Key Stage 3 History: The Tudors: 6: Elizabeth I – Solution to the Religious Problems

In blog 6 of our Key Stage 3 History series an Oxford Home Schooling tutor writes about Elizabeth I’s religious reforms from her point of view.

Now, I’m not one to blow my own trumpet, but I think it’s safe to say that I have solved the religious problems that have worried this country for the last ten years. I’m a Protestant and I was adamant when I became Queen that England would be a Protestant country. But I’m no fool. If all this religious upheaval has taught us anything, it’s that the basic beliefs of Protestantism and Catholicism are the same – we’re all Christians at the end of the day.

So I found a middle ground. I introduced a ‘religious settlement’. I made England Protestant, but I allow plenty of Catholic practices to keep everyone happy. I insist that church services are in English instead of Latin, but I do allow churches to be decorated.

Of course there are some people foolish enough not to be happy. Some people are so devoutly Protestant that they think I haven’t gone far enough in making England Protestant. These people are called Puritans. They want me to get rid of all Catholic practices. They seriously annoy me, but they aren’t a threat to me. I know they won’t challenge me as Queen so I’m not worried about them.

I am worried about Catholic opposition though. Especially from countries like Spain. Philip was not happy when Mary died and I became Queen because it meant his alliance with England was over. Several countries in Europe would love to challenge me and force me to make England Catholic again. Most of the time I’m confident in my strength as Queen. But sometimes I worry and start to see Catholic plots wherever I turn. I have ministers constantly watching and looking for any plots so that they can be dealt with immediately. No one will challenge me and get away with it lightly!

But overall, I believe that the people of my country are happy with my religious changes. They know that they can follow their own beliefs, within reason, and I’ve been Queen for so long that a Catholic England is hard to remember. Yes, overall I think I can call myself a successful monarch when it comes to religion.

Penny Brooks


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