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Thomas Cranmer
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Religious Figure
    (July 2, 1489-March 21, 1556)
    Born in Aslockton, United Kingdom
    Archbishop of Canterbury under Henry VIII and Edward VI
    Helped lead Henry VIII in his efforts lead the church in England out of the Catholic Church
    Imprisoned and executed by Mary I
    BA, MA and Doctor of Divinity, all from Cambridge
    He was a craven opportunist and slavish supporter of Henry VIII.
    Henry VIII wanted to divorce his wife to marry his mistress and when he wasn't granted an annulment by the Catholic Church he broke away from it and declared himself head of the Church in England.
    Despite the fact he was a bishop in the Catholic Church, he supported Henry and assured him that he was correct theologically in his actions.
    He supported the persecution (including the executions) of those who opposed Henry VIII, including some of his fellow priests and bishops.
    He took eight years to get his BA from Cambridge.
    He grew a beard to signify his break with Rome. Huh?
    When arrested and sentenced to death for treason and heresy under Mary I, he recanted all of his previous beliefs and actions and declared himself a loyal Catholic, but when his sentence wasn't commuted he recanted his recantation.
    He was a man of considerable accomplishments, including teaching at Cambridge for thirty years and being appointed ambassador to the Holy Roman Empire before becoming the Archbishop of Canterbury.
    He wrote/edited the awesome Book of Common Prayer which is one of the greatest works in the history of the English language.
    He developed/declared much of the doctrine of the Church of England which is distinctly different from both the Catholic and Protestant churches.
    He was a fan of Erasmus.
    He is a good example of why religion and politics don't mix!

Credit: tom_jeffords

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