also a great source of wealth for Henry and others and helped buy loyalty,

They may have looted 97% of the art in monasteries, but most of it was not destroyed. Presumably a large percentage of art at that time was in churches and private collections.
This is usually the case
 
Feb 2017
262
Devon, UK
I don't think it's fair to blame Thomas Cromwell for the near total destruction of England's mediaeval (ecclesiastical) art but he certainly started the legal process that enabled it. People tend to forget that it carried on well after the first flush of enthusiastic reformers into the 17th century and later, what couldn't be seized to be sold off and melted down (yes it did happen) was chipped away from the fabric of churches, smashed or whitewashed over, often on the orders of the clergy themselves.

I don't know where the figure of 97% comes from but it strikes me that it's not a complete over exaggeration even if it's not strictly 'correct'. There are no ie. zero extant original English mediaeval roods in situ in the country today. Don't ask me for a percentage but the corpus of existing mediaeval wall paintings in English churches is tiny compared to what it would have been prior to the 1530s. And if you're looking for Nottingham alabaster carvings (one of England's greatest mediaeval export earners and equally prized at home) the best collection I've ever seen is in the Musée de Cluny in Paris.