Thomas Cranmer was the first Protestant Archbishop of Canterbury, serving under King Henry VIII. After his surprise appointment to the role of Archbishop, Cranmer helped the King in his matter of annulling his marriage to Queen Catherine. Unlike many others who served King Henry VIII, he never lost his head through his reign and helped his son Edward VI make major reforms in the Anglican church. However when the Catholic Mary I took the throne, he was convicted of heresy and treason. While he seemed to have recanted his views and made peace with the Catholic church in his final days (under pressure of the Catholics who hated him) on the day of his execution he reversed that stance and rejected the Pope before he was burnt to death.