Article written by 2009 DPDF State Violence Fellow Robert L. Harkins:
This article presents a new perspective on Elizabethan puritanism. In particular, it examines the ways in which the memory of Marian conformity continued to influence religious and political controversy during the reign of Elizabeth I. Drawing upon extensive archival evidence, it focuses on moments when the chequered pasts of Queen Elizabeth, William Cecil, and other chief officers of English church and state were called into question by puritan critics. In contrast to the prevailing narrative of Elizabethan triumphalism, it argues that late Tudor religion and politics were shaped by lingering puritan distrust of those who had revealed a propensity for idolatry by conforming during the Marian persecution. This fraught history of religious conformity meant that, for some puritans, the Church of England had been built on unstable foundations.