Pulling the strings
Religion and politics in the progress of 1578
in This England
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In July and August 1578, Elizabeth I and her court toured deep into East Anglia, the only extensive royal tour of that region. This chapter addresses the polities — and, in particular, the religious factors in politics — of the 1578 progress. The conundrum of counsel, which was the greatest political problem of an age which brought into uncomfortable partnership nearly absolute monarchy and a civic-minded humanism, was never more nakedly exposed than at this point. By looking at the historical geology of the East Anglia of 1578 we are able to uncover the fundamental faultline in Elizabethan politics. The climax was reached in elaborate celebrations in Norwich, stage-managed and choreographed by Thomas Churchyard, a native of the city, which may have had a serious and substantial political purpose.

This England

Essays on the English nation and commonwealth in the sixteenth century

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