Who were the Puritans and what did they believe?
Puritans were reformed protestants who wanted to purify the CofE from its Catholic practices. They believed that God directed all things to his will and he had the final say(Catholic priests were often considered holier than the congregation). They also believed in predestination and that man had to adhere strictly to divine law to get into heaven.
The threat they posed to Elizabeth
The Puritans posed a threat to Elizabeth because they were unhappy with the way the CofE had been disguised. Elizabeth allowed priests to wear vestements and allowed ornaments to be placed on the altar. They were irate at the compromise. The Puritan Thomas Cartwright gave a series of lectures at Cambridge dissing the church and failing to call Elizabeth 'Supreme Governor'. Puritan printing presses printed pamphlets criticising the CofE. Prophesying was a popular function where Puritan people came together to dicuss the Bible and essentially were trained. This led to the spread of Puritan ideas around the country.
The Government's response
The government acted back with force to the Puritans. In 1572 the printing presses were destroyed. The Queen rejected any bills that came from Puritan MPs(and there were a lot of them!). In 1576 the Queen banned any discussion of religious matters in parliament. After she and Edmund Grindal argued over prophesying, he was placed under house arrest until he died.John Whitgift(Grindal's replacement) was much harsher to the Puritans. Further criticising pamphlets(1589) angered them and in ''93 the government passed the 'Act Against Seditious Secretaries' which meant anyone who was suspected of being a Brownist ( a type of Puritan) could be executed.