History - Elizabeth


Elizabeth - Inherited Problems

1) She was a woman - She was seen as weak which would be a danger to the country as other countries would believe they can invade England with Elizabeth ruling.

2) She was a protestant - Mary I, had changed England into the Catholic country and in the process has executed thousands including 300 Protestants who refused to change their religion, now Elizabeth I will want England to become protestant again causing a split in the country.

3) She was young - Inexperienced

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Elizabeth I Facts

Elizabeth I reigned as Queen of England from 17th November 1558 to 24th March 1603. Her reign is sometimes known as the Elizabethan Age and was the era of William Shakespeare's plays, Sir Frances Drake's trips to America, and the defeat of the Spanish Armada.

Born: 7th September 1533

Sometimes called The Virgin Queen, Gloriana or Good Queen Bess, Elizabeth was the last of the five monarchs of the House of Tudor.

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Mary Queen Of Scots

Born: 8 December 1542

Died: 8 February 1587

Religion: Catholic

She reigned over Scotland from 14 December 1542 to 24 July 1567. Mary, the only surviving legitimate child of King James V, was six days old when her father died and she acceded to the throne.

Strong links with France -  had been married to the son of French King + Lived in France (1st Marriage)

1565 married to Lord of Darnley he was then murdered, Chief Suspect Earl of Bothwell then married Mary.

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Plot 1 - Northern Rebellion 1569

Earls of Westmoreland and Northumberland's Aims:

Restore the Catholic faith, Restore Political power of the Northern nobility (nobles), Remove evil councillors influencing the queen away from the true faith (Catholicism).

There was no mention of MQOS or Elizabeth.

Westmoreland and Northumberland not effective, bad leaders. As soon as they heard the Earl Of Sussex was moving towards them with a large royal army, they panicked and fled.

Most English Catholics didn't support the revolt, neither did France, the Spanish or the Pope!

No panic from Elizabeth's government, her officials prevented any towns being taken and Elizabeth could easily raise a big army.

700 executed for taking part.

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Plot 2 - Ridolfi Plot 1571

Roberto Ridolfi was a spy for the pope, living in England


  • Murder Elizabeth I
  • Launch a Spanish invasion
  • Put Mary Queen of Scots on the throne of England
  • Marry Duke of Norfolk to Mary

Ridolfi left England, met Pope, Philip II & Duke of Alva (Netherlands). Letter from Norfolk he was to lead rebellion if Philip would support it. Philip sent 10,000 men.

Cecil & Walsingham uncovered the coded plot, proved that Norfolk was guilty of Treason.

Parliament was called in 1572, it demanded that Norfolk and Mary be executed, Elizabeth signed Norfolk's death warrant, but refused to sign Mary's.

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Plot 3 - Throckmorton Plot 1583

Francis Throckmorton, a young Englishman planned for:

  • The French Duke of Guise, Mary's Cousin, to invade England
  • Overthrow Elizabeth
  • Restore Catholicism

Philip II would provide financial support.

The Pope also knew about the plot and approved.

Walsingham again, uncovered the plot, finding papers in Throckmorton's house. Mary's involvement was never proven.

Throckmorton was tortured and executed in 1584.

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Plot 4 - Babington Plot 1586

Anthony Babington was an English Catholic with links to France.

The plot:

  • Murder Elizabeth I
  • Encourage English Catholics to rebel
  • Again, Duke of Guise would invade with 60,000 troops putting Mary on the throne
  • Philip II & The Pope supported this plot

Babington wrote to Mary about the plot, but she was very closely watched by 1586, her letters were intercepted by Walsingham's team from the beer barrels they were hidden in, and the codes had been cracked.

Walsingham arrested 6 Catholics including Babington, who were all executed.

This time, Mary was tried by the Privy Council as there had been too many plots in her name.

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Francis Walsingham

Francis Walsingham -  (born c. 1532, Kent, England—died April 6, 1590, London), English statesman and diplomat who was the principal secretary (1573–90) to Queen Elizabeth I and became legendary for creating a highly effective intelligence network.

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