Elizabeth & Religious developments

  • Created by: cieran32
  • Created on: 10-11-18 00:25

The Puritan Threat

Puritans were very pious (religious) Protestants. They were influenced by European reformers such as John Calvin. They wanted to remove all Catholic elements from the Church of England.

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  • Their services were simple and they rejected ceremonies. They wore simple clothing and studied the Bible very closely.
  • Some were made bishops by Elizabeth. Only by 1568 did they agree to wear the ceremonial robe, or surplice, of the Church of England.
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John Whitgift

  • Elizabeth took a tough stance against Puritans in the 1580s, as she did against Catholics. After Grindal’s death, she appointed the anti-Puritan John Whitgift as Archbishop of Canterbury.
  • His new rules included a ban on unlicensed preaching and imprisonment of those who refused to follow the rules through a new High Commission.
  • Printers were punished for circulating Puritan messages and high profile Puritans like Anthony Cope were imprisoned in the Tower.
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Hostility to Elizabeth

  • Puritans argued that Elizabeth's reforms were not enough.
  • They argued that the 39 Articles were Popish (Catholic
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Separatist movement

  • Separatists did not want a national church. They wanted parishes to establish their own churches based on the Bible’s teachings.
  • By 1583, small groups of Separatists were emerging. Their activities were illegal.
    • The Brownists are an example of a Separatist group. Their leader, Robert Browne, fled to Holland
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Martian Marprelate Tracts

  • The Separatist movement returned to prominence because of the Martin Marprelate Tracts.
    • These were angry attacks on bishops and the Church of England in foul language. They caused outrage among the public and authorities.
  • Puritans tried to distance themselves from the tracts but were still associated with them.
  • In 1593, the Act Against Seditious Sectaries set the death penalty for those accused of being Separatists.
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  • Presbyterians went further. They questioned the need for bishops at all and often criticized the meeting during prophesyings (religious meetings).
  • John Field, one of the most prominent Puritans, was banned from preaching in 1580. Elizabeth also suspended Edmund Grindal, the Archbishop of Canterbury, for encouraging prophesyings.
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The Catholic Threat

After the first decade of Elizabeth’s reign, Catholicism became more of a threat. Much of this was tied up with the changing international situation

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Elizabeth I's early tolerance

  • Despite parliament passing stricter laws against Catholics in 1563, Elizabeth I saw to it that they weren’t fully implemented. These laws included:
    • Failure of office holders to take the oath of supremacy a second time was now punishable by death.
    • The penalty for saying mass was now death.
  • Private masses, especially in gentry and noble households, were ignored as long those people also attended the Church of England
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The Catholic threat in the 1560s

  • Spain was persecuting Dutch Protestants. Alba had a large army in the Netherlands and Philip II aimed to stamp out heresy.
  • Mary, Queen of Scots came to England (1568). She was the focus of several plots to overthrow Elizabeth I.
  • William Allen founded the Douai seminary (1568) for Catholic Englishmen to become priests who would return to England. They would first arrive in 1574.
  • The Pope excommunicated (excluded from the Catholic Church) Elizabeth I in 1570. This meant Catholics were free to disobey her
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The Catholic threat in the 1570s

  • A new Treason Act in 1571 made denying Elizabeth I’s supremacy and bringing in copies of the papal bull excommunicating, acts of high treason.
  • Elizabeth I blocked attempts to increase the punishments for recusancy (Catholics refusing to attend Church of England services).
  • By the late 1570s worsening Anglo-Spanish relations and continued plotting around Mary, Queen of Scots heightened fear of Catholics in England.
  • Jesuit priests began arriving in England in 1580. They were seen as more fanatical and threatening.
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The Catholic threat in the 1580s

  • Surveillance and arrests of English Catholics also increased after the Throckmorton (1583) and Babington (1586) plots.
  • In 1581 the first Jesuits were executed.
  • A new law increased fines for recusancy to £20, impossible for ordinary people to afford.
  • In 1585 parliament passed an act which gave Catholic priests 40 days to leave England or be executed.
  • Overall nearly 150 Catholic priests were executed under Elizabeth I, although most were simply imprisoned in a specially built gaol
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Catholic threat in the 1590s

  • Mass was still held in secret, mainly for the gentry.
  • Douai priests were reluctant to support Philip II, unlike the Jesuits. They said Philip II’s agenda was not simply religious.
  • Catholicism was dying out among the ordinary people. The war against Spain helped this process. People’s instinct was to support England and Elizabeth I.
  • By 1603 Catholicism in England is estimated to have been at 10% with perhaps only 2% actively worshippin
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Religious continuity

The 21st century Church of England is a modernised version of the 1559 settlement. Why was it able to become so established?

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anglicanism identity

  • Anglicanism developed its own identity and its very name emphasised its national links – especially when England was under threat from abroad.
  • The 39 Articles clearly laid out Anglican beliefs.
  • By 1603, two generations had grown up with and were used to Anglicanism.
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irreconcilable differences

  • There would always be Roman Catholics and Puritans who did not accept Anglicanism.
  • By the end of Elizabeth I’s reign, they were marginalised
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Religious Conflict

  • Catholicism became associated with foreign influence and treason. Given Anglo-Spanish relations and war from 1585, these feelings intensified.
  • Religious conflict on the continent led to bitter civil wars. The English had the opportunity to avoid this in the compromise that was the Church of England
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importance of moderation

  • Puritanism was too radical for mainstream religious tastes in England.
  • Aversion to change made the more Catholic feel to the churches welcome.
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******'s Ecclesiastical Policy

  • ****** wrote 'Of the Lawes of Ecclesiastical Politie' in 1594.
  • He put an effective case for Anglicanism as having stripped away medieval, papal superstition leaving a Bible-based, true Christian faith.
  • All other issues (vestments, décor) were adiaphora (trappings irrelevant to faith).
  • Existing ceremonies and adiaphora should be accepted for Christian unity.
  • The hierarchical structure was a useful way of organising a national church
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Enforcing Anglicanism

  • The structure of the Church of England made enforcing Anglicanism easier.
  • The High Commission enabled the prosecution of disobedient clergy and there were regular visitations.
  • Treason laws made Catholicism and Separatism punishable.
  • Attendance at Church of England services was compulsory.
  • A licence was needed to preach. If local clergy had no licence, there was an approved Book of Homilies to use.
  • Whitgift was an enthusiastic enforcer of Church of England discipline
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