AbstractsPhilosophy & Theology

Protestant polemic in the 1570s: Elizabethan responses to the Northern Rising, the Papal Bull and the Massacre of St Bartholomew’s Day

by Mark Frederick Wilson

Institution: University of Birmingham
Department: Department of History
Year: 2014
Keywords: BL Religion; BR Christianity; BX Christian Denominations; D901 Europe (General); DA Great Britain; DC France
Record ID: 1409695
Full text PDF: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/4936/


Between 1569 and 1572, a series of events, domestic and continental, occurred that shook the confidence of many Elizabethans, including those who served the Privy Council and Parliament. The Northern Rising (1569), the issue of Pius V’s Papal Bull (1570) and the St Bartholomew’s Day Massacre (1572), in Paris, all triggered political and polemical responses from those connected with the political institutions outlined above. The Protestant polemical print I have investigated, issued warnings to Elizabethans, via the perceived threats of foreign invasions, the fear of Papal power, sedition, treason, moral evils and the damnable doctrines that Catholicism represented to many Protestants. I have explored the nature of these polemical representations of Catholics and analysed the ways that those accused of involvement in the Northern Rising, Pius V and those accused of manufacturing the St Bartholomew’s Day massacre, were represented, in order to warn those Elizabethans perceived to be religiously uncommitted at court (including the Queen herself) and presumably the general public in the streets, of the threat that Catholicism represented to Protestant confessional identity and the Realm of England. Ultimately, it informed Elizabethans to be vigilant in the contemporary, confessional and political struggle, experienced by those in power.