Josiah (601-649 BC), a King of Judah whose life is chronicled in the Old Testament Books of Kings, was responsible for carrying out major religious reforms. He was, like Edward VI, only eight years old when he became king. He banished the idols and trappings of pagan worship and encouraged the return to the exclusive worship of Yahweh (Jehovah), the God of the Jews. He also ordered the rebuilding of the Temple of Solomon.
As Josiah was committed to returning his people to what he believed to be the true faith, so Edward, a fervent Protestant, encouraged by Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Cranmer, was determined to establish the Protestant Church of England as the one state religion.
Thomas Cranmer was a leading figure in the English Reformation, who helped Henry obtain his divorce from Catherine of Aragon and promoted the separation of the English Church from Rome. He was to make major reforms to the Church during Edward's rule. When Mary I succeeded Edward and re-established the supremacy of the Catholic Church, Cranmer was imprisoned as a traitor and heretic. He was executed by burning on 21 March 1556, a martyr to Protestants.