Religion in Tudor England no.3

An overview of the changes in religion in Elizabeth I's reign up until 1566.

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Situation in 1559

  • At this time Spanish interests were bound up in keeping Elizabeth keeping the throne in order to prevent french hegemony in England(Mary of Scots). This meant she was relatively safe from opposition to religious change.
  • She still had to be cautious because of Cateau Cambresis and she wanted to attempt to regain Calais.
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Bills passed

  • Bill of Supremacy:
    • severed connections with rome
    • repealed heresy laws
    • monarch is supreme governer( aconcession to those against a woman being head of church)
    • New prayer book (which rejected transubstantiation.)
  • Bill of Uniformity:
    • Was rejected by the Lords twice. Bishop Scot stated that parliament had no right to interfere with doctrine.
    • Elizabeth refused to dissolve parliament early; assertment of power
    • She organized a disputation and when 2 catholics left early she had them arrested which weakened catholic support.
  • The Bill of Uniformity only passed because 3 people were missing(prison,etc), but The Bill of Supremacy passed with only one vote against.
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New Prayer Book

  • Was an amalgamation of the two Edwardian Prayer Books
  • Included 'the Black Rubric'. This was a compromise, which meant priests could choose how to interpret the Eucharist.
  • Deliberately ambiguous
  • Insulting references to the pope were removed
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Why did she get away with these changes?


  • like John Jewel. 1563: published 'Apologia Acclesiae Anclicanae' which was a justification of the new church.
  • He was the church's chief defender
  • 1559: preached a famous sermon at St Paul's Cross where he challenged 27 articles of papist belief.

International Situation

  • The pope offered little guidance to English catholics
  • Charles was busy in the Mediterranean with the Turks.
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