CHAPTER IV. THE REIGN OF QUEEN ELIZABETH (1558-1603)

  See bibliography, chap. ii., iii. Publications of the English 
  Catholic Record Society
, 1904-14. Strype, Annals of the 
  Reformation
, 1708-9 (a complete edition of Strype's Works 
  published, Oxford, 1812-24, 25 vols.; Index Vol., 1828). Birt, 
  O.S.B., The Elizabethan Religious Settlement, 1907. Meyer, 
  England und Die Katholische Kirche unter Elisabeth und Den 
  Stuarts
. Gee, The Elizabethan Clergy and the Settlement of 
  Religion
, 1898. Lee, The Church under Queen Elizabeth , 2 vols., 
  2nd edition, 1893. Bridgett, The True Story of the Catholic 
  Hierarchy
, 1889. Phillips, The Extinction of the Catholic 
  Hierarchy
, 1905. Gillow, Literary and Biographical History of 
  English Catholics
. Foley, Records of the English Province of the 
  Society of Jesus
, 7 vols., 1880. Challoner, Memoirs of 
  Missionary Priests
, etc. (1577-1684), 2 vols., 1803. Camm, Lives 
  of the English Martyrs
 (1583-88), 1914. Guilday, The English 
  Catholic Refugees on the Continent
 (1558-1795), 1914. Husenbeth, 
  Notices of the English Colleges and Convents on the Continent 
  after the Dissolution of the Religious Houses in England
, 1849. 
  Knox, Records of the English Catholics under the Penal Laws . 
  The Month (1900-2).

A few hours after Mary's death Elizabeth was proclaimed queen according to the terms of her father's will, and messengers were dispatched to Hatfield to announce her accession and to escort her to the capital. During the reign of her brother her relations with Thomas Seymour nearly led to a secret marriage and the loss of her rights to the throne, while during the lifetime of her sister the disclosures of Wyatt and his followers and the correspondence of the French ambassador brought her to the Tower on suspicion of treason. Mary was, however, averse to severe measures, more especially as Elizabeth expressed her devotion to the Catholic religion and her willingness to accept the new religious settlement. But in secret she treasured other views, not because she was hostile to the Catholic religion, but because opposition to Catholicism seemed to be the best means of maintaining her claim to the crown and of resisting Mary Queen of Scots, who from the Catholic point of view was the nearest legitimate heir to the throne. Already, before the death of Mary, Elizabeth was in close correspondence with those who were unfriendly to Catholicism and to the Spanish connexion, and she had selected William Cecil, whose religious views and practices during Mary's reign coincided with her own, to be her secretary. Her accession was hailed with joy throughout England, for Englishmen were glad to have a ruler of their own so as to be rid of the Spanish domination, that had led to taxation at home and disaster abroad. The official announcement of Elizabeth's accession was as welcome to Philip II., who was still England's ally, as it was distasteful to France, which regarded Mary Queen of Scots as the lawful claimant to England's throne. It is noteworthy, as affording a clue to Elizabeth's future policy, that no official notice of her accession was forwarded to the Pope, nor were the credentials of the English ambassador at Rome either confirmed or revoked. Paul IV., notwithstanding the efforts of the French, was unwilling to create any difficulties for England's new ruler by declaring her illegitimate or by treating her otherwise than as a rightful sovereign.[1]