Elizabethan Settlement Text Discussion

Respond to the following sets of questions (each with a 8 sentence, minimum, answer) below:

-Who were the authors of these texts (make reasoned speculations)? What kind of people were they (status, identity, etc.)? When were these texts written? What kind of texts are they (e.g. diary? pamphlet? law code? secondary scholarly source?)? What are each of these texts “doing” (What are these texts describing? What are these texts arguing? Why would the author write these texts?)?


-What were the dangers that Elizabeth (and others) perceived in England? What was considered to be a danger in England? What was argued not to be a danger? How does this fit with what we know about the Elizabethan-era Reformation?

19 thoughts on “Elizabethan Settlement Text Discussion

  1. The articles I read were from the time of Elizabethan rule. The articles were; “An act to retain the Queen’s Majesty’s subjects in their due obedience” (1581), “William Allen on the martyrdom of friar William Fillby of Oxford” (1582) by William Allen, “Letter from Elizabeth I to James VI of Scotland” (1586) by Elizabeth, “Elizabeth’s armada speech and a letter to James VI of Scotland” (1588/90) by Elizabeth, and “the discovery of a gaping gulf” (1579) by John Stubbs. The first article was act written to counter the missionary activities of catholic priests in England. Elizabeth was protestant and thought of the catholics as enemies. The second document written by William Allen was about the catholics that Elizabeth had sent to prison. This document talks about a man who was put to death for being a catholic conspirator. This man was given another chance but then was killed for having a crucifix. Ironically Elizabeth likes the crucifix. The third document was a letter written by Elizabeth to her brother James VI. This letter explains great gratitude toward her brother but also explains how the jesuits are trying to kill her. This leads into the fourth article which was Elizabeth’s armada speech and another letter written to James. The speech motivates the crew, “I have the body of a weak and feeble woman, but I have the heart and stomach of a king”. This speech proves she is behind her men and has their back. The letter written to James explains how she is forgiving him and that she commits him to God. The fifth document is Written by John Stubbs about Elizabeth’s intended marriage. The book is anti-Elizabeth and goes against her. This leads to Elizabeth ordering that all books should be destroyed.

    Elizabeth believes that the Catholics are a problem. This is shown by her killing of the Catholic conspirators and her outlawing Catholic missionary work. Elizabeth rolled back protestant efforts after Mary had brought them to a halt. She brought them back by issuing the thirty nine articles and bringing back the book of common prayer. The thirty nine articles refuse to accept the ways of the Catholics and allow for clergy. The book of common prayer was written by Thomas Cranmer. Thomas Cranmer was burned as a heretic to catholics but was known as a martyr to protestants. This is important because Mary had done all this to bring England to a Catholic state. This was changed by Elizabeth during this time.

  2. The first text, “An Act to Retain the Queen’s Majesty’s Subjects in Their Due Obedience” was written in 1581, and is an account of the laws Queen Elizabeth passed during her reign. It is no secret that Catholics did not have an easygoing time during the reign of Elizabeth, she was very against the Roman Catholic Church. She went as far as making Catholicism illegal. Yet, it was for not attending church that Catholics were fined, not for simply being Catholic, and the fine applied to dissenting Puritans as well as to those of the Catholic faith. What this text was trying to do was highlight and make public the severe law Queen Elizabeth had placed on the nations and letting the commoners know the Queen will not stand for people going against the Reformation. It would have likely invoked fear in Catholics that read it, for they would then be concerned with being discovered and facing the wrath of the Queen.

    The next source was written just one year later in 1582, “William Allen on the Martyrdom of Father William Filby”. This account talks about Queen Elizabeth was so committed to ceases the spread of the Catholics religions that she had outlawed all missionaries from entering the country. If no missionary were able to enter and persuade others to join their faith, it would ensure that the crown could decrease the amount of Catholics in the country. It also mentions first hand accounts of executions of four Priests, the youngest of which was less than thirty years ago, a man named William Filby. Even on his day of execution, he stood before the crowd and said, “I am Catholic and I protest before almighty God that I am innocent of all these matters…” By stating this it shows that even to the death he believes in the Catholic faith, and it is inspiring to other Catholics, which is not what, the Queen wants. This text would have also likely scared fellow Catholics of the Queen’s ability to put those who go against the Reformation to death. It ties into what we know about this time period were under Elizabeth’s reign were many Catholics were forced to conform or be put to death for speaking out with views that oppose the Queen’s.

    In a letter from Queen Elizabeth I to James VI, written in 1586, describes the accounts of Mary of Scotland’s death at the hands of Elizabeth. This all has to do with the, “accidents” as mentioned in the letter, which re referring to the Babington Plot that just occurred. For some background information, on August 14 Anthony Babington had been arrested; on August 18 he confessed to a plot to murder Elizabeth along with all of her principal ministers and implicated Mary, Queen of Scots, in the conspiracy. The chief conspirators in the Babington Plot were executed on September 20 and 21 as noted in the letter and it was determined that Mary, Queen of Scots, should stand trial for treason. Elizabeth sent James this letter four days after Mary of Scotland’s death. In it she tells him that she never intended for his mother to die, but that her council illegally obtained her signature on the warrant for execution. There is no way to know the truth but Elizabeth, a strong believer in the cult of royalty, was surely troubled by a fellow Queen’s execution. For James’s own selfish reasons like wanting to succeed Elizabeth for the throne, he did not fight with the Queen. Along with this letter to James VI is a speech that Elizabeth made to troops at Tilbury, asking them not to fear her. She wants them to have faith in her and to know she loves her people. Though, it is reasonable that the commoners would fear her consider that she had put many people to death and even just killed her fellow royalty. This proves that no one is safe and that she will willing to cut ties with anyone she believes to be going against her. She asks in another letter to James, that he understand why she did what she did. “Suppose you, my dear brother, that I can tolerate such scandals of my sincere government?” she is justifying to him why she could not let Mary go without punishment.

    The last publication, “The Discovery of a Gaping Gulf”, composed in 1579 highlights how Queen Elizabeth used her power to censor the press. This all started when someone spoke out against her marriage with Duke Francis. Shortly after it was published, the Queen issued a proclamation ordering the destruction of the book before a public officer. Letters to the Lord Mayor and to England’s principal bishops sought swift and effective compliance. On 30 October 1579, the book’s author, John Stubbs, its printer the man who printed the work, Hugh Singleton, as well as the distributor William Page were tried before the King’s Bench under the Statute passed by Parliament under Mary. Not surprisingly, the jury found them guilty. Stubbs and Page lost their right hands as a punishment and symbolized that anyone who were to write something ill against the Queen would loss a hand so that they could not write anymore. Along with most of the other texts this punishment would instill fear in those who would think to go against the queen. Which is fitting for the time and for what we have learned about the Reformation thus far. How there is a power struggle between Reformists and Catholics.

  3. Each of the documents were from the Elizabethen era (1558-1603). The documents in chronological order were; “The Discovery of a Gaping Gulf” (John Stubbs, 1579), “An act to retain the Queen’s Majesty’s subjects in their due obedience” (Unknown, 1581), “William Allen on the martyrdom of friar William Fillby of Oxford” (William Allen, 1582), “Letter from Elizabeth I to James VI of Scotland” (Queen Elizabeth, 1586),Elizabeth’s Armada Speech & Letter from Elizabeth I to James VI” (1588/1590). The first document was written by John Stubbs, who is very critical of Elizabeth. Stubbs is writing about her upcoming marriage, and how she is not a true Christian. The second document was written in order to stop Catholic missionaries from operating within England, after her sister’s death, Elizabeth was quick to undo any pro-Catholic changes made by Mary. William Allen’s letter is an account of Catholics sent to prison under Elizabeth’s rule. One of the stranger aspects of the document is that the man was found guilty because he sported a crucifix, a typically Catholic symbol, but Queen Elizabeth herself was a fan of the crucifix. The next document is a letter written by Elizabeth to her Brother, and cousin, thanking James VI for his help. Elizabeth is also expressing her fears of Jesuits in England plotting to kill her. The final document is a speech by Queen Elizabeth and a letter to her brother, James VI. Elizabeth is rallying the crew showing that they will stand behind their ruler, even if they are a woman. Her letter to James forgives him and Elizabeth hopes that he will recommit to God driving out those who say they need a “Presbytery.”
    Elizabeth saw Christianity as a threat to England and this is evident through her various actions as a ruler. Under her regime Catholic missionaries were killed off and she outright banned any further Catholic works in England. At her sisters time of rule Protestantism was under attack, and the Book of Common Prayer was banned. Elizabeth passed the 39 articles, rolling back the measures taken by Mary and reintroduced the Book of Common Prayer. This was an important symbolic change showing their was no going back to Catholicism in England.

  4. All of these texts were written with different ideals and different desired effects in mind. Firstly, the article “An Act to Retain the Queen’s Majesty’s Subjects in Their Due Obedience” was written with the status of Catholic Missionaries as part of the Catholic Counter-Reformation in mind. This was written in order to draw attention to Jesuit Priests in protestant England, as Elizabeth protestant, the author felt inclined to draw attention to this. However, Elizabeth was somewhat religiously tolerant and allowed both Catholics and Protestants to practice their religions for the most part, so therefore, She would not have taken too much action against these Catholics outside of removing their presence. Furthermore, in the piece “William Allen on the Martyrdom of Father William Filby” counteracts the narrative of Elizabeth’s religious tolerance. This document focused on the jailing and in some times execution of so called “Catholic Conspirators”. Moreover, the Document “Letter from Elizabeth I to James VI of Scotland” focused on Catholic Conspiracy. Although James was her brother, this document was urging him to help her across Christian Denominations, and the conspirators were constantly plotting to overthrow and kill the Queen purely because of her Protestant ideals. Continuing these themes, the document “Elizabeth’s Armada Speech & Letter from Elizabeth I to James VI” concerned the doubling down of Elizabeth on her protestant and her accepting ideals. She continues to rally her Protestant nation, while still forgiving her brother for his Catholic ideals. Lastly, the document “”The Discovery of a Gaping Gulf” was very negative of Elizabeth. It was mainly concerning her abuse of power to control the public view of her, constantly having authors and other jailed and their documents going unpublished as a result of Elizabeth’s immense power and need to control the media cycle.

    All of these documents showed what the biggest perceived fear was amongst the whole of the English population during the Elizabethan era, it was the other religion. Catholics felt oppressed by a Protestant rule, and Protestants were constantly in fear of a conspiracy courtesy of the Catholics in order to dethrone Elizabeth and supplant a Catholic ruler. The constant cycle of public opinion concerned exactly this issue, and when Elizabeth’s army defeated the Spanish Armada, it gave a sense of power to the Protestants and a sense of fear and urgency to the Catholics. Where the Protestants had just fought off the best possible chance for the Catholic forces to take control of England by force, it gave a sense of pride to the Protestants, and taught the Catholics that only a scheme could get them back into power and added flame to the fire of conspiracy. This only adds to my previous notions of the Elizabethan era of the English Reformation. As most know, from the time of Elizabeth on in the Protestant rule of England, the treatment of Catholics became worse and worse, bubbling to a head with the Gunpowder Plot in 1605. Therefore, the schemes of the Catholics as treatment worsened was not surprising. Whereas the nationalism of England amongst protestants continued to grow throughout her reign was equally unsurprising. Their own Church gave them a sense of superiority, which allowed them to improve their fleet and create a massive empire. As the saying goes, “The sun never sets on the British Empire”.

  5. “An Act to Retain the Queen’s Majesty’s Subjects in Their Due Obedience,” text one, a Parliamentary Act written during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I informing people the punishments of not attending mass. While there were already laws in place to force Englishmen to go to mass, now the punishments were intensified, making it absolutely mandatory for everyone to be present at the Protestant services. Text two, “William Allen on the Martyrdom of Father William Filby,” written a year after text one, is a personal account of the death of a Catholic priest put to death by Elizabeth. This text showed how like Mary, when Elizabeth ordered the death of believers of a different faith it did also create martyrs and thus a threat to the relative religious peace she had built. Text three, a letter from Elizabeth I to James VI of Scotland, written a few years after text two, details the dangers Elizabeth is facing from the effect Jesuit missionaries have on England as she half warns-half attempts to convince James VI to not allow them in Scotland. Meanwhile text four, Elizabeth’s Armada Speech & Letter from Elizabeth I to James VI, written at the time of and then two years are the Spanish Armada. Elizabeth’s speech, given to her troops at a very demoralizing time considering they were about to enter battle with who was the strongest navy at that point in time. However with her speech she manages to rally her troops to go into battle, and eventually win. Meanwhile written in her second letter to James VI she urges him to be harsher on religion. Finally in text five, “The Discovery of a Gaping Gulf,” written by John Stubb, was an account explaining why she shouldn’t go through with the marriage.

    The biggest danger perceived to be in and out of England was that of the Catholics. Internally, they destabilized the nation through rebellion when they didn’t like the Protestant changes Elizabeth made to the church. However also their presence and fervor threatened the Protestant population when they attempted to convert others like the Jesuit missionaries. Which led Elizabeth to have to plead to other rulers, like James VI, not to let them in their countries either. However as Elizabeth tried to root out the troublesome Catholics within her borders she still ran into problems as she managed to create some martyrs which also held the risk of increasing Catholic sympathies. Thus she instilled laws in her country forcing people more or less to at the very least be present for Protestant sermons so that publicly everyone at least appeared unified and reformed. However Catholics also present as an external threat, namely in the form of Spain. Because England, a Protestant nation, tried to help a fellow Protestant they brought on the anger of the Catholic Spanish. This was very dangerous for the English considering at this time period they were in debt, a second rate power, in no way prepared for war, and the Spanish had the most powerful military at the time. Thus normally Elizabeth was forced to walk a very thin tightrope as to how Protestant she could make her nation without bringing on Spanish or French aggression in a war she likely would not have been able to win.

  6. The first document is a primary source written in 1581 titled, “An Act to Retain the Queen’s Majesty’s Subject in their Due Obedience”. It is an account of the laws that Queen Elizabeth made during reign in order to bring Protestant rule to England. The document was most likely written by a member of the Queen’s court in charge with writing down laws. Queen Elizabeth was very against the Roman Catholic Church and laid down strict rules against Catholics who thought to go against the reformation. The laws were also made as a response to the Roman Catholic missionaries in England and the previous pro-Catholic laws that the former Queen Mary had instituted. The second document is a primary source document written in 1582. The document is titled, “William Allen on the Martyrdom of Father William Filby”. It was mostly likely written by a Protestant who witnessed the executions in London. This document evidences Queen Elizabeth’s penchant for executing Catholic missionaries. Compared to Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth is similar in how aggressive she is in pursuing those of the rival faith. Queen Elizabeth uses execution as a means to stop the flow of Catholic missionaries and as a result the Catholic faith by threatening all those considering ignoring the reformation that Elizabeth will send you to the gallows. The third document is another primary source document written in 1586. The document is a letter written by Queen Elizabeth to her cousin, King James VI of Scotland, about the Catholic missionaries that have been sent to the British Isles. In the letter she also apologizes for the recent executions of Catholic conspirators and James’ mother, Queen Mary of Scots who was believed to be at the head of the conspiracy to kill Elizabeth. This conspiracy against Elizabeth is known as the Babington plot. She also ask James to be wary of the Jesuits that he allows to come through his lands. The next document is titled, “Elizabeth’s Armada Speech & Letter from Elizabeth I to James VI”. It comprises of Elizabeth’s Armada Speech to the Troops at Tilbury in 1588 and a letter she wrote to James VI in 1590. The letter written by Elizabeth to James VI is focused on those who oppose the Reformation within England and Scotland. Elizabeth is writing to James to make sure he is focused on controlling the separate Christian denominations and ensuring that the court is respected by all those under its rule. The armada speech given by Elizabeth was transcribed by someone in the army that was in attendance at the speech. In this speech Elizabeth is appealing to her Armada after a string of executions ordered by the Queen. She is assuring them that her decisions were for the better and asking that they trust her and her rule and that they should not fear the Queen. The last document is from 1579 and is titled, “The Discover of a Gaping Gulf”. The article highlights Queen Elizabeth’s control and censorship of the press after critiques against her marriage to Duke Francis. This document is a critique of the Queen and is written by John Stubbs who was prosecuted by Elizabeth for this text and had his right hand cut off as punishment.

    Elizabeth views all those against the reformation as a danger to England. She is very keen on preserving the rule of the Church of England and her throne is willing to execute those opposed. She is worried about the Jesuit missionaries coming to the British Isles whom she also sees as a danger. The Elizabethan-era reformation was focused on reinstituting the 39 Articles from Protestantism and establishing Protestantism as the official doctrine of England and the rest of the British Isles. Anything that conformed to Elizabeth’s ideal England was not deemed a danger but once someone or something went against the current Elizabeth was quick to put an end to it.

  7. The first article is written by an official appointed by Queen Elizabeth to retain obedience amongst the common people. The text was written in 1581. The document is a legal proclamation. These texts are reinforcing the Queen’s sovereignty and criticizing other allegiances. The second article is written by William Allen, a Catholic cardinal and noted Protestant combatant. It was written in 1582. It was a personal account, most likely from a diary. He describes in his text the martyrdom of William Fibly, a Catholic priest who was killed for his beliefs in London. The second part of the text is written by John Field and Thomas Wilcox, clergymen who wanted to further the Reformation. Some of their requests include abandoning popish remnants (probably crucifixes), and placing in God’s Church only things which God has specifically mentioned. They want to reduce bishop authority, and appoint a “learned and diligent preacher” to each congregation. Additionally, they want to remove homilies out of the mass book. The third text is a letter from Elizabeth to her relative James VI of Scotland. The letter is dated 1586. The text is reaffirming their goodwill for one another, and a display of Elizabeth’s good faith in James, despite his mother’s plot to murder Elizabeth. The fourth text is a transcript of a speech from Queen Elizabeth to her soldiers. The speech is dated August of 1588. The transcript details a rousing speech from Queen Elizabeth to her soldiers before an imminent Spanish invasion. The fifth text is a pamphlet by British pamphleteer John Stubbs. It was published in 1579. The pamphlet warns against a French-English alliance through marriage, arguing that French influence would harm the British way of life severely, and would not be in any Englishman’s best interests.

    The Act To Retain the Queen’s Subjects in Their Due Obedience advocates the Reformation in its reflection of the divergence of state from the Church. The author of the text reminds the people that the Queen is the one true authority, and lists severe punishments for any who pledge allegiance to another ruler, or convince others to do the same. It specifically names Rome (the Catholic Church) as a “usurped authority” and states that her Majesty’s laws were established for the due service of Almighty God. The second article advocates for the Reformation through the depiction of a Catholic priest being killed for his beliefs. Notably, the priest refuses to identify the pope as the queen’s enemy. The second part of the article describes the split between conservative Protestants (those who believed Elizabeth’s reforms were sufficient) and more radical Protestants who advocated for stronger reforms. The third text doesn’t necessarily advocate for the Reformation, as much as it displays Queen Elizabeth’s good will to James of Scotland, despite his mother’s attempt to murder her, and despite their religious differences. The fourth text implicitly advocates for the Reformation through its encouragement of British troops who are soon to battle Spanish invaders. The cause of this struggle is, of course, Spanish dissent of Queen Elizabeth’s Protestant reforms. To Elizabeth, the Reformation means laying one’s life on the line for religious causes, and using her religious beliefs as a means to motivate her soldiers before battle. The fifth article advocates for the Reformation by stating the importance of religious independence from foreign intervention, namely on behalf of Catholic France. For Stubbs, Protestant beliefs coincide with British values and independence, hence his opposition to repressive Catholic influence.

  8. In the first text, William Allen speaks on his personal account surrounding the martyrdom of William Filby and three other priests. His execution was carried out by Elizabeth at the Tower of London due to the seemingly deceitful ways Catholic missionaries seemed to be resorting to convert Protestants. Allen oddly showed little emotion in his writing for how close personally he was to the situation with Filby being his father, but still recognized the event a relevant enough to write about. Possibly because of the offered pardon by Elizabeth that Filby turned down on the basis of him seeing himself as innocent and refusing to apologize made the event notable enough for William Allen’s journal. The next text provides an official document from 1581 issued by the English government on behalf of Elizabeth. This specifically was released to address and subsequently denounce the ever growing Catholic missionary priest population in England at the time. The laws were also meant to counteract previously pro-Catholic rulings by the government made in the time of Mary’s rule. This document heavily supports Elizabeth and the English government’s disdain for the Roman Catholic Church at the time. Next, Elizabeth writes a personal letter to her cousin James of Scotland, Mary’s son. Dated 1586, Elizabeth uses the letter to express her love for her cousin still even though she is aware that Mary is likely head off a conspiracy plot to have her murdered. She also warns James of allowing so many Jesuits into Scotland as Elizabeth views too many in the population as a dangerous thing for either of their kingdoms. Next, a speech given by Elizabeth to her troops on the back end of a victory in the Spanish Armada coincides wonderfully with another letter she sends to James of Scotland that reaffirms her faith in her subjects. Elizabeth speaks further on the Protestant ideals and forgives James for continuing to be a Catholic. Elizabeth again expresses great love for both her subjects and James in the second letter dated between 1588-1603, much like the first. Finally, John Stubbs utilizes “Gaping Gulf” of the time of Elizabeth to criticize her censorship of the media. Specifically with her marriage to Duke Francis and the drama surrounding it, Stubbs took great displeasure in the way Elizabeth could seemingly manipulate the public’s view of her and her actions.

    Of course, the most consistent theme throughout these various texts with various authors is that Elizabeth hated the Roman Catholic church and truly believed in Protestantism. Although Filby and his counterparts were seemingly brought in due to the scoundrel acts of the Catholic missionaries, Elizabeth still showed mercy and offered a pardon to those who apologized for not converting. Additionally, Elizabeth ensures James is aware of her affection even though he is not Protestant. Building of these two points, it is another major takeaway that Elizabeth seemingly viewed the Catholics as a less enlightened, perhaps overall stupider people. Through her acts and words it seems as Elizabeth feels sorry for them and their poor decision to be Catholic. However, anyone who was not a Protestant was still acknowledged as a danger, especially if you were a missionary hoping to spread your message in England. To further the previous notions I had of Elizabeth-era England even more, one of the documents details the speech Elizabeth gives to her people to fight the Spanish. She is literally inspiring her Protestants to destroy the Catholic people of Spain at this point. Elizabeth clearly had the goals of reinstating the 39 Articles from Protestantism into England as efficiently as she could, as well as have a fully Protestant England to the best of her ability.

  9. The first text is a parliamentary decree made for Elizabeth during her reign. It is a decree stating that it is unlawful, punishable, and treason to practice Catholicism or aid those who preach and practice Catholicism. It also details the punishments that people would have to endure if convicted. The second text is an account written by William Allen of the martyrdom of Fr. William Filby. This is an eyewitness account in which Allen writes about the details of Fr. Filby’s execution and how he remained faithful to the Catholic faith even until death but also says that he prays for the Queen. The third document is a letter from Elizabeth to King James of Scotland in which she explains her concern about the Jesuits and warns James against letting them into his country. She explains how she is afraid of them inciting rebellion and trying to kill her and warns him that they may do the same in his country as well. The fourth text is a two part text that has an account of Elizabeth’s speech to the navy before the attack of the Spanish armada and also another letter from her to James. In her speech to the navy, she talks about how even though she is a woman she has a King of England’s heart and that she will stand by them at all times. In her letter to James she once again talks about the dangers of Catholics and what they may try to do. The final text is by John Stubbs and it is a document that speaks about England’s fears of the French and Spanish and their attempts to bring Catholicism to England. It specifically speaks about the French’s attempt to organize a marriage between a French Monarch and Elizabeth. All these texts give great insight into Elizabethan England.

    The main danger that Elizabeth and others saw in England was the problem of the Catholics. Elizabeth believed that the Catholics were working with the French and Spanish crowns and were attempting to rebel against her government and overthrow her. This fear led Elizabeth to begin a great persecution of Catholics. This persecution also led to the common people of England also be fearful of Catholics. In the account of the martyrdom of Fr. Filby, it mentions how they believed that Fr. Filby has made in oath to the Pope and thus was a threat to the Queen when in reality all he had done is made a vow at his ordination. Elizabethan reformation showed a return to Protestantism after the reign of Mary and this view by the common people was consistent to this time period views. The invasion of the Spanish Armada also stoked these fears even more as Spain was a Catholic country. Elizabeth’s words prove this idea as in her speech to the British navy she makes sure to emphasize that the Spanish were enemies of her God specifically. The combination of the threat from other Catholic powers and Elizabeth’s own personal view led to the events of Elizabeth’s reformation.

  10. All of these readings are from the Elizabethan Era. The first two are direct words from Queen Elizabeth. One contained a Speech by Queen Elizabeth in 1588 to English troops following defeating the Spanish armada, where she acknowledges that she may be a “weak” woman, but the fact that they won is a sign from god to continue with their church of England. The letter is to King James VI in 1590 (her brother and cousin) about eliminating the threat of Presbyterians, another protestant movement. Queen Elizabeth also wrote another letter to King James in 1586 in a different document, expressing her concerns of a Jesuit uprising in England. The next document is an “Act of Obedience”, a parliamentary proclamation from 1581 redefining and reinforcing the Queen’s sovereignty. The following document is a collection of letters and other documents from John Stubbs, a catholic who was very critical of Elizabeth. He was particularly critical of her censorship in media. Elizabeth prosecuted Stubbs for these writings. Finally, the final document, written in 1582, is a personal account, by William Allen, of the “Matyrdom” of William Fibly. Fibly was a Catholic Priest living in london, who was executed for trying to spread Catholicism.

    Elizabeth clearly feared the spread of Catholicism. She took very extreme action to prosecute and limit the information about anything undermining her or the Church of England. Elizabeth would go so far as to have Catholic Priests executed to eliminate the threat. Additionally, the fact that Elizabeth was a woman was taken as a very serious threat to her rule. She personally address this but points out the success England had seen under her reign, calling it “Acts of God”. Clearly, any threat to the crown, the church, or the state was taken very serious by Elizabeth, using everything within her power to crush these threats. In doing so, Elizabeth ensured that England would reflect her image for it, and not of previous Catholic leaders.

  11. The first text was most likely written by a member of Queen Elizabeth’s court because it is an Act passed by the Queen. It was written in 1581, which was the thirteenth year of Queen Elizabeth’s rule. The article is written to ensure Protestantism is the dominant religion in England, and to force the English citizens to be Protestant. The act declares that reconciling with Roman Catholicism is treasonous, and that those who do not attend church at least once per month will be subject to a fine. The document then describes more specifics regarding various fines and how they will be recovered from the offenders. The second article is a passage written by William Allen, a Catholic priest. The article was written in 1582, one year after the Act in the first article was passed. The introduction to the second article actually references the first one, when it states that Catholic missionaries were outlawed in 1581. The author wrote this article to portray the Catholic priest in a positive light. He describes the events in a way that makes the priest seem kind and peaceful, and that he does not wish to be an enemy of the queen. The priest, William Filby, also chooses not to ask forgiveness, but rather to remain faithful to the Catholic religion, and in doing so becomes a martyr in the eyes of the author. The third article is a letter written by Queen Elizabeth herself to James, the King of Scotland. The letter was written in 1586, around the middle of the Queen’s reign. In this letter, the Queen describes how she fears the Jesuits plotting against her, and hopes for her brother’s sake that they do not make their way into Scotland. The fourth text is also written by Elizabeth, and it includes both a speech she made to her troops, and another letter to King James VI. In the speech she is reassuring and rallying the soldiers, and expressing her strength as a ruler and her love of England. In the letter, she is requesting that James takes action against Catholic ministers who align themselves with the persecuted in England. The last text is written by John Stubbs, who appears to be a Protestant commenter. The author argues that the marriage between Elizabeth and the French royalty would be detrimental to England and the English Church. Stubbs also invoked Biblical stories to argue that the Protestant Queen should not marry the Catholic French king.

    The primary dangers perceived in England were Catholic missionaries and foreign influences. Notable missionaries include the Jesuits, whom Elizabeth referred to as “vipers” in her earlier letter to King James VI. The Queen fears that they will spread Catholicism and sympathy to Rome. Elizabeth therefore orders the execution of a large number of Catholic ministers, and declares (in the first text) that it is treasonous to practice Catholicism. Another fear, described in the last text, is the French. The prospect of Queen Elizabeth marrying the French king is scary because it could transform England from an independent kingdom to one under French influence, which means that England would again move from Protestant to Catholic. It was argued in the second article that Catholics were not dangerous, and portrays a Catholic martyr as a peaceful man who was persecuted for his beliefs. This article was written by a Catholic, so it is natural that he did not see a fellow Catholic as a danger. This fits into Elizabethan-era Reformation because we know she is fearful of any Catholic influence, including missionaries, the Spanish, and the French. She takes action to eliminate that danger by executing Catholics and appealing to the Scottish, but there are still Catholics and Catholic sympathizers in England.

  12. The first text “An Act to Refrain the Queen’s Majesty’s Subjects in Their Due Obedience” written in 1582 is an account of the laws that Mary released to reverse Catholic trends implemented during Mary’s reign. The account shows Mary’s opposition of the Roman Catholic Church as well as the harshness of her laws. The second document, “William Allen on the Martyrdom of Father William Filby” written in 1582 by William Allen. Allen wrote an account about the martyrdom of four catholic priests, one of whom was William Filby. The account shows how willing Mary was to end any and all sources of the catholic faith. The third text, “Letter from Elizabeth I to James VI of Scotland” is a letter written by Elizabeth to James about the events of Mary’s death through the Babington incident. The letter shows that ultimately Elizabeth was willing to kill her own family in pursuit of her ideals and beliefs. In the fourth document, “Elizabeth’s Armada Speech and Letter from Elizabeth I to James VI” is Elizabeth’s Armada speech. The speech itself has Elizabeth proclaiming herself to be an able ruler and reassuring everyone that she is the queen of the people. The final text “The Discovery of a Gaping Gulf” is an excerpt of a book written by John Stubbs who openly criticized Elizabeth and her marriage to the duke. As a result John Stubbs was tried and lost his right hand. This shows that Elizabeth has a power complex and that her actions and motivation during the reformation might not have been purely informational.

    Elizabeth perceived that catholics in England were the problem. As evident by Elizabeth’s actions during the reformation(killing of catholics, including Mary), she believed that any source of Roman Catholicism was considered a threat. It ties in with how we know that much of the religious turmoil in England is often times supplemented by political reasons. On top of that, Elizabeth reintroduced protestantism by using the Thirty Nine Prayers and the Book of Common prayers by Thomas Crammer. All this only supports the power struggle that has begun and continued between Catholics and Protestants. Another danger that Protistant England faced was external threats from outside the country, namely France and Spain. Two powerful countries who were both catholic.

  13. The five Elizabethan Settlement Texts show the tumultuous religious and political landscape of England under Queen Elizabeth. The first document “An Act to Retain the Queen’s Majesty’s Subjects in their Due Obedience,” written in 1581, is a parliamentary act written by the English government in an attempt to stop the Catholic attempts to infiltrate England. The second document, written by Cardinal William Allen, describes the execution of a Catholic priest, William Filby in 1582. It aims to show how Catholics are dealt with and even displays some of the Queen’s mercy because she does offer Filby a second chance if he conforms. Filby does not accept this and is still killed. The third document is a letter from Elizabeth to her brother James VI in 1586 that details Elizabeth’s recent struggles with Catholics, especially the Jesuits. The letter describes how the Babington plot was foiled by the Queen’s followers and has Elizabeth thanking James for the part his representative played in helping the Queen. The fourth document is Queen Elizabeth’s speech to her armada in 1588 and another letter to James VI in 1590. The speech is meant to inspire the naval soldiers and Elizabeth does this by claiming she has the heart of a king. Elizabeth’s letter to James encourages him to align his rule with hers and has Elizabeth committing James to God in hopes that James can be forgiven for his transgressions. The final document was written by John Stubbs in 1579 as a criticism of Queen Elizabeth and her intended marriage. The text appeals to the people of England through their religion and their nationality by claiming that this marriage will harm Elizabeth, her country and Christianity as a whole. Stubbs was eventually punished for this piece and anti-Elizabeth publications were banned.
    These five documents all show Elizabeth’s fear of Catholics in her kingdom (queendom?). She aims to stop missionaries from coming into England and even fears a Catholic plot to kill her and take the throne. The Protestants truly fear the Catholics and believe that they will interfere with their way of life. Elizabeth’s entire reign is overshadowed by this conflict which is actually a direct reaction from the previous Queen, Mary. Mary was extremely feared by English Protestants because of the vicious policies she enacted during her reign. When a Protestant gained power back the fear of Catholics became nationwide and the attempt on Elizabeth’s life and the attempted invasion by the Catholic Spaniards spurred on this sentiment and Elizabeth’s triumph over these strengthened the peoples’ faith in her and their religion. Elizabeth’s strength dealing with Catholics made her loved among her Protestant supporters and feared among Catholics. Elizabeth proved to her people that she could protect them and destroy their enemies as well as any king ever could.

  14. The first article written in 1581, “An act to restrain the Queen’s Majesty Subject in their due obedience” is a formal court order written to the people of England declaring the protestant faith righteous and condemning all those who sides with the pope and followed his practices and teachings. By putting very strict laws and rules into place, such as large fines, and possible jailing, Queen Elizabeth sets up a climate in where people of the catholic faith would have to remain silent and keep their views to themselves. Elizabeth also installed a system where the guilty convict would have a trial by peers so catholics had to watch who they talked with their faith about because they never knew who could end up testifying against them in court. Elizabeth also levied the fine so that when payed one third of it went to her, another third when to the church, and the last third to paying for court. This meant that not only the catholic faith was being quieted but when caught the catholics were in fact helping to pay for the futherment of the protestant faith, which was almost like a double edged sword for catholics. She also made it illegal to preach against the queen with the possibly punishment of having both ears cut off. These harsh laws greatly discouraged people from speaking out against the queen and her policies. The second article written in 1582 “William Allen on the martyrdom of father William Filby” by William Allen detials Spain sending Jesuits, a new wave of catholic supporters, to overthrow the queen and her protestant rule. These Jesuits were pro-rome and sought to spread the message of the pope. Allen also talks about the martyrdom of 4 catholic priest, William Filby, Lucas Kirby, Laurence Richardson, and Thomas Cottam. All four of these men were killed professing the catholic faith and even as they were being executed refused to repent their catholic faith and praised the pope and their beliefs until their end. A very interesting commentary by Allen is that he compares the executions of of Elizabeth and the catholics to that of Bloody Mary and the protestants. Which maybe has something to say that the times are not that much better, but just the group of people getting persecuted harshly has flipped from protestants to catholics. The next articles, Elizabeth to James written in October 4, 1586, in a personal letter written from Mary to James King of the Scots, where she thanks him for helping deter the Babington Plot, where Mary Queens of Scots attempts to overthrow Elizabeth and makes a claim for the throne. Interestingly Elizabeth now calls James the ruler of the Scots possibly to symbolize that she acknowledges him as the rightful ruler, and because he saved her from certain death that she will know return the favor and support him as the rightful ruler of Scotland. James help certainly saved Mary from sure death so she obviously sought to pay him back greatly. The next article is “Queen Elizabeth’s speech to the troops at Tilbury” given on August 9, 1588. This is a public speech given to motivate the English troops who are about to fight one of the most powerful navies that the world had ever seen. The spanish armada was the most powerful navy in the world at the time and had helped Spain gain their vast and large empire. Elizabeth speaks to encourage her troops, and appeal to them by saying they are fighting evil forces and that they are fighting for the true faith. Elizabeth also attempts to appeal to them by saying that she will be with them there on the front line, and that even though she has the body of a woman, on the inside she is a King and is willing to lay down her life with them. This would have been very inspirational to the troop because this was the most important person in all of England who was going to fight with them against the forces of Evil, and would have done wonders for their courage and moral. The last articles is the “Discovery of the gaping gulf” written in 1579 by John Stubbs. This articles is written against the marriage of Elizabeth and Francis, the Duke of Anjou, the brother of the KIng of France. Now during this time the two major catholic powers in the world were France and spain so of course Stubbs would be against the marriage of Elizabeth and Francis as it would likely shift England into to more of a catholic religion. This is very interesting because Elizabeth is very protestant in practice, which would cause one to assume that she would want nothing to do with a catholic husband. While the marriage does not end up happening Stubbs does have his hand cut off and all of his books burned, which shows that ELizabeth did not like what he wrote about her in his books. Stubbs brings out many good points as to how the marriage of a catholic king would reverse many of the strong protestant ideals and ideas that has been put into place by Elizabeth.

    In contrast to Mary’s reign the reign of ELizabeth is very protestant in nature, and attempts to dispel any remains of catholicism in England. Elizabeth puts many strict rules and laws into place discouraging the practices of catholics, and even gets compared to Bloody Mary in the sense that she has burned as many catholics as Mary did protestants. If this is to be true then in a way the life of the English people has probably not improved that much because instead of being given a free choice to convert over to protestantism they are forces with possibility of death and jailing for professing the catholic faith. This fact could show how the people of England so easily switch between the faiths depending on the ruler. They do not actually inwardly reform and change, but just outwardly in order to escape punishment and prosecution.

  15. These texts, despite their variety all surround the problems of the reign of Queen Elizabeth. Given that these texts were written around the 1580s, all the authors had to have been educated and of high class. This is to be expected as the Queen herself was among them. Others include a critic of the Queen’s policy, a Priest that was about to be executed and a member of Parliament. As with their authorship, these texts also vary in type. They include: letters from the Queen to James of Scotland, a message from the Queen to her subjects, a critic of the Queen’s actions, the last words from the Catholic Priest and a law. The goal of these various texts is to give a primary account about what life was like during the reformation, the specific actions that were taken on a day to day basis. The argument from the Queen and Parliament is that she has done nothing wrong and is still a strong protector of the Kingdom and its faith. The opposite is true for the Priest and the critic. By practicing his Catholic faith, the Priest is in disagreement with the Queen despite swearing allegiance to her. The critic is being explicit about the failures of Elizabeth’s policy. All of these texts (with the exception of the critic) are naturally defensive. They are either defending their own policies and beliefs or the policies of others. This seems to be a theme in this time period, a defense of one’s own convictions above all else.

    Elizabeth perceived a wide variety of dangers in her Kingdom, at the top of this list were Catholics, both lay people and clergy. The best evidence of this is the text describing the last words of one of the priests. Given our previous knowledge of the Elizabethan reformation, this fits right in. There was no tolerance for those who did not conform to Elizabethan Protestantism. There was disagreement among the elites in terms of how many people had truly converted from Catholicism. Therefore, the policy to target Catholic Priests was a logical one. The Queen was not ignorant to outside forces with an intent to destroy her Kingdom. The concerns primarily stem from France as described by the critic. The Queen defends herself by addressing these concerns. She does not view these as real dangers and she defends herself as the protector of the Kingdom.

  16. The author of “An Act to Retain the Queen’s Majesty’s Subjects in Their Due Obedience” was likely members of the Queen’s council, with the overlooking of the queen herself. This document is an official declaration from the government. This text is establishing Queen Elizabeth’s overarching power as complete ruler of England. It states her unthreatened power, and discourages dissenters. The author of “William Allen on the Martyrdom of Father William Filby” is William Allen, likely a Catholic clergy member. He writes an account of priest William Filby’s death. Filby refused to change his faith from his Catholic beliefs. This account is probably a first or second hand account, but was likely used to spread pity for Catholics and encourage current Catholics not to reject their faith. The author of Letter from Elizabeth I to James VI of Scotland, is, as stated, Elizabeth I, and she is writing a persona letter. She uses personal vocabulary. This letter is sent to James VI of Scotland, recounting the tribulations Elizabeth has experienced from Scotland. She assures her safety, and wishes for his own. The author of Elizabeth’s Armada Speech & Letter from Elizabeth I to James VI is again Elizabeth I. This text is a transcribed account of her speech to English troops before battle. She relates to the troops to unify them, and also brings God into the equation to encourage them as well. This speech is to pump everyone up. Her following letter is again to James VI and is recounting about heretics against her and how she deals with them. The final text, The Discovery of a Gaping Gulf , is written by John Stubbs. Stubbs is likely a political commentator of sorts, publishing texts discussing opinions on politics. Here he discusses the English situation, and is not in total favor of the queen. It is likely he’d get into trouble for this publication.
    Dangers in Elizabethan England were more so dangers of dissenting. The spread of poor opinions openly discussed about the monarchy were threats to the authority of the crown. While Elizabeth may not have always felt endangered by people talking, over time talk seems to have a growing hazard with it. Along with the spread of literacy and availability to texts, it only makes sense why free speech was something to fear. When people get organized, Elizabeth would be threatened more than she could expect.

  17. The first document, “An Act to Retain the Queen Majesty’s Subject in Their Due Obedience”, is a parliamentary decree written in 1581. The text is making laws to punish those who do not adhere to the religious standards set by Elizabeth. Because the text is describing the punishment of those who don’t support Elizabeth, it was probably written by an educated official in Elizabeth’s government. The text’s purpose is meant to scare people into following the Protestant faith by describing the punishments that befall those who don’t Protestantism in Elizabeth’s eyes. The second document, “William Allen on the martyrdom of Friar William Filby of Oxford”, is a first hand account written in 1582 by William Allen. In it, Allen relates the hanging of Catholic William Filby by Elizabeth’s government. Filby was being executed for being Catholic and having a crucifix in his possession. He was given another chance to repent to Elizabeth but would not renounce his beliefs and was killed. The third document, ” Letter from Elizabeth I to James VI of Scotland”, is a letter written by Elizabeth to James in 1581 regarding a recent coup attempt on her. Even though the coup attempt was helped by James’ mother, Elizabeth is not angry and assures him of her goodwill for him. Additionally, Elizabeth warns James about the Jesuits and advises him not to let them into his kingdom. The fourth document, “Elizabeth’s Armada Speech and Letter to James I”, contains both a speech that Elizabeth gave in 1588 and a letter she sent to her brother James I in 1590. Her speech is was given to her soldiers to allay the fear of treachery some of the soldiers had about her. Additionally, she justifies her previous actions and says that they are for the best. The letter Elizabeth writes to James in 1590 is about ministers and common folk who question Elizabeth’s religious doctrine. She calls on James to control ministers and other folk who sow doubt in her subject’s minds. The final document, “The Discovery of a Gaping Gulf”, is a book written by John Stubbs in 1579. The book strongly criticizes Elizabeth’s censorship of the press and her proposed marriage to Francis, the Duke of Alencon and Anjou. Because France is Catholic during this time, it seems illogical that Elizabeth, a protestant, would marry a Catholic. Stubbs’ book was promptly banned by Elizabeth after its release and he himself lost his right hand for his actions.

    Throughout these documents, it is clear Elizabeth sees Catholics as being a problem. She goes about stifling religious freedom and executing Catholics for doing nothing more than practicing their beliefs. She uses every power she has to stifle Catholics and writes letters to others to do the same. Because of this, Elizabeth develops a reputation of fear that is somewhat similar to the reputation Mary had. However, she is not constant in her actions. Her marriage to a Catholic duke shows that she views herself in a different light than her subjects and calls her credibility into question.

  18. “An Act to Retain the Queen’s Majesty’s Subjects in Their Due Obedience” (1581), the first document to be analyzed, appears to be a legal document penned in 1581, during Queen Elizabeth’s reign; therefore, it was most likely written by English law-makers in Parliament. The document served to reinforce Protestant influence and Queen Elizabeth’s sovereignty, by stating the illegality of practicing and preach Catholicism. The text is “William Allen on the Martyrdom of Friar William Fillby of Oxford” written in 1582 by William Allen, likely a Protestant historian. In the text, William Allen describes Catholic missionaries entering England and conspiring against the Queen, then detailing the execution the execution of 4 Catholic priests. The third text, “Letter from Elizabeth I to James VI of Scotland” (1586) is, as one can surmise, a personal letter written by Queen Elizabeth to the King of Scotland. In the letter, Queen Elizabeth describes plots and murder attempts, inspired by Jesuits, and subtly confronts King James VI on his apparent tolerance of Catholics, who Queen Elizabeth would consider her enemies. The fourth text, “Elizabeth’s Armada Speech and a Letter to James VI of Scotland” (1588/90) by Queen Elizabeth contains a transcript of the Queens speech to her subjects, describing her desire to be amongst her military forces, despite concerns for her safety, and that the princes of Europe cannot hope to invade England. Additionally, a letter from Queen Elizabeth to the king of Scotland, warns him of the rising danger posed by Scotch Presbyterians. The fifth and final text, “The Discovery of a Gaping Gulf” (1579) penned by John Stubbs, an unmistakably stern Protestant of some scholarly repute, is an essay and sort of “Call-to-Arms” directed to the Queen Elizabeth and the general Commonwealth vilifying the influences of the Catholic Church and the European states that hold to it, especially in regards to the French. It is clearly directed at and critical of Queen Elizabeth, beseeching her to not hold any counsel with those that are not Protestant Englishmen.

    The dangers that were considered by Queen Elizabeth and others, according to the previous historical texts, were the influences of Catholicism by the Papacy and European states, Catholics in England and insurgence of Jesuit missionaries. They saw Catholicism, along with other sects divergent from Anglicanism (the Presbyterians), as eroding to the sovereignty and ideals of Protestant England. They went so far as to permit executions of priests extoling Catholicism, as described by William Allen. It would seem that the sympathy and internal conspiracy of Catholics was regarded as even more of a danger than that of out right conflict with the Foreign Catholic countries following the defeat of the Spanish Armada, England seeming to be confident in its ability to rebuff outright, external aggression. These texts compliment what we know about the Elizabethan-era Reformation, as they highlight the fears and paranoia when faced with the possible rise to a counter reformation headed by papists that could undo the past work of England’s breaking away. The monarchy of England seemed to be enjoying its newfound independence and was not too keen on losing it as soon as it was taken.

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