Journal Article

Elizabeth I’s Former Tutor Reports on the Parliament of 1559: Johannes Spithovius to the Chancellor of Denmark, 27 February 1559

Simon Adams and David Scott Gehring

in The English Historical Review

Volume 128, issue 530, pages 35-54
Published in print February 2013 | ISSN: 0013-8266
Published online January 2013 | e-ISSN: 1477-4534 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ehr/ces310
Elizabeth I’s Former Tutor Reports on the Parliament of 1559: Johannes Spithovius to the Chancellor of Denmark, 27 February 1559

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The fragmentary nature of the evidence for the proceedings of the Parliament of 1559 is one of the more obvious reasons for the continuing debate over the Elizabethan religious settlement. Philip II’s representative, the count of Feria, whose reports have been in print for more than a century, has been the primary diplomatic source. 1 As a consequence of the war with France, there was no French diplomatic representation at the English court. However, in February 1559 three further envoys arrived on relatively brief missions. George, count of Helfenstein, the Emperor Ferdinand I’s ambassador in Brussels, was commissioned to greet Elizabeth I on her accession, but also to assess her intentions over religion and marriage. He has left a reasonably well-known series of reports. 2 The other two envoys are more or less unknown, but both were Lutherans. One was Ludovico Vergerio, nephew of Pier Paulo Vergerio, spiritual advisor to Christopher, duke of Württemberg. 3 The last envoy was sent by Dorothea, the recently widowed queen of Denmark. 4 His sole surviving report is the only known commentary on the situation in England in February 1559 by a foreign Protestant observer. But he was not a stranger; he had previously been one of Elizabeth’s tutors.

Journal Article.  10143 words. 

Subjects: British History ; World History ; European History ; International History

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