Little Jack Horner IV

Lead: Beginning in 1536, King Henry VIII of England began to confiscate the once-Catholic monasteries of England. His seizure of Glastonbury was made easier by the treachery of Thomas Horner.

Tag: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Most of the monasteries submitted to this process with little resistance. Henry actually showed some compassion, giving some of the priests he considered unemployable a small pension for life, but those who resisted, he crushed ruthlessly. One those who held out was Richard Whiting, the Abbot of the ancient Cathedral at Glastonbury, near the western coast just south of Bristol. Whiting was eighty and had little to lose, but he tried to placate the King. He sent a Christmas present, the deed to twelve manorial estates which he hid in a Christmas pie. He entrusted this pastry delight to his steward, Thomas Horner, and sent him off to London. Horner was a realist. He knew very well that Whiting's gesture was useless. Henry would have Glastonbury. On the way, the disloyal steward popped open the pie and stole the deed to the rich manorial estate at Mells.

Little Jack Horner III

Lead: Faced with confiscation, Abbot Richard Whiting of the Cathedral at Glastonbury, at Christmas 1539, sent his trusted steward, Thomas Horner with a gift to appease King Henry VIII. This futile gesture turned out to be rich opportunity for Jack Horner.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In its early years, the Reformation in England, was none to secure. King Henry VIII remained a theological and emotional Catholic until the day he died. The primary reason for removing England from allegiance to the Roman Church in 1534 was that the pope refused to give him a divorce from his first wife who could not produce for him a male heir. The Protestants around Henry were always a little nervous that the King, on a whim, might act on his true Catholic sentiments and go back to Rome. His chief minister, Thomas Cromwell, convinced the King that if he dissolved the monasteries of England he could accomplish two things. By confiscating them the King could fill his depleted treasury, something that always appealed to Henry, and, because many monasteries were hotbeds of Catholic sentiment, he could suppress a potential threat to the newly Protestant Church of England. In 1536, Henry and Cromwell began to close the monasteries. The King kept some for himself, but wisely distributed the balance to his family, friends and supporters throughout the realm. This land transfer meant a large number of influential people would be committed by pure self-interest to the survival of the Reformation.

Little Jack Horner II

Lead: To get his hands on the monastic lands of Glastonbury Cathedral in 1539, King Henry VIII of England relied on the treachery of the Abbot's assistant, Thomas Horner.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: To secure his family's lock on the English throne, Henry VIII felt he had to have a male heir. Since his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, had failed to produce a son, he divorced her. To do so meant England had to renounce the jurisdiction of the Roman Catholic Pope. Henry became the Supreme Head of the Church and then, beginning in 1536, started closing the monasteries, many of which were lingering hotbeds of Catholic sentiment in England.

Little Jack Horner I

Lead: "Little Jack Horner sat in a corner eating of Christmas pie,..." Legend has it that his name wasn't Jack but he definitely pulled out a plum.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: King Henry VIII of England had a serious problem. As he moved into middle age he began to despair of ever producing a son with his Queen Catherine of Aragon. She was deeply devoted to her husband but could not deliver to him the male heir which he was convinced would secure his family's lock on the English throne into the future. After repeated attempts to convince Pope Clement VII to dissolve his marriage, he renounced the jurisdiction of the Roman Catholic Church. With the Act of Supremacy in 1534, the King, not the Pope, became head of the Church in England. With this new power he divorced Catherine and married Anne Boleyn. Anne did not give him a son, but her successor, Jane Seymour, did and Henry considered his dynastic problems largely solved.

Sunni and Shi’a Muslims: Differences in Degree II

Lead: After the death of the Prophet Muhammad disputes within and with members of his family created a severe and long lasting division among Muslims. The Sunni and Shi’a split continues to divide that faith into the modern era.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The Shi’a revere the Prophet’s cousin and son-in-law Ali who claimed the mantle of his kinsman, but who was assassinated in disputes that firmly established the split between his followers and the vast majority of adherents to Islam known as the Sunni.


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Sunni and Shi’a Muslims: Differences in Degree I

Lead: One of the great religious divisions in world history has sundered Islam. Originating almost at the beginning, the divide between Sunni and Shi’a encompasses gaps that are ethnic, political and religious.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In day to day religious practice the differences between the two great Muslim sects, Sunni and Shi’a, are negligible. Yet, in reality, this unity of devotion to Allah masks powerful religious and political variance within Islam and even within two great traditions themselves.



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Augustine II

Lead: In AD 386 an official orator in the imperial city of Milan, Italy, Augustine, his intellectual system in tatters and his personal life in shambles, reached a life-changing conclusion.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: When the ambitious new teacher of rhetoric arrived in the imperial capital, he paid a courtesy call on Ambrose, the local Christian bishop. The younger man was impressed with the Bishop’s demeanor, teaching ability and the honor in which the entire community held him. This encounter set in motion the steps leading to Augustine’s conversion to Christianity. He eventually became a priest and, in 395 Bishop of the City of Hippo a North African diocese in what is present-day Algeria.

Augustine I

Lead: One of the most influential thinkers in the history of Christianity was Aurelius Augustinius. He became a bishop, but his lifestyle was not always that of a devout believer.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The future Bishop of Hippo was born in the city of Thagaste or Souk Ahas, in Numidia, an ancient North African kingdom covering what is now Algeria. His family was socially prominent, but not particularly wealthy. From the beginning Augustine was a handful, a troublesome boy, given to cheating and physical combat, bright, but not very interested in his studies. He was the pride and the heartbreak of his young mother Monica, whose Christianity held little appeal to Augustine or his elderly father Patricius.