Religious change during the reign of Elizabeth I

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  • Created by: Tasha.L
  • Created on: 17-04-16 21:50

The Church Settlement

When Elizabeth became Queen in 1558, her first priority was to settle the religious issue within England.

The Church Settlement, 1559

Elizabeth had two main aims for her religious settlement:

1. Uniformity - Elizabeth wanted to establish a national Church that would be accepted by everyone.

2. Conformity - Elizabeth was determined that her subjects would follow the demands of her religious settlement. 

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What was the Church Settlement?

The Church Settlement consisted of two major acts of Parliament, alongside several other acts.

The Act of Supremacy - this established Elizabeth as Supreme Governor of the Church.

The Act of Uniformity - This focused on the appearance of the Churches and the acts of worship that took place inside them. For example:

A new Book of Common Prayer, based on those of 1549 and 1552, was introduced and was to be used in all Churches. Furthermore, people were to attend Church every Sunday and on holy days: failure to abide by this rule resulted in the creation of 'recusants' and a fine. The chantries and monasteries established under Mary's reign were also dissolved.

These were followed by Royal Injunctions, which contained distinct instructions to the clergy and followed Elizabeth's desire to create a moderately Protestant Church. 

In 1563 the convocation accepted the Thirty - Nine Articles: these were heavily based upon the Forty - Two Articles of Edward's reign, and firmly established the practices and beliefs of the English Church. 

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Scriptures into Welsh

In 1563, new legislation was passed to translate the Book of Common Prayer into Welsh. 

By 1567, William Salesbury had translated the New Testament into Welsh.

By 1588, the whole Bible had been translated by Bishop William Morgan. 


  • This helped promote religious change and spread the Protestant word amongst the Welsh.
  • It encouraged the establishment of loyalty to the Church of England in Wales at a time when there was increasing Catholic threats emerging in Europe. 
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