Author Topic: Elizabeth I and her Religious Feelings  (Read 8656 times)

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Offline Prince_Lieven

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Elizabeth I and her Religious Feelings
« on: October 07, 2005, 11:48:02 AM »
Hello all.  :)

I was just wondering if anyone agrees with my view about Elizabeth re her religion. I think that, like Henri IV of France and Charles II of England, she was what I term 'circumstantially' religious, i.e she would be Catholic if she had to be, and Protestant if she had to be.

However, because of the Edict of Nantes, we can say fairly certainly that Henri IV was a Protestant at heart, whereas Charles' deathbed conversion confirms his Catholic sympathies.

My question is, how do you think Elizabeth really felt towards religion? She acted the part of a good Protestant maiden during Edward VI's reign, but as Queen she had a very un-Protestant love of fine clothes and jewels and dancing, and apparently kept many crucifixes and other religious paraphenalia usually associated with the more 'mystic' Catholics.

Any thoughts?
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bell_the_cat

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Re: Elizabeth I and her Religious Feelings
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2005, 12:05:32 PM »
Elizabeth had strong opinions on one issue at least - the marriage of priests. The thought of it made her stomach turn! This was in opposition to the church of which she was head!

She thought about religious matters very carefully: she had been educated to do so. In contrast, Henri IV and Charles II were not intellectuals by any stretch of the imagination.

Whatever her personal faith, she was wise enough not to let it affect her political judgement.

Offline Prince_Lieven

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Re: Elizabeth I and her Religious Feelings
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2005, 12:08:19 PM »
Quote
Elizabeth had strong opinions on one issue at least - the marriage of priests. The thought of it made her stomach turn! This was in opposition to the church of which she was head!


Yes, I heard this too, but forgot to mention it! Another sign of possible Catholics sympathies?
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-Sherlock Holmes

"Men forget, but never forgive; women forgive, but never forget."

helenazar

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Re: Elizabeth I and her Religious Feelings
« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2005, 12:10:58 PM »
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Elizabeth had strong opinions on one issue at least - the marriage of priests. The thought of it made her stomach turn!

The thought of anyone's marriage seemed to make Elizabeth's stomach turn ;), so I am not so sure it had that much to do with religion per se...

I think that Elizabeth did not have a "fanatical" personality, so when compared to her siblings, who were both sort of fanatical but in opposite ways, Elizabeth seemed like she was "circumstantial"  in her religion. But I think that she still was religious enough, but perhaps a little more pragmatic about it ... which is a good thing!
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by helenazar »

Offline Prince_Lieven

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Re: Elizabeth I and her Religious Feelings
« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2005, 12:15:53 PM »
I agree with you about Elizabeth's personality. Edward and Mary were the obssessive types, whereas Elizabeth was less so. I do think she was at least a little religious, since pretty much everyone was back then . . .
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-Sherlock Holmes

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bell_the_cat

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Re: Elizabeth I and her Religious Feelings
« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2005, 12:23:03 PM »
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The thought of anyone's marriage seemed to make Elizabeth's stomach turn ;), so I am not so sure it had that much to do with religion per se...



Yes that's right ;D

But she was also rather conservative in other ways.  These days she would have been a High Church Anglican. Perhaps the insecurity of her early years gave her a need for tradition, as something to cling on to.

She didn't have any problems knuckling down under Mary, did she? Does anyone know what form of religion she practised after she was let out of the Tower and before she ascended the throne?
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by bell_the_cat »

Offline Prince_Lieven

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Re: Elizabeth I and her Religious Feelings
« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2005, 12:24:16 PM »
I think she still attended Catholic mass, didn't she?
"How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?"
-Sherlock Holmes

"Men forget, but never forgive; women forgive, but never forget."

bell_the_cat

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Re: Elizabeth I and her Religious Feelings
« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2005, 12:25:00 PM »
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I think she still attended Catholic mass, didn't she?


That would be my guess!

Offline Prince_Lieven

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Re: Elizabeth I and her Religious Feelings
« Reply #8 on: October 07, 2005, 12:26:48 PM »
During Mary's reign, I think she attended Mass to please Mary but made such a song and dance about it as to leave her Protestant sypathisers in no doubt that she was doing it reluctantly.
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helenazar

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Re: Elizabeth I and her Religious Feelings
« Reply #9 on: October 07, 2005, 12:33:24 PM »
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I think she still attended Catholic mass, didn't she?


She did but reluctantly. And more often than not, she would get get "sick" and not attend  ;). But she seemed to realize that she had to do everything in order to survive, and wasn't obsessed enough with religion to become its "martyr". And because of that, she survived under Mary. Good for her.

Offline Prince_Lieven

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Re: Elizabeth I and her Religious Feelings
« Reply #10 on: October 07, 2005, 12:38:52 PM »
Yes, I agree, she certainly played her cards right.
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ilyala

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Re: Elizabeth I and her Religious Feelings
« Reply #11 on: October 09, 2005, 01:47:35 AM »
i read somewhere that at the beginning of mary's reign, elizabeth came to mary with teary eyes saying she wanted to be converted to the 'true' religion and that mary was naively pleased about it and believed her... this sounds a little like henry 4th's conversion after st. bartholomew.

but i want to point out something. the edict of nantes is not a way to show henry's protestant views.  but most of his followers and fighters were protestants. the edict of nantes was given mostly to repay them for their loyalty. i don't think henry cared much about religion, i think (like elizabeth) he believed in god in a more general way (the modern view - there's one god, who cares how you serve him as long as you do?). basically what i'm saying is that henry and elizabeth probably 'chose' their religious sympathies based on politics and followers. henry was helped by protestants and was born to a protestant mother. in elizabethan england, catholics were allowed to kill the queen. that's a strong reason to pick one or the other... ;)

i do think though that charles 2nd was different. he was a catholic at heart who, not very happilly, decided to be an anglican for the sake of his throne.

Offline Prince_Lieven

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Re: Elizabeth I and her Religious Feelings
« Reply #12 on: October 09, 2005, 05:44:03 AM »
Well, I was only trying to use Henri and Charles as examples . . .
"How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?"
-Sherlock Holmes

"Men forget, but never forgive; women forgive, but never forget."

bell_the_cat

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Re: Elizabeth I and her Religious Feelings
« Reply #13 on: October 09, 2005, 06:23:55 AM »
Quote
ibut i want to point out something. the edict of nantes is not a way to show henry's protestant views.  but most of his followers and fighters were protestants. the edict of nantes was given mostly to repay them for their loyalty. i don't think henry cared much about religion, i think (like elizabeth) he believed in god in a more general way (the modern view - there's one god, who cares how you serve him as long as you do?). basically what i'm saying is that henry and elizabeth probably 'chose' their religious sympathies based on politics and followers.


I still think that Elizabeth had sincerish religious principles which she kept to herself for political reasons.
She had been brought up as an amateur theologian as all the Tudors were.

My guess is that Henri IV and Charles II were not like this, having both been educated in the "school of life" as it were. Elizabeth would have definitely known about the difference between transubstantiation and the arguments for and against, whereas I don't know about whether Charles and Henri had the time to think over such matters.  

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by bell_the_cat »

Silja

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I believRe: Elizabeth I and her Religious Feelings
« Reply #14 on: October 09, 2005, 09:50:16 AM »
I believe  Elizabeth was a sincerely religious person, a moderate protestant, or  indeed "High Church Anglican" as bell-the-cat  described her, but she was apparently a religious sceptic in terms of doctrine. She was enlightend enough to realize that essence is more important than detail and that ultimately nobody could be sure to possess the "Truth".
Her personal partiality to "catholic" forms of liturgy, for candles and music, etc.,  also reflect her rather sensual nature.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Silja »