Elizabeth I (Religious Settlement)

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Decisions Elizabeth had to make on her succession

  • Size and composition of the P.C. and the appointment of minsters were immediate priorities.
  • Issues of F.P. - alliances and religious doctine could not be delayed for long.
  • Marriage - decision on most eligible candidate for a husband.


  • Religious situation - difficult due to previous 3 reigns: HVIII = broke with Rome, Eng. ch. remained cath. but H head of ch. instead of pope, power to appoint his own Archibishop of canterbury, Thomas Cranmer, authorised the royal divorce. EVI = changed the faith in doctrine to prot. but speed of changes meant that not everyone was cath. in 1553 when he die (many still cath.). MI = re-introduced roman cath. and pope's authority, burnt at stake nearly 300 prot.s but short reign = unsuccessful removal of prot. entirely. 
  • EI = issue of country's religion = entwined with the dynastic situ. Until she had her own child the next in line was Mary Stuart (MQS) (was cath. and supported by Fr. to eng. throne - mother Fr. and going to marry Francis, son of Henry II, King of Fr.), who many believed should be queen anyway as Eliz. illegitimate as marriage of her parents not recognised. If Eliz. followed her own faith and decided to establish a prot. ch. - Mary with Fr. and Papal support = natural leader for Eng. cath. willing to rebel against Eliz. Relied on more experienced councillors - Cecil - and her own instincts and judgement.
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Situation at home

  • House of commons - largely prot. although a few ardent cath.s
  • House of lords - largely cath., bishops capable of blocking leg. and could usually count on the support of the conservative hereditary peers.
    (tactics of religious changes through parliament - lords and commons)
  • P.C. - largely prot., dominated by Cecil and his political allies (Eliz. decided her council).
  • Marian exiles - fled eng. during Mary's reign and strengthened their calvinist views during their time in Geneva, on return expected to be given key posts in ch. and par. and opposed any compromise with cath.s
  • Majority of pop. - conservative in their religious sympathies.
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The church

  • Clergy - particularly bishops, solidly cath. Sermons = urged eng. people to resist prot. Priest in canterbury = arming people against religious change,  raise cath. revolt fears.
  • Gov't - woman as head of ch. unacceptable to extreme prot. and cath., unless Eliz. could persuade cath. bishops to remmain in her church = replace with prot. who would alienate her cath. subjects.
  • Organisation - remained largely unaltered, ch. courts always factioned and clergy = heirarchial. 
  • Ritual - changes in visual emphasis always caused unrest, presence or absense of images, furnishings and priests' vestments were all disputed issues.
  • Doctrine - conservatives wanted to retain their belief in transub. whilst more radical reformers saw the communion servic as commemorative.
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Eliz. personal religious beliefs


  • disliked long sermons and was exasperated by the endless theological debates much loved by prot. reformers.
  • liked clergymen to wear vestments and for hymns to be accompanied by choir boys and an organ.
  • opposed to the idea of married clergymen, particularly married bishops, and could not always bring herself to be civil with Mrs Parker (wife of Archbishop of Canterbury).
  • kept crucifixes and candles in her priv. chapel despite admonitions of Archbishop + Dean of St. Pauls. (attended mass in Mary's reign).


  • educ. by humanists and lived in prot. households as a child. (cath. parr = reformer).
  • translated 3 texts by Desiderius Erasmus.
  • example of piety in Ed. and heretic in Mary.
  • coronation - 'away with those torches' (candles) and no bread and wine in ceremony.
  • Xmas day 1558 - walked out her chapel when priest rose bread during  mass.
  • 1558 - council = prot. and prot. preachers invited to give sermons.
  • William Cecil - main man/father figure to her. (prot.)
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Establishment of Eliz's authority

  • legit. heir according to H's 3rd act of succession of 1544
  • backing of great men of the kingdom (Cecil, P.C. + nobility - powerful in house of lords) - advised mary not to try to by-pass her in order of succession
  • nobody against her reign - including cath.s


  • William Cecil as leading councilor (principal secretary) within 3 days of being queen - knew him as growing up, looked after her estates and advised her during Mary's reign, had been a leading member of the Ed. ref. faction (principal secretary to som. and north.), trusted him. 
    He gave her reign stability, died 1598 and showed her clear intent to reform the ch.
  • Used councilar gov't and worked through experienced P.Cs. Most survived Ed. or Mary or both. Worked through small P.C. - decisions quick and effective (same as working through inner ring - old practice), didn't need to rely on her privy chamber (household) unlike H. Her P.Cs. were also her courtiers - court and council effectively same people.
  • P.C. empowered rule through it corporate authority and most areas of everyday gov't and finance worked through P.Cs. signing to approve policy (major policy decisions = queen).
  • Matthew Parker (prot.) quickly appointed Archbishop of Canterbury - she knew him, her mothers' personal confessor, able man of great integrity).
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Early problems to be addressed by Eliz+P.C

  • restoring coinage - Marquis of Winchester 1560-61, helped stabilize prices.
  • 1563 poor law - compulsory poor rate (tax on parish) to help increasing no. of poor + stop wandering poor threatening life and property..
  • succession - nearly died of smallpox in Oct. 1562 and 64 - "sore sick of  the flux" (diarrhea)
    she imprisoned cath. gray (died 1568) when she married hertford (next in line according to 3rd act of succession 1544) - naming a successor was more likely attempt to remove her - Cecil recognised and found it easier for her to marry (Philip II/Archduke Charles of Austria) but both cath. so dismissed.
    1566 subsidy bill (granted by cecil) (money) for succession - failed, Eliz. forbade parliament to discuss.
    1568 = cath. MQS heir. Survival of ch. depended on Eliz. good health.
    1560 = didn't marry Dudley (advised by Burghley - fathers dudley dynasty ambition - distance due to jealousies among nobility because of this, sent him from court reluctantly for a time). MQS deposed in 1567 for marrying Bothwell her husband's murderer - 1560 Eliz. offered Dudley as as suitor to her (new queen of scot.) but she refused Eliz.'s cast off, compensated him by making him Master of the Queen's Horse 1562 and in 1564 = earl of Leicester and admitted to her P.C. 
  • Religion was by far most important pressing early problem that could threaten the internal stability of the country - sorted immediately.
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Eliz. ch. settlement

  • unity and so stability - religion was Eliz.'s most pressing problem because it was likely to divide the nation, religion caused rebellions in Ge., the Neth.'s, Scot. and Fr. and Eng. under her father.
  • a broad ch. - she needed a national ch. that all would accept, majority were cath. so she didnt want to alienate them, a calvinist settlement would upset phil.II of spain and cath.s at home, her ch. would be evangelical with the bible being the test of belief and practice.
  • Eliz's personal religious beliefs - Parker had been her mother's confessor and guided Eliz. spiritually, Eliz. had been brought up by Cath. Parr = evangelical (emphasis on the bible to justify belief and practice) and her educ. had reinforced this, liked the ceremony of the cath. ch. and had a silver crucifix in her priv. chapel, Eliz. had been brought up in her father's anglo-cath. ch. and her mother was associated with it, she rejected transub. and would not allow the priest to elevate the eucharist in her priv. chapel, in her prayer book of 1559 she would accept real presence in communion falling short of transub., she would not allow the use of incense which she clearly considered evidence of superstition and so rejected purgatory.
  • Bishops - roman cath. bishops to resign as a group (strength, no opposition), needed the best theologians as bishops and they would accept nothing less than a ch. based on 2nd Ed. PB of 1552 (Cecil appreciated this and she would base her prayer book on it, importance now not in Eds reign).
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  • Risk of invasion from abroad cath. powers (she had to calcuate) - pope bound to excommunicate her when she reformed ch., she gambled that Scot. would follow Fr. lead in negotiating peace at Cateau-Cambresis so it was not in their interests to invade (MQS next in line to eng. throne - in Fr. in 1558 and married to Dauphin.), Spain would not act against eng. for fear of making eng. vulnerable to attack from fr. and scot. - if fr. acquired the British isles it would break has hasburg encirclement as well as cutting spain's channel supply line to the Neth.'s, Fr. and Spain = more interested in Italy and their own boarder disputes.
    (Spain's concern about Fr. was to delay the papal bull of excommunication for 10 years - majority of people in eng. cath. and cath. invasion would have sparked a rebellion at home. Phillip II helped - needed eng. on side as neth.'s and france don't need a block (king of both).)
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What was the situation in Eng. when Eliz. = Queen?

  • see notes from warren (p6-8 and 15-20)
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Elizabethan Religious Settlement 1559

  • main priority = ch. indep. from Rome by introducing Royal Supremacy - wanted doctrinal change quickly so that people would understand her ch. and accept it from that start - didn't want an anglo-cath. ch.
  • Cecil expected/antisipated opposition to doctrinal change (House of Lords = cath. majority and bishops cath.) - he introduced the 2nd Ed. PB in the Act of Supremacy (reestablish quickly - 2 acts of parliament combined into one) - should have been in the Act of Uniformity.
  • Cath. voice in parliament was strong at beginning of 1559 - parliament's role was to endorse Eliz.'s changed and had the potential to oppose the crown although bills were initiated by Cecil and the Queen - house of Commons passed the bill but it was wrecked by cath. bishops and lay peers in the house of Lords - went to a committee dominated by conservatives (kept royal supremacy but also mass and heresy laws (mary's 1555 = cath. burning prot.s) - allowing communion in both kinds - wanted to restore H's anglo-cath. ch.)
    Eliz. could've accepted the bill and become supreme head but she didn't (supreme governor) although a subsidy bill was passed and she had the money for her scottish policy - put parliament into recess for easter and decided on doctrinal change (arrested 2 bishops for disobedience stunned by opposition - Eliz. and her council - decide whether to introduce religious settlement along henrican lines = 1559 act of 6 articles BUT she was not cath and did not want an anglo-cath. ch.).  
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  • Signing of treaty of cateau cambresis significant:
    prot.s desperate - marian bishops and conservative peers had outvoted cecil's scheme for doctrinal change. Eliz used easter to her advantage - timing of settlement influenced by signing of treaty in March 1559 - unlikely spain and/or fr (big superpowers) via scot. could move against her (not vulnerable from outside and in) - she had been tatically recognised as queen of eng. by negotiating treaty - felt more secure. 
  • Eliz. overcame the cath. opposition in parliament by: 
    deliberately organising a public debate over doctrine over easter to strengthen the prot. position. Cath. walked out and as a result the leading bishops (white of winchester and watson of lincoln) were imprisoned in the tower  (out of action in vote. charged of praemunire (putting pope before the queen)) - important because the gov't was removing opposition. 
  • Religious settlements were final from may and june 1559 - separate bills for royal supremacy and prayer book.
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The Act of Supremacy 1559

  • Terms: 
    1) eliz. took title of 'supreme governor of the ch. in eng.' (same just diff. interp. = clever, if she       had taken her fathers title = trouble as she was a woman but same power (pragmatist)).
    2) the pope no longer had power in eng.
    3) comminion in both kinds to be used (bread and wine by lay people) - clever as work for             unity.
    4) permitted limited prot. practice incase act of uniformity was not passed (maj. of people in         eng. including political elites = cath.).
    5) heresy laws repealled - difficult to be charged with, preventing burnings; heresy could only       be defined by the general council of the ch.
  • Lumped together as the royal supremacy was less controversial than the doctrinal change a new prayer book would introduce - act of supremacy was more likely to be passed and the commons passed it in 4 days.
  • Lords only passed it after it had been to committee and changed so that the court of high commission could not judge cath. as heresy - cath. majority (so to be cath. was acceptable).
  • No bishops supported it.
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The Act of Uniformity 1559

  • terms:
    1) eliz. prayer book of 1559 = in eng. (based on 2nd Ed. PB of 1552 with some revisions           reflecting the queen's personal preferences) - used in all services.
    2) combined the wording of communion from 1st ed. PB of 1549 and 2nd of 1552
    3) believed in a bodily presence (pleased cath.s) in communion falling short of transub. -           reflects her belief. Pragmatic (allowed cath./calvinists to interpret communion in their own     way) - creating a broad ch.:
             reinforced by dropping black rubric - believed in communion as a sacrament (pleased          conservatives - reinforced communion as a sacrament in 39 articles of 1563).
             red rubric (ornaments rubric) - eliz. decided on vestments of ch. and she kept old                vestments - caused trouble with reformers (clause allowed altering at a later date).
  • principles: 
    1) unity - internal stability in uniformity of practice and belief, wanted confidence in her ch.
    "the body of our lord jesus christ (CATH) which was given for thee.. take and eat this in remembrance and feed on Him in they heart by faith (PROT)" - rewording purposely for unity
    2) obeying - have everyone worship in the same way and stick to it
  • complicane as: prayer book used at all services, everyone worshipping in the same way, everyone had to attend ch. on sundays and holy days and fine of 1s when ch. missed (aimed at cath.s not puritans).
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  • difficulty to pass prayer book - cath. house of lords. commons passed it quickly but only passed in lords by 3 votes and there were 4 conservatives missing from the lords including the 2 bishops in the tower, a lay peer who was ill and one who did not make the vote (9 bishops and 9 peers against - 21 voted).
  • reinforces fact that eng. was still largely conservative in belief and practice - ref. faction had steered these changes through parliament - crown's ability to manage parliament although they got away with it by the skin of their teeth in the lords.
  • religious change without the consent of a single churchman - anglican ch. been made law by the laity alone - eliz. and cecil decided what form her settlement would take.
  • archbishops, bishops, judge, justice, mayor, lay people, officers, ministers, etc. all had to take the oath.
  • baptism and marriage remained unchanged from ed. but changed the wording of communion.
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Neale and Jones Thesis'

  • puritans would not accept the wording - 'body' - didn't believe real but this was only put in to appease cath.s.
  • Neale - stressed the role of parliament and the house of commons (lords more influential in reality) and argued queen had been forced by a well-organised and influential nucleus of puritans within the commons to move further in the prot. direction than she had originally intended.
    not enough of them! biased and not reliable! 
  • Jones - no effective puritan faction in 1559, no more than 23 mps who could be considered calvinist or radical prot. out of the 400 members of the commons. only 4 exiles among this 25. nor were these purians effectively led or organised. 
    major opposition in 1559 was the cath. bishops and nobiles in the house of lords! queen defended her settlement. 
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Eliz. ch. settlement and bishops

  • easier if she used bishops to control the clergy and her subjects
  • retaining bishops - advisable for FP to minimise differences the eng. ch. and the continental cath. ch. - importance of trad. - father never discarded bishops. 
  • retain episcopate - had to decide bishops:
    1. encourage marian bishops to remain - but their refused to take oath of supremacy made this impossible 
    2. turned to prot. clergy - exiles during mary's reign (cecil lay behind the appointments) - Grindle (bishope of london) returning exile = calvinist.
    (wanting to keep cath. = eliz. interest in presenting an image of religious continuity rather than securing full blown prot.)
  • Acts of supremacy/uniformity = start only to reform process (prob. = eliz. thought this was conclusion) - difficulties ahead for new bishops. 
  • ch. heirarchy kept same - clear line of responsibility (bishops answered to the queen) - control.
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1559 act of exchange

  • increase crown wealth/taking from ch. = cheap way for crown to reward the nobility. (exchange property of a vaguely spiritual nature which it has in its posession for non-spiritual (temporal) property in the posession of the ch. - things of limited value were exchanged for castles and manors of considerable value.
  • aim to make money out of the deprivation of marian bishops (tool for crown's good obedient civil servents).  
  • leg. could be used to put pressue on bishops reluctant to bow to the queen's demands.]
  • prot. laymen to bishops = dislike, marian bishops had been truly energetic in seeking to burn out the heart of prot. - men of cecil's stamp did not forget. (not likely to be enthusiastic episcopalians) 
  • bishops too inclined to pride and so cutting bishop wealth (esp. in terms of ch. land.) = decrease their power and influence.
  • interfered with how bishops could deal with their lands (gained income from renting) - reventing renting out land leases that lasted more than 21 yrs (except to crown). Attempt to keep high value of ch. land as long leases failed to take into account rites in land value and inflation.
  • ch. land = useful supplement to queen's patronage (not worried about income of bishops), in her interest to keep clerical land attractive.
  • If queen didnt want  to reward nobility/gentry = favourable leases to laymen.
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  • protest ffrom bishops over both aspects of the act - embarassing to gov't - backed away from demaning exchanges.
  • bishops subjected to pressure to grant leases to the nobility on favourable terms - to refuse = no light matter (few bishops did).
  • eliz. envisaged her bishops less as generals leading armies of prot. shock troops and more as subservient civil servents whose task it was to promote uniformity on the model approved by her and whose incomes might be tapped whenever the queen felt necessary.
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Significance of the Eliz. prot. ch.

  • reflected eliz. beliefs and what she felt was practical for the new ch. in eng.
  • eliz. and cecil had been motivated by their conscience and this would be true of the new bishops who would replace the old cath. ones that resigned.
  • she had created and eng. prot. ch. that reflected her preferences but was also broad enough in scope (particularly in the wording of communion) to include conservatives and radicals.
  • political reasons: gave the crown independence from rome and foreign powers, financially they needed to recover 1st fruits and tenths/the income tax on the clergy and while sees were vacant eliz. stripped them of their remaining assets.
  • greed = less obvious motive in 1559 as most ch. lands already taken.

ch. lands:

  • political significance of the ownership of ch. lands = why prot. ch. had been set up so easily in 1559.
  • offered landowners security and in return they supported the royal supremacy.
  • lord rich - voted for royal supremacy to protect his lands (against the act of uniformity - mass protected his soul - 1559 = majority conservative).
  • support from parliament = their advantage financially.
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  • oath of supremacy: all but one cath. bishops refused, they were dismissed and replaced by prot. exiles - matthew parker = archbishop of canterbury dec. 1558. 
    oath was a test of political allegiance to the crown; clergy, gov't officials and teachers had to take it and failure to do so = loss of jobs. 
  • parliament in the creation of the eliz. ch:
    important but limited
    queen and cecil initiated legis. and had determined the form of the ch. settlement which was reflected in the changes to that 1552 prayer book.
    used parliament to ppass the penal clauses which enabled her to enforce her religious changes. 
    power grown significantly - according to the wording of the act of supremacy the royal supremacy could only be exercised by the queen in parliament.
    eliz. wouldnt accept such limitation on her power - only used parliament for her convenience because she needed the punishments to enforce her new beliefs and practices
    henry VIII set the precedent an mary used to repeal henrican and edwardian religious leg. 
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The Injunctions 1559

  • clergy were to observe and teach the royal supremacy and to speak against the pope's alleged usurpation of the right of the monarch to govern the ch. 
  • processions associated with the cath. ch. banned almost entirely.
  • monuments to 'fake' miracles were destroyed although the injunctions stopped short of forbidding images in ch. 
  • pilgrimages forbidden explicitly.
  • recusants (those who refused to attend CoE services) were denounced to the P.C. (monarch's inner circle of advisors) or to local JPs.
  • clear restrictions on evangelising - no preaching without official permission (lisence obtained from authorities) - restricted to clergymen who held MA degrees - few and far between. 
    oxford = > half held a degree (most clergy restricted to reading from books of prepared pastoral advice)
    had to try and get hold of educated to preach legal min. of sermons (15 p/a) - depriving ch.'s flock of what may stir the most hardened and superstitious to seek salvation and obey righteous demands of god. 
  • eliz. saw unlisenced and unlearned preaching as disruptive to good religious and civil order, cath. areas = trouble/violent opposition, disliked C16th monarchs of seeing lower orders gathered 'en masse'. People attending open air sermons = people who may be swayed to criticism of her gov't. Her use of bishops as instruments of her personal authority over the ch. = jeapordised widespread and unlisenced preaching.
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  • required each parish to have a copy of the bible in eng. and a work by erasmus - paraphrases of gospels - not prot. (minimal distance travelled from cath.)
  • congregation = bow at name of jesus
  • clergy ordered to wear distinctive clerical dress (1552 vestments) - too similar to cath., worn by cath. priest at mass. 
  • clerical marriage encouraged - priests/ministers no longer had special power BUT only with special permission of bishop and 2 JPs (slightly cath.) - Eliz.'s personal distaste for married clergy shown with this? - innate conservatism and emphasis on her decision to remain unmarried.
  • MOTIVES: sought to promote continuity in worship and uniformity in practice - unity. Enforce authority of the crown. 
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The Visitations

  • how did they differ from the injunctions? 

inspections designed to enforce the injunctions
prot. aggressive visitors - cath. images, relics, altars and vestments destroyed. BUT each have a crucifix, eventually backed own and just in her priv. chapel.
visitors also - examine beliefs of clergy and punish failed act of supremacy, book of common prayer and injunctions - 400 clergy resigned/deprived of positions (1559-1564).

control and extreme imposing crown authority after injunctions.

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39 Articles

  • Calvinist - predestination (salvation predetermined rather than attained through godly behaviour) - you will be saved (decision made that some people will go to heaven and be saved by god)
  • Catholic - real presence in the eucharist, old cath. heirarchy but without pope/cardinals and she would run her ch. through archbishops and bishops she appointed, red rubric = traditional (but only in books) (easier to attend ch. when cath.'s had to), belief in the trinity.
  • Protestant - ed.'s 42 articles 1552, only 2 sacraments - baptism and communion, services in vernacular, reformed ch.
  • Motives - created a broad ch. that many could accept but also the essential beliefs and practices reflected what she believed (would never have compromised the essence of her faith) - continuity. 
    establish indep. from rome.
    in law - uniformity, unity, her statement of belief. 
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Challenge to the ch. settlement - cath.s

  • eliz. needed to achieve commitment to the state ch. and the cath.'s had no doubt as to where they stood in her new ch.
  • the act of supremacy (refusal to take = lost positions) and the act of uniformity 1559 (1s fine for non-attendance of ch. on sundays which was intended to be distributed to poor of parish when offence took place - demanding conformity) - laid down the essential position of the queen's prot. ch. and its attitude to dissenters (cath.'s). The queen demanded uniformity from all of her subjects and the penal causes of the acts were to enforce her will, if they were carried out by the local JPs and if visitations were carried out conscientiously. 
  • oath of supremacy initially had to be taken by he cleary and gov't officials - later extended to schoolmasters, lawyers and wards (guardian of wards at court - took charge of wealth and estates on behalf of young person). Required to acknowledge the supremacy of the queen in spiritual matters and deny the authority of any foreign powers within this realm. Refusal to take oath = result in loss of ch./gov't job and the chance of further employment by the state. STRENGTHENED/ADDED LOYALTY TO ELIZ. POSITION. Any priest guilty of saying mass/laymen who requested it = 100 mark fine. 
  • any cath. who upheld the authority of the pope in eng. was to be severely punished (3rd = death, 2nd = indefinite imprisonment, 1st = loss of goods).
  • act of uniformity = clergy had to use the prayer book at all services, everyone had to go to ch. on sundays and holy days - act made it clear nothing to be added to communion words.
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  • as long as a cath. went to angelican ch. and was outwardly conforming they could believe what they wanted - wanted obedience to the crown and the royal supremacy.
  • JPs collected the 1s fines for non-attendance - but they were unpaid and so not necessarily bothered in certain areas e.g. cath. areas.
  • 1s was significant for poor people.
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How great was threat from cath.'s during 1560s?


  • cath.'s = majority of pop.
  • may try to replace her with cath. ruler (e.g. MQS) - could involve fr./spain = foreign help.
  • Haigh - continued to worship as always had.
  • Outlying areas (e.g. North and West inc. Wales) cath.'s continued to practice their faith unhindered by authorities - dangerous as settled on west and east coasts = facilitated invasion.
  • Eliz. didn't have control over local gov't which she needed to enforce her laws strictly.
  • JPs unpaid and in cath. areas were cath. Out of necessity because they were substantial landowners.
  • Cath. threat at the end of the 1560s - Northern rebellion of 1569, followed by the papal bull of 1570 (nervous gov't), marian plots, activities of missionary priests 1574 (greatest threat) and spanish war of 1585. 
    Showed increase in cath. activirt and growth of cath. threat 1569+
    1568 MQS in eng. having fled from scot. after defeated by scot. lords who deposed her - direct threat to Eliz. 
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Not great:

  • gentry tended to accept religious changes quietly as they had always done.
  • difficult to be certain how many cath.'s were determined to keep allegiance to rome (pope) and cath. practices in 1560s.
  • Bossy - tended to conform.
  • towns = prot. (tended to be marchents involved in business - links) taken a hold as doctrinal appeal and local gov't = more active. (questioning and indep. in prot. (cath. = numbly accept outside power), trading with neth. = prot.
  • only 200/800 clergy deprived of their livings in 1560 for refusing to take the oath of supremacy - queen's commissioners turned a blind eye to many who didn't turn up to local centres to take oath - only obvious troublemakers were punished = eliz. not looking to create trouble and most clergy didn't want to cause it.
  • 15/16 marian bishops refused to conform - 9 vacant sees on eliz.'s accession - managers in ch. = reformers.
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  • many priests continued to say mass as they always had done - didnt see themselves as missionaires as reformation penetrated outlying areas. Cath. local gov't = possible for them to survive, not immediate change = no thought of resistance.
  • papacy = no strong leadership to eng. cath.'s. 1561 = eng. refused entry to papal nuncio. 1562 = pope relucantly ordered cath.'s not to attend angelican ch. services as directly asked to state his attitude. 1563 = refused to excomm. eliz. encouraged by spain. papacy didnt want to provoke trouble and spain wanted to keep eng's strong position against fr. - MQS.
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The Northern Rising 1569 - causes

  • MQS arrival in Eng. threatened Eliz. rule - she had to be following up her claim to Eng. throne or she would've stayed in Fr. with her estates. Norfolk planning to marry her = he was King if Eliz. childless and so Eliz. got MQS done for treason and Norfolk imprisoned for it. If she married him it would mean she had greater recognition in the country and would therefore mean a Cath. succession.
    (Norfolk backed by Arundel and Pembroke - plot aimed against 'new men' in gov't (now nobility of service) - Earl of Leicester supported the conspiracy to down Cecil in 1569, arrest him (like Som. in 1549). BUT Leciester revealed plot to save himself, thrown into Queen's mercy, Norfolk followed to save himself and plot collapsed. Southern plot = completely Northern once court plot collapsed.)
  • 1566-67 = Parliamentary debate. Wanted Eliz. to recognise her successor and she refused because she did not want MQS to take the throne.
  • Southern court plot by Nortfolk and the old nobility to remove Cecil as Eliz. leading councillor - remove minister and change policies. Believed interests of Eng. security followed a pro-Spanish F.P. which would've meant a more Cath. policy at home. Norfolk hated Cecil because he was a puritan.
    (Cecil had increased the threat of war with Spain - siezed bullion ships and prevented the paymen of Alva's army in Netherlands 1568. Retaliation for Span. military presence in Neth. 1567 = direct threat to eng. security. Instability abroad = Eliz. vulnerable at home = worsen rebellion.)
  • (See notes from sources, SHP)
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  • North Earls of Northumberland and Westmorland (contract to Rome and Spain, supporting MQS and Norfolk = danger) = misinterpret Norfolk's movements as he was surrendering and though he was retiring to his estates to raise rebellion. He was trying to warn them against the rising - no support in the South.
    (Tudors slowly eroding authoity of Northern Earls in Northern Marches and this = opportunity to dispossess. Northumberland and Westmorland = no option (implicated in court - collapsed and charged with treason).)
  • Lack of recognition of Northumberland and Westmorland - Cath's didn't support as danger.
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How Dangerous was the Northern Rising?


  • Presence of Mary in North complicated the rebellion and made it a security threat (immediately moved further South to Bolton Castle (Yorkshire) and then Derbyshire).
  • North was a Cath. area = vulnerable because it was close to Scotland. Scottish help for the rebels made it more serious and there was hope in the North that Mary = heir so that Caths were tolerated religiously.


  • Success of tudors in strengthening the power of the crown in the North seen in 1569 - reason for collapse = Eliz. had her own men in the important local gov't positions in the Northern Marches - Lord Scrope (Warden of the West March and Norfolk's brother-in-law. Recieved patronage from Eliz. so that he would stay loyal).
  • Cath.'s did not rebel in any no.s in the North (seen in 1536) - North. rebels driven by conscience once they rebelled. Wanted Old Faith restored - only a moral excuse in the end. Westmorland's wife who really wanted to turn it Cath. - London arrest had been imminent so they decided they had no chance of survival unless the North supported them.
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  • Easily put down, no battle.
  • Earls took a cath. stand in Durham Cath. hearing masss and displaying the banner of 5 wounds of christ which evoked memories of the PoGin 1536.
    BUT North. Earls fled rather than take on the Southern army (Warwick and Clinton). Northumberland consequently sold back to Eng. by scots and he was executed in 1572.
  • Rebels severely punished as example - Eliz. = hundreds to be hung BUT the local gov't did not carry this out as ni even of Eliz. restoration there could be reprisals against.
    Council of the North. = strengthened - loyalty of the council had been suspect at time of rebellion (Earl of Sussex). Archbishop of York had job for a time and harsh sorting out anyone whose loyalty suspect.
  • Rebellion = little chance of success once isolated in the North. Collapse of Southern plot emphasised the crown strength in 1569. Eliz. could never had been dictated to over her choice of leading councilor. Authority of the Tudors for all to see.
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How serious was the Northern Rebellion of 1539?

  • First in a series of conspiracies centered around MQS - her arrival ended hops that cath. would wither away and heralded the start of a turbulent period in foreign affairs.
  • English seizure of Spanish bullion ships on their way to Europe from the New World in 1568 ended the uneasy friendship between the two countries - loaded with Gold Coins and used to pay Spanish troops in the Neth.'s - fears of Spanish army invasion to reinstate cath.
  • Eliz. fail to marry and produce a prot. heir = no guarantee that the religious settlement would last - chief fear of Eliz. and her councillors = MQS overthrowing Eliz. with foreign and Eng. support.
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Personalities behind the rebellion

  • Thomas Howard - Duke of Norfolk
    Leading Eng. noble, conspired to marry MQS to secure her succession to Eng. throne (she was already married and should ask queen's permission to marry and get an annulment from the Pope). Supported by some of Eliz.'s courtiers (including Leicester) who wanted to discredit Cecil (jealousy as he rose due to Eliz. (Lord Burghley). Norfolk fled from court when conspiracy discovered and urged Northumberland and Westmorland not to carry out the rebellion - threw himself on queen's mercy and was imprisoned.
  • Thomas Percy - Earl of Northumberland
    Willing to rise in support of restoration of cath. but he did not want Norfolk and MQS marriage, his role in the initial planning stages of the rebellion meant he was committed despite Norfolk's advice.

    He should be head of the council of the North but he was not because he was cath., angry/ignored/sidelined. But he was not a threat as he was not effective.
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  • Charles Neville - Earl of Westmorland
    Norfolk's brother-in-law and the original of the conspirators - not a threat as not effective.
  • De Spes - Spanish Ambassador
    Wrote to Phil. and told him he was optimistic - successful outcome of a Cath. uprising against Eliz. (but never in reality would this happen)
  • Earl of Sussex, President of the Council of the North
    Friend of Norfolk, but loyal to Eliz. Anxious to prove his loyalty to the Crown, questioned Northumberland and Westmorland in Oct. and was reassured by their claims of loyalty.
  • Queen Eliz.
    Not convinced by Sussex's early reports that Northumberland and Westmorland were loyal, summed the two Earls to court, believing she could force them to show their true colours, and in doing some pushed them to rebellion - rebelled instead of going to London.
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Why did the rebellion fail?

  • No popular enthusiasm to replace Eliz. with a foreigner (MQS = Scot/Fr., loose woman/murderer) or to restore Papal authority - country supported the legitimate heir.
  • Poorly planned and lacked a coherent programme - support limited geographically and Northumberland did not even have time to mobilise all his tenants.
  • Pope didn't issue the papal bull of excomm. until after the rebellion had been quashed - too late to call on cath. support from eng. and to depose their queen.
  • Appeals made by earls to the cath. nobility failed - support from Lancashire and Cheshire was not forthcoming.
  • Any suggestion of Span. support was false - Phil. didn't show any enthusiasm for putting Mary on the throne due to her connections with Fr.
  • Gov't officials (e.g. Lord Scrope) contained the rebellion and held the key towns of Pontefract, Berwick and York.
  • Earls turned back when they heard a massive force being summoned against them.
  • Earls realised it was impossible to free MQS from prison.

SEE NOTES FROM AQA - p 91-97 (motives of rebels in particular)

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How great a threat was the 1970s Papal Bull?


  • Said Eliz. = heretic/schismatic and she would be deprived of her throne. Subjects = absolved of oaths of allegiance to her and urged to reject her authority.
  • Some cath.'s did put their religion first.
  • It was uncompromising - no middle path/reconciliation between Eng. and Rome. Roman Cath.'s duty = depose Eliz. according to Pope, threat to ch. and state - prot. ch. depended on Eliz as head of ch. and state.
  • 70s = new efforts of Cath.s to defend their position.
  • P.C. wanted harsh legislation (anti-cath. laws/parliamentary legis. to neutralise) in case it could rise up - gov't saw it as a threat, shown with 1571 treason acts (said it was unlawful to deny Eliz. as queen and anyone using bull to convert/reconvert = treason. BU% still refused to allow anti-cath. legis. - Bishop Sandy's bill to increase ch. non-attendance penalties = vetoed by Eliz. despite successful passage by Parliament.
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  • Cath.'s = choice of remaining loyal to ch. or crown (bull made all cath,'s traitors) - outward conformity, their material interest > their belief/religion. Not prepared to put their religion before loyalty to crown.
  • 60s = lack of leadership from Rome, no cath. reaction to 1559 settlement, clergy continued to practice religion, gentry not willing to stand out against queen's prot. ch. - land owners, self-preservation.
  • Bull = response to rebellion 1569 but rising collapsed by the time it was issued, too late to rally support/ineffective. Gov't = too long to consolidate position (Northumberland and Westmorland had fled before it happened, too late) and no provision made by cath. powers for enforcement.
  • Phil. of Spain not told it was issued  - not properly publiscised - people claimed ignorant. (isolated statement from Pope), disorganised.
  • Relgious settlement - compromised cath. belief = they saw as acceptable and so papal bull was less of a threat. Felt they could be included without being compromised by it (uniformity/united ch.).
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Marian Plots

SEE HANDOUTS - ridolfi, throckmorton, parry and babington.

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How serious a threat were the missionary priests?

see handout (possibly my notes but not really necessary)

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Bossy VS Haigh

  • Bossy: accepts continuation of trad. cath. but argued that seminary priests and jesuits did much to ensure an eng. cath. comm.
  • Haigh: skeptical about the value of their contribution, priests operating in difficult and dangerous circumstances, being a cath. priest from 1585 = death. Easier to protect if operating from safe houses, concequently many = household chaplains and most in S/E eng. where proportion of cath.'s = smallest. 1580 = small pop. attended cath.'s in london, essex and thames valley. Fewer priests in the North = cath. higher and ministry borne more fruit. Most recruited from landed classes and were therefore most comfortable when dealing with social equals, while dealing with u.c = cath. ruling order if change of monarch. Reliance on working for cath. gentry in practice = humbler cath. ignored to extent that cath. substantially disappeared among ordinary folk = country house religion instead of popular faith.
  • HAIGH IS CORRECT - eliz. effective gov't to remove threat, majority conforming - hiding, only in certain prot. areas, secret so cannot be effective. Cath. dies out (even in North), worsening outside = made seem worse.

See final judgement on back of these notes and stephen lee photocopy

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The Puritans

Contemporary term of abuse for prot.s who wanted more reform than Eliz. had given in her ch. settlement - felt it was only the 1st stage in ch. reform and wanted further reform based on their reading of scripture, they were evangelicals. They wanted to cleanse the ch. of popish relics (cath.) - word mass, sign of the cross in baptism, ring in marriage, kneeling at communion, vestments, statues and stainglass windows - superstition and idolatry. Presbyterians = minority who believed in calvinist theology and discipline and they were dangerous. They all wanted a national ch. for uniformity and order. Preaching was essential for spreading the word of god as most people were illiterate - spreading the truth of scripture (also in pamphlets produced on puritan presses: they were illegal due to censorship and puritan preachers were often illage as they were unlisenced. But they did much to attack the cath. in the 70s after the papal bull). For calvinists, evangelism was the essence of their faith. Their work shaped the prot. ch. in eng. and made it acceptable to committed prot.'s.

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why were they considered a threat?

  • Often non-conformists and so considered church rebels, the unity of the kingdom depended on unity and not division.
  • Any criticism of Eliz. as supreme gov. = challenge to her as head of ch. and state - she would not tolerate any questioning of her authority.
  • Division in religion could lead to rebellion, disunity and possibly civil war - experience on the continent (e.g. germany and the netherlands) - had to take any non-conformity seriously.
  • Presbyterians were a threat to prot. ch. settlement - wanted fundamental calvinist reform that Eliz. was not willing to give. Wouldn't challenge authority to rule ch. and state.
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a) Conformists - (leader = cecil) willing to work with Eliz. compromising their principles in order to establish a reformed liturgy (wording in prayers used in the service - read out. Writen and specified in prayer book). Wanted stability and hope changed would come from the queen in time. Included her bishops - Grindal, Whitgift, Jewel and Sandys (who spent Mary's reign in exile in Stasbourg or Frankfort) as well as P.C.s such as Burghley, Walsingham, Leicester, Knollys. Would not challenge the queen over vestments or ch. organisation (66) - within gov't, with Eliz., within system = less of a threat because conforming/from within - powerful/influence that other groups don't have.

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b) Presbyterians - wanted to change the ch. organisation along calvinist lines: ch. elders running the parishes, congregation electing its own ministers/elders had the right to choose pastor, ch. was to be guided by decisions taken by assemblies of clergy at local, provincial and national levels (seriously worried Eliz. as it made royal supremacy unnecessary), supreme gov. = replaced by a national assembly of the ch. to decide belief and practice (remove Eliz.'s control), make bishops redundant (Eliz. controlled and disciplined the ch. through bishops), m.c. run the ch. as elders and fear that in the end they would run the country through a national assembly, parliament, religious and political threat.

Movement was potentially revolutionary and Eliz. wanted it destroyed. Would hand power to the people, in particular the m.c. BUT most reformers didn't intend this - wanted to raise standards by educating clergy and doing away with abuses of pluralism, non-residence, simony and nepotism. Most members of Eliz. ch. could sympathise with Eliz's prob. = she didn't want people attracted to the radical ideas of the presbyterians.

Most extreme but lack of supporters.

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c) Separatists - non-conformists from outside the ch. of eng: rejected the national ch., each congregation through the covenant should find the truth by interpreting scripture in their own way. Believed in indep. congregations.

Recipe for anarchy, religious division and disorder. Condemned by crown and Eliz. ch. but also by presbyterians.

What they wanted was the most exteme agenda.

They were a tiny group of little influence - isolated and small in number. No agreement with them from other puritans.

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The Vestiarian Crisis (1565-66) - Conformists

What did Eliz. and the clergy disagree over?

  • Ornaments rubric - attempted to clerify act of uniformity - implied that the clergy should wear albs and copes ('catholic' and therefore 'supersitious') which were elaborate, during eucharist and surplaces (white linen tunics) during other services.

What compromise did Archbishop Parker attempt to reach?

  • Played for time - set up an inquiry by bishops into lack of uniformity, safe in knowledge that most bishops sympathised with those who refused.
  • To demonstrate that he was taking action he threated to remove preaching lisences from miscreanty.
  • Clergy to follow the 'one uniformity of rites and manners' in the admin. of sacraments and one decent behaviour in their outward apparel' - administer communion in surplace rather than cope.
  • He believed that black long garment and surplace but not copes.
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How did he try to presuade bishops to accept his compromise?

  • Secured bishop Grindal's support for advertisements and summoned clergy of dioscese with Grindal - appropriate clerical dress modelled. Then asked if they support or reject it.

What happened to those who didn't?

  • 37 London clergymen refused to signify support - deprived of their posts in the process refusing to acknowledge to acknowledge Grindal's assertion 'things indifferent' ('adiaphera').

What can we learn from the crisis about the relationship between the ch. and the crown?

  • Eliz. wouldn't give way - preparedness to stick to settlement.
  • Differences between prot.s. Bishops disagreeing. (Puritan groups = some accept and some don't. Tension = Eliz. exploiting ranks).
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How Great a Threat to Eliz. were the Presbyterians

Admonitions (1569-72) - to give advice

  • leading presbyterians such as Field, Wilcox (both disaffected London clergy clashed with authorities over clerical vestments) and Cartwright (calvinist beliefs to parliament in 1572, attacked cath. superstitious practice and prot. book of common prayer which angered Eliz.) called for reform.
  • 2 illegal pamphlets - reorganisation of ch. based on scripture. 
  • calvinist ch. based on early ch, - congregation running it - pressure for reform outside of parliament - Eliz. used to imprison.
  • Puritans intended to use parliaments of 1571-72 to take CoE into a 2nd stage of reform after 1559. Increased challenge to Eliz. authority - efforts directed by P.Cs who failed to persuade her to introduce changes - used parliament to pressurise her. 
  • Norton- calvinist ch. org. under synods - started cannot law to be revised based on end of Ed. reign.
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Dealt with: Eliz. reacted when Strickland demanded 1559 prayer book should be revised. Undermined her ch. - summoned him before P.C., threatened him but let him go to quieten parliamentary opposition - shrude of her. 

Imposed control over parliament and P.C. by utiling reforms of that session - lost everything but trying to reform. Instead insisted bishops had to prove proposals for religious change before could go to parliament in future.

Reform on educ. of clergy, pluralism and non-res. - reforms called for in parliament - vetoed all but instructed congregation instead - undermined parliament.

Foiled P.C.s attempt to use parliament to advance reform in ch. - kept ch. and state sep.

All allowed changed by p.c. to become law on parliamentary initiative.

2 illegal pamplets - outside of parliament (field imprisoned, cartwright fled to geneva) - weakened leadership of reformers  

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Prophesyings (1576-77) - unofficial gatherings in which preachers developed their skills in the delivery of sermons.

  • Grindal (Archbishop of Canterbury) felt they were harmless as they were closely supervised by the bishop. Felt could be an asset to the ch. because they would educate the clergy and this would make them more able to defend the ch. against missionary priests. He refused to rid of them.
  • Eliz. hated them - encouraged radicalism and were potentially subversive (likely to overthrow gov't). Lead to division in parishes and may llead to anarchy and rebellion.

Dealt with:

  • Grindal suspended from office in June 1557
  • Whitgift (bishop of London) supressed his area
  • Eliz. succeeded in splitting bishops 
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Classical movement (1580s) - an attempt by presbyterians to defy Eliz. by illegally setting up calvinist ch. org.s locally - challenge Eliz. authority has head of ch. and state.

  • Appearance of the classis (assembly of clergy based on calvinist ch. org.) seemed to support Eliz.s concerns over the prophesyings because some were in areas where prophesyings had been allowed.
  • Chose their elders, pastor and held two national synods in cambs and london. Bishops chose priests so Eliz. authority being completely undermined.
  • Presby. = minority but still trying to introduce calvinist changes in practice after failing to introduce them legally through parliament.
  • Could only happen locally with sympathy of JPs - threat as crown did not have full control of local gov't.

Dealt with serverly:

  • Grindal died (83) and replaced by Whitgift - calvinist but opposed innovation in the ch. and he was to crush presby. through the court of high commission to destroy the classes.
  • Non-conform. clergy were made to take Parker's oaths accepting the royal sup., PB and 39 articles. Had to answer 24 qs on oath - no customary proceduce and resented (even by P.C.s - spoke against it)
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Why did Presbyterian movement decline (late 80s)

  • classical movement's membership in decline - small and non-existant in most parts of country outsea EA.
  • Few puritcan clergy prepared to break with the ch. and the failure of cope's 'bill and book' in 1587 showed the futility of parliamentary approach.
  • death of its key organiser - John Field in 89 - classival movement faded and no synod held after 89.
  • Public rep. of presb. movement suffered on account of the Marprelate tracts (printed in 88 and 89 - last desperate act by puritans to reassert themselves at a time with 'oppositionist' puritanism was becoming increasingly unfashionable) - widely felt to be too libellous about many of the bishops.
  • CoE began to develop a more sophisticated response to presb. arguments - notion of episcopacy as devinely ordained.
  • Presby. in general declined - concequence of wider political context. Main defenders at court (Leicester, Mildmay and Walsingham) died within a few years of eachother. Defeat at spanish armada reduced percieved threat of cath. and attraction of godliness as a bulwark against this (if god were prepared to assist his chosen people against forces of anti-christ) cannot have be too much wrong with his ch. Puritanism as a mentality and attitude to religious experience remained on furtherance of religious ideals at the local level.  
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Separatists - a threat?

Why were they a threat?

  • Outside of ch. so not easy to control
  • More dangerous than Pres.s because: believed that each congregation should interpret scripture in their own way, parish would be formed through local covenant (agreement) by the congregation, rejected national ch. org. and so rejected royal sup. (challenge to Eliz. and her authority as head of ch. and state), their ideas threatened to divide the nation and result in anarchy and rebellion, pres's agreed with gov't that separatism should be destroyed.
  • Tended to flourist in EA and London - Dutch Refugess influence was strongest. Sep. congregations (e.g. Norwish led by Robert Browne in 81) - broken up and forced into exile.

How dealt with?

  • Law against seditious sectaries 1593 - made separatism punishable by exile or execution - seriously taken threat, shows danger Eliz. saw it as law passed specifically to contain the threat.
  • Leaders such as Barrow, Greenwood and Penry were executed for sedition in 1593
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Why did the puritans fail to achieve change?

see handout

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How serious was the Puritan threat?

See handout

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