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Home :: Archive :: 2006 :: April ::
Elizabeth I Questions
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0335  Friday, 21 April 2006

From: 		Tom Bishop <
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Date: 		Thursday, 20 Apr 2006 12:27:16 -0400
Subject: 17.0328 Elizabeth I Questions
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0328 Elizabeth I Questions

 >2) Did Elizabeth I have had a "spiritual counselor or advisor" in
 >the Anglican church during her reign? If so, what would his
 >religious rank have been - Archbishop? If, in fact, Elizabeth I did
 >have a spiritual counselor, what was the name of the person who
 >actually served that role?
 >
 >3) If Elizabeth I had a 'spiritual counselor or advisor," would
 >this person have advised her only on religious matters, or would
 >the spectrum of advice been broader - church, state, current
 >political environment, personal matters/decisions?

Elizabeth was reportedly quite close to her third and last Archbishop of 
Canterbury, John Whitgift, with whom she shared many policy opinions 
(unlike his predecessor Grindal, who got himself fired for 
insubordination), though perhaps not spiritual preferences. Whitgift was 
referred to as Elizabeth's "little black husband", which suggests a fair 
degree of ease. There are no recent biographies of Whitgift that I know 
of. You might look at Powel Dawley's of 1955. On Elizabeth's spiritual 
preferences there is a fine essay of Patrick Collinson's in his 1994 
collection, Elizabethan Essays (NB not 2003 Elizabethans, which is a 
different collection). Elizabeth's beliefs seem to have been notably 
conservative for her time -- she kept a crucifix in the Chapel Royal, 
for instance. They were probably formed early, perhaps under the 
influence of Catherine Parr, who took charge of her education and was 
probably the nearest thing she ever had to a mother. She had Royal 
Chaplains, of course, but how close to any of them she was I do not 
know. There was no longer the formal sacramental closeness of 
confession, of course.

TB

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