Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name




Committee Chair

Spierling, Karen E., 1970-

Author's Keywords

Mary; Queen; Consort of James V; King of Scotland; Elizabeth I; Queen of England


Persecution--England--History--16th century; Martyrdom--Christianity--England; Great Britain--History--Elizabeth; 1558-1603; Great Britain--History--Mary; 1553-1558


This thesis is a historical examination of the Marian and Elizabethan persecutions. Through the analysis of primary sources dating from the persecutions, the process of persecution in Reformation England is examined. This thesis uncovers the similarities that existed between the persecutions of Mary and Elizabeth. The most important and most damaging to the persecutions was martyrdom. Because martyrdom presented itself, both Queens and the supporters of the persecutions issued anti-martyrologies that defended the persecutions and refuted the martyrdom claims of the persecuted. This paper examines the documents of Marian and Elizabethan persecutions that reveal the process of persecutions, with the anti-martyrologies being the most important. This examination is divided into the study of the Marian persecutions, the impact of John Foxe's Acts and Monuments , and the Elizabethan persecutions. This examination reveals the need of the Crown and those that supported the persecutions to justify and explain the application of the death penalty, to defend the persecutions as martyrdom was applied, and finally to refute and counter this martyrdom.