Elizabeth I, England's Virgin Queen, and Religion under her Reign - American Minute with Bill Federer

Queen Mary I of England was oldest daughter of Henry VIII.
She became Queen in 1553 and reigned 5 years.
In 1554, she married King Philip II of Spain, though he was mostly absent.
Mary sentenced to death a potential rival, Lady Jane Grey - the Nine Day Queen.
She repealed the Protestant religious reforms of her father, Henry VIII, and her half-brother, Edward VI, and brought back the Heresy Acts.
She had over 300 others executed, resulting in the sobriquet "Bloody Mary."
Among those she had executed were the Oxford Martyrs:
  • Bishop Hugh Latimer, who had been Edward VI's chaplain;
  • Rev. Nicholas Ridley, who had been the Bishop of London; and
  • Thomas Crammer, the former Archbishop of the Anglican Church.
As they were about to be burnt at the stake, October 16, 1555, Bishop Hugh Latimer exhorted Nicholas Ridley:
"Play the man, Master Ridley. We shall this day light such a candle, by God's grace, in England, as I trust shall never be put out."
When Mary died, NOVEMBER 17, 1558, her half-sister Elizabeth became Queen.
Elizabeth was the daughter of Henry VIII by his second wife Anne Boleyn.
At her Coronation in 1558, she was questioned as to the presence of Christ in the Sacrament.
She responded
"Christ was the Word that spake it,
He took the bread and brake it,
And what that Word did make it,
I do believe and take it."
Elizabeth stated:
"There is only one Christ, Jesus, one faith. All else is a dispute over trifles."
Elizabeth continued the Church of England--Anglican Church, begun when her father separated from Rome in order to marry her mother.
There were those who insisted that the Anglican Church separate even further from Rome.
They wanted to "purify" it, so they were called "Puritans." Puritans had a theology influenced by John Calvin, Ulrich Zwingli, John Knox, and other Protestant Reformers.
Puritans held that believers were in a covenant with God and with each other.
Elizabeth attempted to take the middle ground between the Puritans' fundamentalist views on one side and England's centuries old Catholic heritage on the other.
She reissued The Act of Supremacy, declaring the Monarch was the "Supreme Governor ... in all Spiritual or Ecclesiastical Things"; and The Act of Uniformity, making Anglican Church attendance compulsory.
She did not like using Henry VIII's Great Bible, which relied on the Latin Vulgate.
She also did not like the Geneva Bible, which had John Calvin's margin notes recommending Presbyterian church government, made up of elders chosen as representatives of the congregation.
She authorized the Bishops' Bible, which supported Episcopalian church government led by bishops appointed by the Monarch.
Anglicans drew their ideas of church government from the King Saul and on period of the Old Testament, where Israel had an anointed King.
Puritans drew from the 400 year pre-King Saul period, where Israel was the first instance in world history of a nation with millions of people and no king, maintaining order with an educated population where every citizen was taught God's Law.
After rejecting hierarchical church government, Puritans divided into two main forms of church government: Presbyterian and Congregational.
Some Puritans favored presbyters or elders gathering together in a synod assembly (synod is derived from the same root word as synagogue, which means "meeting place"). These were called Presbyterians.
Others Puritans were called Separatists, and favored a church government were each congregation was completely independent.
These were called Congregationalists, Radical Puritans, Independents, Dissenters, Non-conformists, Brownists (followers of Robert Browne), Baptists (followers of John Smyth, John Murton and Thomas Helwys), and later, "Pilgrims."
They believed the “gathered church” was founded by the Holy Spirit, not by man or the state, therefore each individual church had the right to determine its own affairs, without having to report to a bishop.
Pilgrim Separatists fled to Holland, and then later to America in 1620. They were joined by mainstream Puritans beginning in 1630.
In America, both Pilgrims and Puritans were generally called "Congregationalists."
During Queen Elizabeth's 45 year reign, monumental achievements occurred.
Shakespeare wrote 38 plays impacting world literature.
Sir Francis Bacon began the scientific revolution. In his treatise titled, Of Atheism, Francis Bacon declared:
"A little philosophy inclineth man's mind to atheism, but depth in philosophy bringeth men's minds about to religion."
In 1577, Sir Francis Drake began the second voyage in history to circumnavigate the globe, almost 60 years after Ferdinand Magellan's first voyage.
In 1579, Oxford educated priest Thomas Stephens became one of the first western Christian missionaries, and probably the first Englishman, to reach India, converting many of the upper Indian society by writing Kristpurana - Story of Christ.
In 1600, English navigator William Adams, sailing for the Dutch East India Company, arrived in Japan.
In 1584, Sir Walter Raleigh began a colony he named Virginia, in honor of the "Virgin Queen Elizabeth."
Virginia's Charter, 1584, stated:
"Elizabeth, by the Grace of God of England ... Defender of the Faith ...
grant to our trusty and well beloved servant Walter Raleigh ... to discover ... barbarous lands ... not actually possessed of any Christian Prince, nor inhabited by Christian People ..."
Virginia's Charter continued:
"Upon ... finding ... such remote lands ... it shall be necessary for the safety of all men ... to live together in Christian peace ...
Ordinances ... agreeable to ... the laws ... of England, and also so as they be not against the true Christian faith."
In 1585, Sir Walter Raleigh established a settlement at Roanoke Island, in present-day North Carolina, but it had to be ignored for three years due to Spain's impending invasion of England.
The colony was mysteriously abandoned, being referred to as "The Lost Colony."
Philip II of Spain's half-brother, Don Juan of Austria, defeated the Ottoman Muslim fleet at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571.
Afterwards, instead of freeing the rest of the Mediterranean from Muslim control, Spain turned its attention to stopping the Reformation in Holland and England.
Beginning in 1572, Spanish General Alba, known as the Iron Duke, committed the "Spanish Furies," pillaging, burning, raping and slaughtering in Holland.
This led to the 80 years war and eventually Holland's independence.
In 1588, the Philip II of Spain sent his Invincible Spanish Armada to invade England.
The Armada consisted of 130 ships, 1,000 iron guns, 1,500 brass guns, 7,000 sailors, 18,000 soldiers, plus 30,000 soldiers from the Spanish Netherlands.
Queen Elizabeth told her troops, August 19, 1588:
"Let tyrants fear ...
I know I have the body but of a weak and feeble woman;
but I have the heart and stomach of a king, and of a king of England too, and think foul scorn that ... Spain, or any prince of Europe, should dare to invade the borders of my realm ...
I myself will take up arms, I myself will be your general ...
Your valour ... shall shortly have a famous victory over those enemies of my God, of my kingdom, and of my people."
England's smaller, more maneuverable vessels proved difficult for the Spanish to apprehend.
Then, at midnight, July 28, 1588, Sir Francis Drake set eight English ships on fire and floated them downwind to the closely anchored Spanish ships.
In a panic, the Spanish ships cut anchor. An unusual violent hurricane scattered and destroyed most of the Spanish Armada.
When King Philip II of Spain learned of the loss, he exclaimed:
"I sent the Armada against men, not God's winds and waves."
If Spain would have won, there would not only have been no Anglican England, there would have been no Puritans, no Pilgrims, no New England, and no United States.
America would have just been an extension of New Spain - Mexico.
In 1596 and 1597, Philip II again sent Armadas to England, but they were also destroyed in storms. These losses contributed to Spain's financial bankruptcy and ended its monopoly of the seas.
England soon became a major European power, and joined the countries of Holland, Sweden, and France in founding colonies in America.
Adam Smith wrote in The Wealth of Nations, 1776:
"The Spaniards, by virtue of the first discovery, claimed all America as their own, and ... such was ... the terror of their name, that the greater part of the other nations of Europe were afraid to establish themselves in any other part of that great continent ...
But ... the defeat ... of their Invincible Armada ... put it out of their power to obstruct any longer the settlements of the other European nations.
In the course of the 17th century ... English, French, Dutch, Danes, and Swedes ... attempted to make some settlements in the new world."
Elizabeth told William Lambarde in 1601:
"He that will forget God, will also forget his benefactors."
Queen Elizabeth, the last Tudor monarch, stated in 1566:
"I am your Queen. I will never be by violence constrained to do anything. I thank God I am endued with such qualities that if I were turned out of the Realm in my petticoat I were able to live in any place in Christendom."
Rebellions and assassinations were a constant threat.
In France, King Henry III was assassinated in 1589.
France's "Good King" Henry IV survived at least a dozen attempts on his life before he was eventually assassinated in 1610.
Elizabeth faced the rebellion of the Catholic Northern Earls in 1569.
Pope Pius V excommunicated Elizabeth in 1570, declaring her an illegitimate queen. In response, she passed the Treason Acts of 1571, making it a crime for anyone to say she was not the legitimate queen
The Religion Act was passed in 1580 making it high treason to persuade subjects to not be loyal to the Queen or the Church of England, increasing fines to £20 a month or imprisonment for being absent from Church service, or attending a Catholic mass,
There were numerous plots to remove Elizabeth:
The Ridolfi Plot 1571;
The Throckmorton Plot 1583;
The Babington Plot 1586.
When rumors arose in England of a possible assassination plot, Elizabeth executed dozens, including, sadly, her Catholic cousin, Mary Queen of Scots, who was under her protection.
Mary Queen of Scots was the mother of James VI, who became England's next monarch, King James I.
Though James' mother was Catholic, and he was raised and tutored by Scottish Presbyterians, when he became King he embraced Anglicanism with power in the hands of the King.
James was noted for the Jamestown Colony and the King James Bible in 1611.
Responding to questions from Parliament regarding succession after her death, Elizabeth stated:
"I know I am but mortal and so therewhilst prepare myself for death, whensoever it shall please God to send it."
Elizabeth died March 24, 1603. Of her epitaph, Queen Elizabeth I she had said:
"I am no lover of pompous title, but only desire that my name may be recorded in a line or two, which shall express my name, my virginity, the years of my reign, and the reformation of religion under it."
Queen Elizabeth told the House of Commons in The Golden Speech, November 30, 1601:
"Though God hath raised me high, yet this I count the glory of my Crown, that I have reigned with your loves ...
I do not so much rejoice that God hath made me to be a Queen, as to be a Queen over so thankful a people ...
The title of a King is a glorious title, but ... we well know ... that we also are to yield an account of our actions before the Great Judge."
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