Thomas Cranmer – Were his recantations of faith driven by Stockholm Syndrome by Beth von Staats

Tudor LifeOne of our feature articles in the November 2014 issue of Tudor Life Magazine is Beth von Staats’ excellent article on Thomas Cranmer’s recantations in the reign of Mary I, “Thomas Cranmer – Were his recantations of faith driven by Stockholm Syndrome?”. You can enjoy the whole article in the magazine sample at, along with articles from the September and October magazines.

Thank you so much to Beth for writing this article and for agreeing to become one of our regular contributors with her Tudor Tidbits column.

Other feature articles in this month’s magazine include Leanda de Lisle on the Princes in the Tower, Sandra Vasoli on hunting by ladies in Tudor England, Roland Hui on recreating Anne Boleyn’s coronation book and Melanie V. Taylor on Holbein. The magazine is published by the Tudor Society and you can find out more about joining at and check out free material at November’s expert talk will be “Bonaire and Buxom in Bed and at Board” by historian Karen Bowman, looking at the role of women in society with specific examples of Tudor women.

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4 thoughts on “Thomas Cranmer – Were his recantations of faith driven by Stockholm Syndrome by Beth von Staats”
  1. Interesting article; will need to read it in full, but if you mean that Cranmer had a desire to please his captors, yes, I agree, that did play a part in his varied recantations; he was not a young man, had been in prison for a number of years; may-be he genuinely believed that he would be spared if he recanted; being in prison for any length of time; even a short one can play mind tricks and make you believe things that can change the way you see things; I cannot imagine what being in the Tower for a number of years and questioned over and over would do; it must have been terrible.

    1. I do not believe Thomas Cranmer had a desire in the typical sense to please his captors. Instead I would propose that his actions viewed as pleasing his abusers resulted from the onset of Stockholm Syndrome, a condition that served as a mechanism for him to cope with pervasive torment. Thank you so much for your thoughts.

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