A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature/Cranmer, Thomas
Cranmer, Thomas (1489-1556). -- Theologian and Churchman, b. at Aslacton, Notts, ed. at Camb., and became an eminent classical and biblical scholar. He supported Henry VIII. in his divorce proceedings against Queen Catherine, gained the King's favour, and obtained rapid preferment, ending with the Primacy. He was one of the chief promoters of the Reformation in England. On the accession of Mary, he was committed to the Tower, and after a temporary failure of courage and constancy, suffered martyrdom at the stake. It is largely to C. that we owe the stately forms of the Book of Common Prayer. He also wrote over 40 works, and composed several hymns; but the influence of the Prayer-book in fixing the language is his great, though indirect, service to our literature.