Today we have another course from “The Teaching Company”. This one is called “History of England from the Tudors to the Stuarts” a massive course with 48 lectures lasting 30 minutes each. Luckily this course is taught by Professor Robert Bucholz who will keep you interested in the course from the get go.
Professor Robert Bucholz
I decided to start from lecture 19 – Heart and Stomach of a Queen – 1588-1603. This lecture centres in on Queen Elizabeth I.
Queen Elizabeth I
One of the most famous Queens of England. Her reign was not an easy one. This lecture continues the story of the war with Spain after the execution for Mary queen of Scots. England was going through some major problems and this course eventually tackles how James the 6th of Scotland soon comes to be king of England.
Still around 26 minutes is spent on Queen Elizabeth’s reign and quarrels with Spain. The lecture mentions how the year 1588 was long struggle to outlast many kings. The War with Spain spread to 3 continents involving vast armies and Navies. All this shows how much trouble a religious war can bring. The Queen and her privy council were looking for a way out of the war and were also torn between two strategies. The war at sea or the war on land.
Sir Walter Raleigh concentrated on the war at sea by harassing King Philip’s II of Spain’s ships. He launched a campaign, which only ended up sacking the Spanish port of carona, with many of the sailors being drunk and quite a few dying of disease.
Sir Walter Raleigh
While Lord burly and sir Robert Cercel concentrated war on land, but they were no match for the Spanish army. The Queen’s army was mainly a militia, though still quite a vast army, many were land workers, vagrants and criminals. They were not paid so well and this caused so many problems with English soldiers. Many died of disease, which was rife and this led to many desertions.
King Philip’s II of Spain
The lecture mentions one famous Dutch prince Morris were supported by the English. He was a great tactician and caused major problems for the Spanish. Still some more luck was on the English side. The lecture moves to year 1589 in another front was open mainly through France. The French king died and next in line was Henry of bourbon, but as usual Philip of Spain wanted the throne so 4000 men were sent from England to help Henry of bourbon to secure the French throne. Eventually the war was won this time by England.
There were other problems caused by the English themselves, mainly due to setting up plantations due to conversation of land. Old English were being replaced as land owners and sent to Ireland. They were being replaced by protestants. English shires, courts and laws slowly being produced and extending English rule, causing many resentments between different clans. One of them “The Gaelic clans” being one of the most resentful. This caused rebellions.
The Butlers rebelled, plus the earls of Desmond, one of the worst rebellions was the hall of ulster of 1594. The lecture points out that these were mainly local feuds and not religious feuds, however the English were most cruel in putting these rebellions down. Many woman and children were brutally massacred.
The lecture mentions many Quotes from various famous witnesses of the devastation.
During the ulster uprising, we have Hugh O’Neill, the Earl of Tyrone, leading the Ulster rebels. He asks for help for from Old English. He then asks for help from Pope and King of Spain, but this time he got help. Still, the English win, but with some difficulty. There was 17000 troops under Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex, whose campaign was not well planned. Elizabeth eventually replaced him with Charles Blunt, who successfully won the campaign. ulster was devastated and famine ravaged Ireland.
Hugh O’Neill, the Earl of Tyrone
The lecture again provides us with several Quotes of the terror
Since the win from English troops, we ended up with the flight of the earls. Plantation of ulster was developed leading to many catholic and Gaelic peoples being turned out. 35% of Ireland was increasingly owned by England causing even more Irish resentment. Still the war with the Spanish was draining the English treasury. England was fighting at sea, in Europe and putting down rebellions. The cost of all this was hitting 300000 a year. To compensate for all the cost the Regime had to sell off some land to pay for this war.
The lecture moves on to how this caused problems with the Queen’s Parliament. The lecture goes into detail how Queen Elizabeth had to call parliament 7 times to keep Elizabeth paying for the war. Every time Queen Elizabeth the 1st called Parliament. The ministers keep asking questions about how the money is spent. Eventually they begin to ask the queen about her marriage prospects. Then they start asking about religion and foreign policy, also asking about who is in line for succession. The queen obviously is irritated by these constant questions and at some point had MPs imprisoned. The lecture talks about one famous Member of Parliament “Peter Wentworth”. He ended up dying in the tower. Other times the Queen used her power of veto.
This was not the end of how parliament clashed with the Queen. Through 15 years of war and high taxes, plus worst famine to hit England. The Death rate rose by half. The lecture explains what was also causing these problems. It turns out to be monopolies causing price rises on the consumer. The Government begins to attack the monopolies. Eventually a bill was produced to outlaw the practice. The queen hated this and this lecture describes in great detail how she turned on the old Tudor charm to win over parliament.
We get to hear several of the queens speeches and quotes on how she won them over.
At the turn of the century, Elizabeth much older, her reign was coming to and end, but who will take new power?
Lastly the lecture looks at the last rebellion on the queen. This came from Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex, who got into a massive argument with the queen when she slapped him. He then tries to rebel against the queen by also seeking London to rise up against her, but this fails and eventually he is executed.
Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex
The reign under queen Elizabeth the 1st was extraordinary, but throughout the reign the English Oppressed the Irish, offended the Scots and caused a lot of poverty for their own as the long war raised taxes during harsh times.
There is a lot more to this lecture I missed out, so if you can get hold of it, you will learn so much more from English history. Prof Robert talks with a lot of emotion and you do not loose interest on his lectures. Some may not like this style, but I find it appealing.
You can buy the course here.