Threat of the Catholics to Elizabeth

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  • Events
    • 1559 - First Elizabethan Parliament - religious settlement. Accesion of Francis II to King of France AND Mary Queen of Scots (MQofS)
    • 1560 - English troops march into Scotland and then their subsuquent withdrawal, along with the French troops under the Treaty of Edinburgh.
    • 1561 - MQofS returns to Scotland.
    • 1565 - MQofS marries Henry Stewart, Lord Darnley.
    • 1566 - Birth of James Stewart (James VI of Scotland)
    • 1567 - Murder of Lord Darnley, MQofS marries James Hepburn, Earl of Bothwell
    • 1568 - MQofS abdicates flees to England. William Allen founds a seminary at Douai.
    • 1569 - Norfolk/MQofS marriage plot. Revolt of the Northern Earls.
    • 1570 - Pope Pius IV issues Papal Bull of Excommunication
    • 1571 - Treason Acts (made it treasonable to deny Elizabeth as the lawful Queen). Ridolfi Plot.
    • 1572 - Execution of Norfolk. St Bartholomew's Day Massacre.
    • 1574 - First seminary priests arrive from Douai.
    • 1580 - First Jesuits Edmund Campion and Robert Parsons arrive in England.
    • 1581 - Act to retain the Queen Majesty's subjects in their obediance.
    • 1583 - Throckmorton Conspiracy.
    • 1584 - Assassionation of William of Orange, the Protestant leader of the Dutch war of independance.
    • 1585 - Act Against Jesuits, Seminary Priests and such other like Disobediant Persons is passed. The Parry Plot.
    • 1586 - Babbington Plot discovered.
    • 1587 - Execution of MQofS.
    • 1588 - Defeat of Spanish Armada.
    • 1596/7 - Spanish involvent in Ireland.
  • Extent of Catholicism upon Elizabeth's Accession
    • Upon Liz's accession the majority of the population were conservative in their religious views.
    • The majority of the peerage and wealthy individuals and the most powerful men were Catholic.
    • The clergy were Catholic.
    • During Mary's reign Catholicism was succesfully reintroduced. 
  • Why didn't Catholicism pose more of a threat during the first decade of Elizabeth's reign?
    • The Catholic Bishops in the House of Lords (HofL) didn't resist the Elizabethan Settlement.  The Cath Bishops had opposed the Act of Supremacy in HofL, and refused to swear the oath of supremacy. They were deprived, imprisoned or allowed to resign. Elizabeth was able to appoint 27 new bishops, many of them men who had actively opposed Mary’s religious policies and who would support her in the HofL. The remaining clergy mostly conformed to the new church.
    • During the 1560's and 1570's an uneasy balance was maintained with Catholic Spain, initially from marriage negotiations with Philip II and his need to keep good relations with England against France.
    • During the first years of reign Catholics lacked leadership; it was not until 1570 did the Pope concern himself with English affairs by excommunicating the Pope. However this coincided with the introduction of new treason laws in 1571, deterring many Catholics from openly resisting. 
  • The Turning Point in the Catholic Threat
    • 1568 the return of MQofS - a Catholic and next in line to the English throne.If she was put on the throne she could restore the Catholic threat. 
    • In the same year William Allen set up a seminary at Douai to teach Catholics priest and sending them


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