Catholic Threat

Catholic threat faced by Elizabeth 1

HideShow resource information


Mary Queen of Scots arrives in England after being forced to abdicate her throne.

Why A Problem?

  • Rival claimant to the throne. (Catholic rightful heir)
  • Potential focus for revolt.
  • Widely acknoledged as Elizabeths heir.

Options For Eliz?

  • Restore Mary to her throne (Need an army, Privy Council don't agree, Pointless to recreate problem.)
  • Imprisonment (Protective Custody/House arrest. Chooses this one)
  • Exile(Could get Catholic Foreign suport.)
  • Kill Her (No reason)
1 of 4


The revolt of the Northern Earls.(1569-70)

Catholic Nobles(Northumberland, Westmorland,Lord Dacre, D of Norfolk). Norfolk held on suspicion of treason. Others went ahead and raised rebellion. Took Durham, were eventually defeated by The Earl of Surrey in February.


  • Northumberland flees to Scotland is returned and executed
  • Westmorland flees and dies in Scotland
  • Lord Dacre flees to Flanders
  • Duke of Norfolk imprisoned and executed
  • Mary moved to Midlands stricter imprisonment

Regions in Excelis (1570)
Feb 1570 Pope Pius V published a papal bull excommunicating Elizabeth any loyal subjects could also be excommunicated. Catholics should depose and kill Elizabeth.

  • Encourage revolt of Northern Earls (Too late already over)
  • Planned invasion and deposition of Elizabeth. (Spanish alliance over. No protection)


  • Too Late
  • Not well Published.
2 of 4


Ridolphi Plot (1571)

assassinate Elizabeth and replace her with Mary. Duke of Norfolk to marry Mary and foreign invasion from duke of Alva in the Netherlands. Discovered and prevented. Norfolk executed.

Thockmorton Plot (1583)

Replace Eliz with Mary. Uprising of Catholics to coincide with the invasion of Henry I Duke of Guise with Spanish support.

Resulted in the Bond Of Association. To usurp and kill anyone who tried to disthrown Eliz.

Babington Plot (1586)

Depose Eliz and replace her with Mary. Foreign invasion with Spain. Infiltrated by Walshingham who let Mary dig herself further into the plot. Mary was eventually executed for her part in the plot.


  • Clear evidence of Mary's guilt
  • Spanish invasion planned remove legitamacy to give Mary the throne.
3 of 4



Pope wants to publish the papal bull but is prevented by Philip.


Affair of Spanish Bullion. End of Spanish alliance.

Lose Protection of Spain.

4 of 4


No comments have yet been made

Similar History resources:

See all History resources »See all British monarchy - Tudors and Stuarts resources »