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Elizabethan Era. Elizabethan Religion and Beliefs. Elizabeth was different: as a Protestant, she was determined to protect her power as Queen Many of Elizabeth’s subjects were confused by religious changes in England

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Elizabethan religion and beliefs
Elizabethan Religion and Beliefs

  • Elizabeth was different: as a Protestant, she was determined to protect her power as Queen

  • Many of Elizabeth’s subjects were confused by religious changes in England

  • In doing this in 1559, soon after her accession, she was helped by many who had opposed Mary and who had spend the previous years abroad to escape the Catholic government

  • Confirmed Protestants (influenced by the Reformation in Europe), believed in preaching, reading the Bible in English, and worship in unadorned churches


  • Girls did not attend schools

  • All grammar schools taught in Latin and sometimes Greek

  • Shakespeare attended a grammar school

  • Only two out of every ten men were able to sign their names in the 1550’s

  • Out of the whole of England’s population, only 4,000 men were studying at Oxford or Cambridge Universities

  • Elizabethan England did not have many printing presses

  • Gentlemen could afford more expensive books

  • Giving schools money was considered a moral duty

  • In the 16th century, individuals made a mark or symbol instead of a signature

  • Sons of gentlemen could study law at one of the Inns of Court in London

    • The training could prepare them to be lawyers

  • Religious books were popular

Elizabethan daily life
Elizabethan Daily Life

  • They believed that the Queen was God’s representative

  • Elizabeth thought her family was above other people

  • Children’s behavior was based on passages in the Bible

  • John Lyster wrote A Rule on How to Bring Up Children

  • in 1529, a law started that when a person died, all of their possessions had to be listed in an inventory

  • If you weren’t rich enough, you would only live until the age of 42, but wealthy people lived longer

  • The royal court had to be moved to Window and visitors from the capitol were not allowed to hear

  • The people that could afford a doctor had to tolerate painful treatments and ineffective or harmful

  • People who couldn’t afford a doctor relied more on traditional / remedies and methods of healing based on superstition

Work agriculture and industry
Work, Agriculture, and Industry

  • In England, farming was separated

    • In the south and east, they farmed grain and live stock. In the west and north, they farmed sheep, cattle, and horses

  • There were also weavers

  • Many tools came in handy for building, farming, and domestic use

  • Leather goods were very common, and they also had metal and coal mines

  • After a war between France and England, times got more difficult

    • Illness and bad weather

    • They couldn’t trade with Roman Catholic countries

  • England traded goods with Russia, America, Morocco, and Persia

  • Lots of men combined their hunting

Crime and punishment
Crime and Punishment

  • Elizabethans had a strong fear of crime

  • Those who could read were branded with hot irons

  • Those who were given a second chance by the court were branded with hot irons to make sure that they didn’t use that excuse again

  • Serious crimes usually meant that the accused would be hanged

  • There were other punishments: put in the stocks (which held feet) or the pillory (held the arms)

  • Public display was important to punishment to shame the criminal and warn others

    • Offenders whipped

    • Pilloried

    • Hanged

  • Criminals and homeless were treated severely by the harsh laws of the period

  • Vagrants were generally whipped

Culture and entertainment
Culture and Entertainment

  • William Shakespeare, Christopher Marlow, and Ben Jonson wrote and acted histories, tragedies, and comedies in the Globe Theater

  • The entertainments enjoyed by groups in Elizabethan society depended on wealth and literacy

  • The Globe Theater is located in London

  • In every town and city, they started entertainment on the streets, in allies, and playhouses to entertain themselves and others

  • Shakespeare’s poetry was popular with nobility and gentry

  • Gambling with cards and dice, tennis, and bowling were entertaining