Like in Germany, in England high church officials such as archbishops, bishops and abbots, had been involved in state administration
over centuries, for the same reasons - they were educated and loyal. There were, however, a number of differences. For one, the
INVESTITURE CONFLICT was fought over lay investiture in the Empire; in England the monarchy had preserved it's influence over who
was elected in high church office. The church of England, therefore, had always been a branch of royal administration. Second, as the
English monarchy did not undergo an eclipse such as the Empire did in the later 13th century, the regional lords could not turn their
positions into those of semi-sovereign princes.
Yet, it was common practice that positions in the higher church administration were filled with noblemen. Only after the WARS OF THE
ROSES, in which various noble factions tried to exert too much power, did the new TUDOR DYNASTY look elsewhere for capable
persons to fill such positions. One such person was CARDINAL WOLSEY, the son of a butcher, an ambitious man willing to serve his
king, HENRY VIII.
The English church province was plagued by scandals such as priests unable to read the bible, having mistresses, the sale of
indulgences etc. Yet, the reformation in England did not start with intellectuals protesting, it was a matter merely politically advantageous.