Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts




On November 17, 1558 it appeared that the argosy of England had in fact been shipwrecked and the "rocks and shoals" surrounding her greatly reduced the possibility that she would ever spread her sails again. At war with France, she was both militarily weak and financially exhausted. Ravaged by recent years of religious persecution she faced the prospect of a rejuvenated Catholic church on the continent and Calvinist impatience at home. She was threatened by France in Scotland and by the impending loss of her only ally in Europe, as France and Spain negotiated a marriage agreement. Finally, to captain the argosy she now had a monarch of questionable legitimacy and a woman. The situation appeared grim indeed. Yet with skillful navigation and the aid of a proficient crew the argosy did emerge, after a voyage of some twenty years, in to that "mid ocean of its prosperity," and a strong and stable Elizabethan England prepared to spread its sails and enter its most glorious age.

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