Ordered by King Henry VIII and carried out by Thomas Cromwell, the dissolution of the monasteries was the greatest land re-distribution in England since the Norman Conquest, and the largest windfall of cash to the crown in history. Between 1536 and 1540, 800 religious houses were dissolved leading to nothing less than the wholesale destruction of monasticism.
In this edition of Not Just the Tudors, Suzannah Lipscomb talks to writer and historian Mathew Lyons about the dissolution and its far-reaching consequences - on pregnant women, the poor and the libraries of England.
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