Elizabeth England

  • Created by: rm715
  • Created on: 22-03-16 20:36

Foreign relations 1558


  • Ruled by King Philip II of Spain 
  • Roman Catholic 
  • Wealthy and powerful
  • Mary Tudor was married to Philip
  • Large South American empire
  • French and English enemy


  • Ruled by Spain 
  • Roman Catholic with spreading Protestant ideas
  • English trade links


  • Roman Catholic with spreading Protestant ideas
  • Friendly with France as Mary Queen of Scots was married to French prince 
  • Enemy of England


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Foreign relations 1558 (2)


  • Dublin owned by England
  • Enemy of England
  • Roman Catholic


  • Roman Catholic with spreading Protestant ideas
  • At war with Spain and England 
  • Powerful

Pope (Italy)

  • Expected all of Europe to obey him 
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England, 1558

  • England had been Catholic but Elizabeth I was Protestant
  • Spain and France were Catholic
  • Catholic Mary Queen of Scots claimed she was the rightful heir to the English throne
  • Debts of £250,000 from war with France
  • Strong navy, no army
  • Poverty and unemployment growing amongst lower class
  • Cloth trade collapse
  • Harvests in 1550s had been bad
  • Voyages of exploration becoming popular
  • A woman queen was seen as weak
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Why was Elizabeth unpopular?

  • Daughter of Anne Boleyn who was beheaded for adultery
  • Illegitimate marriage Henry VIII still technically married to Catherine Howard
  • Woman - seen as weak rulers
  • Protestant in charge of a Catholic country

To try and gain support she did a coronation tour in Summer 1559 visiting Midlands and South East, staying at houses of nobles and greeting the public. Her baggiage train was 1/2 mile long and included her advisors, guards, officials and servants.

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Symbolism in Elizabeth's portraits

  • Purity - her clothes and face were white, pearls were worn, often seen wearing Ermine, an animal that allegedly would rather die than get it's fur dirty
  • Legitimacy - tudor roses often on her clothes, orb and sceptre, sword of justice, crown,
  • Ageless - she would use a white face 'mask' to appear younger
  • Wealth - magnificent dresses, expensive jewellery
  • Strength and Power - pillars, maps, world, 
  • Success - rainbows, sunshine, Astraea (Goddess of eternal spring after troubled times)
  • Wisdom - Serpent 
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Elizabeth's Main Privy Councillors

  • William Cecil (Lord Burghley) - Moderate Protestant, Advisor for 40 years, Lord Treasurer (1572) 
  • Robert Dudley (Earl of Leicester) - Puritan, Childhood friend, Rumoured love interest
  • Christopher Hatton - Protestant, Lord Chancellor, Hated Puritans
  • Francis Walsingham - Controlled spy network, Worked in foreign affairs, Multilingual, Puritan, Discovered Mary Queen of Scot's murder plot with Anthony Babington against Elizabeth, 1586
  • Robert Deveroux (Earl of Essex) - Protestant, Fought in wars, Executed in 1601 for leading a rebellion 
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What happened in Parliament?

  • Elizabeth called parliament to agree laws, set new taxes, gain advice and support and to listen to complaints.
  • MP's were well-educated landowners, they did not fairly represent poor
  • Elizabeth chose what to discuss and could end a meeting at any point. She considered Marriage/Succession, Religion and the situation with Mary Queen of Scots to be personal issues and she refused to talk about them.
  • Issues discussed: Taxes, Monopolies, Laws, Foreign Affairs, MP Privileges, 
  • Methods of controlling her MP's (in order of use): Closing Parliament, Getting angry, Delaying, Punishment (arrest), Giving in
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Queen Elizabeth

Granted rewards, honours and official jobs to:

Aristrocrats & Nobles

Granted rewards, honours and official jobs to:

Lesser nobles, gentry, lawyers and merchants

Helped the Queen control:

Rest of Population

This system of patronage attracted loyalty from lower classes to those with a higher social status 

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Suitors and requirements

Key - Positive points
Negative points

Philip II of Spain - Powerful ally as King of Spain, Catholic, Formerly married to Mary Tudor 

Eric of Sweden - Protestant, Popular, Not rich, Not a strong ally

Robert Dudley - Loyal, Childhood friend, No ally, Low rank, Cause jealousy among MP's and councillors, Grandson of traitor, suspected murderer of former wife 

Archduke Charles - Strong ally with Austria, Catholic, Unpopular with Protestants

Francis, Duke of Alencon(and later Anjou) - Ally with France, High rank - brother of King, Protestant sympathiser, Good relationship (she called him her 'frog'), Son of Catherine De Medici who was a strong Catholic, Not good looking, Scarred by smallpox, Deformed spine.

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  • Believed Queen should be head of church
  • Plain churches with little decoration so people can concentrate on teachings
  • Believed in consubstantiation - Bread and wine were symbols of Christ's body and blood
  • Services and bible in English
  • Priests wear plain black clothes and are ordinary people. They are allowed to marry and should be punished if they sin. God is omnipotent, people do not need priests to find him.
  • Sins can be forgiven by God and Jesus. 


  • Believed Pope should be head of church
  • Decorated churches with paintings and statues with music in services to show glory of God. 
  • Believed in transubstantiation - Priests can turn bread and wine into Christ's body and blood
  • Services and bible should be in Latin, only to be read by Priests
  • Priests wear elaborate vestments to differenciate themselves as they are 'divine beings' They must not marry.
  • Sinners should pay induljences to church, getting them out of purgatory
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Religious Compromise

In 1559 Elizabeth came to a religious compromise. 

Act Of Supremacy

  • England became Protestant country again.
  • Elizabeth became head of Church of England instead of Pope. She was to be known as 'Supreme Governor'
  • Bishops would help govern the church
  • Judges,Government officials, JP's, MP's and clergy had to take an oath to accept Elizabeth as the head. If they refused they faced imprisonment. On third refusal, executed.

Act of Uniformity 

  • A new Protestant Prayer book had to be used in church. Clergy had to take an oath to say they would use it.
  • Church services and Bible were to be in English. Bread and wine were to be taken but the reasons were up to the person.
  • Ornaments and deceration were allowed in church.
  • Clergy wore vestments and were allowed to marry. 
  • Recusants had to pay 1 shilling  (5p) a week.
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Mary Queen of Scots

  • 1568 - Arrival of Mary - Mary Queen of Scots arrives in England, seeking help from Elizabeth to regain her throne in Scotland. Mary stood as a Catholic figurehead, encouraging rebellion. She could not let her stay Elizabeth did not believe in executing God's appointed monarch and she was also her cousin. She was imprisoned
  • 1569 - Northern Rebellion - 6000 Catholic soldiers attempted to overthrow Elizabeth. 800 Catholic rebels were executed by army. Earls of Northumberland and Westmorland fled.
  • 1569 - Duke of Norfolk - Thomas Howard wanted to marry Mary Q of S. Elizabeth banned it.
  • 1570 - The Papal Bull of Excommunication - Elizabeth excommunicated by Pope. A law was passed to say anyone who said Elizabeth was not rightful Queen would be executed.
  • 1571 - Ridolfi Plot - An italian banker Ridolfi and Spanish ambassadors plotted to overthrow Elizabeth and put Mary on throne. Discovered by William Cecil. They were arrested and expelled. Duke of Northumberland executed 1572.
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Mary Queen of Scots (2)

  • 1572 - St Bartholomew's Day Massacre - Thousands of Protestants murdered in Paris.
  • Mid 1570's - Arrival of Jesuits - Pope sent 300 priests to spread Catholicism. 
  • 1581 - Laws passed against disobedient Catholics and heretics (England)
  • 1583 - Throckmorton Plot - Francis Throckmorton planned for the French army to invade. He was arrested, tortured and executed. Mary was moved, disallowed visitors and letters were checked,
  • 1584 - Murder of William of Orange - Protestant leader in France shot by Catholics.
  • 1585 - Outbreak of War with Spain - Philip II began building fleet of ships.Catholic priests were ordered to leave within 40 days or be executed.
  • 1585 - Laws passed banning Jesuits from England and executing any found
  • 1586 - Babington's Plot - Walsingham uncovered plot to murder Elizabeth and put Mary on throne. Anthony Babington was arrested and executed.
  • 1587 - Mary executed
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Why did poverty worsen?

  • Rising population led to an increase in prices.
  • Debasement of coinage during Henry VIII's reign meant coins had less value as they contained less precious metal.
  • Silver in Europe meant European money was more valuable than English money.
  • Harvests had been very bad recently, especially in 1520, 1527, 1556, 1596 and 1597 which led to an increase in starvation and also the loss of income to farmers.
  • Enclosures saw farmers change to sheep farming rather than crops because it meant hiring less employees and was more reliable.
  • Rackrenting came as a result of hard times. Landowners put up their rents as they had decreased in value.
  • Collapse of the cloth trade meant weavers and suppliers lost their jobs.
  • Monopolies angered many people as it gave rich nobles rights to sell particular goods.
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Problems of Poverty

  • Poor could revolt and threaten the security/authority Elizabeth.
  • Nobles may also well rebel against Elizabeth if they are being robbed.
  • Beggars without work could turn to crime which Justice's of the Peace then had to deal with.
  • Puritans believed idleness was a sin and should be punished. Many of Elizabeths MP's and JP's were Puritans.
  • Poor were worried about beggars stealing what little they had. 
  • Vagabonds moved around, spreading disease as they could not live well.

Sturdy beggars are those who refuse to work.

Deserving poor are those who are poor not by their own fault.

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Dealing with the Poor

London - 

  • Flogged and burnt beggars on ear. They were also hung.
  • Orphaned children were nourished at Christ's Hospital. This was paid for by citizens.
  • Workhouse for vagrants provided jobs.

Norwich - 

  • Children sent to the workhouse to learn letters until able to work.
  • Those who were nursing the sick or looking after children were paid. 
  • Workplace was set up for prisoners who could earn food and drink. Those who refused to work or were caught begging were whipped. 
  • Vagabonds were arrested. Constables were paid to send them away.
  • People were not allowed to help the beggars.

Ipswich - 

  • Town citizens were to make offerings to the deserving poor. 
  • Children were not permitted to beg. Adult beggars had to have a license. 
  • House of Blackfriars became a hospital for the poor. 
  • Bailiffs were informed of squatters.
  • Anyone who refused to work was punished.
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Parliament Action on Poverty

1572 -

  • Vagaonds over 14 were to be whipped or burned through right ear 
  • Imprisonment on second offence. Persistent offenders to be executed.
  • Children of convicted beggars were to be put in domestic service.
  • National poor law rate was put in place

1576 -

  • Towns required to give unemployed work. If they refused to work they were placed in prison.
  • Prison was funded from local tax and rates.
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Parliament Action on Poverty (2)

1597 -

  • All counties and cities were to have local prisons.
  • Beggars were whipped and sent back to their parish of birth. Persistent offenders were executed.
  • Each parish was to appoint an overseer of the poor to find work for unemployed and help deserving poor.

1601 - 

  • Each parish was to look after their own poor. 
  • Church wardens were to collect poor rate and help those who were in need.
  • Beggars and idle poor were whipped and sent to parish of birth or if they were local they could be sent to work or prison.
  • Those who could not work were given money from the poor rate.
  • Orphans were to be fostered or sent to work as apprentices.
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Crime and Punishments

  • Traitors - Hanged, Burned, Beheaded, Quartered.
  • Felony/manslaughter/robbery/murder - Hanged (not till dead), Beheaded, Tortured, dismembered, impaling, breaking upon the wheel.
  • Wife killing husband - Burned alive.
  • Servant killing master - Drawn to execution place then executed.
  • Poisoners - Boiled alive
  • Witch - Tied to chair with boulders and put in river. If she survived, she was a witch and was executed.
  • Heretic - Burned at stake
  • Beggars - Whipped in streets
  • Highway robbery [stole from travelers] - Hanged
  • Less serious crimes - Pillory for several hours
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Courts of Justice

Assize Court -

  • Where and when: Every county, twice a year
  • Type of crime dealt with: Cases too serious for JP's
  • Who decided verdict: Jury
  • Who decided sentence: Elizabeth's judges

Quarter Sessions - 

  • Where and when: Main county towns, four times a year
  • Type of crime dealt with: Serious local crimes
  • Who decided verdict: JP's 
  • Who decided sentence: JP's

Petty sessions: 

  • Where and when: Local area, regularly
  • Type of crime dealt with: Less serious offences
  • Who decided verdict: JP's
  • Who decided sentence: JP's
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Benefits of Voyage

  • Spread Gospel of Jesus
  • Conquer new lands that will be resourceful
  • Increase available jobs reducing poverty ad dependence
  • Change foregin 'British ignorance' into civilization (They saw native tribes as 'savages')
  • Become wealthier in gold and silver
  • Enlarge navy as more ships will be available
  • Increase trade market
  • Build a powerful empire
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Aims of Voyage

  • Find notherly route to India and China
    e.g. John Cabot 1497 attempted but was unsuccessful 
  • Trade/Bring back riches
    e.g. James Lancaster 1591-94 set up East India Trade Company
  • Attack Spanish settlements 
    e.g. Francis Drake 1577-80 attacked Mexican towns capturing gold,silver and jewels, making a large profit
  • Establish English stettlements
    e.g. Sir Walter Raleigh 1585-87 established Virginia in North America. First settlers came home after on year and the second settlers were never seen again,
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Dangers of Voyage

  • The Spanish - John Hawkkins, 1567, attacked by Spanish. He lost 4 ships and over 200 men.
  • Cold/Ice - In 1576 Martin Frobisher driven back by ice when he attempted to reach China by sailing round North America.
  • Storms/Tempests - Sir Humphrey Gilbert was hit by storms in 1582 when exploring North America's coast. He never returned.
  • Disease - Poor food storage led to rats. No fresh food often caused scurvy by hindering the immune system. Cramped conditions allowed disease to spread quickly.
  • Mutiny - During Francis Petty's voyages, 1577-80, a mutiny broke out and Master Thomas Doughty was executed. Discipline had to be harsh to keep crew under control.
  • Inhabitants - Francis Petty encountered problems with the Brazilians when they took a member of his crew and sacrificed him 'to the devils'.
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Drake's Reasons for World Voyage

  • Spanish - he wanted revenge for the Spanish attack on Hawkin's fleet in 1568 at San Juan de Ulua in Mexico. He planned to attack settlements in Central America.
  • Wealth - he wanted to capture gold, silver and other riches to become wealthier and make profits for the financers of the voyage.
  • Religion - he wanetd to cause damage to the Spanish Roman Catholic religion as he was a Puritan.
  • Patriatism - he hoped to claim new lands for the Queen to make England a powerful empire and also to provide more trading opportunities, especially for the merchants who had funded the voyage.
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Drake's World Voyage

  • November, 1577  - Storms damage fleet. Returns to Plymouth for repairs
  • December, 1577 - April 1578 - Sailed West along African coast. Portugese ship captured. Quarrel in sultry heat.
  • April - August 1578 - Reach Brazil. Some men attacked and killed. Thomas Doughty executed for mutiny. All ships burnt bar Drake's 3 favourites. 
  • September, 1578 - April 1279 - Enter Pacific. Hit by storms. The Golden Hind was the only remaining ship and short of food. Attacked several Spanish settlements. Captured wine, gold and Spanish coins. Seized 57 ingots of Gold at Arica. Attacked by Indians at Mocha. He was wounded and another man had 25 arrow wounds.
  • February, 1579 - Reached Callao where he attacked 12 ships and captured large quantities of Spanish coins and silk.
  • April, 1579 - Captured cargo from Cacafuego.
  • June-July, 1579 - Attacked Guatalco, stealing gold, silver and jewels. Landed prisoners in Mexico and claimed modern San Francisco. Locals were friendly and gave him gifts of water and food supplies. He took up more supplies in the Mollucas. Continues across Pacific.
  • January, 1579 -  September, 1580- Established trade deals with Ternate and took 7 tons of spices. Sailed round Cape of Good Hope and back up West coast of Africa. Returned home to Plymouth on September 1580. 
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Consequences for Drake after World Voyage

  • Popular
  • First englishman to circumnavigate world
  • Successfully attacked Spanish settlements
  • Brought back riches worth £140,000 (£200m today). Investors were pleased.
  • Established trading links with Spice Island and conquered new lands for England
  • Knighted by Elizabeth 1591 on The Golden Hind in London
  • Became admiral 
  • Philip II of Spain was furious with him
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Why did England go to War with Spain in 1588?

  • Religion - Spain was Catholic, England was Protestant
  • Marriage - Elizabeth I had rejected Philip's proposal many years before
  • Dutch revolt - Elizabeth had sent money and weapons to Protestant rebels in Spanish Netherlands
  • English sailors - Many Spanish ships had been attacked and looted by the English 
  • Spanish help in Catholic plots - Philip was involved in plots to overthrow Elizabeth, giving money and support. Some involved putting Mary Queen of Scots on the throne 
  • French civil war - A civil war had broken out in 1562 in France so they were no longer a threat to either country
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English Fleet Strengths and Weaknesses

Strengths -

  • Drake and Hawkins were experienced admiral and vice-admiral
  • Strong, light and fast ships
  • 14000 experienced sailors
  • 20000 soldiers protecting land 
  • Near to home to pick up weapons, soldiers and daily food supplies
  • Known waters
  • 200 light canons, easy to move
  • Long distance weapons

Weaknesses - 

  • Soldiers were volunteers so untrained
  • Commander Lord Howard of Effingham was inexperienced
  • Smaller navy
  • England were short of money
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Spanish Fleet Strengths and Weaknesses

Strengths -

  • 30000 men, 8000 experienced sailors
  • Duke of Medina Sadonia followed King Philip II's orders precisely
  • 130 ships
  • Rich country

Weaknesses -

  • Duke of Medina Sadonia was inexperienced. He suffered sea-sickness
  • Short range weapons
  • No fresh food supplies
  • Bulky, slow ships that were difficult to manoevre
  • Heavy canons
  • Foreign territory
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Foreign relations 1603


Armada defeated. Philip had sent more fleets but they had been driven back by storms. English still attacked treasure ships.


Dutch protestants gained control and defeated Spanish. Protestant ideas were popular.


Protestant Henry IV of France had turned Catholic. The civil wars had ended and they were on friendly terms with England.

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Foreign relations 1603 (2)


Became a friendlier Protestant country under James VI of Scotland. Mary Queen of Scots had been executed but Elizabeth had apologised to James.


After many years of rebellions the Earl of Tyrone, rebel leader, had surrendered and England had gained control over the area around Dublin. English settled in other areas of Ireland but the Catholics hated them.


Colonies had been established in North America. The East India trading company had allowed extensive trade links to be set up. Drake had circumnavigated the world leading to the discovery of new lands and a better knowladge of sea travel.

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Was Elizabeth a Successful Queen?


  • Strong navy - defeated Armada
  • Allied with France and Holland
  • American colonies set up and East India Trading Company established
  • Looted Spanish ships
  • Mary Queen of Scots executed
  • Predominately Protestant religious compromise but Catholics were under control
  • Poverty dealt with well


  • Weak army
  • Enemies with Spain
  • Couple of Catholic Rebellions
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