Triumph of Elizabeth; Presbyterians, Puritans and Catholics

Notes from the AQA A2 textbook Chapter 6: Presbyterians, Puritans and Catholics covering the impact of Presbyterianism and radical Puritans and the emergence of the Catholic threat

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Rachel Jones 1
Chapter 6
Presbyterians, Puritans and Catholics
Whereas Catholics used colour and ritual, Protestantism was intellectually demanding lacked appeal to
those who were unfitted to hear its message
`truly religious' Protestants saw themselves as a minority
o Contrasted their godly conduct with the weakness of their less fortunate fellows
o The committed minority `gadded' to sermons and services
Fundamental importance is the cultural difference between the godly minority and the majority who lacked
their religious zeal and commitment
Collinson/Lake: the Church of England during the reign of Elizabeth was undoubtedly Calvinist in its
Puritanism is not something outside the Church which threatens it but should be seen as part of the Church's
There was still a sharp division over the nature of the religious settlement
The impact of Presbyterianism and radical Puritans
The Presbyterian movement
It was the belief that the Church of England should be further reformed along Calvinist lines, both in terms of
structure and forms of worship
It was a reflection of the embittered reaction of some congregations to the Vestiarian Controversy
o Hardened further in 1571 by the cancellation of preaching licences and the requirement that clergy
subscribe to the Thirty Nine Articles and prayer book
Some clergy were deprived since they were not prepared to live with surplice and prayer book
Increased resentment to bishops and led clergy to question scriptural basis for bishops'
After Cartwright's dismissal, some of his supporters began a campaign of open opposition to the Church
o Published two Admonitions to Parliament in 1572
First Admonition written by John Field and Thomas Wilcox, clergymen
o Attacked `superstitious' practices as kneeling in prayer and the observance of holy days
o Attacked the Book of Common Prayer as `an unperfect book...picked out of that popish dunghill'
o Called for the abolition of the Church hierarchy and its replacement by a ministry of pastors, deacons
and elders on the Geneva model established by Calvin
o Infuriated the Queen
o Appalled moderate Puritans who were working hard to establish a more effective preaching ministry
o Thomas Norton: caused harm and was likely to be of comfort only to Catholics
o John Foxe/Thomas Sampson: distanced themselves from what was written
o Field and Wilcox were arrested and imprisoned for a year
Second Admonition written by Christopher Goodman, attributed to Cartwright
o Detailed description of a Presbyterian system of Church government
o A challenge to this was produced by Whitgift who defended the nature of episcopacy
o Pamphlet war between Cartwright and Whitgift ensued
Cartwright believed that a Church founded on Popish principles must inevitably be spiritually

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Chapter 6
Whitgift argued that it was necessary to make certain accommodations to achieve a more
godly society in which the Church and the godly magistrate could be at one
Whitgift had the more insulting tones suggested they were Anabaptists
Presbyterianism remained a marginal and geographically narrow movement London/Cambridge base
o Support lay in Essex, Suffolk, Midlands
o Had support from high status people (Huntingdon)
Sting taken out of the Presbyterian movement by the appointment of Edmund Grindal
o He encouraged preaching…read more

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Chapter 6
o To accept that everything in the ThirtyNine Articles conformed to the Word of God
Some clergy gave acceptance to save their careers Whitgift wanted all or nothing but forced to back down
by Leicester and Walsingham
He agreed a modified form of subscription provided that clergy agreed to use the prayer book
o Most of the original nonsubscribers now signed up
o Successes: he secured the deprivation of Burghley's protégé, Gifford and Cartwright was refused a
licence to preach…read more

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Chapter 6
1575: 11 secular priests had arrived in England from Douai
1580: about 100 secular priests had come to work in England
o No infrastructural framework within which the priests could operate
o Forced largely to operate from the country houses of the Catholic gentry and aristocracy
o Provided priests with security but imposed a strategic limitation would sustain faith of their hosts but
not the humble Catholics or to seek converts
1580: Society of Jesus (Jesuits) began its mission to…read more

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Chapter 6
Assassination of William of Orange apparent Spanish victory in the Netherlands
Dec 1584: Philip II had made an alliance with the Catholic League in France
Privy Council thought England was threatened by international Catholic superpower
Context of fear that the Act against Jesuits and Seminary Priests was passed
Treasonable for any priest ordained under Pope's authority to enter England
123 priests were convicted and executed 15861603
1587: recusancy fines tightened
o Thomas Tresham and John Townley were each deemed to…read more

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Chapter 6
Duke of Guise leading a landing in Sussex seems to be more plausible
Bossy: it was a fairly near thing
Sussex landing would generate support from locally based Catholic aristocrats (Arundel/Northumberland)
Conspiracy broken when Walsingham had a mole in the French embassy from whose information he was able
to target Throckmorton confessed and executed for treason
Principal conspirator was Mendoza, Spanish ambassador, and he was expelled from the country
Arundel was permanently imprisoned in the Tower
Bossy: concluded it was…read more

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Chapter 6
4 Dec: death sentence to be pronounced formally
1 Feb: Queen signed the death warrant following fears of Spanish landing/Mary would escape
Privy Council despatched the warrant without telling Elizabeth until the execution had taken place
o Secrecy shows that Elizabeth did not intend the document to be sealed
o Burghley viewed Elizabeth's safety and the security of England needing Mary's execution
8Feb: Mary was executed…read more


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