Elizabethan Religion

By Christopher W. Taylor

Under the reign of her sister, Mary I (1516-58), Elizabeth was urged to adopt Catholicism as her faith, but after Mary died, many English people thought that Elizabeth would restore Protestantism to England (Thomas, par. 1). Although she did switch England back to Protestantism, she did so with her characteristic caution (par. 1). According to her "there is only one Christ, Jesus, one faith;" She had "no desire to make windows into men's souls" (qtd. in Thomas, par. 1).

There were times, however, when Elizabeth was forced to adopt harsh punishments towards Catholics and Puritans. John Stubbs (1543-91), a Puritan pamphleteer, for example, had his right hand removed for speaking out against one of her marriage proposals (Hibbert 197). She also did not sympathize with Protestant extremist views. In general, she wanted her church the way it already was (Thomas, par. 2).

Elizabeth was reputed to have prayed at one of her private chapels every day. In these chapels she displayed a crucifix, lit candles, and listened to music. Other aspects of religion that she disliked were long Protestant sermons, the Catholic elevation of the host, and the practice of clergy marrying (par. 3).

Works Cited

Hibbert, Christopher. The Virgin Queen: Elizabeth I, Genius of the Golden Age. Cambridge: Perseus Books. 1991.

Thomas, Heather. "Queen Elizabeth and the Church." The Life and Times of Queen Elizabeth I. 20 Apr. 2007. <http://www.elizabethi.org/us/ elizabethanchurch/queenandchurch.html>.