The Feast of Thomas Cranmer

Today the Anglican Communion commemorates Thomas Cranmer, the first Protestant Archbishop of Canterbury and our finest liturgical writer. Cranmer was the compiler and principle author of The Book of Common Prayer. He guided the Church of England during the Protestant Reformation under King Henry VIII and King Edward VI. He was martyred on this day in 1556 by the papist Queen Mary but vindicated by Queen Elizabeth, who restored the Protestant faith and The Book of Common Prayer, in 1559.

Below is an excellent short video from the Davenant Institute about Cranmer’s dramatic martyrdom.

Ironwork at St Paul’s

Cast iron was first manufactured on a significant scale in England during the sixteenth century. King Henry VIII ordered cannons to be made from it. The process was cheap and efficient and gave the Royal Navy an advantage. Heavy pots and pans were then produced at blast furnaces alongside ordnance. But it was not until the turn of the eighteenth century that lighter-weight, finer work was made from cast iron with the invention of sand molding.

The railings around the churchyard of St Paul’s Cathedral in London are among the earliest examples of architectural cast-iron in the country, dating from 1714.