ELIZABETH AND ISSUES OF GOVERNMENT
RELIGION / FINANCE / FOREIGN POLICY / MANAGEMENT OF PARLIAMENT / MULTIPLE KINGDOMS
ELIZABETH AND RELIGION 1558-1603 ELIZABETHAN RELIGIOUS SETTLEMENT FOCUSSING QUESTIONS 1. 2. 3.
What problems did Elizabeth face in her search for a religious settlement? What were her aims in the religious settlement? How successful was she in achieving these aims?
Before we look at the settlement and the choices Elizabeth had, it is important to have some understanding of the differences in faith that existed at the time.
The situation abroad Spain was Catholic, but Philip 11 needed to maintain an alliance with England. His chief concern was that a combined French and Scottish attack on England might succeed, cutting off his access to the English Channel which was his communication route with the Spanish Netherlands. He was therefore prepared to support a Protestant England against the claims of Scottish Mary Stuart who, in 1558, was married to the French dauphin. France was England's traditional enemy. Peace negotiations were delayed because of England's insistence that Calais was returned, but in the treaty of April 1559 Calais stayed in French hands. Three months later, the Catholic Francis 11 and his 17-year-old wife Mary Stuart became King and Queen of France. Mary also called herself Queen of England. Scotland was ruled by the French regent and widow of James V, Mary of Guise, in the absence in France of her daughter Mary Stuart. Many Scottish nobles were Protestant and mistrustful of the French regent. The Netherlands were under the control of Philip 11 of Spain in 1558. Elizabeth needed to maintain good relations, as Antwerp was vital for the English textile trade. The Pope, as the head of the Catholic Church, could excommunicate Elizabeth, and if he officially excluded her from the Church he technically released her subjects from obeying her. He could also call on the Catholic powers in Europe to lead a religious crusade against England and its ungodly ruler. The situation at home The laity The House of Commons was largely Protestant, although there were a few Catholics. The House of Lords was largely Catholic. The bishops were capable of blocking legislation and could usually count on the support of the conservative hereditary peers. The Privy Council was largely Protestant. It was dominated by William Cecil and his political allies. (Remember: Elizabeth decided on the composition of her council.) The Marian Exiles had fled England during Mary's reign and strengthened their Calvinist views during their time in Geneva. On their return, they expected to be given key posts in the Church and Parliament and opposed an, compromise with Catholics. The majority of the population were conservative in their religious sympathies. The Church The clergy, and particularly the bishops, were solidly Catholic. In their sermons they urged the English people to resist Protestantism. A priest in Canterbury even began arming people against religious change, raising fear. of a Catholic revolt. Government: A woman as Head of the Church was unacceptable to extreme Protestants and Catholics. In addition, unless Elizabeth could persuade the Catholic bishops to remain within her Church, she would have to replace them with Protestants which would alienate her more Catholic subjects. Organisation: Despite changes in doctrine the organisation of the Church in England had remained largely unaltered. Church courts functioned as they always had and the clergy had remained hierarchical. Ritual: Changes in the Church's visual emphasis had always caused unrest The presence or absence of images, furnishings and priests' vestments were all disputed issues. Doctrine: Conservatives wanted to retain their belief in transubstantiation, while more radical reformers saw the communion service as commemorative.
THE CHOICES? Elizabeth had two broad options: ď‚ˇ ď‚ˇ
Retain Catholic Church with the Pope as the Spiritual leader, although it seems that Elizabeth had decided to dispense with this Re-establish a National Protestant Church with herself as leader, either: Conservative Protestantism (retain some Catholic doctrine) or a fully Protestant Church with doctrinal changes.
OR somewhere in between the two.
WHAT DID SHE DECIDE? THE ELIZABETHAN SETTLEMENT
Were the Act of Supremacy and the Act of Uniformity passed without opposition? Elizabeth and her council planned the Religious Settlement with great care and were, not surprisingly, very cagey about its intentions. In December 1558, an anonymous pamphlet, probably commissioned by the government and entitled A Device for Alteration of Religion, had painted a troubled scenario of war with France and Scotland, rebellion in Ireland, riots from English Catholics, and demands for more reform from extreme Protestants if a Protestant Church were introduced. Nevertheless, this was the path down which Elizabeth and her council now felt compelled to go. Parliament was called in 1559 to determine the Queen's authority over the Church by passing the Act of Supremacy, and the form of service which her subjects were expected to follow by passing the Act of Uniformity. Although the evidence for this session of Parliament is largely missing, it would seem that events in the timeline took place.
The progress of the Act of Uniformity and the Act of Supremacy 1559 9 Feb Three separate bills are introduced into the House of Commons. One to reestablish the monarch as the Head of the Church, the other two to establish a Protestant form of worship probably based on Northumberland's Prayer Book of 1552. 21 Feb A new bill is introduced, combining the three separate ones of 9 February. It is passed by the House of Commons. The bill passed by the Commons is amended by the House of Lords to remove the restoration of Protestantism. This opposition stuns Elizabeth and her council, who debate whether or not to accept these changes and institute a religious settlement along Henrician lines. Elizabeth arrests two bishops for disobedience. Elizabeth reconvenes Parliament immediately after the Easter break. AprIL A new supremacy bill is introduced, giving the Queen the title of Supreme Governor rather than Supreme Head, to pacify Catholics as well as many Protestants who have serious doubts about a female claiming to be Head of the Church. It passes through the House of Commons easily, and, after heated debate, it is passed by the House of Lords. A new uniformity bill is drafted to include concessions to Catholics. It is only passed by 21 votes to 18 in the House of Lords. The 1559 Act of Supremacy and the 1559 Act of Uniformity established the Elizabethan Religious Settlement. • They declared that Elizabeth was Supreme Governor of the Church of England with the power of visitation (the power to authorise inspections of the clergy). • They revived the legislation which was repealed during the Parliaments of Mary's reign. • They revoked the Heresy Acts and the Papal supremacy. • They imposed an oath on all clergy and office holders to enforce conformity to the new Prayer Book. • They set up a system of punishments for those who failed to use the prayer book or who publicly objected to its use. • They ordered everyone to attend church on Sunday and other holy days and to participate in the new services. Fines were imposed on those who refused to attend. • They set down that church ornamentation and clergy's dress should be as in the more moderate 1549 prayer book. The Book of Common Prayer omitted the Black Rubric of 1552, which denied the real presence of Christ during the communion service, and changed the words said by the priest as he consecrated the bread and wine. This was probably done in the hope that the ambiguity would enable people of wide religious opinions to participate in the new national Church. The Royal Injunctions of 1559, drafted by Cecil, ordered clergy to: • observe the royal supremacy and preach against superstition and Papal authority
• condemn images, relics and miracles • preach only with permission, which came in the form of a licence • report recusants to the privy council or to JPS • marry only with the permission of their bishop and two JPs • observe the Ornaments Rubric (see page 164) laid down during Edward VI's reign. One hundred and twenty five commissioners were appointed to visit churches throughout the country and enforce the oath of supremacy. This resulted in a great deal of destruction of church ornaments and the loss of 400 Marian clergy. The crown restored control of Church wealth to itself. It took control of first fruits and tenths, appropriated the remaining religious foundations and allowed vacancies to occur before confirming new appointments in order to profit directly from the positions' revenues during this period. Former monastic lands remained with their owners - perhaps one of the reasons why the House of Commons supported the Religious Settlement.
RELIGION - THE CATHOLIC CHALLENGE Focussing Questions 1. 2.
What challenges did Elizabeth face from the Catholics? How did she react to them?
Introduction The Religious Settlement of 1559 was followed by refinements or decrees, issued by Elizabeth or her bishops in the next few years. A pattern emerged quite early on. Elizabeth saw the Settlement as a method to establish religious uniformity by law and she expected all her subjects to conform outwardly, using the Prayer Book and attending church. The role of enforcing the Settlement and determining future doctrine lay with her bishops. Elizabeth saw no need for her involvement in further discussions on religion; in fact, she saw any requests to discuss it as an invasion of her prerogative. The passage of the 1559 Act of Uniformity and the 1559 Act of Supremacy through Parliament made Elizabeth aware of the strength of Catholic support among the politically active classes. She was prepared to move cautiously, turning a blind eye to priests who said Mass and the non-enforcement of fines, in order to win over rather than alienate - the Catholic majority. Protestants who saw the Settlement as the first step to removing all traces of the Pope from the English Church resented this policy. Many of her bishops were disappointed at having to defend a Church which they still thought contained Catholic abuses, and the first conflict over vestments was a manifestation of this frustration. By 1568, Elizabeth's policy seemed to be working. The early problems caused by the Settlement were fading. The majority of Catholics outwardly conformed and, without any leadership from the Pope, were politically loyal. Archbishop Parker and Convocation defeated, if narrowly', the Vestments Controversy. However, this honeymoon period ended in 1568 due to a number of factors which, although the government was not blameless, were not a direct result of government policies. The activities of John Hawkins in the New World, the arrival of Mary, Queen of Scots, followed by the Northern Rebellion and the Papal Bull of Excommunication, foreshadowed problems which were to dominate the rest of Elizabeth's reign. Elizabeth did not create the problem that was Mary, Queen of Scots, but by throwing in her lot with her Protestant councillors, refusing to marry or name her successor and losing Spain's friendship by helping the rebels in the Netherlands, she contributed to a situation where Catholicism, the succession and Spain all combined to threaten England's stability. Whether the Religions Settlement itself caused these problems is harder to assess. If Elizabeth had married a Protestant and produced a male heir would the northern Earls have still rebelled, Mary, Queen of Scots, still plotted, or Philip II still attempted to invade? Would any other religious settlement have been more acceptable to the English, met everyone's expectations and solved every problem? Much of focus for rebellion by Catholics centred on Mary, whether with her knowledge or not In 1568 Mary Stuart arrived in England as a royal refugee. She was to cause Elizabeth the greatest and longest dilemma to her reign. Mary, a grand niece of Henry VIII, had a strong claim to the throne BACKGROUND
The murder of Darnley
In 1558 she had married the heir to the French throne Francis who became king the following year but died in 1560. Mary returned to Scotland where she was Catholic Queen of a divided country partly ruled by Protestant Lords. Elizabeth wanted Mary to marry Leicester to ensure a firm English hand in Scotland. Instead in 1563 she married Lord Darnley. Since Darnley like Mary was a descendant of Mary Tudor this considerably strengthened Mary’s claim to the English throne. In 1556, a son, James was born to the couple. In 1567 the Scottish Lords turned against Mary after the suspicious murder of Darnley and her marriage to the Earl of Bothwell. She was imprisoned and forced to abdicate but escaped in 1568 and fled to England.
ELIZABETHS DILEMMA Elizabeth probably wished Mary were not so close, but what were the alternatives?
It would not be safe to have her rival at loose in a Catholic country – especially France which in 1558 had recognized Mary, not Elizabeth, as England’s rightful ruler To return Mary to the mercies of the Scottish Lords would outrage Catholic Europe. In any case she was a royal prince, not to be treated with disdain
So Mary remained a prisoner in England: A sister sovereign in exile who was at the same time a dangerous rival to the throne who became, almost immediately, a focus for plots and rebellions Catholic Plots, Missionaries and the government’s reaction The Northern Rebellion 1569 The Duke of Norfolk wanted Elizabeth to recognize Mary, Queen of Scots, as her successor and give him permission to marry her. This would ensure the continuing influence of the old nobility after Elizabeth’s death Norfolk was associated with the Northern Catholic Earls of Westmorland and Northumberland who disliked the Church of England and the centralizing tendencies of the central government which was eroding their power base. When Elizabeth declined Norfolk’s request the Earls began to plan a rebellion. They hoped that Philip II of Spain would help them. Cecil learnt of their scheme and summoned them to London. Rather than risk this they took the plunge into open rebellion and with an army of 5000 marched south. However the Yorkshire Catholics did not rise in support as the Earls hoped and an army made up of servants and tenants of loyal gentry led by the Earl of Sussex drove the rebels back to the Scottish border. Elizabeth ordered that one man from every village that provided troops for the rebellion be hanged. 450 were executed. Northumberland was executed in 1572 and Westmorland lived out his life in exile. Norfolk managed to avoid complicity – this time. Mary had not approved of the rebellion, but her presence in England had helped give it impetus The Papal Bull of Excommunication
The Pope was concerned that English Catholics did not rise in support of the Northern Rebellion, so in an attempt to guide them in any future rebellion, Pius issued the Bull Regnans in Excelsis in 1570 Elizabeth was excommunicated and declared to be a usurper, heretic and schismatic (one who divides the Church). In effect English Catholics were forced to choose between loyalty to the Queen and loyalty to their faith. The Bull could only be effective if backed up by a Catholic power, but France was divided by its own religious wars at the time and Philip objected to the Bull claiming it would only make matters worse
Making Life more difficult for the Catholics
Following the Northern rebellion and the Papal Bull, the 1571 Parliament wanted more rigorous anti-Catholic legislation. Elizabeth still refused to make attendance at Anglican communion compulsory as a test of faith but: o o
A Treasons Act made it treasonable to: introduce Papal Bulls to England – call the Queen a heretic, schismatic or usurper – import rosaries, crucifixes or other materials necessary for Catholic worship A Fugitives Act commanded Catholic emigrants to return to England within six months or forfeit their property
The Ridolfi Plot 1571 Elizabeth was prepared to help Mary regain the Scottish throne, but only if she gave up claim to the English throne, accept Protestantism throughout Scotland and have her son James brought up in England. Mary reluctantly agreed but the Scottish were not interested. Possibly in despair Mary became a participant in the Ridolfi plot
The Ridolfi Plot, discovered in 1571 was a scheme to assassinate Elizabeth, organise a rebellion of English Catholics supported by Spanish troops from the Netherlands and put Mary on the throne. Those involved included the Spanish Ambassador D’Espes, the Duke of Norfolk and the Pope. The go-between was Ridolfi, a Spanish banker. Philip II knew of the plot but did not approve This time Norfolk did not escape. He was imprisoned and eventually executed. D’Espes was expelled from England and Mary placed under closer surveillance at Sheffield. Elizabeth recognized her son James as the King of Scotland. In 1572 parliament demanded Mary’s death but Elizabeth refused. Mary was a fellow sovereign and there was no evidence against her. Parliament was prorogued and did not reassemble until 1576
Mid 1570’s The Missionaries Missionaries were an important form of resistance because without them Catholicism could not have survived The arrival of Catholic missionary priests in England after 1573 forced Catholics there to re-examine their religious commitment and heightened Protestant fears of a Catholic invasion. The missionaries came from two places, Douai and Rome Douai seminary
In the first decade of Eliz reign more than a hundred Oxford graduates went into exile rather than acknowledge new Church They believed it was their duty to return to England and restore the Catholic religion In 1574 first missionary priests trained in the Douai seminary, established by William Allen landed in Eng Task religious rather than political, not rebellion but strengthen faith of Cath For the next 10 years 300 hundred priests arrived
Among the offshoots of Douai was the English college established in Rome in 1576 Originally intended to be haven for Eng Catholics in exile, but after only few years Pope gave control to society of Jesus, one of new orders of catholic reformation of mid century Jesuits committed to missonary endeavour 1580 start of jesuit mission. Jesuits there to reinforce efforts of secular priests.
Objective spiritual and forbidden to engage in politics But Robert Parsons disobeyed this directive and used politics to achieve ends Government hated him as subversive and reputation tainted other Jesuits and rest of Catholic community with treasonable intent Dependent on hospitality of catholic gentry to move around Eng. Moved by ‘safe’ houses. Mission would not have got off the ground without it During course of Eliz reign about half of English mission captured, well over a hundred executed
The Missionaries in England
The missionaries usually landed on England’s south coast and depended upon a network of safe houses with suitable hiding places organized by Catholic gentry. The Jesuits were generally, better organised than the seminarists and arranged shelter and programmes for new arrivals before dispatching them to areas in which they would operate
The Catholic Martyrs John Foxe’s “Book of Martyrs” (1563) was a horrifying account of the persecution and burnings of Protestants in Mary Tudors reign. It did much to keep Catholic hatred alive Elizabeth initially avoided creating martyrs, but Walsingham, established a network of agents who relentlessly hunted down the missionaries and, after 1577, many were tortured and executed as foreign agents and traitors
Action and Reaction By the 1580s recusancy (not attending Anglican Church) was increasing, largely because the missionaries considered recusants to be the only true Catholics. At the same time England’s relations with Catholic Spain were deteriorating The 1581 Recusancy Act
Anyone trying to subvert the loyalty of or convert the Queen’s subjects to Catholicism was guilty of treason Recusancy fines were increased to 20 pounds a month Still the Queen would not apply the ultimate test for Catholicism, i.e. the compulsory receiving of Anglican communion. An outward show of conformity still sufficed.
Throckmorton Plot, 1583
Francis Throckmorton a young Catholic, helped organise plot, whereby a French army was used to invade England and make Mary queen He was captured, arrested and tortured Pope and King Philip had agreed to pay for it Throckmorton confessed that Mary knew about the plan He was executed and the Spanish Ambassador, de Mendoza expelled Walsingham decided to find proof Mary involved in plots She was moved to Tutbury Castle, not allowed to have visitors and all letters checked
In 1585 anti-Catholic laws were stepped up: - Any Catholic priest caught remaining in England after 40 days was automatically guilty of treason - Anyone sheltering missionaries could be guilty of treason 1586 Babbington’s plot
Walsingham uncovers another plot Anthony Babbington planned to rescue Mary and murder Elizabeth, with Spanish help
Secret letters discovered in beer barrels, in one Mary agreed to the plan Babington was arrested and confessed In September he and six other plotters were executed Walsingham and other Privy Councillors demanded Mary be executed
The Execution of Mary Queen of Scots
Parliament was summoned and most MP’s wanted Mary’s head. But there were problems. Henri III of France made it clear he would be very angry if his sister-in-law were executed. To Elizabeth Mary still had the rights of a sovereign However the trial went ahead, Elizabeth eventually agreed that Mary was guilty and in February 1587, signed her death warrant though she did not release it. The Privy Council though, seized its opportunity and dispatched the warrant and had Mary beheaded. Elizabeth’s fury knew no bounds when she learnt of this four days later. Secretary Davison was sent to the tower and Burghley was in disgrace for weeks. Catholics and the Spanish War
When war with Spain broke out in 1587 English Catholics were at first regarded as collaborators with the enemy and anti-Catholoc legislation was stiffened still further. JPs were ordered to enforce recusancy laws more strictly and houses were sometimes ransacked in search of evidence. Defaulters on recusancy fines could have two-thirds of their land seized. But as always, there was a gulf between laws enacted and how well they could be enforced. Many JP’s were still too sympathetic, too busy or too lazy to enforce recusancy laws. The great majority of Catholics remained loyal during the war though and the pressure eased. However Catholicism had not died out as the government had hoped.
RELIGION - THE PURITAN CHALLENGE Focus Question: 1. 2.
What challenges did Elizabeth face from the Puritans? How did she deal with those challenges?
Who were the Puritans? The term Puritan refers to those Protestants who wished to ‘purify’ the church of the last vestiges of Catholic worship. They disliked this term and preferred to call themselves ‘Godly’. They believed:
Calvinist idea of predestination Church interiors should be plain so as to not distract from worship Emphasis should be given to sermons explaining scripture rather than rituals and homilies Vestments should be plain black and white There was no need for priests to interpret the meaning of the bible. Rather Protestant ministers should explain the scripture Many Puritans, especially Presbyterians opposed the Episcopal administration of the Church of England, preferring to be governed by elected church representatives (synods) Catholicism was anti-Christian and the Pope was the anti-Christ Study of the bible was essential and Puritans would often do this four times a day Dancing and drinking was evil Music was evil
Puritan support Privy Council – Leicester and Burghley, although they were restrained by their loyalty to the Queen House of Commons – Strickland and Cope Universities – where clergy were trained Archbishop Grindal
What did they want? Puritans wanted to take Elizabeth’s religious settlement further towards the Protestant ideal and wished to achieve this mainly through reform of the Church from within. Later some separatists do try and break from the Church
Puritan opposition was evident: The Vestiarian Controversy (1565-66). Elizabeth ordered Archbishop Parker to ensure that all the clergy wore the proper vestments. Parker reluctantly issued the 'Book of Advertisements' ('advertisements' meant 'announcements'), laying down the rules for clerical dress. Some clergy lost their livings for refusing to comply. Prophesying 1575-83 was aimed at improving the standards of the clergy. They were meetings where clergy met to pray, hear and analyse sermons and engage in mutual examination. By the 1570s Puritans had assumed an important role in them. Elizabeth was suspicious of the motives of ministers attending these meetings and saw it as a means by which Puritan ministers were seeking to challenge her authority. As a result she ordered Archbishop Parker to suppress them. When he died in 1576 she ordered his successor Archbishop Grindal to continue to suppress. Grindal saw the value of these meetings in improving the clergy and wrote a letter to Elizabeth in which he outlined this. He finished by refusing to comply with Elizabeth’s orders. He was promptly suspended from his duties until Grindal he died in 1583.
The Classical Movement. Classical Presbyterianism was based on groups or conferences of local clergy who met regularly in secret to discuss scriptures and common problems. Each group corresponded with others. The network
was co-ordinated by John Field’s London group which was also in touch with international groups. The movement aimed to reorganise the government of the Church along the lines of Calvin’s church in Geneva. To Elizabeth it was dangerous in that it challenged her belief that Church and state government was the responsibility of the monarch. The Queen appointed John Whitgift as Archbishop of Canterbury after Grindal’s death. He laid down regulations to improve clerical standards and uniformity within the church. He then set up a High Commission which, armed with a list of 24 questions, set out to determine the clergy’s allegiance to the Elizabethan Settlement. Between 300 and 400 ministers were removed from office. John Field and Thomas Wilcox published The Admonition to Parliament, a biting attack on the Church which criticise its structure and doctrine for their continuing links with Catholic practice. The Second Admonition to Parliament was published later in the year. In reaction the government imprisoned both authors and destroyed Puritan printing presses. The Marprelate Tracts (1588-89). A series of crude, anonymous pamphlets attacking bishops. They became popular bestsellers, although their offensive nature did not help the Puritan cause. Separatists. As the government destroyed printing presses and imprisoned extremists, a small minority of Puitans – the separatists – decided to leave the established Church and set up their own. The movement gained importance towards the end of the 1580s under Robert Browne. When Browne submitted to Whitgift, new leaders were found in Henry Barrow and John Greenwood, who were executed in 1593. In 1593 the government passed the Act against Seditious Sectaries. Archbishop Whitgift Elizabeth may have disliked Puritans more than Catholics, but only a few were executed, such as two Brownists and some of the Marprelate Tract writers. Parker and Grindal had been reluctant to act against fellow Protestants, but Whitgift (Archbishop of Canterbury 1583-1604) had been brought up in the Elizabethan Church and as a result was vigilant in enforcing the Settlement.
ISSUE – ELIZABETH AND FINANCE Introduction
Throughout the Tudor period, monarchs were expected to govern the country out of their own sources of revenue. A monarch’s ORDINARY REVENUE came from the rent or sale of crown lands, fines imposed by judges, customs duties on imports and feudal dues. Monarchs aimed to call Parliament to ask for EXTRAORDINARY REVENUE as little as possible. Henry VIII was particularly prudent, building up the crown’s revenue and, by avoiding war, leaving his successor a healthy treasury. From 1509 onwards however, the monarchy found it increasingly difficult to make ends meet. Throughout the sixteenth century, England experienced a rapid rise in prices. The crown had a fixed income and therefore found it increasingly difficult to meet rising costs. How was Elizabeth going to manage the issue of finance WHAT REVENUE WAS AVAILABLE TO ELIZABETH? Ordinary - Crowns regular income, covered costs of government in normal times. Extraordinary - Revenue voted by parliament to pay for additional costs during emergency
Sources of Ordinary Revenue 1.
Revenue of trade Crown’s prerogative right to control trade. Imposing customs duties on exports/imports the key way to raise money. Value of duties fluctuated according to level of trade. Rights to collect duties on particular items sometimes rented out to customs farmers. Tonnage and poundage and impositions were types of customs duties. T&P was a trade duty on wine and wool, the right to levy them usually given to the monarch for life. Impositions new extra duties levied on imports, not approved by parliament.
Crown Land Owned and rented out estates. Assets used as collateral for borrowing If money needed quickly crown land could be sold, but deprived Crown of future income from rents
Under old system Crown had been supreme landowner who leased out estates to tenants in chief in return for loyalty and military support. By 16th century replaced by fiscal feudalism, in which feudal obligations were paid in money rather than military service. Feudal dues included: Entry fees, paid when heir took over estate. Wardships – when the heir to an estate was a minor or a woman, the estate was taken over by the Crown and guardianship was sold through the Court of Wards. All profits from the estate accrued to the guardian and the Crown until the male heir came of age or the female married Distraint of knighthood - a fine for not taking up a knighthood when a man entitled to do so (an income of 40 pounds a yr). By 16th century this was a one off tax for landowners whose property had reached a certain value. Purveyance, the right of a royal household and armies to buy goods and services at well below market prices. 4.
Crown could sell or give as reward, sole rights to manufacture, sell or collect duties on particular goods and services. Monopolies were unpopular, as they increased prices and reduced the quality of goods and services.
Other sources Fees and fines from law courts Revenue from lands of vacant bishops ‘First fruits’ (a clergyman’s first years salary) and tenths (one tenth of his subsequent income)
Sources of Extraordinary revenue Parliament could vote: Subsidies; direct taxes on an individuals income Fifteenths and tenths; a fixed charge on each county (worth much less than a subsidy). One fifteenth of the value in rural areas and a tenth in urban areas. Forced loans, ship money and sale of titles Exercise Write down one source of royal revenue that reflected the Crown’s role as each of the following: 1. Landowner: 2. Feudal overlord: 3. Head of Judiciary: 4. Head of Church: 5. Controller of the economy:
Part Two: How did Elizabeth manage her finances? Overview: Read page 48-49 in your Longman Write On Notes to get a summary.
Improving financial administration Appointing successful Lord Treasurers Elizabeth inherited her first Lord Treasurer, William Paulet, Marquis of Winchester. Under his leadership the Exchequer continued to implement the financial reforms started during Henry’s reign. These included modernising the Exchequer and making it more efficient, revaluing crown lands so rents and entry fines could be increased, and raising customs duties. Elizabeth wanted Winchester to ensure that the accounts were balanced, that expenditure did not exceed income. He therefore worked hard to call in debts owed to the crown, to raise income and to keep costs down. Winchester’s replacement by William Cecil in 1572 saw no change in priorities. Like Winchester, Cecil vigorously pursued the same drive for economy, although not perhaps with the same degree of vision and creativity. As a result, by 1585 when war with Spain broke out, Elizabeth had been able to pay off Mary’s debts of £500,000 and build up a reserve of £500,000 . Extending the sources of revenue Elizabeth not only reduced expenditure, she also increased income; without this her ordinary revenue would not have kept pace with inflation. She did not do this by using strategies which made the problem of inflation worse, such as debasing the coinage. Her main policy was to sell crown lands, which raised over £600,000 and saw the last of the monastic properties seized by Henry Vlll pass into private ownership. She also participated in JOINT STOCK TRADING COMPANIES and attempts to break the Spanish monopoly in the New World. The crown put up money to finance such ventures in return for a large percentage of the profits or treasure. The results, however, were extremely variable. The capture of the ship Madre de Dios in 1592 brought a profit of £77,000, but it was easy for the Spanish fleets to slip past the English in bad weather and Elizabeth’s commanders did not always share their booty with her. ln 1596 Lord Howard and the Earl of Essex handed over the plunder from the capture of Cadiz to their men. Elizabeth also increased ordinary revenue by collecting debts more vigorously, fining religious non-conformists, and by leaving ecclesiastical offices vacant in order to administer DIOCESEs directly. Increasing the demands for parliamentary taxation The tradition that Tudor monarchs lived off their ordinary revenue and only asked Parliament for taxes during times of emergency finally disappeared during Elizabeth’s reign. The distinction between ordinary and extraordinary revenue began to break down during the reign of Henry Vlll, but by the second half of the sixteenth century taxation was increasingly seen as essential for the ordinary running of government. ln the 1570s, Parliament was asked to approve subsidy taxes, even in peacetime, on the grounds that they were necessary for the country’s defence. The outbreak of war with Spain led to unprecedented demands for taxation, even though Elizabeth’s determination not to run up large debts influenced her military decisions. She preferred to send fleets into the Atlantic to attack Spanish silver ships coming from Mexico and Peru, rather than launch a massive campaign against the Spanish.
How successful were Elizabeth’s financial policies? Asking how successful Elizabeth’s financial policies were might seem like a superfluous question. After all, in twenty years Elizabeth paid off her debts, ended the country’s dependence on foreign loans, and had begun to build up a reserve. She was also able to finance wars against Spain and in Ireland Without leaving a debt significantly larger than Mary’s. And, not surprisingly, there is general praise for Elizabeth’s record on expenditure. However, historians have criticised her for failing to undertake any reforms or initiatives that might have put the crown’s finances on a more secure, long-term footing. In finance, as elsewhere, Elizabeth was cautious and conservative. She pursued short-term advantages at the expense of long-term gain and allowed vested interests and unfair practices to go unchallenged.
The main criticisms of Elizabeth’s financial policies are as follows.
SOURCE 8.l W. MacCaffrey, Elizabeth I, I993, p. 385 She allowed the real revenue from customs and royal lands to fall; partly it would seem through administrative inertia, and partly perhaps in a conscious effort not to alienate merchants and royal tenants.
1: Ordinary revenue was allowed to stagnate The government did not respond quickly enough to inflation and therefore, in real terms, income fell behind in a time of rising prices. ° Customs duties were not realigned to take account of inflation. ° Profits from feudal dues declined rather than increased, until Robert Cecil took over the Court of Wards in 1599. ° Crown land rents were raised only slightly and were obviously reduced in the long term by the sale of crown lands. ° Some revenue did not find its way into the Exchequer at all, as Elizabeth rewarded her favourites by allowing them to use the revenues from their offices. Winchester and Leicester alone owed nearly £70,000 to the crown, almost five times the annual income from feudal dues. ° Overall ordinary revenue did not keep pace with inflation and had to be supplemented by taxation. The crown’s financial resources remained the same: no additions were made and existing resources were not exploited.
Some enterprising landowners were using inflation to their, so Elizabeth could have done more. 2: Parliamentary taxation was not reformed Although Tudor Parliaments had shown they were prepared to grant subsidy taxes, even in peacetime, requests always referred to national dangers or the need to defend the realm. Elizabeth was not prepared to state that extraordinary taxation was now necessary for the ordinary running of government. Nor was she prepared to fully tap the wealth of her subjects - taxes in England were lower than elsewhere in Europe. The subsidy tax was based on an individual’s own assessment of his wealth and income and it was common practice for the rich to undervalue their assets. The value of each subsidy tax fell throughout the reign. The government made no attempt to improve tax collection, perhaps because it feared losing the support of the politically-active classes. It failed to institute an efficient record system, bring taxation in line with inflation, or impose it on all who were eligible to pay.
5: The use of unpaid officials reduced their efficiency For much of the reign it vvas accepted that officials worked for rewards â€“ such as vvardships, favourable leases on land, import and export licences, patents, constableships of castles, etc. - rather than regular salaries. In many Ways this Worked effectively: an individual, in order to achieve promotion and to increase his status by acquiring more revvards, tended to work hard to get noticed. Direct control by the monarch, hovvever, Was difficult. Office holders, many of whom held their positions for life, appointed their ovvn staff and vvere responsible for distributing rewards to them. Elizabeth instituted oaths of loyalty, but there is little evidence that they made any difference; and, although she could dismiss Exchequer officials, she hardly ever did so. By the 1590s, the system had become increasingly corrupt. Inflation led people to search desperately for extra sources of income and, SOURCE 8.6 D. M. Palliser, The Age ofEIizabeth, as the number of offices remained static, bribery vvas I983, p. |27 increasingly resorted to in order to gain an appointment. In some cases she granted leases of Crown loans in reversion [to pass on to heirs] to her servants to increase their income without raising their salaries. For she failed to pay her officials adequate salaries which kept pace with inflation, often tacitly allowing them to make up the dyferences with guts, favours and bribes.
Elizabeth and the Issue of Foreign Policy Part One – The situation 1558 England's relationship with Europe had always depended on the priorities and personalities of its monarchs. All the Tudors had shown an awareness of certain key factors that were fundamental to English security, although the policies the followed varied considerably. These factors can broadly be summarised as:
Dauphin – son of the king of France
the protection of the cloth trade between England and the Netherlands
the prevention of a hostile country building up a power base along the Channel or Ireland Henry VIII • the protection of the northern borders because Scotland was traditionally an ally of France.
Eurocentric – The belief that Europe was the centre of everything
St Bartholomews Day massacre – the massacre of Protestants by Catholics in France Huguenot – French Protestant
Henry VIII tried to maintain English security by using diplomacy, marrying Privateering – pircay that his children to leading European ruling is legitamised by a letter of families, and by promoting trade; Marque from a monarch although he was prepared to go to war which authorises naval when necessary, for example when French attacks on an enemy of control of Brittany threatened security in country the Channel. Henry VIII preferred to seek person glory through warfare to assert his claims to territory in France, although, after 1518, Cardinal Wolsey tried to use diplomacy rather than war to win his master prestige in Europe. Elizabeth was never entirely free to develop foreign policy independently; she always had to work within the parameters determined by recent events at home and abroad. Domestic factors influencing foreign policy
To fulfil the expectations of her people and her councillors, Elizabeth needed to reassert England’s status after the humiliation of Mary’s reign. For the first two decades of her reign foreign policy was closely intertwined with the question of Elizabeth’s marriage and the succession Foreign policy was a royal prerogative but Elizabeth turned to her council for advice. Her secretary who oversaw the letters passed to and from the council, had a great deal of influence over decision making. Elizabeth’s leading councillors were Protestant, and some saw England’s relationship with other European powers as part of a larger conflict between the Protestantism and the forces of Roman Catholicism Elizabeth also learnt from the audiences she had with foreign ambassadors Elizabeth was aware of England’s inability to wage war for a prolonged period of time. England had a far smaller population than either France or Spain and lacked the financial resources to maintain a standing army capable of fighting abroad
What was Europe like in 1558? The advent of Protestantism in Europe put an end to its greatest unifying Catholicism. The Holy Roman Empire, the centuries-old symbol of a unit, Catholic Christendom, was under threat from within, and France and Scotland were drifting towards religious conflict. Henceforth, the religion of the monarch determined a country's allies and enemies. The Pope and staunchly Catholic countries, such as Spain, were committed to preventing the spread of Protestantism. The discovery of new trade routes and overseas territories, particularly in the New World, put an end to the Euro-centric nature of national interests. Monarchs began to realise the amazing potential for power and wealth that existed in the
newly-discovered continents. Religion played a part here too; the conversion of indigenous populations to Catholicism could give legitimate overtones to the violent conquest of civilizations. Spain The King of Spain, Philip II, ruled over Spain, the Netherlands, Franche-Comte parts of Italy and the Spanish conquests in the New World. Spain's population was three times that of England while the treasures and silver mines of Mexico and Peru had increased Philip's income immeasurably. It was crucial that the communication routes between Spain and the Netherlands were kept open. Philip was concerned that French control of Scotland and/or England would threaten this. He took his title of Most Catholic King seriously, but in 1558 preferred a heretic on the English throne to a French puppet. He half-hearted proposed to Elizabeth in 1558 and persuaded the Pope to withhold her excommunication. After half a century of fighting, mainly in Italy, Spain and France signed the Treaty of Cateau-Cambresis in 1559. Now that peace with France was possible Philip had no wish to be dragged into a war against France to defend England, Spain's traditional ally, and he would have watched Elizabeth's activities in Scotland with unease. England had traditionally relied on the jealousy between France and Spain to help it to maintain its independence. Peace between the two powerful countries upset the subtle balance of power. If France and Spain were to unite in a common cause against England, to uphold the Catholic religion for example, there was little doubt that England would lose its independence. France France was England's traditional enemy, because of its size - its population was four times greater than England's - its proximity, its alliance with Scotland and the claims of Kings of England to the French throne. France was Roman Catholic and supported the claims of Mary Stuart to the English throne because of her French blood and her marriage to the dauphin. The French monarchy had been alarmed at Spanish 'control' of England as a result of Philip II's marriage to Mary Tudor, because it threatened French communication with Scotland and increased French fears of Spanish encirclement. In 1559, England also signed the Treaty of Cateau-Cambresis, which confirmed the loss of Calais. This small French port was captured by the English in 1347 and took on a symbolic significance as England's last surviving overseas possession from the time of the Hundred Years War. It became important for both trade and strategic reasons and was garrisoned by a small English force. The French captured it in 1558 when England, under Mary Tudor, intervened in France in support of Spain. With Calais in its possession, France dominated the southern shore of the Channel. In 1559, King Henry II died in a jousting tournament and was succeeded by Mary Stuart's husband, Francis II. The new king was a puppet in the hands of Mary's uncles, the Guise brothers, who aimed to restore the control of their sister, Mary of Guise, in Scotland and advance Mary Stuarts claim to the English throne. Scotland In 1558 Scotland was ruled by Mary of Guise on behalf of her young daughter, Mary Stuart. In 1559, Scottish Protestants rebelled against Mary of Guise. The rebels' success was welcomed in England (despite Elizabeth's vehement dislike of those who upturned the natural order of things) because France had had access to England along the Scottish border. However, Mary of Guise seemed likely to overcome the rebels and reinforcements were sent from France.
Part Two â€“ The 1560s and 1570s Intervention in Scotland In 1559 a group of Protestant lords in Scotland deposed Mary of Guise. The English government, which was pleased to see a foreign and hostile neighbour become friendlier, welcomed this move, but it was unlikely that the French would allow the situation to remain unchallenged. Cecil, who was anxious to reduce French influence in Scotland, had to work hard to persuade a reluctant Elizabeth that she needed to aid the rebels to prevent the restoration of French power. Elizabeth finally agreed to send financial aid and then naval and military forces to the Scots, but only after Cecil had threatened to resign. This aid was confirmed by the Treaty of Berwick which was signed in 1560. Cecil's motives arose partly from the fear of Catholicism and French links with Scotland but were also consistent with the traditional Tudor priority of securing England's borders. Whether this was purely defensive, to prevent a Catholic crusade from either Scotland or Ireland, or aggressive, in that it would leave England free to Mary of Guise
intervene in Europe, is still open to interpretation. This has been called the 'British strategy'. Cecil's policy towards Scotland was success. In the Treaty of Edinburgh, signed in 1560, the French agreed to withdraw from Scotland leaving only a token force, and a new Protestant government was established under Lord James Stuart, the illegitimate half brother of Mary, Queen of Scots.
The Scottish problem had been resolved without war against France. Elizabeth was now seen as the protectress of Protestant rebels. This new religious role would make friendly relations with France and Spain difficult to maintain. Mary, Queen of Scots, religion, and the succession ensured that foreign relations became increasingly intertwined with domestic policy. The success of intervention in Scotland was attributed to Cecil.
Intervention in France When, in 1562, war between Catholic and Huguenot (Protestant) noble families erupted in France the Privy Council was delighted that their old enemy was in trouble. But they did not want the Catholics to win, thus encouraging English Catholics, so 6000 troops were sent to support the Huguenots. Elizabeth looked more kindly on Huguenots than on other Protestant rebels since Princes led them. The intervention backfired. France’s regent Catherine dei Medici claiming the English were violating the Treaty Cateau-Cambresis (which had ended the war between England and France in 1559) united Huguenots and Catholics against the "Invaders" who were forced to withdraw. This did nothing to encourage Elizabeth to support future rebellions in foreign countries.
of St Bartholomews Day Massacre
Walsingham finally negotiated a treaty with France in 1572, but anti-French Catholic feelings in England intensified after the St Bartholomews Day Massacre later that year. Results Philip II complained that Elizabeth was supporting Protestant rebels Elizabeth had shown the French she could make life difficult for them, making them more likely to accept the Protestant regime in Scotland Elizabeth herself considered the military intervention a disaster, and returned to her policy of caution and reluctance to aid the Protestant rebels. Intervention in the Netherlands The Netherlands had become part of the empire of Philip II’s father Charles V in 1659. When the Spanish government in the Netherlands, England’s vital market for the export of cloth, banned trade in 1563, it threatened the Queen’s finances and the country’s economy. When Elizabeth retaliated and stopped all imports from the Netherlands, trade between the two countries ceased. Trade resumed within 12 months but this was an early sign of further problems to come.
Charles had savagely persecuted Dutch Protestants many of whom fled to England. When a further Protestant rebellion broke out In 1567, Philip sent a powerful army
under the Duke Of Alva determined to bring these rebellious provinces under direct Spanish Catholic rule. English volunteers helped the Dutch rebels and some Councillors, including the Earl of Leicester, believed England should officially intervene on their behalf. This posed a problem for Elizabeth. Dutch Protestants were rebelling against their lawful prince; her erstwhile ally Philip II. On the other hand a large Catholic army so close to Protestant England was a worry and direct Spanish rule over the Netherlands would make matters even worse. In 1568 Elizabeth seized bullion from a Spanish fleet that put into Plymouth in a storm. She pointed out that Philip II had borrowed this from Italian bankers to pay Alva's troops. Well the bankers could lend it to her instead! (This may have been in revenge for an incident at San Juan de Ulua in Central America where captured English sailors had been tortured and tried by the Spanish Inquisition.) Alva responded by placing an embargo on England's considerable trade with the Netherlands. Just as relations with Spain were beginning to improve again, Elizabeth unintentionally helped the Dutch rebellion when (possibly in response to a request by Philip) she ordered the Sea-Beggars to leave England. The Sea Beggars were Dutch Pirates who had used English ports as bases from which to attack Spanish Ships. Now these expelled pirates took over ports in the South Netherlands including Flushing and Brill while Alva's attention was diverted by a possible attack from Huguenots. The Dutch rebellion was given a new base and a new lease of life. Elizabeth declined Dutch Protestant leader William of Orange's request for English assistance. She had no interest in total independence for the Netherlands but hoped that Philip would allow them the autonomy they had previously enjoyed. Spain would still be overlord - but at a distance. The Politician in Elizabeth pointed out to Philip that while uniformity of religion was the best solution for England and Spain this may not be the case in the Netherlands where Protestantism was so strong. But Philip had no intention of tolerating Dutch Protestantism. Perhaps if a sympathetic Catholic monarch replaced Elizabeth, England's opposition would disappear? Intervention in the New World Spain's jealously-guarded Empire in the New World included Mexico, Central America, Peru, Chile and islands in the Caribbean. This huge territory and its sea links with Spain were difficult to defend. English privateers (pirates with a government licence) such as Francis Drake and Richard Hawkins attacked and robbed fleets carrying American gold and silver to Spain. In those days no international agreements controlled behaviour on the high seas and privateering could be a highly profitable business -even after the Queen had taken her share. But of course it did little to improve England's relations with Spain.
Part Three – Choices The situation with Spain worsens Towards the end of the 1570s a number of events increased England's fear
1577 Philip appointed the Duke of Parma as governor of the Netherlands. Parma was one of the best military leaders of his age and it seemed likely that he would succeed in crushing the Dutch rebellion and imposing direct Spanish rule.
1579 Spanish troops landed In Ireland. English monarchs long claimed to be overlords of Ireland but their effective rule extended little beyond the Pale (a small area around Dublin). The rest of Ireland was largely controlled by anti-English Catholic chiefs and could well become a launching pad for a foreign invasion. The Spanish Ambassador claimed Philip knew nothing of any Spaniards in Ireland, but anyway were the English not helping anti-Spanish rebels in the Netherlands? Philip succeeded to the throne of Portugal and added her large empire (in Africa and the East Indies) and powerful navy to his own. Wearing this extension of Philip's power England supported Don Antonio a rival claimant to the Portuguese throne who was based in the Mores, right across the path of the Spanish treasure fleets Shall we intervene form a league or marry the Frog? The Privy Council was now divided into:
A war faction including Leicester, Walsingham Bedford and Knollys who favoured war with Spain and preferred the Queen to remain single rather than marry a Catholic. A peace faction including Burghley, Bacon, Sussex, Mildmay and Crofts who, largely because of what such a war would cost in terms of men, money and security, favoured keeping peace with Spain and hoped the Queen would marry to ensure a peaceful succession. But the final decision, as always, rested with Elizabeth. She could: Anjou
Intervene directly against Parma - this would be expensive.
Try to form a Protestant League with Huguenots, Dutch Calvinists and possibly the Protestant states of northern Europe against Spain and the French Catholic League, which Spain was, increasingly, supporting. Marry the Duke of Anjou, youngest brother of the current French King Henri III William of Orange, despairing of ever getting help from Elizabeth, had offered Anjou sovereignty over the Netherlands. Married to Elizabeth, Anjou could be her agent In fighting Parma thus saving English men and resources. The Queen was fond of her "little frog" who was 20 years her junior and showered Anjou with gifts when he visited her in 1579. Some, like Burghley, approved of this prospective marriage alliance with the French royal family. Others in the Privy Council and elsewhere bitterly opposed it. Anjou was a Catholic and his mother Catherine dei Medici and brother (Charles IX) had been responsible for the St Bartholomew's Day Massacre.
To the despair of her Councillors Elizabeth continued to vacillate. What was important to Elizabeth though was not so much who controlled the Netherlands when the revolt ended but that whoever it was should be friendly to England. William Of Orange or Anjou might be, but Spain was not likely to be. Intevention Two deaths in 1584 settled matters.
Anjou died shortly his forces were defeated by Parma. deprived the Dutch of any hope of help France.
William of Orange assassinated after II offered a reward the disposal of this "disturber of Christendom". England and Protestant Europe outraged.
was Philip for
This rebels from
The Duke of Parma
William of Orange were
Parma's victories and those of the French Catholic League threatened the future of Protestantism in Europe. Finally Elizabeth sent an expeditionary force to the Netherlands. Even now she ordered the Earl of Leicester who led the force to avoid any firm commitments and was furious when he accepted the Office of governor to enable him to deal with the various rebel factions In his four years helping the Dutch Protestants (1585-88) Leicester achieved little directly, but did prevent Parma securing a final victory. Philip II became convinced that the Dutch revolt would not be finally quelled until England Itself was dealt with. War between England and Spain became increasingly likely in the 1580s. England was now directly helping the Dutch rebels against Parma and English privateers continued to harass the Atlantic treasure fleets. Spain sometimes responded by seizing English ships in Spanish ports and occasionally the Inquisition tried and executed 'heretic' English sailors. Philip actively
supported the French Catholic League while Elizabeth, after much hesitation, sent support to the Huguenot leader Henri of Navarre (who became Henri IV of France in 1589. Though he converted to Catholicism, he allowed toleration for Huguenots.)
Part Four – War with Spain Events of 1587 For some years Philip had considered attacking England. In 1583 he had asked Pope Sixtus V to help finance an armada of ships with which to invade this heretic land and restore the Catholic faith. Sixtus fearing Philip might really only be interested in extending Spain's power, was not forthcoming. By 1587 however, events seemed to favour Philip. The Spanish Crown was at last becoming rich from the sheer volume of gold and silver crossing the Atlantic. Also Spain's war with the Ottoman Turks in the Eastern Mediterranean eased off as the Turks became preoccupied with their war against Persia in the East. All of Spain's attention and resources could now be directed at England. Mary Queen of Scots' execution in 1587 finally precipitated action. Earlier Philip had preferred Elizabeth to a woman so closely linked with his enemy France. But circumstances had changed. Philip was now allied with the French Catholic League in which Mary’s family the Guises were prominent members. Her execution removed any chance of a sympathetic Catholic monarch on the English throne - unless of course Spain put one there. Philip began to build his Armada in ports along the Atlantic coasts of Spain and Portugal and England began to prepare for invasion. Beacons were erected along the south coast to be lit to alert the population immediately Spanish ships ware sighted. The Armada was prevented from sailing in 1587 as Sir Francis Drake “singed the King of Spain's beard" by leading a pre-emptive attack on Cadiz destroying ships and supplies. However the damage was made good and the Armada set sail from Lisbon in May 1588. The defeat of the Armada 130 ships and 20,000 men act out to clear the English Channel and transport Parma's troops to England. They sailed in tight formation that would be difficult for English ships to penetrate. The English navy, consisting of a nucleus of royal ships and requisitioned merchantmen was, thanks largely to the efforts of its comptroller and treasurer Sir John Hawkins in good shape. England had about the same number of ships as Spain but they were smaller, faster and more manoeuvrable. Many of them had been designed for raids on the treasure fleets. Spanish galleons were more like floating castles and their tactics based on close-quarters fighting with Turkish vessels. When the Spanish ships anchored off Calais to await news of Parma's armies, the English Admiral Lord Howard of Effingham sent fire-ships among them. Fearing these were bomb-ships loaded with gunpowder the Spanish panicked and, cutting their cables and often abandoning their anchors, put to sea in chaotic formation. The English ships sailed among them inflicting great damage. Howard blocked the escape route south so the Armada was obliged to sail north around Scotland where it was decimated by high seas and storms. "God blew and they were scattered", observed the English rather smugly. Shipwrecked sailors who made it to shore were shown no mercy. Less than half the Armada made it back to Spain.
Successful wars or victorious battles often make leaders popular. The Armada crisis united most of England except for some extreme Catholics and Elizabeth made the most of it. Now that the die was cast and she no longer had to make difficult diplomatic decisions, the Queen was at her most magnificent.
Armada Portrait: Elizabeth with scenes of the defeat of the Spanish Armada in the background
ELIZABETH AND PARLIAMENT – The Management of Parliament HISTORIOGRAPHY The Whig View
Eliz reign saw first steps by Mps to break free from control of monarch, but struggle between Crown and Commons only began in earnest after 1603 Parliaments typified by Mps ready acceptance of Queens dominance
attempt by organised group within HOC to increase parliaments powers and privileges in face of crown resistance Civil war had origins in Eliz organised puritan opposition called “the Puritan Choir” crown lost control of commons able to identify numerous occasions when one or more of members opposed Queens wishes credited with forcing Eliz to adopt a more Prot religion, stirring up trouble over marriage, further Church reforms and execution of Mary and Norfolk
The Neale Corrective
1980s firmly established that Neale’s Puritan choir a figment of imagination What happening in commons merely extension of goings on in Privy Council. Being used by frustrated ministers as additional lever major issues, 1560s marriage and successor, 1570s and 80s Mary and Dutch Puritan choir not all Puritan
ELIZABETHS ATTITUDE TOWARDS PARLIAMENT
Inconvenient necessity traditional and conservative
DEALINGS WITH PARLIAMENT
monarch could visit parliament in person to address members - did so in the HOL Effectively confined to opening and closing of parliament. Attendance at closing of session when Eliz gave royal assent Eliz used power of veto generally because bill poorly drafted, a major problem during the period, not because she necessarily disagreed Only five occasions when Eliz vetoed bill because of personal objection to content
Peter and Paul Wentworth prominent radical Mps On several occasions one of them got away with querying what was done in Queens name 1576 Peter started speech objecting to royal interference, considered going too far Speaker stopped him in mid flow, was arrested and next day imprisoned in Tower
When Eliz told parliament hardly any murmur of protest - shows deference showed to monarch In practice there were different levels of control exercised by Eliz She was very specific and direct where she felt she needed to be, but could be very low key on other occasions But she couldn’t brow beat the HOC into arranging its affairs so as to make sure all legislation passed through within the time scale. The reason lay in the fact that MPs were only interested in legislation they had a vested interest in rather than give the Queens business precedence. Also the problem that there was always a parliamentary log jam. Too much legislation
PARLIAMENT - ISSUES
Thirteen sessions in all, average length of each session less than 10 weeks
The Commons’ Privilege of Free Speech
Not clearly defined In the opening the first parliament, Eliz granted freedom of speech without defining it, but when Commons later petitioned her to marry she reminded them it was a, “very great presumption, being unfitting and altogether unmeet for you to require them that they may command”. Commons revived the petition in 1566. Eliz commanded house, via her Councillors, to discontinue the debate, which brought Paul Wentworth to his feet to ask whether such a commandment, “be a breach of the liberty of free speech of the House?”. The Queen eventually withdrew her prohibition, but told members that while she had no intention to infringe their lawful privileges, neither did she wish their liberty her bondage. 1571 The Queen gave a more precise definition of free speech. They were told not to discuss matters of state, which for Eliz meant no discussion of the succession, marriage, royal supremacy over Church, foreign policy, trade. Limitations of speech did not inhibit Commons from debating religious matters, for instance it was the session in which Strickland introduced his bill for reforming the Prayer Book. He was summoned before the Council and told to stay away from the House, which only led to more heated discussion. One of Strickland’s supporters shifted the issue onto the question of Commons Privileges. 1571 saw the maiden speech of Peter Wentworth, and his brother Paul, who was to become the champion of freedom of speech. 1576 when he delivered a speech he had been brooding on for years. He was in no way a typical member of commons and it so shocked the other members he was sent to the tower. He stayed for a month and was released. After 1571 her reply to Speakers petition for freedom of speech emphasised that this privilege did not extend to matters of state. She was not always negative, in 1589 financial grievances came to the fore and two bills were introduced to check the abuses concerning the Exchequer and the practice of purveyance. The Queen informed them that these matters affected her closely and she would take action herself. 1593, Hatton and Walsingham dead and a new generation emerged. Eliz was far less tolerant of breeches of her instructions in this session. She sent Peter Wentworth to prison for publishing a tract on the succession, excluded from the House two members who dared attack the High Commission and reminded the speaker that she had the right to not only summon Parl but dissolve it as well, but also to tell members what they were and were not to discuss.
monopolies replaced the established Church as the main target for parliamentary criticism in last years of reign. 1597, ordered her Councillors to examine all monopolies to see if there were any against the public interest, which the Commons was grateful for. Eliz need for money meant she granted thirty new patents by 1601. 1601 parl took up the issue again. An angry mood was evident and heated debate occurred, the Queen realised her prerogative would be endangered if she clung to monopolies and issued proclamations cancelling the principal monopolies complained of.
Eliz had her difficulties with parliament but it would be mistaken to regard members as an opposition. The House needed tactful handling but on the whole the Councillors provided this. The occasional outbursts of criticism or anger on the part of individual members created a stir simply because they were untypical. When disputes did arise they were usually on issues that caused division within the Privy Council. One group within the Council was not above stirring up parliamentary opinion. There were occasions where the Council was united against the Queen, as over the execution of Mary Stuart and used commons to bring pressure to bear upon her. But such occasion were exceptional. Conflict was the exception not the rule
Elizabeth and Multiple Kingdoms Introduction • Previously neglected by historians, the expansion of the monarchy is now seen increasingly as the most important development in British history during the Tudor Age (1485-1603). • At the beginning of that period: (i) Although Wales had been conquered by medieval English kings, it remained a society apart, with its own social organisation, administrative structure and laws. (ii) Although the English crown claimed overlordship of Ireland, effective English administration was confined to the Pale on the eastern coast. (iii) Scotland was an independent State. • But by 1603: (i) Wales had been integrated into the English political system. In 1536 and 1543 acts of parliament united the two countries. Wales was divided into counties on the English model. It was given English administration, land law, and seats in the Westminster parliament. In Elizabeth's reign a Welsh translation of the Bible used in the Anglican Church was authorised. The absorption of Wales proved to be a relatively easy and successful transition. (ii) In 1541 Henry VIII made himself King of Ireland. When Elizabeth became queen of the two kingdoms in 1559, direct English rule of Ireland was still confined to an area known as the 'Pale' on the east coast. By 1604 an English army had completed the military conquest of the country. (iii) In 1603 James VI of Scotland became king of England too, thereby uniting the two crowns in his person. Both he and his son Charles I governed the three kingdoms of England, Ireland, and Scotland from the English political capital of Westminster. Increasingly they behaved as English kings: Ireland was a conquered colony, whilst there was a growing feeling amongst the Scots that their country was being treated more as an English province than a co-equal kingdom. Multiple kingdoms multiplied problems for the English State: (i) (ii) (iii) (iv)
The resources of a limited archaic State were stretched to their limit just in the management of England. Neither Scotland nor Ireland (until the 1630s) contributed funds to the English treasury. The problem of slow inefficient communications was magnified by the crown's responsibility for a much larger area. The expense of multiple kingdoms could be a crippling burden and it often forced the monarch to make drastic economies in English government. From 1603 the king of Anglican England was also ruler of Presbyterian Scotland and largely Roman catholic Ireland. There was a considerable potential for conflict. This became actual conflict, when Presbyterian Scots rebelled in 1638. The collapse of the 'Personal Rule' and the summoning of the Long Parliament in 1640 were the consequences of a successful Scottish rebellion. Trouble in one kingdom could and did have a ripple effect: so the Scottish rebellion led to the calling of the Long Parliament in England. One year later an Irish Catholic rebellion raised a crucial question in the English parliament: should the English king or the two houses of lords and commons control the army, which was to be sent to Ireland in order to crush the rebellion? Conflict over this crucial issue led to the outbreak of the English Civil War in 1642. Thus the king's 'other kingdoms' had a crucial impact on developments in England.
• The English Crown became the governing authority of Britain. But the lack of adequate royal revenues and the existence of social, religious, racial and political divisions meant that multiple kingdoms became a major problem for royal government during the period 1558-1642. • There was a consistency in the Irish policy of our monarchs. It was one of plantation. The transfer [confiscation] of land from native Irish and even Old English settlers to New English and Scottish colonists). The native Irish populations were evicted and moved westwards or they became landless labourers on estates newly granted or sold to English migrants. Persecution of Roman Catholicism and the military conquest of Ireland (completed by 1604) were also long term Elizabethan policies. The early Stuarts continued the 'plantation policy': James granted away most of Ulster and Charles I's lord deputy, Sir Thomas Wentworth, planned to extend the practice to Connaght in western Ireland. Wentworth, also alienated the New English and Scottish settlers, the natural supporters of royal rule. Plantation, the persecution of Catholics, and suppression of the Irish and Anglo-Irish had a cumulative impact, culminating in the Irish Rebellion of 1641. • Scotland too became a critical problem in the 1630s. James I had governed it peacefully and effectively from his English Court. Charles, however, introduced an unpopular land policy and finally, in 1637, tried to impose a modified Anglican Prayer Book on a Presbyterian kingdom. The result was rebellion. Charles was undoubtedly guilty of follies in his Scottish dealings.
Ireland: • There were in fact three power-groups within Ireland: (i) The alien (i.e. foreign) English administration which, until the end of the 16th century, directly governed only the Pale (See Map). (ii) The Anglo-Irish (or 'Old English'). These were descendants of migrants from England who in the 12th and 13th centuries, had conquered, colonised and intermarried with the native Irish. (iii) The native Irish (= Celtic) clan chieftains who ruled over native Irish septs (= tribes) in Ulster (N. Ireland) and the centre/west of the country. • Until the Reformation English kings claimed only 'lordship' over Ireland. They preferred to govern the country indirectly through Anglo-Irish viceroys, who lived there and were not regarded as foreigners by the native Irish. • With the Reformation Henry VIII became head of a national English Church. In 1559, Elizabeth's first parliament established a Protestant Church in England. These changes were imposed on the Anglo-Irish and native Irish, most of whom remained loyal to the Pope and to the Catholic faith. • Elizabethan and early Stuart Englishmen regarded the Celtic Irish as racially inferior. As one Englishman said, the native Irish were not 'fit to be trusted with the counsel l i.e. government] of the realm. Attitudes of 'ethnic superiority' also played a part: Irishmen had to be turned into Englishmen. • From the 1530s onwards the English monarchy ruled the country through English (not Anglo-Irish) viceroys. In 1541 Henry VIII made himself king of Ireland. • Ireland also came to be seen as a land of opportunity, where the English could settle and enrich themselves. Ireland was not considered an immediate problem by the Tudors and, except for times when it threatened national stability, policy towards it tended to be somewhat laissez-faire. This was mainly due to the fact that the Tudors lacked long-term goals in Ireland and, because of the costs involved in developing a consistent policy, tended to opt for short-term expedients. • The English conquest of Ireland began in the twelfth century but had not been sustained. Although the King of England was, until 1540, also Lord of Ireland, real English influence was restricted to an 80-km area around Dublin known as the Pale. • The rest of Ireland was controlled by powerful feudal magnates, a scene not dissimilar to the situation in the English regions. Any similarities, however, end there. Gaelic society was very different from the Anglo-Norman feudal system. It had a different system of land ownership, property rights, personal dependence on the crown, military obligations, language, fashion and, after 1558, religion. • If the English were to assert effective control over Ireland they would need to abolish the power of the great earldoms and change the country's social structure. There were many ways in which this could be done, ranging from a gradual extension of English administrative control to outright conquest. During her reign, Elizabeth's deputies tried elements of all of the available options, yet Elizabeth herself remained indifferent.
Elizabeth and Ireland • 'Indifference' was the keynote of Elizabeth's attitude to Ireland. Having established her
Protestant Church there she made no effort to mount a missionary campaign in order to convert the catholic inhabitants. • Concerns in Ireland did not receive the urgent attention which characterised Elizabeth's dealings with mainstream issues. She saw Ireland as a drain on resources and the constraints of geography and communication pushed it to the back of her mind; until, that is, her failure to act decisively pushed England into a bloody and expensive conquest of the country in the 1590s.
• She lacked vision or long-term policies. She relied on short-term expedients. Her choice of deputies was influenced, even determined, by English court faction politics, not by the needs of the population of Ireland. • Elizabeth tended to treat Ireland as an extension of royal patronage: so plantation (= land confiscation) and colonisation were allowed to proceed. • She was (understandably, because of her financial constraints) anxious to keep costs at a minimum, even if this meant political compromises, or simply letting things drift, unresolved. • She paid attention only when Irish political affairs demanded her active involvement. It was partly a fear of Spanish intervention (after 1585, when she went to war with Philip II) which reactivated her interest. At the same time, however, funding of the war against Philip II made Ireland a low financial priority. • Eventually Elizabeth was forced to take decisive action because: (i) Those who wished to confiscate lands held by the Irish and to colonise Ireland came to believe that military conquest was necessary first. (ii) This, in turn, hardened Gaelic and Anglo-Irish opinion against the English 'oppressors' . (iii) The result was a major rebellion, centred in northern Ireland (= Ulster), from 1595 on. • The conquest of Ireland was finally achieved by 1604, a year after Elizabeth's death. It was a brutal business, as indeed the government of Ireland was for most of her reign. Her indifference, her desire to avoid heavy expenditure, her lack of concern about the native Irish: all add up to the darkest page in the history of her reign. The result of these developments was the creation of serious antagonisms: (i) Irish hostility to a foreign government which persecuted Catholicism, treated them as racial inferiors and deprived them of their lands. (ii) The Irish response was frequent rebellion under clan chieftains, such as the O'Neills (in the 1560s) and (the most serious of the rebellions) under the Irish earl of Tyrone in the 1590s. The English response was bloody suppression, more plantations and finally, by 1604 the military conquest of Ireland. (iii) The Anglo-lrish too found themselves increasingly the victims of harsh English policies, as they witnessed the persecution of Catholicism and sometimes experienced the disastrous economic efforts of the Plantation policy.
What policies did Elizabeth and her deputies pursue in Ireland? How successful were they? 1. Shane O'Neill's rebellion in Ulster, 1559-66 • Elizabeth ordered the Earl of Sussex to maintain control in Ireland, reduce expenditure and enforce the 1559 Religious Settlement. He therefore continued attempts to colonise Ireland by establishing plantations, as well as increasing English forces in Ireland. His period in office is seen as unsuccessful because he was unable to defeat Shane O'Neill's rebellion in Ulster, largely through lack of quick support from Elizabeth. • Sir Henry Sidney was sent to quash O'Neill's rebellion in 1565 after Sussex's failure to do so. He marched through Ulster and, with the help of rival clans, destroyed O'Neill's power. O'Neill was murdered by the clans he took refuge with. Sidney then continued Sussex's policy of strategic colonisation. He later proposed setting up regional councils along the lines of the Council of the North. His nominee for the presidency of the Munster Council caused uprisings in Leinster. The Queen refused to send further funds and replaced Sidney in 1567. Ten years campaigning in Ulster had done little to advance royal influence there but Shane's fortuitous assassination removed a serious international embarrassment to the government and left Elizabeth well placed to exploit the ensuing alterations in the balance of power. While the Privy Council debated best to exploit the opportunity however, the chance was missed.
[S. Ellis, Tudor Ireland, 1985, p. 255, Mervyn] 2. The Fitzgerald Rebellion in Munster, 1569-72 • Sidney was recalled to Ireland to put down the Fitzgerald Rebellion in Munster. Although initially a private war between the Earl of Desmond and the Earl of Ormonde, Elizabeth became worried when Desmond's cousin, James Fitzmaurice Fitzgerald, appealed for Catholic and foreign aid. The rebellion was quickly subdued but the foreign support, backed by the Papacy, triggered off increasing discontent against colonisation schemes in Munster. • In the wake of the rebellion, two privately based attempts at colonisation failed, and the Queen recalled Sidney after the introduction of a new land tax in Munster and Connaught failed to stop expenditure in Ireland soaring. There was an increasing conviction that military conquest was the only option. 3. The Fitzgerald Rebellion in Munster, 1579-83 • In 1580, Lord Arthur Grey was sent, with an army of 6500 men, to put down a rebellion led by James Fitzmaurice Fitzgerald and backed by the Pope. The rebels were joined by the Earl of Desmond and the rebellion spread to Munster, Leinster, Ulster and Connaught. Grey put down the conspiracy savagely: the garrison at Smerwick - composed mainly of reinforcements sent from Spain - was massacred after surrendering, there were widespread executions, the harvest was burned and cattle were slaughtered. Grey was recalled by Elizabeth because his methods had alienated traditional government supporters in the Pale. Nevertheless, he had paved the way for the successful colonisation of Desmond's lands in Munster and Connaught. • By 1590, English local administration operated everywhere outside Ulster and a system of garrisons had been created to contain and localise disturbances. 4. Tyrone's rebellion in Ulster, 1594-1603 The causes of Tyrone's rebellion were: War with Spain meant that expenditure on Ireland had to be kept low, while the country had to be secured in case the Spanish used it as a base for an invasion of England. Ireland was increasingly neglected by Elizabeth and her council. The 60-year old deputy, Fitzwilliam, could not control the bitter disputes between factions in Dublin. Clan warfare increased with accusations of cattle raiding, summary executions, etc. Irish chieftains saw their whole system under threat. Trust in the English deputies plummeted. The greatest Gaelic leader, Hugh O'Neill, Earl of Tyrone, came to power in Ulster. Tyrone was in contact with Spain from 1590 and began to train an army. The council, however, was divided about its strategies: Elizabeth wanted peace almost at any cost. Events 1594 Tyrone, having announced he was willing to fight to the death, begins to build up his forces and harry the English army. 1595
Tyrone seizes the English fort on the Blackwater, captures Enniskillen Castle and Clontribet.
Elizabeth pardons Tyrone, giving him time to extend his power base.
Tyrone defeats the English garrison at the Battle of the Yellow Ford.
defeats the English at
1599 The Earl of Essex is sent to Ireland as deputy with an army of 17,000 men. But he is reluctant to take command, convinced that his enemies at court will capitalise on his absence. Essex fails, marching into Ulster instead of confronting Tyrone and then agreeing to a truce. His unauthorised flight back to London marks the beginning of his fall from grace. 1600 Charles Blount, Lord Mountjoy, veteran of campaigns in the Netherlands and Brittany, is sent to Ireland with a large army and the full backing of the Queen and her council. 1601 Spanish forces land at Kinsale to join with Tyrone. Mountjoy implements a three-pronged attack from Armagh, Lough Foyle and Tyrconnel. 1602 1603
Tyrone is defeated in battle. Tyrone's negotiated surrender comes six days after Elizabeth's death.
Historians' on Elizabeth's Irish policy With Tyrone's capitulation, Elizabeth finished the task set by her father 80 years earlier, the completion of the English conquest of Ireland . . . it was achieved in agony and pain through the misery and deaths of countless of the Queen's subjects . . . it evoked on both sides a venomous outpouring of hatred which would permanently poison relations between the two islands. [W. MacCaffrey, Elizabeth 1, 1993, p. 432, Mervyn] Undoubtedly, the planning, preparation and execution of Mountjoy's campaign was an extraordinary feat of government. Yet it placed an enormous strain on the English economy and the crown's limited financial resources - the cost of victory was unexpectedly high. Large parts of Ireland had been devastated, crops burned, cattle slaughtered, or buildings razed. Ulster was almost a wilderness, Munster west of Cork almost uninhabited, trade disrupted, the coinage debased, towns ruined or declining, and the population decimated by famine. [S. Ellis, Tudor Ireland, 1985, p. 315, Mervyn] Historiography: Was Ireland governed successfully? • Elizabeth faced far greater problems in Ireland than in any other territories under her control. Much of this was due to the situation she inherited in 1558: a country only partly under English rule, with a mixture of Gaelic and Anglo Norman cultures, which had been subjected to half a century of changing initiatives and styles of government from London. • She could not simply preserve the status quo because, within a year, the first of four major rebellions broke out. In addition, as the reign progressed, religion became an increasing significant factor in her dealings with Ireland as Roman Catholicism grew in strength, partly as a result of missionary work and partly as a reaction again the Protestant English. There were even times when the Papacy and Spain intervened on behalf of the Irish. • Given the volatile situation, Elizabeth perhaps should not be blamed for the failure of her policies. Yet it is possible to see a similar scenario in England when looking at the powers and religious convictions of the mighty feudal magnates in the north, and the government successfully resolved those problems. In Ireland however, there were clearly periods when government control virtually broke down. The usual explanation for this has been that, 'Geographical, cultural and social differences within Ireland and between Ireland and England created conditions which were so extraordinary by English standards as to constitute an intractable problem of government' (S. Ellis, Tudor Ireland, 1985, p. 316). • More recently historians have begun to see the whole direction of England's policy towards Ireland as an error. The individual policies themselves were all workable but none of them was given the chance to succeed, because, until the 1590s, Elizabeth hoped to govern Ireland on the cheap and avoid any long-term drain on resources. As a result 'The demands made of successive governors greatly outstripped the resource available to them to perform their duties . . . policies failed in Ireland because they were not given the chance to succeed' (S. Ellis, Tudor Ireland, 1985, p. 31) • Until her decision to appoint Mountjoy and equip him with an army of realist proportions, Elizabeth failed to support the reforms of her able deputies, such Sidney, and appointed men, such as Sussex, Grey and Essex, who were a mistake. The result of Elizabeth's inconsistently applied goals in Ireland was not completion of the Tudor conquest of Ireland, but another stage in the unhappy relationship with England. Protestantism was not established uniformly. The Gaelic and the old Anglo-Irish families remained loyal to Catholicism. The cost of defeating the last rebellion led to social and economic distress in England, which in turn led to unrest in Parliament and a modest decline in Elizabeth's popularity. It therefore seems difficult to disagree with Stephen Ellis' conclusion that, 'The Tudor achievement in Ireland remains distinctly unimpressive' (Tudor Ireland, 1985, p. 315).
Published on Apr 6, 2011