OF all the incidents affecting Cranmer’s life the most important is the divorce of Catherine of Aragon. 1 That divorce and its ramifications were the web into which the threads of Cranmer’s life were woven. Through it he first attracted the notice of Henry VIII.; to his services in that cause he owed his elevation to the See of Canterbury, the part he played in the history of the English Reformation, and, finally, his martyrdom. It therefore becomes 25imperative to indicate as briefly as may be the origin of that episode and its influence on the Reformation in which Cranmer lived and moved and had his being. Without some such introduction it is impossible to weigh Cranmer’s character in the balance, or to estimate the effect of his career on English history.