Elizabethan Settlement of Religion

When Elizabeth Tudor became Queen of England, one of her first big problems was what to do about the state religion. Her father, Henry VIII, had split the church of England from Rome in order to get a divorce so he could marry her mother, Ann Boleyn. Henry’s church was Catholic in ceremony, but English in governance. Edward VI made the church more protestant, changing the liturgy to English and issuing the Book of Common Prayer in 1549.

When Mary came to the throne in 1553, she tried to restore everything to the old ways. The people of England did not like her sudden return to the catholic church any more than they liked her foreign marriage.

Elizabeth had to make the Church of England protestant, and she wanted to control the church to increase her political control of the country. However, Elizabeth did not have any strong protestant ideology. She “did not desire a window into men’s souls, but that they should obey the law”.

So the question was not to be catholic or protestant, but how protestant to be. Should she restore Edward’s Book of Common Prayer? If so, which version? Should she follow her Puritan advisors? The decisions she made secured her throne, and set the foundation for the Anglican, Episcopal, and Methodist churches of today.

Elizabethan Settlement of Religion

His Golden Locks

The lyrics were written by George Peele for Sir Henry Lee (1530-1610). In 1559 Lee made a vow to defend Elizabeth’s honour against all challengers in an annual tournament to be held on her birthday. By 1590 he was too old to tilt, and in this song he makes his complimentary and graceful withdrawal. Sir Henry was Elizabeth’s Champion for 30 years, and retired at age 60.

John Dowland wrote the music, and published it in The First Booke of Songs or Ayres (1597).

His Golden Locks

Medieval and Renaissance Christmas Carols

In Dulci Jubilo (14th Century German)

Veni veni Emanuel (Lyrics 9th Century, music 15th Century French)

Quem Pastores Laudavere  (14th Century German)

Ther is no Rose of Swych Vertu  (15th Century English)

Verbum Caro Factum Est   (Piae Cantiones, 16th century)

Nova Nova  (15th Century English)

Lo How a Rose  (15th Century German)

Salutation Carol  (15th Century English)

Gaudete, Christus est natus (Piae Cantiones, 16th century)

Covertry Carol, Luly, lulay (15th century)