Elizabeth I, 1533-1603

[Mentioned in No and Yes, p. 44]

Elizabeth I, the daughter of Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII, succeeded to the throne of England when she was twenty-five. She was well read in history, possessed musical talent, and could speak five languages. In addition, she had a lively intelligence, a zest for living, a determination to rule, a feeling for pageantry, and a sense of caution which she had learned during the reign of her half-sister Mary.

Quick to capture her subjects' imagination and loyalty, Elizabeth moved cautiously in her steps to re-establish Protestantism. She allowed the mass to be part of the coronation service, although she withdrew during its celebration. Not until Parliament met was the supremacy of the queen in ecclesiastical as well as in temporal matters determined, and then by the Supremacy Bill. Parliament also passed the Uniformity Bill, which provided penalties for clergymen who refused to use the Second Prayer Book of 1552 and for laymen who stayed away from services.

Signs of the Times
November 8, 1958

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