Mirrors for Rebels: A Study of Polemical Literature Relating to the Northern Rebellion, 1569

By James K. Lowers | Go to book overview

CHAPTER IV
PAMPHLETS AND PROSE TRACTS, 1581-1601

WE HAVE SEEN that, during the years 1569-1574, the Northern Rebellion claimed and held the interest of Englishmen of all classes. They accepted it as an attempt to engulf England in the Counter Reformation, the great movement initiated by the Council of Trent to re-win Protestant countries for Roman Catholicism. For this reason, loyalists were quick to link the rebels with other native Catholics who were found guilty of treason. Within this five-year period they repeatedly reminded subjects of the crisis of 1569 and left no doubt that, to use pamphleteer Norton's phrase, the Pope was the "sworn foe of Elizabeth," that the Northern Rebellion was the salient event in a sustained offensive against Protestant England, and that new attacks were to be expected.

From 1575 through 1580 there was a surcease of ballads, paphlets, and tracts dealing with the earls' rising. One reason was that Elizabeth's foreign policy prospered. A successful rising of native Catholics depended largely upon the participation of a foreign power, and events tended to minimize the possibility of an "Enterprise of England" during the last half of this decade.1 When the Duke of Anjou, favorite of the Guise party in France, became Henry III, Elizabeth had good reason to expect hostility and perhaps abrogation of the Treaty of Blois, concluded in April, 1572, as a defensive measure against Spain. But the new French ruler followed the moderate course of his mother, Catherine de Medici. Furthermore, Spain found it expedient to adopt a friendly policy toward England. It is true that Don John of Austria, brother of Philip II, had succeeded the Duke of Alva as Governor of the Netherlands and hoped, once he established peace there, to lead an invasion of England for the purpose of

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Mirrors for Rebels: A Study of Polemical Literature Relating to the Northern Rebellion, 1569
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface v
  • Contents vii
  • Chapter I - Introduction 1
  • Chapter II - The Northern Rebellion of 1569 11
  • Chapter III - Pamphlets, Tracts, and Ballads, 1569-1574 35
  • Chapter IV - Pamphlets and Prose Tracts, 1581-1601 50
  • Chapter V - The Doctrine of Absolute Obedience 66
  • Chaptier VI - The Doctrine in Nonpolemical Literature 80
  • Chapter VII - Conclusion 107
  • Notes 113
  • Index 125
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