Gene Clyatt: The English Reformation under Elizabeth I
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Gene Clyatt returns for a second installment of English Reformation history. Gene was first on with me in August of last year, where he talked about the early days of the English Reformation under Henry VIII and Bishop Thomas Cranmer. In this episode, Gene reviews a little of that at the beginning, and then talks about England under Queen Elizabeth I.
Outline of the Discussion
- Reviewing the previous episode, we begin with a summary of Henry VIII and Thomas Cranmer.
- Elizabeth became Queen of England in 1558 at age 25 after the death of Queen Mary.
- She sought reconciliation and peace. She was a Protestant, but didn’t want to persecute Catholics as her older sister had persecuted Protestants.
- Elizabeth issued a new Common Book of Prayer. Her sister Mary had removed the one written by Cranmer. Elizabeth’s version was revised to be less dogmatically Protestant.
- John Knox had written a book condemning rule by women (he had three specific women in mind,) which Elizabeth found offensive. This cut her off from his stream of Protestant theology, to her detriment.
- Elizabeth’s Protestantism was more political than theological. She had a unique blend of beliefs and practices.
- Mary Queen of Scots abdicated and fled to England. She ended up (loosely speaking) a prisoner of Elizabeth. Being unmarried, and having no children, Mary is technically Elizabeth’s closest relative and the heir to her throne.
- Elizabeth had a spymaster in her court. This becomes quite important at several points within the story.
- In 1569, there was a plot to remove Elizabeth called “The Revolt of the Northern Earls.”
- Though the plot failed, the Pope excommunicated her before learning of the failure. This act gave a blessing to English Catholics to rebel against her.
- In 1571, a second plot is planned to remove Elizabeth called “The Ridolfi Plot“
- In 1583, there is a third plot called “The Throckmorton Plot.”
- A fourth plot arises in 1586 called “The Babington Plot.” The discovery of this plot results in the execution of Mary Queen of Scots.
- Spain (a party to several of these plots,) attempts an invasion of England to remove Elizabeth in 1588. Their losses effectively end the Spanish threat to England, and begin the era of Britain as an Empire.
- We close with musings of rumors and theories of an undocumented heir to Elizabeth.
- Gene Clyatt: The Early English Reformation
- The Queen’s Agent — John Cooper (affiliate link)