Definition of the Dissolution of the Monasteries from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary


the Dissolution of the Monasteries

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the destruction or sale of buildings and land belonging to religious communities in England by King Henry VIII (between 1536 and 1541) after he became head of the Church of England. Henry wanted to make the Church less powerful and he needed money. Many people in England at the time felt that the Church was too rich and wasted its great wealth, so Henry had little difficulty in taking the Church's wealth for himself, although many fine old buildings were destroyed. see also Reformation