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Home :: Archive :: 2008 :: September ::
My Name Is Will
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 19.0564  Tuesday, 23 September 2008

[Editor's Note: This thread has gone on for longer than it might, so I will, as 
the barkeep, call one more round and then put it to an end. --HMC]

[1] From:   Elliott Stone <
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     Date:   Friday, 19 Sep 2008 11:09:50 -0400
     Subj:   Re: SHK 19.0561 My Name Is Will

[2] From:   Carol Barton <
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     Date:   Sunday, 21 Sep 2008 12:45:36 -0400
     Subj:   Re: SHK 19.0561 My Name Is Will


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:       Elliott Stone <
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Date:       Friday, 19 Sep 2008 11:09:50 -0400
Subject: 19.0561 My Name Is Will
Comment:    Re: SHK 19.0561 My Name Is Will

Essex was not charged or tried for attempting to kill the Queen!

Essex was charged and tried for Treason. (Read the Report of the Essex Trial on 
line).

The Essex Rebellion was an attempt by Essex and Southampton and their supporters 
to have Queen Elizabeth name a successor or possibly to give up the throne in 
favor of either Essex or Southampton.
It is uncomfortable for individuals to ponder why Essex or Southampton had this 
claim on the throne. It is more uncomfortable to consider the possibility that 
Queen Elizabeth was not the "Virgin Queen."

Historians tie themselves up in knots attempting to avoid these issues.

Best,
Elliott H. Stone

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:       Carol Barton <
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 >
Date:       Sunday, 21 Sep 2008 12:45:36 -0400
Subject: 19.0561 My Name Is Will
Comment:    Re: SHK 19.0561 My Name Is Will

Larry Weiss wrote, in part: "I agree with that, but once again I feel compelled 
to remind everyone that Campion was not executed for celebrating secret masses 
or for treason in doing so (I don't think secret masses were considered 
treasonous). He was convicted and executed for plotting to kill the queen. So 
was Essex; and saying that Essex (a conforming Anglican) had some Catholic 
supporters does not convert his conviction into a one for heresy."

Actually, Larry, it *was* treasonous to celebrate secret masses. In retaliation 
for the Papal bull of March 1570 (calling for the deposition of Elizabeth), any 
indication whatsoever that one was faithful to the Pope constituted by necessity 
an act of treason (since the Vatican denied the Queen's monarchical legitimacy 
and therefore her right to rule). The bull had declared, in part, that

     We declare the aforesaid Elizabeth a heretic and favourer of heretics, and 
those who adhere to her in the aforesaid matter to have incurred the sentence of 
anathema, and to be cut off from the unity and body of Christ. Moreover she is 
deprived of her pretended right to the aforesaid kingdom, and to all dominions, 
dignity, and privileges whatsoever of every kind. Likewise, the nobles, 
subjects, and people of the said kingdom, and all others who have takn an oath 
to her of any kind we absolve by these presents and declare them absolved 
perpetually for the future from all duty, fidelity, and obedience due. We 
deprive the same Elizabeth of the pretended right to the kingdom and to all the 
things named above; and we require and order each and all nobles, subjects, 
people and others above said, not to venture to obey her instructions, mandates, 
or laws. Those who shall act differently we bind with the same sentence of anathema.

Therefore, one could not be faithful to the Pope and the Roman Catholic church, 
and be loyal to the queen. Conversely, one could not be faithful to the queen 
and realm, and acknowledge the authority of the Pope.

Part of the standard examination of accused traitors accordingly asked:

(1) whether the bull of Pius V against the Queen's majesty be a lawful sentence, 
and ought to be obeyed by the subjects of England? (To answer in the negative 
would be to reject the Pope's authority; to answer in the affirmative would be 
to repudiate the Queen's.)

(2) Whether the queen's Majesty be a lawful queen and ought to be obeyed by the 
subjects of England, notwithstanding the bill of Pius V or any other bull or 
sentence that the pope hath pronounced, or may pronounce, against her Majesty? 
(See above.)

(3) Whether the pope has or had the power to authorize [any of the queen's 
subjects] to rebel against her . . .  ?

(4) Whether the pope hath power to discharge any of her Highness' subjects, or 
the subjects of any Christian prince, from their allegiance or oath of obedience 
to her Majesty or their prince for any cause?

To celebrate mass, hear confession, or perform any other priestly office in the 
name of the Roman Catholic church was to affirm the authority of Rome and the 
illegitimacy of Elizabeth. Campion was by statutory definition thus guilty of 
treason by all accounts -- and his own affirmation. (And yes, of course, the 
laws were politically motivated -- the Pope had in effect declared war against 
Elizabeth by means of the bull, and himself engaged in sedition in inciting her 
people to disobey her in all things, and these laws were designed to reaffirm 
her legitimacy and supremacy.)

We may not like it, but "facts is facts." You may hit the ball at home plate, 
and run like the wind from third to second to first and back home again, clearly 
touching all the bases along the way, but you won't score a home run.

Revisiting the trial of someone like Thomas Wentworth on the other hand fits the 
paradigm I think you were alluding to. He was attainted -- as, in effect, 
Charles I would be -- and executed for political unpopularity (though he was 
never canonized for the act). The man who sent him to his death ironically would be.

Best to all,
Carol Barton

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