Catholic Question, 1625 (Anti-Catholic sentiment 1660-88 (During reign of…
Catholic Question, 1625
Catholics made up between 2% and 5% of the population subject to several penal laws.
Fined heavily for failing to attend Anglican services, banned from holding military or political offices.
Most people were not opposed to Catholic religious doctrines, anti-Catholic feeling could flare up suddenly, depending on current political situation
Catholicism became increasingly associated with political absolutism, leading to suspicions that the Stuart kings intended to abolish parliamentary government.
Catholic influence within Charles I's court
Laud's reforms were regarded as taking the C of E in direction of Catholics, politicians were concerned at the role of Catholicism within Charles I's court.
Queen Henrietta Maria ardent Catholic, openly attended mass at court. Had a strong influence on Charles. Daily masses were held at Somerset House.
Catholicism became popular at court, with many members of the Privy Council identified as Catholics
Popular impression the government was adopting a pro-Catholic line led to rumour the Pope had offered to make Archbishop Laud a cardinal
Papal envoys visited Charles from 1643 and in 1637 George Con arrived in London as an official papal ambassonder
Exclusion of Catholics from religious toleration
Little active hostility towards Catholics during the republican period. Cromwell did not carry out any persecution of Catholics. Used general fear of Catholics to promote republican virtues
During the 1650s Duke of Savoy used Catholic troops to carry out massacres of Protestants within his state
Cromwell made sure that these acts of butchery were widely reported in newspapers and pamphlets.
Anti-Catholic sentiment 1660-88
During reign of Charles II and James II. Charles Catholic wife, Catherine of Braganza, came to England with 30 Catholic priest, re-establish Catholic influence within court
1660 onwards the power of France and Louis XIV gradually increased many wards made France a leading state in Europe.
Charles formed an alliance with Louis against Protestant Dutch in 1670, which led to Third Dutch War. Many MP's used opportunity afforded by the war to attack Catholic
Test Act- Excluded Catholics from military and civil offices, forced the Duke of York to resign his military command
Popish Plot of 1678. Titus Oated claimed to uncovered a plot organised by Jesuits to murder Charles, place his brother on the throne and restore Catholicism in England
Over time Oates accusations became more sensational, even implicating the queen and Catholic Archbishop the plot was complete fabrication.