History Elizabeth start - 3 plots

Elizabethan society

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Government in Elizabethan England

Has a problem > talks to Privy Council & royal court

New law that needs funding > open parliment

Who ensure the laws > justices of peace

Moarch holds the most power > decides laws & opes and closes parliment at their will

Role of parliment:

  • very few people could vote but gave sense of democracy
  • funded unexpected things by creating taxes
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The monarch

Ruled by 'divine right' 

Royal Court & Household:

  • lived near or in same place
  • key advisers & friends
  • only had influence not power

Privy Council:

  • 19 members chosen by monarch
  • debate current issues & advice on goverment policy
  • monitored JP's & proceedings of parliment
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The Monarch (continued)


  • made up of House of Lords (including Bishops) & House of Commons (Lords had most power)
  • few could vote
  • called for & dismissed by Elizabeth
  • grant extra taxes
  • pass laws

Lord Lieutanant: (chosen by monarch)

  • in charge of raising & training military force of ordinary people
  • meant that the employment of a constant army was not necessary
  • oversaw enforcement of policies
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The Monarch (continued)

Justices of Peace:

  • large andowners who kept law & order
  • unpaid (seen as a position of status)
  • ensured social & economic policies were done & reported to Privy Council 
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Elizabeth's problems


  • women were not viewed as physically or mentally strong enough


  • Pope did not grant divorce so some Catholics viewed her as born out of wedlock so did not have legitamacy

Privy Council:

  • she often took a long time to make decisons frustrating them
  • had to have people who didnt wholey suport her to keep Catholics happy
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Elizabeth's problems (continued)


  • Diveded country
  • many uprisings
  • Catholics often plotted against her
  • must find way to unite country but also set strong example


  • inheritated country with £300,000 of debt
  • Mary had sold may crown lands
  • yearly income of monarch only £286,667
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Elizabeth's problems (continued)

France & Scotland:

  • had storng alliance as both Catholic
  • France very wealthy
  • England had lost control of Calais


  • rich & powerful
  • Catholic
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Religion in Elizabethan England

Catholic churches were extremly wealthy:

  • had to ay for marriage, funerals, baptisms ...
  • had to pay flr indulgences (people to pray for you)
  • had to pay at holy places
  • harvest > church would be given offerings

Became very corrupt

Herecy > challenging beliefs of the Church

Witchcraft > praying to & working wth the devil

Recusancy > failure to attend Church

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Elizabeth religious settlements

  • Bread & wine used in Holy Communion to represent Last Supper woding doen so could be interpreted
  • Queen was supreme Governor of Church 
  • Clergy must wear special clothing
  • Pilgrimages were to be banned
  • Some decroation allowed in Churches
  • There was a hierarchy within Church
  • Clergy could marry
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Elizabeth religious settlements (continued)

Act of Supremacy > must swear oath of allegiance to Elizabteh (she is the supreme leader)

Act of Uniformity > must all use the same prayer book

The Royal Injucntions > had to have a license to preach

                                   > all clergy must teach the Royal Supremacy

                                   > had to attend Church

                                   > Pilgrimages were banned

                                   > Clergy had to wear special vestments

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Dutch Revolt 1566 - 1588

  • Phillip of Pain in charge
  • Sends Duke of Alba in to reorganise government
  • Dutch want to be Protestant
  • Dutch Nobility (lead by Duke of Orange) rejects Phillip
  • Duke of Alab brings Spanish Inquisistion killing 3000 rebels
  • Elizabeth allows Dutch exiles to take refuge > 1567
  • Elizabeth dosent want to get too involved tho becuse of threat of invasion

Italy loans Spain money but whilst boats acrrying it rest in Englsih docks, Elizabeth steals it > Phillip very angry

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Mary Queen of Scots

  • Elizabtehs Catholic second cousin
  • Queen of Scotland > protestant Lords controlled Government
  • Had strong claim to british throne
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Revolt of the Northern Earls 1569

  • Elizabeth is informed of plan before it starts
  • Northen Earls (North still very Catholic) march down to London expecting to be joined by many (dosent actually happen)
  • Mary is moved to Coventry
  • 14,000 people from South against 4500 rebels > rebels flee
  • Rebellion crosses into Scotland

After 450 rebels were hung & left on trees to scare peopel. At least one person from every town & village were killed

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Revolt of the Northern Earls 1569 (continued)

Why did it fail?

  • Phillip was meant to send over 10,000 men but changed mind
  • South didnt rise against Elizabeth as expected
  • Elizabeth knew of plan

Earl of Northumberland > executed

Duke of Norfolk > released (cousin)

Mary > imprisoned

Papal Bull released by Pope> gives permission to kill & disobey Elizabeth

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Ridolfi Plot 1571

  • Want to overthrow Elizabeth
  • Marry Mary & Duke of Norfolk and make King & Queen
  • Phillip would send over 10,000 men from Netherlands led by Duke of Alba
  • Sir william Cecil uncovered plot 
  • Duke of Norfolk executed for high treason
  • Elizabeth still would not take action against Elizabeth

Due to the threat of Spain that was now clear, Elizabeth focused on improving relations with France

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Throckmorton Plot 1583

  • Very litle known as letters were mostly destroyed & evidence given under torture
  • Planned to revolt in the North whilst French Duke of Guise invaded backed financially by Phillip 
  • Wanted to free Mary & restore Catholism
  • Sir Francis Wallsingham uncovered plots 
  • Throckmorton was tortured, confessed & then executed

Life became harder for Catholics, helping or sheltering Catholic Priests became punsihable by death

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Babington Plot 1586

  • Wanted to assassinate Elizabeth & replace her with Mary
  • Duke of Guise would invade with 60,000 men
  • Philip of Spain & Pope supported
  • Letters going between Babington Mary were read by Sir Francis Walsingham
  • Babignton & accomplices were hung, drawn & quarted
  • Mary was executed along with many other Catholics

Anglo-Spanish relations were now completely destroyed 

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