Thomas Cromwell's association with various writers has long been noted, but how these authors' writings might reflect his personal religious beliefs has not been closely studied. An examination of one such author, William Marshall, and of his work, reveals not only that Cromwell was likely a Lutheran, but that he used the press to promote doctrinal Protestantism in England. Through Marshall, Cromwell sponsored English translations of doctrinally radical texts by Martin Luther, Joachim von Watt, and Martin Bucer. And when these books got Marshall into trouble, Cromwell protected him. The picture that emerges substantiates John Foxe's description of Cromwell as a ‘valiant soldier and captain of Christ’, but also the charge made in his bill of attainder, that he had circulated heretical books.
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