Latin catholic services and the translated bible was

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Latin Catholic services, and the translated Bible was readily available Elizabeth intended to be the head of thenew Anglican Church, but Parliament, England’s legislative body, objected strongly to a woman ing in this role. Elizabeth compromised, calling herself the supreme g nor ofthe church and leaving final decisions on religious matters to the church authorities. Elizabeth made it known that she meant to enforce an outward appearance of conformity,and thateveryone could believe as they wished as long as they were private about it. ‘‘There is only one Jesus Christ.The restis a dispute over trifles,’’Elizabeth told a French diplomat,as quoted by Alison Weir in The Life of Elizabeth I. Nevertheless, the actmade Protestantism the religion of England. Everyone in England wasrequired to attend the localAnglican Church. For Catholics, these changes were unwelcome and for many Protestant reformers, the changes were not nearly enough. But most people accepted the religious compromise. The question of succession As soon as Elizabeth took the throne, Parliament and her Privy Counc urged her to marry. They wanted an heir to the throne when she died that was not the only reason. Most believed that no woman could be capable ruler. There were many suitors for the young and attractive q of England. Her sister’s husband, Philip, now the king of Spain, asked herhand,asdid the king ofSweden and the archduke of Austria. Elizabeth seems to have enjoyed the attention and did her best to ke her suitors guessing what her intentions were. But she repeatedly sai did not want a husband. She accepted her role as England’s ruler and no intention of sharing it. Furthermore there were problems with almo any choice of husband for Elizabeth. The English people did not want foreign king, as she had seen when her sister married Philip; and Eliz considered most English matches beneath her. There was one other problem. Elizabeth was apparently in love wi herMasterof Horse,RobertDudley,whom she called her ‘‘Bonny Robin.’’Though Dudley was married when he took his post, he and Elizabeth spent hours together every day. Their intimacy raised eyeb around the court. One of the first scandals of Elizabeth’s reign occurr when Dudley’s wife,who was ill with cancer, died under suspicious circumstances. Although an investigation found the death to be an Elizabeth I 88 Elizabethan World: Biographies
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accident, Elizabeth knew that suspicion remained, making marriage between Dudley and herself impossible. She made Dudley the earl of Leicester and gave him many powers in her court, remaining close to him through the years. In the meantime Elizabeth began to promote her image as the Virgin Queen, married only to her kingdom. The queen and her court Elizabeth’s court traveled with her to her many palaces, usually consisting of from one thousand to fifteen hundred attendants and servants. The royal court was England’s main place of government, business, entertain- ment, and art—in fact some have called it the center of English culture.
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