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Essex Through the Ages
Tudor Essex
  The Dissolution
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The Dissolution

One of the outcomes of Henry’s control of the church was his dissolution of the monasteries, which by this time had lost much popular support. The monks and nuns were often caricatured as corrupt and sinful, and the monasteries themselves were often rich and lavishly furnished.

From 1524 onwards, Henry made a series of decrees which gradually eroded the monastic houses of England, beginning by dissolving the smaller houses and systematically working up. Many of the monasteries which are now ruined were destroyed soon after the dissolution as they were robbed of stone, the lead from the roofs, and anything of any value. Most of the immediate wealth, and the vast estates which the religious houses owned, went straight to the crown, though it is likely that local people assisted in robbing the stone for walls and houses nearby.