When post-Reformation English authors sought to describe pre-Reformation Catholicism, they turned to the writings of Desiderius Erasmus for historical evidence to back up their arguments justifying the break from Rome. For many later English schoolboys, Erasmus was one of the only Catholic authors they read and the depictions of Catholicism found in the Praise of Folly and, especially, in the Colloquies, became their picture of Catholic clergy, as well as foundational imprints for their mental image of relics, pilgrimages, and other Catholic practices. References to Erasmus as a historical authority for his times appear in dozens, if not hundreds, of texts from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Ignoring the literary and fictitious nature of Erasmus's satirical texts, they used Erasmus to justify their depictions of Catholic corruption, superstition, and irrationality. Over time, these descriptions became an almost uncritically accepted portrayal of the Catholic world prior to the rise of Protestantism. This constructed reality thus became the worldview of English speaking Protestants from the mid-sixteenth century up to nearly the present. Examining how later English authors used Erasmus helps us understand the subsequent nature of English historical consciousness and the development of English and Protestant narratives of Church history.