Queen Elizabeth

Chelsea Garvey
European History
November 27, 2013

Queen Elizabeth I was the ruler of England in 16th century, known as the “Virgin Queen”.   Reasoning behind this nickname is because she ruled from 1558 to her death in 1608, without a husband by her side. She devoted her life to the needs of England despite the many being against her ruling alone. During Queen Elizabeth's reign, most religious leaders and faiths disapproved of a woman having power.

During this time, religion took an important part of England and shaped how the country was. Many Christian leaders, particularly reformers were against Elizabeth. Document 1, a Scottish religious reformer said that her being in power is “against all Nature” according to his interpretation of the bible. This was a common belief among religious faith, upsetting many when Elizabeth I came into power. In document 2, Nicholas Heath—the archbishop of York— also was against the queen's power due to her gender. He once said in a date that a woman “in Christ’s church is not called an apostle, nor an evangelist… therefore her Highness [Elizabeth I] cannot be head of Christ’s militant church, nor yet of any part thereof.” This means that Heath believed that Elizabeth—being a woman— had no place of power in the church and should have supreme power outside the church. Even the bishops in document 5, was against Elizabeth I, saying that “wives must obey their husbands and cease commanding and perform subjection.” In short, they all believed in the traditional way of thinking, that women were inferior to men. Considering that all the mentioned documents were written by men with some type of power, they can be considered bias. However, one document stuck out to me, Catholic Church was quite the opposite of the other the surprisingly. In document 7, Edward Rishton—a Roman Catholic priest—wrote of how “they keep the birthday of Queen Elizabeth in the most solemn way on the seventh day of September, which is the eve of feast of...