Robert Wade BAHS
Essential Question:
How effective was
Henry VIII versus
his daughter
Elizabeth I in dealing
with domestic issues
in Tudor England?
King Henry Tudor VIII
• Born: June 28, 1491,
to King Henry VII and
Elizabeth of York.
• Coronated: June 24th,
1509 with his wife
Katherine of Aragon.
• Died: January 28th,
1547 at age 56
Young Life
• Henry was raised to be a pious and
devout Catholic
– He was awarded the title "Defender of
the Faith“ by the Pope after writing a
treatise denouncing Martin Luther's
Reformist ideas
• He did not enjoy his father’s stoic
and unexciting ruling style, instead
favoring exciting court life.
• Henry wrote much poetry
throughout his life
• The court life
initiated by his
father evolved into a
cornerstone of
Tudor government in
the reign of Henry
• Henry loved the
extravegance and
excitement of the
court drama.
He spent much of his
time being
entertained by the
nobles and met the
last five of his wives
from his court.
Court Life
Henry’s Wives
Catherine of Aragon
Anne of Cleves
Anne Boleyn
Catherine Howard
Jane Seymour
Katherine Parr
The “King’s Great Matter”
• Though he and Catherine of Aragon
had been married twenty years,
Henry’s obsession with creating a male
heir made him seek an annulment of
his marriage.
• Cardinal Wolsey tried to obtain Pope
Clement VII’s permission, but was
• Henry created the Reformation
Parliament in 1529
• The break from Rome was accomplished
through law, not social outcry.
This step was only taken after an annulment from
the Pope was deemed impossible.
• 137 statutes in seven years
• Religious reform movements had already
taken hold in England, but continental
Protestantism had yet to find favor with the
English people.
• Henry was named the Supreme Head of the
Church of England
• 1536- all ecclesiastical and government
officials were required to publicly approve
of the break with Rome and take an oath of
The Acts
• An Act of Submission of the Clergy (1534)
– prevented the Church from making any
regulations without the King's consent.
• The Ecclesiastical Appointments Act (1534)
– required the clergy to elect Bishops nominated
by the Sovereign.
• The Act of Supremacy (1534)
– declared that the King was "the only Supreme
Head in Earth of the Church of England“
• The Treasons Act (1534)
– made it high treason, punishable by death, to
refuse to acknowledge the King as the Church
• Act of Succesion (1534)
– Rejecting the decisions of the Pope,
Parliament validated the marriage between
Henry and Anne.
Dissolution of Monasteries
• Monastic lands and possessions were
broken up and sold off.
– In the 1520s, some monasteries
were closed down to pay for colleges
like Oxford and Ipswich
– In 1535-6, another 200 smaller
monasteries were dissolved
– 1539, England's remaining
monasteries were all dissolved, and
their property transferred to the
After the Break
• Henry became disillusioned
after the break with the
Catholic Church
– Consequently, much of the
remainder of Henry’s reign is
relatively unexciting.
• Henry’s religious policies were
somewhat confusing, as he
considered himself a Catholic
until the end of his life.
The Royal Navy
• Henry is considered the father of
the Royal Navy
• He engaged in naval warfare during
his term and put a large investment
into building a succesful fleet,
creating dockyards and supporting
naval innovations
• He did not, however, leave a running
Navy for his succesors.
– There was no structured system
to continue the tradition.
• The Act of Succesion (1544)
– Henry gave the crown to his only surviving
son, Edward
• Edward was the first Protestant monarch
to rule England.
– In the event of a death without children,
Edward was to be succeeded Mary, his
daughter by his first wife.
– If Mary did not have children, she was to be
succeeded Elizabeth, his daughter by his
second wife, Anne Boleyn.
– Finally, if Elizabeth also did not have
children, she was to be succeded by the
descendants of Henry VIII's deceased
sister, Mary Tudor
How He Left the Country
• England was an impoverished country
torn apart by religious squabbles.
• However, Henry's reformation had
produced dangerous Protestant-Roman
Catholic differences in the kingdom.
The monasteries' wealth had been
spent on wars and had also built up the
economic strength of the aristocracy
and other families in the counties,
which in turn was to encourage
ambitious Tudor court factions.
Queen Elizabeth Tudor I
• Born: September 7,
1533 to King
Henry VIII and
Anne Boleyn, his
second wife.
• Coronated: January
15, 1559 at
Westminster Abbey
• Died: March 24, 1603 at age 69
'Proud and haughty, as although she knows
she was born of such a mother, she
nevertheless does not consider herself of
inferior degree to the Queen, whom she
equals in self-esteem; nor does she believe
herself less legitimate than her Majesty,
alleging in her own favour that her mother
would never cohabit with the King unless
by way of marriage, with the authority of
the Church.... She prides herself on her
father and glories in him; everybody
saying that she also resembles him more
than the Queen does and he therefore
always liked her and had her brought up in
the same way as the Queen.'
– the Venetian ambassador Giovanni
Michiel describes Elizabeth; spring 1557
Pre-Ruling Conflicts
• Before she became Queen,
Elizabeth, a Protestant, clashed with
her sister Mary and other Catholics.
– While her brother Edward was King,
Elizabeth was unrightfully implicated in
a plot to overthrow the young King by
his uncle Thomas Seymour.
– Then, in the Wyatt Rebellion of 1554,
Queen Mary accused Elizabeth of being
in the plot to overthrow her.
The Captivity of Elizabeth
• After the Wyatt Rebellion, Elizabeth
was locked up in the Tower of London
even though there was no
evidence against her.
• She was then moved to
the gate house at
Woodstock Manor in
Oxfordshire for one
• She was let go at the bequest of
Mary’s husband, King Phillip of Spain.
Elizabeth’s Refusal to Marry
• Most thought that the Queen would marry
within her first year or so as Queen.
• Elizabeth valued the independence she had
and did not feel she needed a man to guide
• It would have also been politically difficult
for her to choose a suitable husband.
• The Privy Council, whose job it was to
choose a husband for the Queen, was too
divided to ever agree on a suitable mate.
– This made it much easier for Elizabeth
to refuse any marriage suggestions or
State of Affairs in 1558
'The Queen poor; the realm exhausted;
the nobility poor and decayed; want of
good captains and soldiers; the people
out of order; justice not executed;
justices of peace unmeet for office; all
things dear; excess of meat and drink,
and apparel; division among ourselves;
war with France and Scotland; the
French King, having one foot in Calais
and the other in Scotland; steadfast
enmity, but no steadfast friendship
– An anonymous contemporary
observer in 1558
Re-Establishing Protestantism
• After Elizabeth was named Queen,
she re-established the Protestant
Church in England.
• She herself believed in toleration of
all religions.
– She was often forced to take a harsher
stance on punishment of Catholics
because of the schism between the two
– ‘There is only one Christ, Jesus, one
faith… all else is a dispute over trifles.’
The Act of Supremacy
• Gave Elizabeth ultimate control of
the Church of England.
• Title of monarch
modified to "Supreme
Governor of the
Church in England".
• Also included an oath
of loyalty to the
Queen that the clergy
were expected to take.
– If they did not take it, then they would
lose their office.
The Act of Uniformity
• Implemented in the summer of 1559
• Crux of Elizabethan Church, establishing a
set form of worship.
• The Prayer books of Edward VI were fused
into one, and were to be used in every
church in the land.
• Church attendance on Sundays and holy
days was made compulsory.
• The wording of the Communion was to be
vague so that Protestants and Catholics
could both participate,
• Had trouble getting passed through
– A large number of the Parliament,
extremists on both sides, opposed the
• Puritans put power in the local parish,
above anything else, which put it in direct
conlict with the monarchy.
• The Church of England was more
dedicated to England and the Queen than
to God, which troubled Protestants
• Elizabeth's government was able to keep
the Puritan movement underground.
– John Whitgift, Archbishop of Canterbury,
adopted some reforms, but did not want to
create Puritan martyrs, as Mary I had
created Protestant ones.
– He was also more interested in establishing a
uniform clergy rather than debating
The Northern Rebellion
• In 1569, The Catholics of Northern England
started a rebellion with the hopes of taking
away the English crown from Elizabeth and
giving it to Mary, Queen of Scots.
• Led by two members of the Northern nobility:
– Charles Neville
– Thomas Percy
• Led to a Papal Bull set forth by Pope Pius V,
The Bull of Deposition (Regnans in Excelsis),
excommunicating Elizabeth.
– The Bull of Deposition was issued after the
putting down of the rebellion but it led
Elizabeth to stop her policy of religious
• The Catholic powers of Europe were also
ordered to act against the unlawful queen as
she was a heretic and enemy of the true faith.
Political Skill
• Elizabeth’s approach to the
monarchy was drastically
different from any of her
predecessors because of her
willingness to listen to those
around her.
– She would change a policy if it
was unpopular.
– Her approach to politics was
serious, conservative, and
• Elizabeth was especially gifted at choosing
smart people to help her lead.
Sir William Cecil
Secretary of State
Sir Francis Walsingham,
The Queen’s Spymaster
Indecisive or Compromising?
• Many were annoyed
by the Queen’s
refusal to take
sides on the issue
of religion.
– Protestants felt
that she should be
more harsh in her
treatment of
Catholics and
punish their
religious worship
as crime.
• But by not
Catholics, she
struck a balance
that lasted
through much of
her reign.
– She had to endure
much less political
struggle than her
siblings, who were
more extremist
towards either
• Many believed that Mary,
Queen of Scots, a catholic, was
the rightful Queen of England.
• Since Mary too was a female
sovereign Queen, Elizabeth was
careful about how she
recognized Mary’s power
because she didn’t want to be in
the same situation.
• After Mary was forced out of Scotland and
fled to England, Elizabeth locked her up in
the Tower of London for 20 years.
• Although Elizabeth did not want to have her
cousin executed, she was forced to send
Mary to execution after the plot of
Babington was uncovered.
• On her deathbed, Elizabeth
passed the crown onto James of
– He was the son of Mary, Queen of
Scots, Elizabeth’s cousin
• Elizabeth felt comfortable in
giving the crown to James
because he had been raised by
Protestant minister with whom
Elizabeth had a correspondence.
How She Left the Country
• England was one
of the most
powerful and
countries in the
• It had proved
itself to be the
strongest Naval
force in the
• Overall, Elizabeth was much better at
handling the conflicts between feuding
portions of the country.
– Elizabeth’s skills as a realpolitique
helped her manage the balance
between the Catholic and
Protestant sects.
– Henry was much more of a
traditional monarch and spent more
time on his social and romantic life
than on leading the country.
• Minimum: Text 404-408
• Recommended: Text 369-372,
380, 403-408

Religious Issues -- Henry VIII vs. Elizabeth I