Queen Elizabeth of England

Queen Elizabeth I of EnglandProfile

Queen of England and Ireland. The daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, she was educated in the Catholic faith, and displayed great mental qualities under her tutors, William Grindal and Roger Ascham. Although fond of ritual, she was devoid of religious temperament. During the reign of Mary, daughter of Catherine of Aragon, Elizabeth conformed scrupulously to the Roman ritual, attending Mass with her sister and even opening a chapel of her own. On Mary’s death in 1558, Elizabeth was driven to espouse the cause of the Reformers by several circumstances, especially the fact that many of her subjects rightly regarded her an illegitimate heir and Mary, Queen of Scots, the rightful claimant, and that the Anglican Church was an easy instrument for her political ends.

Her first act was the annulment of Mary’s religious proclamations and the restoration of the English Church service. The Act of Uniformity in 1559 ordered the use of the second prayer book of Edward VI and enforced attendance at the new services. She assumed all the authority implied by the Act of Supremacy, but not the title of Head of the Church. The Bull of excommunication by Pope Saint Pius V in 1570 caused her to increase the severity of the penal laws. Catholics who offended against the Act of Supremacy were liable to capital punishment as traitors. In four months (July to November 1588) 33 victims suffered for the Faith. The total number executed during her reign was 189 with 128 being priests, 58 laymen, and 3 women, and in addition 32 Franciscans who were starved to death. The prosperity of her reign was due not so much to her ability as a ruler as to the spirit of commercial enterprise, the love of adventure, and the foreign policy of her ministers.



Martyred by Elizabeth

MLA Citation

  • “Queen Elizabeth of England”. New Catholic Dictionary. CatholicSaints.Info. 30 August 2018. Web. 12 May 2021. <>