The English Reformation differed in an important way from other efforts at reforming the church in the sixteenth century (be they Lutheran, Reformed, Radical, or Pietist). The distinguishing feature of church reform in England is that its instigator was none other than the King of England himself, Henry VIII (1491–1547). Those who led other reforming movements in continental Europe had to persuade government officials to support their cause—and in some cases their pleas fell on deaf ears, forcing them to oppose the authorities entirely. Reform of the Church of England, however, began at the very top of the government itself. This decisive role of the crown meant, as we will see below, that the fortunes of reforming efforts would change dramatically depending on who sat on the English throne.