Elizabeth I & sucession

  • Created by: cieran32
  • Created on: 09-11-18 10:07

problems if marriage and succession for Elizabeth

The succession crisis dominated politics for decades. Elizabeth I remained unmarried and did not produce her heir.

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marriage and virginity

  • Over the decades, it became apparent that Elizabeth I would not marry.
  • She began to develop a reputation for being the 'Virgin Queen'.
  • It was commonly said that her impregnable body represented an impregnable country.
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bond of association

  • In 1583, Cecil established the Bond of Association.
  • This was in response to the Throckmorton Plot (a plot to assassinate the Queen).
  • The Bond of Association was written in case the Queen was murdered and had not chosen a successor.
    • It gave its signatories the power to execute the Queen's killer.
    • It gave the signatories power to choose the new monarch.
  • This had huge consequences because it meant the succession could be the prerogative of Parliament.
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resolution

  • Eventually, Elizabeth I named the King of Scotland, James, as her successor.
  • James VI of Scotland was the son of Mary Queen of Scots.
  • Unlike his mother, James VI was a Protestant
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The Duke of Anjou

  • Elizabeth's last suitor was the Duke of Anjou, who courted the Queen in 1579.
  • The Duke of Anjou was a French Catholic.
    • It is unknown if Elizabeth I wanted to marry the Duke.
    • She did appear to like him.
    • He gave her extravagant presents.
    • She endearingly called him her 'little frog'.
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opposition to the Duke of Anjou

  • The Protestant faction in Elizabeth's Court did not want her to marry the Duke because he was a Catholic.
  • Cecil spread rumours about the Duke to make him fall out of favour with the Queen.
  • The Protestant faction applied considerable pressure on Elizabeth I, emphasising her as the Virgin Queen.
    • An example of this pressure is seen in the 'Sieve Portraits'. The sieve symbolises virginity.
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not naming a successor

Elizabeth's decision to not name a successor was deliberate. It was a tool to keep her in power.

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royal prerogative

  • Over the years, Parliament repeatedly pressured Elizabeth I to name a successor.
  • But Elizabeth believed that they did not have the right to tell her what to do.
  • She used her royal prerogative (privilege) and forbade them from discussing the matter
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not naming a successor

  • Elizabeth I's decision not to name a successor was strategic.
  • With no clear successor, England could fall into civil war.
    • This quote from Cecil shows the paranoia that the succession crisis caused:
    • 'If God should take her Majestie, the succession being not established, I know not what shall become of my self, my wife, my children, landes, goodes, friendes, or cuntrie, for in truth noe man doth know what'.
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naming a successor

  • Elizabeth I faced many plots to assassinate her.
  • If Elizabeth I did name a successor, people could be encouraged to overthrow her in favour of her named successor.
  • So the lack of a named successor ensured Elizabeth I's survival as the monarch.
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Bond of association

Cecil set up a plan just in case Elizabeth I was assassinated. This was important because it rested on England being a republic (being without a monarch).

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The Thockmorton plot

  • The Throckmorton Plot in 1583 was a plot to assassinate Elizabeth I accompanied by the invasion of England by the Duke of Guise.
  • This plot terrified Elizabeth I's closest ministers and they wanted to have a backup plan in case she was killed.
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implications of the Bond of Association

  • Historians such as Lake have emphasised the far-reaching implications of the Bond of Association.
  • Cecil essentially planned a situation where there would be no monarch: a republic.
  • Cecil wanted to give a select group of politicians the authority to choose the future monarch. This was unprecedented as usually, the ability to choose the line of succession was a royal prerogative
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The bond of Association

  • In 1583, Cecil established the Bond of Association.
  • The Bond of Association was written in case the Queen was murdered and had not chosen a successor.
    • It gave its signatories the power to execute the Queen's killer.
    • It gave the signatories the power to choose the new monarch.
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paranoia over the succession crisis

Cecil showed his paranoia over the crisis when he said: “If God should take her Majestie, the succession being not established, I know not what shall become of my self, my wife, my children, landes, goodes, friendes, or cuntrie, for in truth noe man doth know what”.

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