Abstract A case study of the priories of Boxgrove, Folkestone and Horsham shows how the 1536closures under Henry VIII were not vindictive and followed from precedent. His closures wereneither more substantial than the suppression of the alien priories during the fourteenth andfifteenth centuries, nor significantly different from
Wolsey‘s closures in the 1520s. During
periods of war with France, monarchs from Edward I to Henry V confiscated alien priories andmade use of their revenues, eventually suppressing all aliens by 1414. Wolsey too closed severalmonasteries, with permission from the Pope, and redirected their revenues towards fundingcolleges. Tied into these closures was an aspect of reform, which was the grounds for Henry
The priories under evaluation began as alien priories, escaped the suppression of aliens in 1414, and were dissolved in 1536.
Henry‘s suppressions were less an attack on
monasteries for financial benefits though, and more an exercise or continuation of previoussuppression policies.
Ultimately, the main difference between Henry‘s closures and those of
previous ones was scale alone.