"the destruction of England’s monastic libraries"
The ruins of Glastonbury Abbey
Public DomainThe ruins of Glastonbury Abbey - Credit: Littleblackpistol/wikimedia commons

After Henry VIII split from the Catholic Church, he began a process of disbanding England's Catholic monasteries, priories and convents. The Dissolution of the Monasteries took place between 1536 and 1541. The monasteries’ property was seized, their income confiscated and the buildings destroyed. Many of the monasteries had grown very rich on donations and the income from their land. They accumulated large libraries, important relics and other riches, leading to accusations that they had become corrupt. Such possessions were either appropriated or destroyed during the Dissolution.