By Shostak E
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Extra resources for Elizabethan World RL. Biographies
In order to keep her throne and help England become a prosperous and powerful country, Elizabeth had to act with great care. Cecil’s advice helped her to make choices that strengthened England’s power and allowed the country to triumph over its rivals. One of Cecil’s early concerns was the situation in Scotland. Its queen, Mary Stuart, had inherited the throne when she was just an infant. She had been sent to live in France and had married the heir to the French throne, Francis II (1544–1560). Through this marriage, Scotland fell under French Catholic rule.
During her five-year reign, Mary had many Protestants burned at the stake as heretics, or people whose opinions oppose established church doctrines (principles). Elizabeth, a Protestant, took the throne in 1558. She established the Anglican Church, also called the Church of England, as the country’s official church. The practice of Catholicism was outlawed. In 1566 the 18 Elizabethan World: Biographies Edmund Campion queen visited Oxford with her advisors, Robert Dudley (Earl of Leicester; 1532–1588; see entry) and William Cecil (Lord Burghley; 1520–1598; see entry).
He also worked to limit widespread corruption in government and to ensure efficient rule. But he has also been criticized for harsh policies against those he considered enemies of the English state. He approved the use of torture to extract confessions from suspects, and some historians believe he used any means necessary—even cruel or illegal methods—to achieve his goals. But Cecil lived during an era when England faced many serious dangers. With the queen threatened by assassination plots and military invasions, Cecil took the steps he believed necessary to protect his country.
Elizabethan World RL. Biographies by Shostak E