Elizabethan Foreign Policy and State


Guy's first segment of the reign

1558 - 1590

Mixed polity is relevant => monarch, aristocracy + parliament all relevant
=> limt her

But goes quite well

Elizabeth ascends to throne

November 1558

v untroubled

Elizabeth's early foreign policy

1559 - 1561

Definitely successful
-> a lot bc of circumstances (e.g. Guise deaths)

Elizabeth nearly dies of small pox


Catholis think could go to Mary

Cecil said M q of s basically accepted ehir
Macaffrey said she was likely to be queen

Elizabeth nearly dies of flux


Regnans in Excelcis


Declares Elizabeth illegitimate
"the woman who pretends to be Queen of England"

If you attend Elizabethan church, you have chosen her

Marriage negotiations with (2nd) Duke of Anjou

1578 - 1582

Only potential candidate treated with any seriousness

Marriage negotiations collapsed -> not bc of protestant worries about returning catholic

All historians agree that there was significant factionalism

1590 - 1603

Guy says it was bc the older Cecil was trying to ensure his nephew/son was in a good position
Haigh says the queen facilitated => her fault
Hammer says it was just Essex being a twat

Guy's second segment of the reign

1590 - 1603

Threat from Spain less big
Marriage + succession less big (James III would probs ve the king, protestant male better for the "quasi-republicans" than MAry q of S)

Economically 1590s v difficult
=> not good for war + taxation

Imperial monarchy returns -> at war
Despite this, Guy says she is acc less in control (older, councillors dying, factionalism)

Essex is given his opportunity to go to Irleand


Robert Devereux
"little more than a fiasco"
Goes terribly
(Lord Mountjoy acc does much better after him)

While he is gone Robert Cecil is appointed to principal secretary which Elizabeth promised Essex he wouldn't be while he was gone
Essex comes back without her permission
-> breaks into her bedroom -> screwed

In an act of desperation he tries to raise a rebellion
=> is a complete disaster, dealt with v swiftly


John Knox First Blast of the Trumpet


against the monstrous regiment of women

-> Elizabeth doesn't like Scottish protestants

Mary Q of S marries the French Daupin

April 1558

Catholic Mary of guise was regent of Scotland on behalf of her daughter

French are now v big in Scotland -> in important positions

Jane Dawson "A French bridge head in France had been replaced by a French bridgehead in Britain" (ie Calais?)

Guise faction launch Campaign

March 1559

to suppress Scottish protestantism

Scottish protestants rebel

May 1559

Welcomed by English

French prepare army to suppress revolt => could threaten England from North

Treaty of Berwick


Elizabeth agrees to send army into Scotland

Cecil eventually convinces E that a Scottish intervention must be undertaken
DAWSON convincingly argued that Cecil had a COHERENT LONG TERM STRATEGY
Cecil had threatened t resign if didnt intervene

Major action at Lieth -> siege fails

With death of MAry of Guise death + France descending into civil war
-> protestant Scotland v likely
Lords of Congregation victory

French troops sign a treaty
-> English + Scot prots basically won
-> destroys auld alliance

Bruce Wernham "England's posterm gate was no closed"

Mary of Guise dies

June 1560

Had been acting as regent for Mary q of s

Mary q of S goes back to Scotland

August 1561

Threat to Elizabeth
=> Mary was next in line with arguably a better claim (great great grandfather Henry VII)

Mary q of s marries Henry Darnley


H. Williams "drunk and arrogant"

Mary grows pregnant

October 1565

David Rizzio was rumoured to be the husband, rather than Darnley (had been having affair -> useless)

Civil War in Scotland


Darnley is assassinated

February 1567

By Bothwell most probably
Darnley had already killed her previous lover

Probably Mary approved

Then proceded to live with him without marrying

Then there is a rebellion and she is imprisonned (Elizabeth protests)
Then she escapes and flees to England

Mary q of s flees to England


From the Civil war

Kept under house arrest

She is the centre of:
-the rising of the northern earls
-Babington conspiracy
-Ridolfi plot
-Throtmorton plot

Regent Moray is murdered


Have to send troops to bring Scotland back to heel

Last Marian garrison defeated


Esme Stuart seduces the Scottish King


English forces prepared to go north + intervene


Bruce Wernham said would have been bad if did

Prepare at Berwick

Scottish Lords take James away from Esme


E not as worried anymore

Until this time things "relatively calm"


in Scotland

Mary Q of Scots executed

February 1587

Had been next in line to throne

Elizabeth had signed but said not to send off
then tried to get it cancelled
Cecil had already ensured that the execution was enacted
-> E was furious, council didnt meet for ages + wouldn't see Cecil for ages

E didn't want to undermine her own position by executing monarchs
-> blame on council?


Phillip II asks for E's hand in marriage

February 1559

-> first MAJOR foreign policy deciison

knew Mary's marriage had been unpopular
-dragged into French war
-Wyatt's rebellion
-Phillip v unhappy with marriage treaty

Phillip had already told pope to not excommunicate her (despite French pressure)
-> had limited Catholic opposition to settlement

-wanted to maintain route between Spain + Netherlands

Dutch governor cuts off Antwerp trade

1563 - 1564

Means increased English privateering

Turks siege Malta


Why Phillip doesnt want war
=> also E doesnt want war bc of money etc.

Duke of Alba arrives in Netherlands


50k Spanish troops close to England

Wernham says is a turning point

(Alva acc says to Phillip we should leave Elizabeth alone)

Spanish ambassador replaced


de Silva replaced with hardline de Spes

Parker says de Spes was "fiery and inexperienced"

Battle of San Juan de Ulua


5 ships under John Hawkins fight a Spanish escort fleet
Lose 3/5 of ships -> now hate Spain -> much ^ privateering

In the NEW WORLD (conflict between Spain + England)
Present Day Mexico (New Spain)

Crisis over Genovese treasure ships


were going to Antwerp
Force into ports in south of England
E takes tehir money
Phillip cannot pay his 50k troops in the Netherlands

English ships in the Netherlands siezed in response

Expulsion of English ambassador to Spain


Spanish support the Northern Earls


Semi-war with Spain


says Collinson "England was in a state of semi-war with Spain from the 1570s"
=> by privateers
from this time

Holy League defeat Turks at Lapanto


Phillip will be soon be freed up from invading Turks

Elizabeth kicks out the "sea beggars"


E had to for Treaty of Bristol

Dutch protestant privateers
-> they go off to Netherlands to cause a revolt
Soon found their own state in the north

E supplies them money for mercenaries etc.
French support them too (but less significant bc of civil wars)

Drake raids Mexico

1572 - 1573

Sacks city of Nombre de Dios

Drake sacks Nombre de Dios

June 1572

Worsening relations

Duke of Alba recalled to Spain


Not doing v well

Treaty of Bristol


Patching up Anglo-Spanish differences

But problems come back soon after this

Croft says it was a "major success" for diplomacy
=> should not be underemphasised

Sack of Antwerp


Unpaid Sanish troops sack Antwerp
"Spanish fury"

Second Circumnavigation of the world

1577 - 1580

by Drake
Privateering along the way (piss of Spanish)
makes 4700% proft

E had invested in it, so happy. And gave him an knighthood when he returned

Phillip ends war with Turks


Less preoccupied -> focus on England?

Duke of Parma goes to Netherlands


Much more effective than Alva, v methodical
=> E might need to get involved, threatening

"Golden Bullets Strategy"
-bribe towns to give up

collinson said if Parma secured Netherladns "it was hard to see what could save England"

Wernham emphasises events such as this (in Europe) rather than the new world
"it arose over the Netherlands, not the West Indies"

Drake captures Cacafuego

March 1579

During second circumnavigation of world

Has lots of gold bullion on board
=> some goes back to Elizabeth

Spanish annexation of Portugal


Portugese king disappears in Africa 1578 so the Portugese invite Phillip to take over
also has entirety of Portugese empire
DOUBLED the size of his navy -> much bigger than English
are united until 1640
Spain 300 tonnes v England 42 tonnes
with the port in Lisbon, good way to invade English
=> Spain stronger

"most menacing of all developments" says Collinson
Made "the 'enterprise of England' no longer a pipe dream but a realisable project"

United Provinces formed


Open war with Spain from this time


"this was also the first major ideological war in English history, since the combats, in the perception and rhetoric of the time, represented the forces of light and darkness, Christ adn Antichrist"-Collinson

Collinson says Hawkins + Drake continued


To "prey upon Spanish shipping, coasts and islands"

But when they attacked Galicier Phillip said "their doing more impressive than the damage they did"
=> embargos => trade dependnece on Netherlands

William of Orange assassinated


By a catholic

His son Moriss is a minor
=> Dutch rebels on their own, weaker

"the only credible Dutch leader"-Collinson

Croft says the turn to war happened after this

Spain siezes English shipping in Spanish harbours


Collinson says it is "an added provocation, alienating the English merchants who had been in favour of maintaining normal trade relations with the Iberian peninsula"

=> financial was important
"in her assessment of what might and should be attempted, numbers counted for more than ideology"-Collinson

Duke of Anjou dies


Brother Henry III unwilling to make troubles in low countries

"Spain was now better placed to make troubles in France than France was in the Low Countries"-Collinson

Antwerp Falls to Parma


Other cities had already falen the previous year

Gregory XIII presses Phillip for an invasion of England

July 1585

Pauline Croft says this greatly pissed of Phillip

Treaty of Nonsuch

August 1585

in London

English entry into Dutch revolt decided

Waslsingham + Leicester v. Burghley (didn't want to)
But by 1585 even Burghley changed his mind bc of "insatiable mallace" of Phillip => too powerful, need to thwart in Europe (not on English shore)

Treaty with E + Catholic Provinces:
-will protct them
-will dispatch soldiers to U Provinces
=> Earl of Leicester with troops with 6k foot
-E will give 136k crowns/year to them

=> from this point England is at war in Netherlands

But Collinson says even after this point she tried to limit her commitment for the sake of finances
"she had no imperial ambitions, in fact some would say no ambitions at all beyond going on being queen, and in making limited war she was STILL SEEKING PEACE"

Croft says treaty was "tantamount to a declaration of war"

Leicester is received in the Netherlands

December 1585

But E still v much wants to seek peace
"we do rquire that tyou rather bend your cause to make a defensive rather than offensive war, and that yous eek by all the means you may to avoid the hazard of a battle"-Elizabeth letter to Dudley

Many who went with Leicester to Netherlands were puritans (his puritan friends were officers) + he patronised puritans
=>religious war?

Phillip asks Pope Sixtus for support


Support against Elizabeth
-> clearly religious motivations for war

Drake destroys Spanish ships at Cadiz


Delayed the armada by a year
=> destroyed the water casks intended for it

Armada sets out

30th May 1588

with 130 ships

Collinson said it was the privateering that but Phillip in favour of armada (direct contradiction of Collinson)
Croft seems to agree

Acc an auxillary force carrying supplies
=> only a small no. of fighting ships at front
3/4 of the fleet returned to Spain
English were v lucky on the day, favourable conditions to pounce on Spanish with fire ships (not true that the Spanish commander was incompetent and seasick)
=>storm had hit the ships

E tried new things:
- small no. of v powerful warships
-v big guns on them
=> Different tac tics to Spanish, destroy ships with canons rather than board
- v fast, small rig

Lord Howard of Effingham head of command, Drake the second (Drake had watch guards all along the channel)
See In Our Time for more details

Armada received v little support from English Catholics (despite regnans)
There were acc MULTIPLE armadas

Was threatening?
Sudo says it was too ambitious
Croft says it was doomed after they failed to pick up troops at Calais
but Guy emphasises how threatening it was

Armada goes to Ireland

September 1588

following defeat at the Battle of Gravelines

up to 24 of the ships wrecked on the rocky coast line
Survivors put to death
~5k Spanish died



Drake and Sir John Norris lead a fleet to the Iberian peninsula
=> response to 88 armada

English withdrew with heavy losses
=> strengthened Phillips position, failed to capitalise on Phillip's failure the year before

Capture of Cadiz


English and Dutch troops under ESSEX and a large Dutch fleet under the Earl of Nottingham
raid Cadiz
-> sack the city, burn, capture etc.

But it was against Elizabeth's express permission => v annoyed

Fake Armada


Fake Armada


Fake Armada


Robert Cecil heard rumours and pranged out

Treaty of London


Peace with Spain

Effectively upon E's death


Negotiations for Treaty of Chateau-Cambresis

August 1558

BEFORE Elizabeth's accesion

representatives began to negotiate an end to war:

Chateau Cambresis Signed

April 1559

-French promise to restore Calais after 8 years + pay 500k crowns
(basically a forfeit for 500k crowns)

"face saving formula"

-Phillip wanted to end war
-Eliz couldn't lead armies bc she is a woman
-English arm v low quality -> no standing army
-Financial constraints -> must do re coinage
-Calais had been a financial drain

But still v costly
=> England no longer has domination of straits of Dover
=> the trade route between Spain + Netherlands, France + Scotland
LEVER OF POWER against Spain + France forfeited

200 years had intermitently held -> humiliating

Bad that Spain + France no longer fighting (had been since 1549)
=> could focus on her now

Henry II dies

July 1559

at a joust

Francis II succeeds
=> married to Mary Q of S
=> really both are controlled by uncles, the Guises -> they wanted M Q of S on English throne

Spain is war weary, has been at war with France since 1494
- preoccupied with Ottoman threat in Mediterranean
Not enthusiastic to support protestant Elizabeth

France starts descending into civil war


Death of Francis II of France


Mary Q of Scots returns to Scotland

England intervenes in France

1562 - 1563

Mary doesn't intervene => clearly more concerned with controllign her own country, not much of a threat?

French Wars of Religion

1562 - 1598

Take France out of threat for Elizabeth's reign

Although -> needed to make sure ultra-catholic Guise faction didn't win

Treaty of Blois


Mutual support between England + France if attacked
Between E + Catherine of de' Medici
=> alliance against Spain

But Croft says proved worthless by massacre of St. Bartholemews Day

St Bartholemew's day Massacre

August 1572

Thousands of Huguenots killed in Paris
=> spread across France
big shock for protestants

"was the worst of the century's religious massacres"-H. G. Koenigsburger

Part of the general trend of people "who increasingly understood European politics in confessional terms as a universal religious war"-says Collinson

English volunteers go to Netherlands


Under Thomas Morgan

John Casimir enters France with 4k troops


Financed by E (Spain doesn't like)

Treaty of Joinville

December 1584

Duke of Anjou had died
=>king of France Henry III died childless
Henry of Navarre is the heir ( a huguenot)

Guise faction creates a Catholic League v. Henry of Navarre
=> secret treaty with Phillip. Receive 50k crowns/month
=>Supported Cardinal Bourbon

Henry IV ascends as king of France


Things started to stabilise more in France arouund this time (4 years of stalemate, then hes like ok mass is fine)
But not even really stable until 17th century, he is assassinated

Elizabethan State

Rising of the Northern Earls


Tries to put Mary on throne
=> catholic northern earls
supported by Spain

Ridolfi Plot


Tries to have Elizabeth assassinated
=> in support of Mary q of s

Throckmorton Plot


Tries to assassinated Elizabeth
=> in support of Mary q of s

Every council has a Lord Lieutenant by this time


Often privy councillors (^ centralisation)
e.g. Burghley of LL of Essex + Herefordshire,
THOMAS Cecil of Northamptonshire + Yorkshire

Slightly more power to sherrifs

JPs receive orders from privy council, but more work

Assize courts 2x/year

Babington Plot


Shows a CLEAR LINK between Mary and the conspirators
(trying to kill Elizabeth)

Earl of Leicester dies


Robert Dudley

Sir Walter Mildmay dies


Earl of Warwick dies


Sir Francis Walsingham dies


Principal Secretary to Queen

Plague outbreak

1592 - 1593

Periodic outbreaks after this

Bad Harvests

1594 - 1597

Two of these are the worst of the CENTURY

Agrarian crisis, lots of hardship for the people
However, dealt with a lot better than under Mary's reign

Death rate goes up by 21%
Homicide rate up by 11% (crime)

Oxfordshire rising


During the worst of the Agrarian Crisis

Attempted rising against the state, like Ket's rebellion in 1549

Only 4 people turn up
-> swiftly arrested after splitting up
Clearly the state was not under too much threat

Sir Willaim Cecil dies


Act for Relief of the Poor


Stood until 18th century -> effective

Robert Devereux leads his abortive coup d'etat


Elizabethan Parliaments

Last Elizabethan Parliament


Receives the ultimatum about monopolies
=> John Guy says is v serious
But she didn't acc do anything about it tho... so not that serious?