Pulling the strings: religion and politics in the progress of 1578

Patrick Collinson

in This England

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780719084423
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781702031 | DOI:
Pulling the strings: religion and politics in the progress of 1578

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  • Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)


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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.

Keywords: East Anglia; Elizabeth I; 1578 progress; Norwich; monarchy; Elizabeth politics

Chapter.  10056 words. 

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

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