Catholics and Protestants

A useful article about Catholics and Protestants in the sixteenth century. Is also shows how may people were executed for heresy under the different monarchs.

Note though that under Elizabeth I Catholics were often executed for ‘treason’ rather than ‘heresy’. This has two important implications. Firstly is distorts the number of people executed for their faith ‘prisoners of conscience’ by Elizabeth I.  Secondly, it shows that being a Catholic in Elizabethan England was not about wrong faith necessarily. To be a Catholic and therefore the declare allegiance to the Pope (which was incompatible to obeying the queen, according to her advisors) made a person a traitor. Essentially Catholics were therefore a threat to national security.

It will interesting to know from 1535 – 1685 a total of about 135 Catholics were executed for their faith. Of that total 85% were executed between 1580 – 1600 (the later years of Queen Elizabeth I).

In the 1580s a Catholic priest coming from the continent to England to preach to people on matters of faith only had a lower chance of survival over three years than a second lieutenant in the First World War.

There is a talk here about English Catholic legacies as well as the transcript lecture.

Moderation and Violence and the English Reformation are discussed here.

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