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those who would extenuate the cruelties of this reign, as the fashion now is, would do well to study the public acts of Mary's government, rather than prove that she was kind to her dependants; that she loved her husband; that she was conscientiously pious and charitable; and that she had a sincerer nature than her sister Elizabeth. It is as a Queen that she must be judged; and as a Queen she went further to degrade and enslave England than any sovereign who ever sat upon England's throne.*



ELIZABETH. Reigned forty-four years and four months, from November 17th, 1558, to March 24th, 1603. Born at Greenwich Palace, September 7th, 1533. Died at Richmond, March 24th, 1603. Buried in Westminster Abbey, April 28th, 1603.




1. First proceedings of Elizabeth's government. The accession of Elizabeth was hailed with joy and gratitude by the whole nation. The courtiers and great nobles, though still endeared to the old religion, longed for the liberation of the country from Spanish influence, and for a sovereign under whose rule opinion. they would feel secure in their possession of the abbey lands. The middle and lower classes regarded the restoration of the reformed faith and worship as the most important object; and though the conformity of Elizabeth to Romish rites during the late reign gave room for doubts and suspicions, neither Catholics nor Protestants believed that the daughter of Anne Boleyn, whose illegitimacy the Roman church had so pertinaciously maintained, could be in her heart a Romanist. Her first proceedings, however, while they sufficiently alarmed one party, did not entirely satisfy the other; part of the service was ordered to be read in English; the elevation of the host was forbidden, as well as premature and unauthorised innovations; White, Bishop of Winchester, was imprisoned for attacking the Protestant exiles, in his sermon at Mary's funeral, and Bonner and Heath were removed from office. The seals, which the latter held, were given to Sir Nicholas Elizabeth's Bacon; and Sir William Cecil was made secretary of ministers. state. Notifications of Elizabeth's accession were sent to the chief continental princes; the Roman Catholics were conciliated; the Protestants secretly assured of friendship. But Paul IV. haughtily

* Knight's Pop. Hist., III., 89.


and the

Elizabeth rejected the Queen's overtures, and replied that he conPope. sidered Elizabeth illegitimate, and Mary, Queen of Scots, the rightful sovereign. This answer determined the Queen to throw off all disguise as to her religious intentions, and she recalled Carne, the ambassador, from Rome. He died there, and was the last representative of English majesty at the Pontifical


2. Final Separation of the church from Rome. of January, 1559, the Queen opened parliament in person.

(1) An act was passed unanimously, recognising and declaring the Queen's title; stating that she was rightly, lineally, and lawfully descended from the blood royal, and pronouncing "all sentences and acts of parliament derogatory from this declaration to be void."

On the 25th

(2) The statutes passed in the late reign for the support of the ancient faith were repealed, and the acts of Henry VIII. in derogation of the papal authority, Supremacy and of Edward VI. in favour of the reformed service, were in a great

Acts of

and Uniformity.

measure revived by the enactment of the two celebrated Acts of Supremacy and Uniformity (1 Eliz., c. 1 and 2). These two statutes form the basis of that restrictive code of laws which pressed so heavily, for more than two centuries, upon the adherents to the Romish church. By the former, "all beneficed ecclesiastics, and all laymen holding office under the crown, were obliged to take the oath of supremacy, renouncing the spiritual as well as temporal jurisdiction of every foreign prince or prelate, on pain of forfeiting their office or benefice; and it was rendered highly penal, and for the third offence treasonable, to maintain such supremacy by writing or advised speaking. The latter statute trenched more on the natural rights of conscience; prohibiting, under pain of forfeiting goods and chattels for the first offence, of a year's imprisonment for the second, and of imprisonment during life for the third, the use by a minister, whether beneficed or not, of any but the established liturgy; and imposed a fine of one shilling on all who should absent themselves from church on Sundays and holydays.* This latter act operated as an absolute interdiction of Catholic rites, however privately celebrated; and it began that system of persecution which sent many to the Tower for hearing mass, and having a priest in their house; drove others beyond the sea; and gave rise to those re-unions of disaffected exiles which never ceased to endanger the throne of Elizabeth.†

3. Changes in the church establishment. Convocation made considerable opposition to these enactments, and a disputation was, in consequence, appointed to be held in Westminster Abbey (March 31st), between the Catholic and Protestant divines. But the conference was converted into a theological discussion, which was so angrily conducted that the Bishops of Winchester and Lincoln were committed to the Tower for threatening to excommunicate the Queen.‡

In the following midsummer, the new Book of Common Prayer New Book was introduced, and the oath of supremacy administered. Prayer. There were only two important alterations in the new liturgy, and both manifested a conciliatory temper towards the

of Common

Hallam's Const. Hist.. I., 112-113. † Ibid, I., 114. Mackintosh, III., 11-12.


Roman church. The first was the omission of the prayer to be delivered from the "tyranny of the Bishop of Rome and all his detestable enormities;" and the second was the substitution of words indicating some sort of real, but not affirming, corporeal presence in the Eucharist, instead of the Zuinglian language of Edward VI.'s book.

The new oath was rejected by all the bishops except one, Kitchen, of Llandaff; they were consequently all deprived of their sees, and their places filled by reformers, chiefly selected from the exiles who now hastened back from Geneva, Basle, and Frankfort. At their head was placed Dr. Matthew Parker, formerly chaplain to Anne Boleyn. By the revival of the 25 Hen. VIII., it was essential that the consecration of an archbishop should be performed by four bishops; but as all the Protestant bishops except one had been deprived, this condition restored. could not be observed. A commission was therefore appointed, consisting of Scorey and Coverdale, the deprived Protestant Bishops of Chichester and Exeter, and others, who consecrated Parker after the form adopted towards the close of Edward VI.'s reign. After having confirmed this election of the primate, the commissioners dined together at the Nag's Head, in Cheapside, the inn chiefly frequented by the clergy at that period; and from this circumstance the Romish writers for a long time stigmatised the consecration of the first Protestant bishops as the Nag's Head Consecration.*


The new Reformation was completed by the publication of the articles of religion, and of a new translation of the Scriptures in 1563. The court of Rome did not allow these great Articles of changes to be made without making some attempts to religion restrain them, and regain its lost authority. The rash published, conduct of Paul IV., and the bull of excommunication which he had issued against Elizabeth, were severely condemned by the cardinals and princes of the Roman church, and his successor, Pius IV., a prince of the house of Medici, endeavoured, by courtesy and forbearance, to re-establish an amicable correspondence with England. He despatched a legate to the Queen, with promises that if she would return to the bosom of the church, and submit to the apostolic see, he would declare the validity of her mother's marriage, permit the use of the English liturgy, and allow the sacrament in both kinds to the laity. But the legate was not allowed to enter England; yet Pius despatched another messenger to entreat the Queen to send her prelates to the general

* See Lingard, VII., 380, Note G; Hallam's Const. Hist., I., 118.

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This second

council about to be held in the city of Trent. ambassador, however, was forbidden to enter the kingdom; and although a privy council was assembled at Greenwich to consider the Pontiff's proposal, it was felt that the time for such negotiations was past, and that it was the Queen's best policy to show that steady countenance to her opponents which alone could secure the fidelity of her adherents.



4. The Treaty of Cateau Cambresis. During these proceedings Elizabeth's ministers concluded the treaty of Cateau Cambresis (April 2nd, 1559). The disputes between France and Spain were easily arranged; the Duke of Savoy married the sister of the French King; and Philip, who had delayed concluding the treaty, in the hope of espousing Elizabeth, agreed to marry the daughter of Henry II., whose daughter-in-law, Mary, Queen of Scots, assumed the title of Queen of England. Elizabeth had the prudence not to resent this at the time, and at the same time that she concluded the treaty with France, the main article of which was, the restoration of Calais at the end of eight years, she also made one with the Queen of Scots, and afterwards confirmed it at Upsettlington, in Scotland, engaging not to afford any aid or asylum to the Scottish reformers who had taken up arms in opposition to the Queen-regent, Mary's mother.

5. Rise of the Reformation in Scotland. The safety of the English government, however, depended upon a Protestant establishment, and Protestantism could not be secure in England if it were oppressed and extinguished in the neighbouring countries. The support of the reformers, therefore, in every country where the great war of religious opinion was being carried on, was a measure of self-defence; and especially in Scotland, which, by its position in the same island, and by the similarity of its language, possessed means of annoyance which gave it an importance and consideration with Elizabeth, to which its smallness and poverty would not otherwise have entitled it.*

Of all the European churches, there was perhaps not one better prepared to receive the seeds of the Reformation than that of Scotland. The Scotch Church had been immensely rich; and its riches had led, as in every other country, to neglect of duties and dissoluteness of life. For a long course of years the highest dignities had, with few exceptions, been possessed by the illegi

* Mackintosh, III., 38.


timate or younger sons of the most powerful families; men who, without learning or morality themselves, paid little attention to the learning or morality of their inferiors. The pride of the clergy, their negligence in the discharge of their functions, and the rigour with which they exacted their dues, had become the favourite subjects of popular censure; * and when the new preachers appeared, they easily excited the hot temper, and the disputatious spirit of the people, with their invectives against the vices of the priesthood, and the corrupt doctrines of the church. The blood of martyrs nourished the enthusiasm of the rising religion; and, after the martyrdom of Wishart, the Reformation was rapid and universal. The prelates and the Earl of Arran, the regent, became alarmed. The former assembled in convocation, and enacted several canons for the reformation of the chief abuses in the church; and the latter assembled two parliaments, which revived the old statutes against heretical teachers (1554).

ance of

6. The Covenanters. But these measures were of no avail. In that year, Arran was prevailed upon to resign the regency into the hands of the Queen Mother, who, being supported by the Protestant lords, felt compelled to tolerate the reformers. In 1555, the return of John Knox from Geneva, and the Appeararrival of several preachers who had fled from the Marian John Knox. persecutions, gave a new impulse to the Reformation. The enthusiasm of Knox and the severity of his manner, and his rude but commanding eloquence, soon raised him to a high pre-eminence above his fellows. At his instigation, the chief of the reformers assembled in Mearns, and subscribed a covenant, by which they bound themselves to renounce for ever the communion of Rome, and maintain the true doctrines of the gospel. Inflamed by the lessons of their teachers, and the Scriptural denunciations against idolatry, they abolished the ancient worship wherever they had the power; they expelled the clergy, dissolved the monasteries, and burnt the ornaments of the churches. Knox hastily returned to Geneva, to escape the vengeance of the Queen Mother, who, however, was compelled by prudence to connive at these excesses, till the marriage of her daughter, the young Queen of Scots, with the French Dauphin, had been consented to by the Scottish estates (December 14th, 1557). But when that was accomplished she changed her politics, and, instigated by her brothers of the house of Guise, again persecuted the reformers. Perceiving the danger to which they were exposed, the latter bound themselves by a new religious covenant, and called themselves "The Congre* Lingard, VII., 269.

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