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14    <Metadata name="Content">biography of Queen Elizabeth I (1533-1603) by Edward Spencer Beesly, 1892</Metadata>
15    <Metadata name="Page_topic">biography of Queen Elizabeth I (1533-1603) by Edward Spencer Beesly, 1892</Metadata>
16    <Metadata name="Author">Marilee Mongello</Metadata>
17    <Metadata name="Title">Secondary Sources: Queen Elizabeth by Edward Spencer Beesly, 1892: Chapter XI</Metadata>
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31&lt;table border=&quot;0&quot; cellpadding=&quot;3&quot; width=&quot;100%&quot; height=&quot;667&quot;&gt;
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45    &lt;p align=&quot;center&quot;&gt;&lt;b&gt;&lt;font size=&quot;7&quot;&gt;Queen Elizabeth&lt;br&gt;&lt;/font&gt;&lt;/b&gt;
46    &lt;font size=&quot;4&quot;&gt;by Edward Spencer Beesly, 1892&lt;/font&gt;&lt;/p&gt;
47    &lt;p align=&quot;center&quot;&gt;
48    &lt;img border=&quot;2&quot; src=&quot;_httpdocimg_/eliz1-ermine.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; height=&quot;478&quot; alt=&quot;'The Ermine Portrait' of Elizabeth I, c1585, by Nicholas Hilliard&quot;&gt;&lt;p align=&quot;center&quot;&gt;
49    &lt;i&gt;&lt;font size=&quot;2&quot;&gt;'The Ermine Portrait' of Elizabeth I, c1585, by Nicholas
50    Hilliard;&lt;br&gt;from the &lt;a href=&quot;_httpextlink_&amp;amp;rl=0&amp;amp;;&gt;Portraits of Queen Elizabeth I&lt;/a&gt; website&lt;/font&gt;&lt;/i&gt;&lt;/td&gt;
51    &lt;td width=&quot;25%&quot; height=&quot;610&quot;&gt;&lt;/td&gt;
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55  &lt;blockquote&gt;
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63    &lt;div align=&quot;left&quot;&gt;
64      &lt;b&gt;CHAPTER XI&lt;/b&gt;&lt;br&gt;
65      &lt;b&gt;DOMESTIC AFFAIRS: 1588-1601&lt;/b&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
66    &lt;p align=&quot;left&quot;&gt;&lt;font size=&quot;3&quot;&gt;IT was a boast of Elizabeth that when once
67    her servants were chosen she did not lightly displace them. Difference of
68    opinion from their mistress, or from one another, did not involve
69    resignation or dismissal, because, though they were free to speak their
70    minds, all had to carry out with fidelity and even zeal, whatever policy the
71    Queen prescribed. This condition they accepted; not only the astute and
72    compliant Burghley, but the more eager and opinionated Walsingham; and
73    therefore they had practically a life-tenure of office. Soon after the
74    Armada the first generation of them began to disappear. Bacon, Sussex, and
75    Bedford were already gone. Leicester died in 1588; his brother Warwick, and
76    Mildmay in 1589; Walsingham and Randolph in 1591; Hatton in 1592; Grey de
77    Wilton in 1593; Knollys and Hunsdon in 1596. Of the trusty servants with
78    whom she began her reign, Burghley alone remained. The leading men of the
79    new generation were Robert Cecil, the Treasurer's second son, trained to
80    business under his father's eye, and of qualities similar, though inferior;
81    Nottingham (formerly Howard of Effingham), a straightforward man of no great
82    ability, but acceptable to the Queen for his father's services and his own
83    (and not the less so for his fine presence); the accomplished Buckhurst; the
84    brilliant Raleigh; and, younger than the rest, Essex. The last was the son
85    of a man much favoured by Elizabeth. Leicester was his step-father, Knollys
86    his grandfather, Hunsdon his great-uncle, Walsingham his father-in-law,
87    Burghley his guardian. Ardent, impulsive, presumptuous, a warm friend, a
88    rancorous enemy, profuse in expense, lawless in his amours, jealous of his
89    equals, brooking no superior, impatient of all rule or order that delayed
90    him from leaping at once to the highest place,--he was possessed with a most
91    exaggerated notion of his own capacity, which appears to have been only
92    moderate. As the ward of Burghley he had been much in the company of his
93    future enemy, Robert Cecil, whose sly prim ways were most unlike his own.
94    The contrast did him no harm with the public, to whom the younger man was a
95    Tom Jones and the elder a Blifil. Two vastly abler men, Francis Bacon and
96    Raleigh, less advantageously placed, but unhampered with any scruples, were
97    busily trying to profit by the all-pervading animosity of Cecil and Essex.
98    &lt;/font&gt;&lt;/p&gt;
99    &lt;p align=&quot;left&quot;&gt;&lt;font size=&quot;3&quot;&gt;Belonging, as Essex did by his connections,
100    to the inner circle who stood closest to Elizabeth, it was natural that she
101    should take an interest in him, and give him opportunities for turning his
102    showy qualities to account. In 1586 he was sent to the Low Countries as
103    general of cavalry under his step-father, Leicester. He distinguished
104    himself by his fiery valour in the expeditions to Spain, and as commander of
105    the English army in France, though he does not seem to have had any real
106    military talent. But Elizabeth's regard for him was soon shaken by his
107    presumptuous and unruly behaviour. When he fought a duel with Sir Charles
108    Blount because she had conferred some favour on the latter, she swore &amp;quot;by
109    God's death it were fitting some one should take him down and teach him
110    better manners, or there were no rule with him.&amp;quot; He displeased her by his
111    quarrels with Cecil and Effingham, and his discontented grumbling. She was
112    highly dissatisfied with his management of the Azores expedition in 1597. In
113    July 1598, at a meeting of the Council, she was provoked by his insolence to
114    strike him; and though after three months he obtained his pardon, he never
115    regained her favour. &lt;/font&gt;&lt;/p&gt;
116    &lt;p align=&quot;left&quot;&gt;&lt;font size=&quot;3&quot;&gt;It was at this time that Burghley died (4
117    August), in his seventy-eighth year. Elizabeth, though she could call him &amp;quot;a
118    froward old fool&amp;quot; about a trifling matter ( March 1596), could not but feel
119    that much was changed when she lost the able and faithful servant who had
120    worked with her for forty years. &amp;quot;She seemeth to take it very grievously,
121    shedding of tears and separating herself from all company.&amp;quot; Buckhurst was
122    the new Treasurer. &lt;/font&gt;&lt;/p&gt;
123    &lt;p align=&quot;left&quot;&gt;&lt;font size=&quot;3&quot;&gt;Essex had for some time cast his eyes on
124    Ireland as a field where glory and power might be won. There can be little
125    doubt that he was already speculating on the advantage that the possession
126    of an army might give him in any difficulty with his rivals or with the
127    Queen herself. Cecil perfidiously advocated his appointment to a post which
128    had been the grave of so many reputations. The Queen at length consented,
129    though reluctantly. Essex was a popular favourite. He had managed--it is not
130    very clear how--to win the confidence of both Puritans and Papists. The
131    general belief was that, for the first time since she had mounted the
132    throne, Elizabeth was afraid of one of her subjects. &lt;/font&gt;&lt;/p&gt;
133    &lt;p align=&quot;left&quot;&gt;&lt;font size=&quot;3&quot;&gt;During the whole of the reign Ireland had
134    been a cause of trouble and anxiety. Elizabeth's treatment of that unhappy
135    country was not more creditable or successful than that of other English
136    statesmen before and after her. There was the same absence of any systematic
137    policy steadily carried out, the same wearisome and disreputable alternation
138    between bursts of savage repression and intervals of pusillanimity,
139    concession, and neglect. In the competition of the various departments of
140    the public service for attention and expenditure, Ireland generally came
141    last. All other needs had to be served first whether at home or abroad.
142    &lt;/font&gt;&lt;/p&gt;
143    &lt;p align=&quot;left&quot;&gt;&lt;font size=&quot;3&quot;&gt;In the early years of the reign the chief
144    trouble lay in Ulster, then the most purely Celtic part of Ireland, and
145    practically retouched by English conquest. Twice, in her weariness of the
146    struggle with Shan O'Neill, Elizabeth conceded to him something like a
147    subkingship of Ulster in return for his nominal submission. In the end he
148    was beaten, and his head was fixed on the walls of Dublin Castle (1566). But
149    nothing further was done to anglicise Ulster. During the attempt of the
150    Devonshire adventurers to colonise South Munster (1569-71), and the
151    consequent rebellion, the northern province remained an unconcerned
152    spectator. Nor did it join in the great Desmond rising (1579-83), which,
153    with the insurrection of the Catholic lords of the Pale and the landing of
154    the Pope's Italians at Smerwick, was the Irish branch of the threefold
155    attack on Elizabeth directed by Gregory XIII. The attempt of the elder Essex
156    to colonise Antrim (1573-75) was a disastrous failure, and Ulster still
157    remained practically independent of the Dublin Government. &lt;/font&gt;&lt;/p&gt;
158    &lt;p align=&quot;left&quot;&gt;&lt;font size=&quot;3&quot;&gt;The most successful Deputy of the reign was
159    Perrot (1584-87), a valiant soldier and strict ruler, who, after long
160    experience in the Irish wars, had come to the conclusion that what Ireland
161    most wanted was justice. The native chiefs, released from the constant dread
162    of spoliation, and finding that English encroachment was repressed as
163    inflexibly as Irish disorder, became quiet and friendly. But this system did
164    not suit the dominant race. The Deputy was accused to the Queen of seeking
165    to betray the country to the Irish and the Spaniard. Recalled, and put upon
166    his trial for treason, he was found guilty on suborned evidence, and
167    sentenced to death. It is usually said that his real offence was some
168    disrespectful language about the Queen, which he confessed. But it seems
169    that she forbore to take his life precisely because she would not have it
170    thought that she was influenced by personal resentment. &lt;/font&gt;&lt;/p&gt;
171    &lt;p align=&quot;left&quot;&gt;&lt;font size=&quot;3&quot;&gt;His successor, Fitzwilliam, was a Deputy of
172    the old sort--greedy, violent, careless of consequences, and always acting
173    on the principle that, as against an Englishman, a Celt had no rights. The
174    execution of MacMahon in Monaghan, and the confiscation of his lands on a
175    trivial pretext, alarmed the North. Ulster had not been bled white like the
176    rest of Ireland. The O'Neills had a nephew of their old hero Shan for their
177    chief, who had been brought up at the English Court and made Earl of Tyrone
178    by Elizabeth. An educated and remarkably able man, he had none of his
179    uncle's illusions. He clung to his ancestral rights and dignity, but he
180    hoped to preserve them by zealously discharging his obligations as a vassal
181    of the Queen. He served in the war against Desmond, and exerted himself to
182    maintain order in Ulster. But he had no mind to sink into the position of a
183    mere dignified land-owner like the English nobles; nor indeed, under such a
184    Deputy as Fitzwilliam, was he likely to preserve even his lands if he lost
185    his power. Rather than that, he determined to enter into what he knew was a
186    most unequal struggle, on the off-chance of pulling through by help from
187    Spain. It is clear that he was driven into rebellion against his
188    inclination. But when he had once drawn the sword he maintained the struggle
189    against one Deputy after another with wonderful tenacity and resource. For
190    the first time in Irish history, the rebel forces were disciplined and armed
191    like those of the crown, and stood up to them in equal numbers on equal
192    terms. At length, in August 1598, Tyrone inflicted upon Sir Henry Bagnall
193    near Armagh the severest defeat that the English had ever suffered in
194    Ireland; slaying 1500 of his men, and capturing all his artillery and
195    baggage. Insurrections at once broke out all over Ireland. &lt;/font&gt;&lt;/p&gt;
196    &lt;p align=&quot;left&quot;&gt;&lt;font size=&quot;3&quot;&gt;This was the situation with which Essex
197    undertook to deal. He had loudly blamed other Deputies for not vigorously
198    attacking Tyrone in his own country. Vigour was the one military quality
199    which he himself possessed. He went with the title of Lieutenant and
200    Governor-General, and with extraordinary powers, at the head of 21,000
201    men--such an army as had never been sent to Ireland (April 1599). The Queen,
202    who trembled at the expense, and did not wish to see any of her nobles,
203    least of all Essex, permanently established in a great military command,
204    enjoined him to push at once into Ulster, as he had himself proposed, and
205    finish the war. Instead of doing this, he went south into districts that had
206    been depopulated and desolated by the savage warfare of the last thirty
207    years. Even here he met with discreditable reverses. When he got back to
208    Dublin (July) his army was reduced by disease and desertion to less than
209    5000 men. Disregarding the Queen's express prohibition, he made his friend
210    Southampton General of horse. When she censured his bad management, he
211    replied with impertinent complaints about the favour she was showing to
212    Cecil, Raleigh, and Cobham, and began to consult with his friends about
213    carrying selected troops over to England to remove them. Rumours of his
214    intention to return reached the Queen. &amp;quot;We do charge you,&amp;quot; she wrote, &amp;quot;as
215    you tender our pleasure, that you adventure not to come out of that
216    kingdom.&amp;quot; He declared that he could not invade Ulster without
217    reinforcements. They were sent, and at length he marched into Louth
218    (September). There he was met by Tyrone, who, in an interview, completely
219    twisted him round his finger, and obtained a cessation of arms and the
220    promise of concessions amounting to what would now be called Home Rule. A
221    few days later, on receipt of an angry letter from the Queen forbidding him
222    to grant any terms without her permission, he deserted his post and hurried
223    to England. The first notice Elizabeth received of this astounding piece of
224    insubordination was his still more astounding incursion into her bedroom,
225    all muddy from his ride, before she was completely dressed (28 September
226    1599). &lt;/font&gt;&lt;/p&gt;
227    &lt;p align=&quot;left&quot;&gt;&lt;font size=&quot;3&quot;&gt;Elizabeth seems to have been so much taken
228    aback by the Earl's unparalleled presumption, that she did not blaze out as
229    might have been expected. She gave him audience an hour or two later, and
230    heard what he had to say. Probably he adopted an injured tone as usual, and
231    inveighed against &amp;quot;that knave Raleigh&amp;quot; and &amp;quot;that sycophant Cobham.&amp;quot; But his
232    insubordination had been gross, and no talking could make it anything else.
233    It was more dangerous than Leicester's disobedience in 1586, because it came
234    from a vastly more dangerous person. The same afternoon the Queen referred
235    the matter to the Council. Essex was put under arrest, and never saw her
236    again. The more she reflected, the more indignant and alarmed she became.
237    &amp;quot;By God's son,&amp;quot; she said to Harington, &amp;quot;I am no Queen; this man is above
238    me.&amp;quot; After a delay of nine months, occasioned by his illness, the fallen
239    favourite was brought before a special Commission on the charge of contempt
240    and disobedience, and sentenced to be suspended from his offices and
241    confined to his house during the Queen's pleasure (June 1600). In a few
242    weeks he was released from arrest, but he could not obtain permission to
243    appear at court, though he implored it in most abject letters. &lt;/font&gt;&lt;/p&gt;
244    &lt;p align=&quot;left&quot;&gt;&lt;font size=&quot;3&quot;&gt;There are persons who consider themselves to
245    be intolerably wronged and persecuted if they cannot have precedence and
246    power over their fellow-citizens. Essex was such a person. Instead of being
247    thankful that he had escaped the punishment which under most sovereigns he
248    would have suffered, he entered into criminal plots for coercing, if not
249    overthrowing, the Queen. He urged the Scotch King to enforce the recognition
250    of his title by arms. He tried to persuade Mountjoy, his successor in
251    Ireland, to carry his army to Scotland to co-operate with James. These
252    intrigues were not known to the Government. But it did not escape
253    observation that he was collecting men of the sword in the neighbourhood of
254    his house; that he was holding consultations with suspected nobles and
255    gentlemen (some of whom were afterwards engaged in the Gunpowder Plot); that
256    the Puritan clergy were preaching and praying for his cause; and that there
257    was a certain ferment in the city. Essex was therefore summoned to attend
258    before the Council. Instead of obeying, he flew to arms, with Lords
259    Southampton, Rutland, Sandys, Cromwell, and Monteagle, and about 300
260    gentlemen. But the citizens of London did not respond to his appeal, and the
261    insurrection was easily suppressed, less than a dozen persons being slain on
262    both sides (8 February 1601). A more senseless and profligate attempt to
263    overthrow a good government it would be difficult to find in history. It was
264    not dignified by any semblance of principle, and it would sufficiently stamp
265    the character of its author, even if it stood alone as an evidence of his
266    vanity, egotism, and want of common sense. &lt;/font&gt;&lt;/p&gt;
267    &lt;p align=&quot;left&quot;&gt;&lt;font size=&quot;3&quot;&gt;The trial and execution of the principal
268    malefactor followed as a matter of course and without delay (February 25).
269    It would have been scandalous to spare him. Elizabeth had once been fond of
270    him, and had no reason to be ashamed of it. To talk of her &amp;quot;passion&amp;quot; and her
271    &amp;quot;amorous inclination,&amp;quot; as Hume and others have done, is revolting and
272    malignant nonsense. It is creditable to old age when it can take pleasure in
273    the unfolding of bright and promising youth. But royal favour was not good
274    for such a man as Essex. It developed the worst features in his showy but
275    faulty character. As he steadily deteriorated, her regard cooled; but so
276    much of it remained that she tried to amend him by chastisement, &amp;quot;ad
277    correctionem,&amp;quot; as she said, &amp;quot;non ad ruinam.&amp;quot; She had long before warned him
278    that, though she had put up with much disrespect to her person, he must not
279    touch her sceptre, or he would be dealt with according to the law of
280    England. She was as good as her word, and, though the memory of it was
281    painful to her, there is not the smallest evidence that she ever repented of
282    having allowed the law to take its course. Only three of the accomplices of
283    Essex were punished capitally. The five peers, none of them powerful or
284    formidable, experienced Elizabeth's accustomed clemency. &lt;/font&gt;&lt;/p&gt;
285    &lt;p align=&quot;left&quot;&gt;&lt;font size=&quot;3&quot;&gt;It has been suggested by an admirer of Essex
286    that he failed in Ireland because his &amp;quot;sensitively attuned nature&amp;quot; shrank
287    from the systematic desolation and starvation afterwards employed by his
288    successor. No evidence is offered for this suggestion. In a letter to the
289    Queen (25 June 1599) he advocates &amp;quot;burning and spoiling the country &lt;i&gt;in
290    all places&lt;/i&gt;,&amp;quot; which method &amp;quot;shall starve the rebels in one year.&amp;quot; This
291    course Mountjoy carried out. With means far inferior to those of Essex, and
292    notwithstanding the landing of 3000 Spaniards at Kinsale (September 1601),
293    he was the first Englishman who completely subdued Ireland. Tyrone
294    surrendered a few days before the Queen's death. &lt;/font&gt;&lt;/p&gt;
295    &lt;p align=&quot;left&quot;&gt;&lt;font size=&quot;3&quot;&gt;Little has been said in these pages about
296    parliamentary proceedings. The real history of the reign does not lie there.
297    The country was governed wholly by the Queen, with the advice of her
298    Council, and not at all by Parliament. In the forty-five years of her reign
299    there were only thirteen sessions of Parliament. The functions of Parliament
300    were to vote grants of money when the ordinary revenues of the crown were
301    insufficient, and to make laws. Its right in these matters was unquestioned.
302    If the Queen had never wanted subsidies or penal laws against her political
303    and religious opponents (of other laws she often said there were more than
304    enough already), it would never have been summoned at all; nor is there any
305    reason to suppose that the country would have complained as long as it was
306    governed with prudence and success. In fact, to do without Parliaments was
307    distinctly popular, because it meant doing without subsidies. &lt;/font&gt;&lt;/p&gt;
308    &lt;p align=&quot;left&quot;&gt;&lt;font size=&quot;3&quot;&gt;In the thirty years preceding the Armada--the
309    sessions of Parliament being nine--Elizabeth applied for only eight
310    subsidies, and of one of them a portion was remitted. By her economy she not
311    only defrayed the expenses of government out of the ordinary revenue, which,
312    at the end of the reign was about £300,000 a year, but paid off old debts.
313    It was not till the twenty-fourth year of her reign that she discharged the
314    last of her father's debts, up to which time she had been paying interest on
315    it. Subsequently she even accumulated a small reserve, which, as she told
316    Parliament, was a most necessary thing if she was not to be driven to borrow
317    on sudden emergency. But this reserve vanished immediately she became
318    involved in the great war with Spain; and during the last fifteen years of
319    her life, although she received twelve subsidies, she was always in
320    difficulty for money. She had to sell crown lands to the value of £372,000.
321    Parliament, which had voted the usual single subsidies without complaint,
322    grumbled and pretended poverty when she asked for three and even four.
323    Bacon's famous outburst (1593) about gentlemen having to sell their plate
324    and farmers their brass pots to pay the tax, was a piece of claptrap. The
325    nation was, relatively to former times, rolling in wealth. But the old
326    belief had still considerable strength--that government being the affair of
327    the King, not of his subjects, he should provide for its expenses out of his
328    hereditary income, just as they paid their private expenses out of their
329    private incomes; that he had no more claim to dip into their pockets than
330    they had to dip into his; and that a subsidy, as its name imports, was an
331    occasional and extraordinary assistance furnished as a matter not of duty
332    but of good-will. &lt;/font&gt;&lt;/p&gt;
333    &lt;p align=&quot;left&quot;&gt;&lt;font size=&quot;3&quot;&gt;This might have been healthy doctrine when
334    kings were campaigning on the Continent for personal or dynastic objects. It
335    was out of place when a large expenditure was indispensable for the
336    interests and safety of the country. The grumbling, therefore, about
337    taxation towards the end of the reign was unreasonable and discreditable to
338    the grumblers. The Queen met them with her usual good sense. She explained
339    to them--though, as she correctly said, she was under no constitutional
340    obligation to do so--how the money went, what she had spent on the Spanish
341    war, on Ireland, and in loans to the Dutch and the French King. The plea was
342    unanswerable. Her private expenditure was on a very modest scale. In
343    particular she had never indulged in that besetting and costly sin of
344    princes, palace-building; and this at a time when the noble mansions which
345    still testify to the wealth of the England of that day were rising in every
346    county. Her only extravagance was dress. Some have carped at her collection
347    of jewelry. But jewels, like the silver balustrades of Frederick William I.,
348    were a mode of hoarding, and in her later years she reconverted jewels into
349    money to meet the expenses of the State. Modern writers, who so airily blame
350    her for not subsidising more liberally her Scotch, Dutch, and French allies,
351    would find it difficult, if they condescended to particulars, to explain how
352    she was able to give them as much money as she did. &lt;/font&gt;&lt;/p&gt;
353    &lt;p align=&quot;left&quot;&gt;&lt;font size=&quot;3&quot;&gt;It is common to make much of the debate on
354    monopolies in the last Parliament of Elizabeth (1601), as showing the rise
355    of a spirit of resistance to the royal prerogative. I do not think that the
356    report of that debate would convey such an impression to any one reading it
357    without preconceived views. None of the speakers contested the prerogative.
358    They only complained that it was being exercised in a way prejudicial to the
359    public interest. If the monopolies had been unimportant, or if the patentees
360    had used their privilege less greedily, there would evidently have been no
361    complaint as to the principle involved. No course of action was decided on,
362    because the Queen intervened by a message in which she stated that she had
363    not been aware of the abuses prevailing, that she was as indignant at them
364    as Parliament could be, and that she would put a stop, not to monopolies,
365    but to such as were injurious. With this message the House of Commons was
366    more than satisfied. As a matter of fact monopolies went on till dealt with
367    by the declaratory statute in the twenty-first year of James I. &lt;/font&gt;&lt;/p&gt;
368    &lt;p align=&quot;left&quot;&gt;&lt;font size=&quot;3&quot;&gt;If the last Tudor handed down the English
369    Constitution to the first Stuart as she had received it from her
370    predecessors, unchanged either in theory or practice, it was far otherwise
371    with the English Church. There are two conflicting views as to the
372    historical position of the Church in this country. According to one it was,
373    all through the Middle Age, National as well as Catholic. The changes which
374    took place at the Reformation made no difference in that respect, and
375    involved no break in its continuity. It is not a Protestant Church. It is
376    still National and still Catholic, resting on precisely the same
377    foundations, and existing by the same title as it did in the days of Dunstan
378    and Becket. According to the other view, the epithets National and Catholic
379    are contradictory. A Church which undergoes radical changes of government,
380    worship, and doctrine is no longer the same Church but a new one, and must
381    be held to have been established by the authority which prescribed these
382    changes, which, in this case, was the Queen and Parliament. The word
383    &amp;quot;Protestant&amp;quot; was avoided in its formularies to make conformity easier for
384    Catholics; but it is a Protestant Church all the same. Whichever of these
385    views is nearer to the truth, it cannot be denied that, by the legislation
386    of Elizabeth the English Church became--what it was not in the Middle Age--a
387    spiritual organisation entirely dependent on the State. This it remains
388    still; the supremacy having been virtually transferred from the crown to
389    Parliament in the next century. I shall not venture to inquire how far this
390    condition of dependence has affected its ability and inclination to perform
391    the part of a true spiritual power. It is enough to say that no act of will
392    on the part of any English statesman has had such important and lasting
393    consequences, for good or for evil, as the decision of Elizabeth to make the
394    Church of England what it is. &lt;/font&gt;&lt;/p&gt;
395    &lt;p align=&quot;left&quot;&gt;&lt;font size=&quot;3&quot;&gt;We have seen that the government and worship
396    of the Church were established by &lt;i&gt;Act of Parliament in 1559&lt;/i&gt;, and its
397    doctrines in 1571. But when once Elizabeth had placed her ecclesiastical
398    powers beyond dispute, by obtaining statutory sanction for them, she allowed
399    no further interference by Parliament. All its attempts, even at mere
400    discussion of ecclesiastical matters, she peremptorily suppressed. She
401    supplied any further legislation that was needed by virtue of her supremacy,
402    and she exercised her ecclesiastical government by the Court of High
403    Commission. The new Anglican model was acquiesced in by the majority of the
404    nation. But it had, at first, no hearty support except from the Government.
405    The earnest religionists were either Catholics or Puritans. The object of
406    Elizabeth was to compel these two extreme parties to outward conformity of
407    worship. What their real beliefs were she did not care. &lt;/font&gt;&lt;/p&gt;
408    &lt;p align=&quot;left&quot;&gt;&lt;font size=&quot;3&quot;&gt;The large majority of the Catholics showed a
409    loyal and patriotic spirit at the time of the Armada. But they were not
410    treated with confidence by the Government. Great numbers of them were
411    imprisoned or confined in the houses of Protestant gentlemen, by way of
412    precaution, when the Armada was approaching. No Catholic, I believe, was
413    intrusted with any command either by land or sea; and after the danger was
414    over, the persecution, in all its forms, became sharper than ever. There was
415    the less reason for this, inasmuch as it was no secret that the secular
416    priests and the great majority of the English Catholics had become bitterly
417    hostile to the small Jesuitical faction whose treasonable conspiracies had
418    brought so much trouble on their loyal co-religionists. &lt;/font&gt;&lt;/p&gt;
419    &lt;p align=&quot;left&quot;&gt;&lt;font size=&quot;3&quot;&gt;The term &amp;quot;Puritan&amp;quot; is used loosely, though
420    conveniently, to designate several shades of belief, By far the larger
421    number of those to whom it is applied were, and meant to remain, members of
422    the Established Church. They objected to certain ceremonies and vestments.
423    They hoped to procure the abolition of these, and, in the meantime, evaded
424    them when they could. They were what would now be called the Evangelical or
425    Low Church party. They held Calvin's distinctive doctrines on
426    predestination, as indeed did most of the bishops; but though preferring his
427    Presbyterian organisation, or something like it, they did not treat it as
428    essential. They were broadly distinguished from the Brownists or
429    Independents, then an insignificant minority, who held each congregation to
430    be a church, and therefore protested against the establishment of any
431    national church. &lt;/font&gt;&lt;/p&gt;
432    &lt;p align=&quot;left&quot;&gt;&lt;font size=&quot;3&quot;&gt;Though Elizabeth persecuted the Catholics
433    with a severity steadily increasing in proportion as they became less
434    numerous and formidable, she remained to the last anxious to make conformity
435    easy for them. This was her reason for so obstinately refusing the
436    concessions in the matter of ritual and vestments-trifling as they appear to
437    the modern mind--which would have satisfied almost the whole of the Puritan
438    party. This policy (for policy it assuredly was rather than conviction),
439    which drove the most earnest Protestants into an attitude of opposition
440    destined in the next two reigns to have such serious consequences, has been
441    severely censured. But there can be no question that it did answer the
442    purpose she had in view, which for the moment was most important. It did
443    induce great numbers of Catholics to conform. She avoided a civil war in her
444    own time between Catholics and Anglicans at the price of a civil war later
445    on between Anglicans and Puritans. Looking at the great drama as a whole,
446    perhaps the Puritans of the Great Rebellion might congratulate themselves on
447    the part that Elizabeth chose to play in its earlier acts. It cannot be
448    doubted that a civil war in the sixteenth century between Catholics and
449    Protestants would have been waged with far more ferocity than was displayed
450    by either Cavaliers or Roundheads, and would have been attended with the
451    horrors of foreign invasion. To conciliate the earnest religionists on both
452    sides was impossible. Elizabeth chose the &lt;i&gt;via media&lt;/i&gt;, and the
453    successful equilibrium which she maintained during nearly half a century
454    proves that she hit upon what in her own day was the true centre of gravity.
455    &lt;/font&gt;&lt;/p&gt;
456    &lt;p align=&quot;left&quot;&gt;&lt;font size=&quot;3&quot;&gt;But while doing justice to Elizabeth's
457    insight and prudence, we may not excuse her extreme severity to the
458    nonconformists of either party. It was not necessary. It seems to have been
459    even impolitic. It arose from her arbitrary temper--from a quality, that is
460    to say, valuable in a ruler, but apt, in great rulers, to be somewhat in
461    excess. I have condemned her persecution of the Catholics. Her persecution
462    of the Protestant nonconformists was marked by even greater injustice.
463    Against the Catholics it might at least be urged that their opinions
464    logically led to disloyalty. But the Independents, Barrow, Greenwood, and
465    Penry, were indisputably loyal men. They were put to death nominally for
466    spreading writings which, contrary to common sense, were held to be
467    seditious, but really for their religious opinions, which, in the case of
468    the first two, were extracted from them by the interrogatories of Archbishop
469    Whitgift, an Inquisitor as strenuous and merciless as Torquemada. Some of
470    the Council, especially Burghley and Knollys, were strongly opposed to
471    Whitgift's proceedings. It must therefore be assumed that he had the Queen's
472    personal approval. She had committed herself to a struggle with intrepid and
473    obstinate men. The crowded gaols were a visible demonstration that she could
474    not compel them to submit; and to hang them all was out of the question. An
475    Act was therefore passed in 1593, by which those who would not promise to
476    attend church were to be banished the country. Thus most of the Independents
477    were at last got rid of. The non-separatist Puritans, who aimed at less
478    radical changes, and hoped to effect them, if not under their present
479    sovereign, yet under her successor, kept on the windy side of the law,
480    attending church once a month, and not entering till the service was nearly
481    over. Thus, at the end of her reign, Elizabeth perhaps flattered herself
482    that she was within measurable distance of religious uniformity. &lt;/font&gt;&lt;/p&gt;
483    &lt;/font&gt;
484    &lt;hr&gt;
485    &lt;p align=&quot;left&quot;&gt;&lt;font style=&quot;font-family: Times New Roman&quot; size=&quot;2&quot;&gt;From &lt;i&gt;
486    Queen Elizabeth&lt;/i&gt; by Edward Spencer Beesly.&amp;nbsp; Published in London by
487    Macmillan and Co., 1892.&lt;/font&gt;&lt;/p&gt;
488    &lt;/font&gt;
489    &lt;font face=&quot;Times New Roman&quot; size=&quot;2&quot;&gt;
490  &lt;/blockquote&gt;
493    &lt;p align=&quot;center&quot;&gt;
494    &lt;a href=&quot;_httpextlink_&amp;amp;rl=1&amp;amp;;&gt;to Chapter
495    XII: Last Years and Death: 1601-1603&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p&gt;
496    &lt;p align=&quot;center&quot;&gt;
497    &lt;a href=&quot;_httpextlink_&amp;amp;rl=1&amp;amp;;&gt;to the Queen
498    Elizabeth I website&lt;/a&gt;&amp;nbsp; /&amp;nbsp;
499    &lt;a href=&quot;_httpextlink_&amp;amp;rl=1&amp;amp;;&gt;to the Mary,
500    queen of Scots website&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p&gt;
501    &lt;p align=&quot;center&quot;&gt;&lt;a href=&quot;_httpextlink_&amp;amp;rl=1&amp;amp;;&gt;
502    to Secondary Sources&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p&gt;
503    &lt;/font&gt;
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