Elizabeth's Later Years 1588-1603

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  • Created on: 04-06-19 15:27

Royal Perogative

  • New generation of MPs were unhappy with her privileges
  • Purveyance 1593 the Commons asked for a remedy over the issue of purveyance but Cecil said that the request infringed on the royal perogative - Elizabeth agreed to deal with it anyway
  • Succession  MP Peter Wentworth writes a pamphlet urging the queen to name a successor and is imprisoned by the Council. Wentworth is arrested for discussing the matter outside parliament and sent to the tower
  • Monopolies  1597 Elizabeth ends monopolies that are rising prices but she only revokes a few and issues more. She finally agrees to end the worst immediately and refer the rest to the courts as well as making her Golden Speech
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Relations with Parliament

  • Summons 4 parliaments in 1588(only summoned 13 across the whole reign) which meant parliament was less willing to grant money
  • Although parliament had to be persuaded, money was raised due to the foreign situation
  • Summoning parliament so frequently was an issue as the queen had to listen to parliaments concerns and complaint e.g. monopolies
  • Could be argued that government was losing control in the Commons as many councillors who managed business for the queen were dead or sitting in the Lords
  • Parliamentary committies were starting to seize the initiative and put forward new policies rather than just examine legislation
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War with Spain

  • 1588 Armada  Encouraged pride for the country and the belief that divine providence had intervened on the side of the English. Forced the queen to obtain forced loans of £75,000 from wealthy subjects and borrow £56,000 from the City of London at 10% interest
  • Later Armadas and in France and the Netherlands  Gave Heny Navarre £20,000 in 1589 and sent 10,000 troops in 1590-91
  • Impact on finances  Nearly 100,000 men sent to fight, total expenditure £4.5million, forced to sell crown lands in 1599-1600 and reduced expenditure on patronage at court and left some positions vacant which encouraged bribery and corruption
  • Impact on politics Division over war led to factions developing e.g. Cecil who wanted peace vs Essex who pushed for a more active policy
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Social and Economic Problems

  • Harvests  Bad harvests from 1594-98 and the average price of wheat doubled, poor transport meant it was hard to move supplies and from 1595-97 the death rate increased by 50%
  • Plague  Malnutrition meant less resistance to the plague and nearly every town was effected in 1596-97. Book of Orders introduced quarantine measure but these were often defied
  • Unrest  Some refused to pay ship money and others complained about purveyance and monopolies. The Goose Fair in 1593 was cancelled due to apprentices causing trouble and in 1595 some troublesome youths were hanged on Tower Hill
  • Food riots Riots in Kent, Sussex, Somerset and Norfolk from 1595-98
  • Oxfordshire rising, 1596  Supposedly about enclosure, the plot was betrayed to the government, only 4 rebels showed up to Enslow Hill. The 5 ringleaders were charged with treason and the 1597 Tillage Act reversed enclosure since 1588
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Essex Rebellion

  • Essex's rivalry with Robert Cecil weakened him as did his failure to secure of promotion for Francis Bacon in 1593
  • He won praise for his role in Cadiz in 1596 but in his absence Cecil had become principal Secretary
  • He had a bad temper, angered the queen in discussions about Ireland, he returned home from Ireland without permission and was placed under house arrest
  • Built up a party at court and had support in the City of London
  • Elizabeth sent Mountjoy to Ireland(one of Essex's supporters) and removed his monopoly on sweet wines which was his main source of income
  • Made contact with James VI, commisioned a performance of Shakespeare's 'Richard II' which included the disposition of a monarch by a noble
  • Started a rebellion in London and attempted to take Whitehall but was crushed as he overestimated popular support
  • Only 6 executions
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Ireland 1598-1603

  • Led by the Earl of Tyrone
  • There were fears that Irishmen would let the Spanish troops use Ireland as a base
  • Tyrone defeated the English at Yellow Ford in 1598, seized Munster and took much of Ireland
  • His forces were well trained - some of his captains had served in Elizabeth's armies
  • Secured reinforcements from Scotland
  • Essex was sent with 16,000 troops but only took 4,000 to face tyrone and was unable to deal with the situation
  • Essex was replaced by Lord Mountjoy who conciliated with many of the Irish, captured some leaders and defeated a Spanish force at Kinsale
  • Tyrone eventually surrendered
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Elizabeth's Reputation

  • Scandals  Raleigh was disgraced for making Bess Throckmorton pregnant and the Earl of Southhampton had to leave the country after his affair with Elizabeth Vernon became public - undermined Elizabeth's authority
  • Criticism  Economic crises in the 1590s and rumours that the queen had 3 children by different nobles and Leicester had murdered them
  • Court  Attendance declined and Elizabeth spent less time at court
  • Appearance  Younger courtiers mocked her wig, in 1596 the Council issued a proclamation that unseemly portraits would be destoryed however there were still plays and pageants extolling her virtues
  • Progresses  Elizabeth still took part in hunting and hawking and ambassadors still reported favourably of her
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