The spectres of Rome - discrimination against catholics in England from 1534 until 1688

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Daly, Kevin
Issue Date
BA (Hons) Arts
Dublin Business School
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In October 2011 the 22nd Commonwealth Head of Government meeting was held in Australia to discuss the end, among other things, of discrimination against Catholics in the British Monarchy. This amendment to British law brought to a close one of most controversial and at times violent aspects of religious history in Great Britain. Since the Act of Supremacy in 1534 an unstoppable wave of anti – catholic feeling had spread through England, maintained by anti – Catholic legislation and a strong Protestant establishment. The power and reach of Rome inspired fear and mistrust among Protestants which only created hatred and bigotry. This thesis discusses the discrimination against Roman Catholics in the England between 1534 and 1688. The objectives of this thesis it to show the origins of Anti – Catholicism in both politics and daily life and to discover why it persisted across historical periods namely the 16th and 17th centuries and explore its manifestation in England. The various acts of law and historical events impeded, hindered and harmed Catholics living in England. I will examine both primary and secondary sources to further my own research by using various publications and pieces of legislation that illustrate my point as well as looking at historical events. Author keywords: History, religion, catholics, England, Tudors, Stuarts, reformation, religious persecution