1 Considerations that helped to shape the religious
1.1 Unity/ Stability
1.1.1 Religion was Elizabeth's most pressing problem because
it was likely to divide the nation. It had caused rebellions in
England under her father (Henry VIII) and brother (Edward
1.2 A Broad Church
1.2.1 A Calvinist Settlement would upset Philip II of Spain, as
well as Catholics at home.
1.2.2 She needed a church that all would accept. The majority were
Catholic and she did not want to alienate them.
1.2.3 Her church would be evangelical with
the Bible being the test of belief and
1.3 Elizabeth's personal religious beliefs
1.3.1 Matthew Parker had been her
mother's confessor, and guided
184.108.40.206 Elizabeth had been brought up by Catherine Parr; who had been an
evangelical (Emphasis on the Bible to justify belief and practice).
Her education reinforced this.
1.3.2 She liked the ceremony of the
Catholic Church and had a silver
crucifix in her chapel.
220.127.116.11 She had been brought up in her father's
Anglo-Catholic Church and her mother was
associated with it.
1.3.3 She rejected Transubstantiation
and would not allow the priest to
elevate the Eucharist in her private
18.104.22.168 In her Prayer Book of 1559 she would
accept real presence in communion falling
short of transubstantiation.
1.3.4 She would not allow the
use of incense which she
clearly considered evidence
of superstition and so rejected purgatory.
1.4.1 Roman Catholic bishops
were to resign as a group.
22.214.171.124 Which may not have been a bad thing as
Elizabeth needed bishops that weren't going
to rock the boat.
1.4.2 She needed the best theologians as bishops and
they would expect nothing less than a church based
on the Second Edwardian Prayer Book, 1552.
1.5 Foreign Relations
1.5.1 She had to calculate the risk of
invasion from abroad from the
126.96.36.199 She gambled that Scotland would follow
France's lead and France was negotiating the
Peace of Cateau-Cambresis, so it was not in
their interests to invade.
188.8.131.52.1 MQS was the next-in-line to the
English throne and she was in France
in 1558, married to the dauphin.
184.108.40.206 Spain would not act against England for fear of making England vulnerable
to attack from France and Scotland. If France acquired the British Isles it
would break the Habsburg encirclement as well as cutting off Spain's Channel
supply to the Netherlands.
220.127.116.11.1 She calculated correctly and Spain's concern about France was to help to delay the Papal Bull
of Excommunication (1570). But these were difficult decisions for Elizabeth because the
majority of people in England were Catholic and a Catholic invasion could have sparked
rebellion at home. In truth, Spain and France had been more interested in Italy and disputes
over their own borders.
1.5.2 The Pope was bound
to excommunicate her
when she introduced a
2 Whose Church was it?
2.1 The main priority of the church settlement was to assert the church's
independence from Rome by reintroducing the Royal Supremacy.
But she wanted doctrinal change quickly so that people would
understand her church and accept it from the start. She did not want
an Anglo-Catholic Church.
2.2 Cecil introduced changes quickly before Easter 1559.
2.2.1 By including the Second Edwardian Prayer Book in the Act of
Supremacy she was looking to re-establish Protestant worship
18.104.22.168 The Prayer Book should have been introduced in
an Act of Uniformity, so this suggests Cecil
anticipated opposition to doctrinal change, (Most
ppl. in England were Catholic)
2.3 Parliament's role was merely to endorse
Elizabeth's changes. The bills were initiated by
Elizabeth and Cecil, not parliament.
2.3.1 BUT Parliament showed it had
the potential to oppose the
22.214.171.124 The House of
passed the bill.
126.96.36.199 It was wrecked by the
Catholic bishops and lay
peers in the House of Lords.
188.8.131.52 It went to a committee dominated by
Conservatives. They kept the Royal
Supremacy but they also kept the
mass and the heresy laws while
allowing Communion in both kinds.
They wanted to restore Henry VIII's
184.108.40.206.1 Elizabeth could have accepted the bill and
become Supreme Head of the church. Parliament
had passed a subsidy bill and she had the money
for her Scottish policy. But she did not. She put
parliament into recess because she had clearly
decided on doctrinal change.
2.3.2 The timing of the Settlement was
probably influenced by the signing of
the Treaty of Cateau-Cambresis
(1559). It was unlikely that Spain and/
or France via Scotland would move
220.127.116.11 She had been tacitly recognized as Queen of
England by negotiating the Treaty of
3 The Act of Supremacy
3.1 Elizabeth took the title of
Supreme Governor of the
Church of England.
The Pope no longer had any power in England. Reformers and Catholic bishops had objected to a woman taking the title of Supreme Head so she did not take her father's title to avoid any unnecessary trouble. She would exercise the same power whatever the title.
3.2 Communion in both kinds was to be used.
It permitted limited protestant practice in case the Act of Uniformity was not passed.
3.3 The heresy laws were repealed.
3.3.1 It was more difficult to be
charged with heresy in future and
so would prevent future burnings.
3.3.2 Heresy could only be defined by
the General Council of the Church.
3.4 They were lumped together because the royal
supremacy was less controversial than the
doctrinal change a new prayer book would
3.4.1 The Act of Supremacy was
much more likely to be passed,
and indeed the House of
Commons passed the Act of
Supremacy in four days.
18.104.22.168 The Lords only passed it after it had been changed so
that the Court of High Commission could not define
Catholicism as heresy.
4 The Act of Uniformity 1559
4.1 Uniformity of belief and practice was
vital for internal security/ stability
4.1.1 Elizabeth I wanted unity brought by one queen, one law
and one church.
4.2 The Elizabethan Prayer Book of 1559 was in English. It was
based on the Second Edwardian Prayer Book 1552 with
some revisions that reflected the Queen's personal
4.2.1 She deliberately combined the wording of
Communion from the First Edwardian Prayer
Book 1549 and the Second Edwardian Prayer
22.214.171.124 It was pragmatic
because it allowed
Calvinists to interpret
Communion in their
own way. She was
creating a broad
4.3 By dropping the black rubric she showed
she believed that Communion was a
4.3.1 The reformers were not happy about this
but the Conservatives were. She reinforced
this belief in Communion being a sacrament
in the Thirty Nine Articles 1563, so again
this reflected her own beliefs.
4.3.2 The red rubric allowed Elizabeth to decide on the vestments of the
church and she kept the old mass vestments. This was to cause
trouble with the reformers but there was a clause that allowed
Elizabeth to alter this ruling at a later date.
126.96.36.199 Reformers hoped she would. They wanted the royal supremacy and
doctrinal change and would not risk losing them by trying to have
the ornaments rubric removed.
188.8.131.52.1 In fact, she would not alter this
ruling. She had created her own
church and she would stick to its
beliefs and practices. She wanted
people to have confidence in their
church. The had remained unaltered
4.4 The aim was to impose
uniformity. It was compulsory
4.4.1 The 1559 Prayer Book to be used in
4.4.2 Everyone had to attend
church on Sundays and
4.4.3 A recusancy fine of one
shilling was to be paid each
time church was missed
deliberately. This was aimed at
4.5 It was always going to be difficult for the
Prayer Book to be passed by a Catholic
House of Lords. The Commons passed the
Act of Uniformity quickly. It was only passed
in the Lords by three votes and there were
four conservatives missing from the Lords
4.5.1 Over Easter, Elizabeth deliberately organised
a public debate over doctrine to strengthen
the Protestant position. The Catholics walked
out and as a result the leading bishops were
imprisoned in the tower. The Act would not
have been passed had the bishops been
4.5.2 This reinforces the view that England was still largely
Conservative in belief and practice. The reforming faction
had steered these changes through Parliament although
they got away with it by the skin of their teeth in the House of Lords.
184.108.40.206 The Act of
Supremacy and the
Act of Uniformity had
history. They had
change without the
consent of a single
Anglican Church had
been made law by the
220.127.116.11.1 Elizabeth, with Cecil, had decided what form her
settlement should take.