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humanist reform, reformist government, Protestantism


G.R. Elton's recent investigations of the relation between humanist reform and reformist government during the 1530's leave us with no uncertainty about Cromwell's beliefs regarding Protestantism. Elton concludes from an anonymous letter fo 1538, which he ascribes to the eminent civil and canon lawyer John Oliver, that "as early as 1531 or 1532, therefore, Thomas Cromwell was thinking along reformed lines and lines of evangelical theology...." Moreover, he reports how Cromwell "told the prior of Kingswood: by him 'the Word of God, the gospel of Christ, is not only favoured but also perfected, set forth, maintained, increased and defended'."