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1570.] EXCOMMUNICATION OF ELIZABETH. 59 an Innocent, he pronounced " the pretended Queen of England” excommunicate, and deprived of all title to her pretended kingdom ; absolving all her subjects from their allegiance, and forbidding them, under pain of excommunication, to obey her. Copies of this bull were forwarded to the Duke of Alva for distribution in the seaports of the Netherlands, and through him some of them were transmitted to the Spanish ambassador at London. On the morning of the 15th of May, one of them was found affixed to the Bishop of London's gate. Strict search was accordingly made, and a copy of the bull was discovered in the chambers of a student of Lincoln's Inn, who confessed that he had got it from a gentleman of good property, named John Felton, who lived in Southwark. Felton, when arrested, owned that he had posted it on the bishop's gate, and gloried in the deed : he was tried, found guilty, and executed as a traitor, and by himself and the more zealous Romanists he was viewed as a martyr. The bull, how ever, produced no immediate effect.
“ The time,” says Lingard, was gone by when the thunders of the Vatican could shake the thrones of princes :" a change for which, he might have added, the world is indebted to the Reformers. Elizabeth is said to have applied to the emperor to use his influence to have it revoked, as she knew not what its effects might be on enthusiasts and bigots.
On the very day that Felton was arraigned, the Duke of Norfolk was released from the Tower, and suffered to reside in his own house, under the mild custody of Sir Henry Neville. He expressed his sorrow for what he had done, and bound himself not to proceed in the affair of his marriage without the queen's knowledge. Yet, even while in the Tower, he had contrived to carry on a correspondence with Mary; and, now that he was at large, he still kept
Elizabeth, urged by the foreign ambassadors, and anxious herself to get rid of her dangerous captive, if it could be done with safety, sent Cecil and Sir
William Mildway in October to Chatsworth, where Mary now was, to try if any accommodation could be effected. It was proposed that she should resign all claim to the throne of England during the lives of Elizabeth and her issue ; marry no Englishman without Elizabeth's consent, and no one else without that of the states of Scotland ; send her son to be educated in England, &c. The Earl of Morton and some others came to England as commissioners on the part of the young king. But nothing could be definitively arranged, and the two queens and their friends made mutual charges of insincerity.
In the beginning of the year 1571, Elizabeth rewarded, in some slight degree, her most able and faithful minister, Sir William Cecil, by raising him to the peerage, under the title of Baron Burghley or Burleigh.
Before entering on the next period of the reign of Elizabeth, we would impress it on the mind of the
eade that the policy of the queen and her ministers was purely defensive. The whole Catholic world might be said to be banded against her : there was a Catholic claimant of her throne, and a large portion of her subjects were of that persuasion. A standing army was then unknown in England ; the chief security, therefore, lay in prevention; and hence recourse was had to the employment of spies, opening and deciphering letters, and various other expedients, which may be easily placed in an odious light, so as to represent the whole
policy of the government as being a system of intrigue and machination. In fact, the danger was at times so imminent, that Elizabeth's ablest and wisest ministers were, to use Burleigh's words, almost “ driven to the end of their wits ;” and we might, without superstition, see a special Providence in the preservation of the religion and independence of England at this most critical period.
Religious Parties.—Trial and Execution of Norfolk.-Massacre
of St. Bartholomew ; its Consequences.-Sir Francis Drake. Elizabeth's Coquetry with the Duke of Anjou.-Persecution of the Catholics.-Affairs of Scotland.—Danger of Elizabeth.Dr. Parry.-The Queen aids the Dutch. - Babington's Con. spiracy.--Trial of the Queen of Scots.-Conduct of Elizabeth. -Execution of the Queen of Scots.-Behaviour of Elizabeth after it.
The important relations between the queens of England and Scotland have hitherto occupied our attention almost exclusively. We must now take a view of the state of religious parties in England and on the Continent.
The first ten years of Elizabeth's reign were styled her “halcyon days,” as being free from disturbance, domestic or foreign : but, from the moment of the arrival of the Queen of Scots in England, this tranquillity was at an end. Thenceforward the authority, and even the life, of Elizabeth were assailed by conspiracies founded in religious fanaticism, and renewed without ceasing.
In those days religion was a matter of paramount importance in politics; and the strength of parties in a state was to be estimated by the number and influence of those who agreed in religious sentiments. There were three parties of this kind now in England: the Catholics, the Churchmen, and the Puritans, as those who affected an extreme purity in religion, and held that the Reformation had not gone far enough, were called.
It is the opinion of Hume, that “ of all the European churches which shook off the yoke of papal authority, no one proceeded with so much reason and
moderation as the Church of England.” The fabric,” he adds, " of the secular hierarchy was maintained entire; the ancient liturgy was preserved, so far as was thought consistent with the new principles; many ceremonies, become venerable from age and preceding use, were retained; the splendour of the Romish worship, though removed, had at least given place order and decency; the distinctive habits of the clergy, according to their different ranks, were continued; no innovation was admitted merely from opposition to former usage. And the new religion, by mitigating the genius of the ancient superstition, and rendering it more compatible with the peace and interests of society, had preserved itself in that happy medium which wise men have always sought, and which the people have so seldom been able to maintain.”
Some of the effects of this moderation were felt in the early part of Elizabeth's reign : for the Catholics in general made little scruple of attending the church service, where, though they might regret the absence of some things, there was little to offend them. Had they been left to themselves, they would probably have been gradually weaned from their superstitions ; but the court of Rome, by sending missionary priests about to assure them that such conduct was impious; and the conduct of the Puritans, in urging measures of severity against them, both contributed to make them remain in their old faith.*
From the first year of Queen Elizabeth till the eleventh,” says Sir Edward Coke, “all papists came to our church without scruple. I myself have seen Cornwallis, Bedingfield, and others at church, so that then for the space of ten years they made no conscience nor doubt to communicate with us in prayer. But when once the bull of Pope Pius Quintus was come and published, wherein the queen was accursed and deposed, and her subjects discharged of their obedience and oath, yea, cursed if they did not obey her; then did they all forthwith refrain the church; then would they have no society with us in prayer: so that recusancy in them is not for religion, but in an acknowledgment of the pope's power, and a plain manifestation what their judgment is concerning the right of the prince in respect of regal power and place." --Jardine's Criminal Trial, ii., 132.
1571.] STATE OF RELIGION.
63 The Puritans, though as a party they first acquired strength in the present reign, may be regarded as coeval with the Reformation. They were those men of an ardent, uncompromising temper, who thought they could never recede too far from the Church of Rome. The clerical habits, the surplice, tippet, and square cap, retained in the Anglican church, were intolerable in their sight; and they viewed with equal aversion the use of the cross in baptism, of the ring in marriage, of the organ in the divine service, and the practice of kneeling at the communion. When the excellent Hooper was to be raised to the see of Gloucester, in Edward's reign, he positively refused to put on the episcopal robes, and for his contumacy was committed to the Tower, according to the practice of the age. Bucer, Peter Martyr, and other foreign divines, were consulted on this occasion; and at length he consented to wear the robes at his consecration and during cathedral service, but only at such times. When the Marian persecution forced so many of the Reformers to fly, they were received with great kindness by the Calvinists abroad; and this confirmed them in their desire for simple, anti-Romish forms. The more learned and pious portion of the clergy in Elizabeth's reign may be reckoned of this party; the better part of the Protestant gentry belonged to it, as was evident by the composition of the houses of commons; it was favoured by Leicester and Walsingham among the queen's ministers; and Burleigh himself was not adverse to it.* The Puritans were, in fact, the main
* The Puritans may be considered as having first made them. selves known as a distinct religious body in the reign of Edward VI. Their numbers gradually increased during that and the following reign of Mary; but it was only after the accession of Elizabeth, and the consequent return of a multitude of religious exiles, who had fled to the Continent to escape from the persecutions of her sister's government, and who, during their absence, had resided mostly in Switzerland, where the doctrines of Calvin were generally received, that they acquired any considerable importance as a party in the state; and now they speedily became so powerful, that, in the convocation assembled in 1562, they had nearly a majority in the lower house.- Am. Ed.