Elizabethan Conflict

By Michael L. Adkins

Conflict between Queen Elizabeth and Roman Catholicism

Elizabeth conflicted with Roman Catholicism many times during her lifetime.  She was considered by many to be a Protestant and not really a Catholic at all.  She seemed to be more Protestant than Catholic despite following some of the doctrine found within Roman Catholicism.  Religious divide, especially between Protestants and Roman Catholics was quite prevalent in England during Elizabeth's reign.  The possibility of war over religion was a real possibility at all times during her reign.  Elizabeth had a major conflict with Roman Catholicism during her reign as queen (Shires 221-33).


Military Conflict During the Life of Elizabeth I in England

In the Pilgrimage of Grace Rebellion (October 1536 to early 1537), a revolt was led in defense of both the old religion and old economy in Lincolnshire, Yorkshire, Lancashire, Cumberland, Westmorland, Northumberland and Durham in 1536.  The leaders were tried and executed following the unrest of the rebellion in early 1537.

In the Battle of Solway Moss (November 24, 1541), the Scottish are defeated by the English.

In the Battle of Ancrum Moor (February 27, 1545), the English are defeated by the Scottish.

In the Battle of Pinkie (September 10, 1547), the Scottish are defeated by Somerset's army.

In the Western Rebellion (June to August, 1549), there was a rising in the western part of England against Edward VI's religious polices.  The Western Rebellion would continue until it ended at the Battle of Samford Courtenay. In Kett's Rebellion (July 12, 1549), Robert Kett and his followers decided to camp near Norwich in protest against both enclosures and exploitation.

In the Battle of Samford Courtenay (August 18, 1549), the Western rebels were defeated by Lord John Russell near Okehampton.

The Battle of Dussindale (August 27, 1549) was the battle that brought the situation of Kett's Rebellion to an end.

In Wyatt's Rebellion (January, 1554, to February 7, 1554), Sir Thomas Wyatt led an expedition containing 4,000 men from Kent to London in January, 1554, as one part of a wider movement to remove Queen Mary I from the throne and stop her marriage to Philip of Spain. The rebels were stopped at Ludgate at which type Wyatt surrendered.  The surrender occurred on February 7, 1554.

In the Battle of Carberry Hill (June 15,1567), Scottish nobles won the battle there. Carberry Hill is located near Edinburgh, Scotland. The Earl of Bothwell fled following the defeat.

In Northern Earls Rebellion (November 1569), the Duke of Norfolk was imprisoned in the Tower of London and the Earls of Northumberland and Westmoreland were questioned about their part in a conspiracy to marry the Duke of Norfolk with Mary Queen of Scots. The earls rebelled.  On November 14, 1569, the rebels entered Durham and restored Catholic worship in the cathedral there. They retreated when the Earl of Sussex raised an army against them.

In the Battle of Yellow Ford (August 14, 1598), the Irish forces of Tyrone, Tyrconnel, and Fermanagh defeated English forces in Ulster.

In Deputy's Pass (May 29, 1599), the Earl of Essex's army is defeated in Ireland at the location of Deputy's Pass.

In the Essex Rebellion (February, 1601), the Earl of Essex was attempting to create a conspiracy and tried raising London in his support to move against Elizabeth.  The rebellion ultimately fails, and the Earl of Essex is executed on February 25, 1601.

In the Battle of Kinsale (December 24, 1601), the Irish forces of Tyrone and Tyrconnel are aided by the Spanish.  They battle the English and are defeated. (Eakins, pars. 1-22).


Works Cited

Eakins, Lara E. “Battles and Rebellions.” Tudor History Web Ring. 23 Apr. 2007 <http://www.tudorhistory.org/calendar/battles.html>.

Shires, Henry M. “The Conflict between Queen Elizabeth and Roman Catholicism.” Church History (1947). American Society of Church History, 22 Mar. 2007 <http://www.jstor.org>.