The Church Of England Was Only A Half R

Decent Essays
Jessica Annobil

Mrs Harris

“The Church of England was only a half reformed church in the period 1559-1603”. To what extent is this statement valid? (45marks)
This statement is valid to a considerable extent. This is due to the fact that before Elizabeth came to the throne her siblings had been before her, Edward VI (1547-53) and Mary I (1553-59), these two had a contrasting religious beliefs and both implemented harsh penalties for those who did not conform to their religious reform. This is one aspect of the Mid-Tudor crisis which then creates a problem for Elizabeth in enforcing religion successfully as Parliament now consisted of both
Catholics and Protestants. It is for this reason that some may consider the Church of England to be
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But it was still not

Jessica Annobil

Mrs Harris

treasonable to be a Catholic priest. This shows the contradictions to the religious system due to the
Elizabethan Religious Settlement’s failure to establish a state religion. This control of Protestant gentry in Parliament, referred to by J. Neale as a “Puritan Choir”, suggested that there was grid lock within Parliament due to remnants of Edward VI’s Protestant Parliament in addition to Queen
Mary I’s Catholic addition, meaning decisions would be hard to make and religious reform would take time. As a result, we see there is a lot of proposed reform during the middle years of
Elizabeth’s reign, however very few of the proposed legislation is passed, for example in 1571-2 there were bills introduced proposing further reform but none were passed. This shows that though the radical Protestants had attempted to push for reforms, Elizabeth I had blocked some, suggesting she did not want to reform the Church of England using the radical Protestant ideals.
Though Elizabeth’s aim was to return England to the Protestant faith, she declared that she did not want to "make windows into men 's souls", meaning she didn 't care what people thought or believed, as long as they were outwardly Church of England rather than Catholic. Suggesting
Elizabeth I may not have wanted to set a harsh doctrine in which people had to follow, as Mary I
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