This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
Jane E.A. Dawson
University of St. Andrews
he transfer of power at the death of Mary Tudor was accomplished with quiet efficiency and the new Elizabethan regime took control quickly and easily. William Cecil has been credited with the careful organization which lay behind this smooth take-over and the establishment of the 'Cambridge connection' at the very centre of political power. At her accession Elizabeth faced pressing problems in both domestic and foreign affairs. As well as needing to extricate herself from the disastrous war with France and secure her own position, the new Queen could not avoid some reconsideration of the religious position of the country. Whilst the influence and importance of this 'Cambridge connection' for the religious settlement of 1559 has recently been investigated, less .attention has been paid to Cecil's foreign policy and the ideas which lay behind it.1 Yet these were equally distinctive and arguably even more important. William Cecil established a British context for Elizabeth's early foreign policy. His objective was the creation of a united and Protestant British Isles. This was to be achieved by conquering Ireland completely and by creating a new
* I am most grateful to Professors Loades and Upton and Drs Bradshaw, Lenman, Mason, Pcttegree, Rodriguez-Salgado, and Mr Peter Barber of the British Museum for their helpful comments on earlier drafts of this paper. ' See W.S. Hudson, The Cambridge Connection and the Elizabethan Settlement of 1559 (Durham: North Carolina 1980); N. Jones, Faith by Statute. Parliament and the Settlement of Religion 1559 (London 1982) 'Elizabeth's First Year; The Conception and Birth of the Elizabethan Political World', in The Reign of Elizabeth ed. C. Haigh (London, 1984), 27-53: N. Sutherland, 'The Marian Exiles and the Elizabethan Settlement of Religion', Archtv fur Reformationsgexchichte 78 (1987) 253-86; W. MacCaffrey, The Shaping of (he Elizabethan Regime (London, 1969), Part I. 196
Anglo-Scottish alliance to replace the 'Auld Alliance' of France and Scotland. With a unified British Isles, both the doors into England would be closed to foreign invaders and any subsequent threat could first be faced upon the seas surrounding the islands of Britain. England's miltary strength and fortifications would be improved but, with the land border completely safe, the main burden of defence would fall upon a revitalised royal navy. Cecil's British strategy was the product of two different strands in his thinking, the cartographical and the ideological, both of which had been developed in the 1540s and 1550s among his Cambridge friends. Unlike most of his contemporaries Cecil had a complete grasp of the geographical unity of the British Isles. His strategic awareness of England's vulnerable borders and their new significance arose from his deep appreciation and use of maps and the information which they contained. Cecil's early connections with the Athenian tribe' at Cambridge in the 1540s and particularly his close personal links with Sir John Cheke brought him into contact with the latest developments in geometry, surveying and mapmaking. From these beginnings grew Cecil's life-long passion for maps which was to prove invaluable during his ministerial career.2 As Dr Skelton has demonstrated, 'in his understanding of the geographical facts which govern policy, decision and action, abroad no less than at home, he was unsurpassed, and possibly unequalled, by any other statesmen or administrator of his time'.3 When analysing problems Cecil thought in a cartographical idiom. He frequently annotated the maps he worked with and often seems to have written political memoranda with a map on the desk in front of him. Throughout his political career he sought out, commissioned and demanded that maps should be sent to him, especially when dealing with Irish affairs. It was largely at his insistence that Ireland was properly mapped in the later Tudor period. Although he had never visited that country, from his acute visual perception and remarkable memory Cecil became more familiar with the contours of Ireland than most English officials in the Dublin administration.4 The quality of the maps at Cecil's disposal improved considerably during Elizabeth's reign. He began by using his copy of Sebastiano di Re's new 1558 version of Lily's map. In 1546 George Lily had produced in exile a map which has been described as the first real map of the British Isles.5 It says much for Cecil's insight that he grasped the significance of the first accurate representation of Britain. From 1563 or 1564 Cecil's
P. Barber, 'Monarchs, ministers and maps in England, 1485-1625', [forthcoming] Sect. IV. I am most grateful to Mr Barber for allowing me to consult this paper before its publication. 3 R.A. Skelton and J. Summerson, A Description of Maps and Architectural Drawings in the Collection made by William Cecil, First Baron Burghley now at Hatfield House (Roxburghe Club, Oxford, 1971), 3. 4 In December 1567 Cecil was able to write a detailed memorandum on the siting of garrison* in Ulster and then to add the sites to John Goghe's map of Ireland: Skelton, 26-7; J.H. Andrews, 'Geography and government in Elizabethan Ireland' in Irish Geographical Studies eds. N. Stephens and R.E. Glassock (Belfast, 1970), 180-1. 5 E. Lynam, The Map of the British Isles of 1546 (Jenkintown, 1934); R. Shirley, Early Printed Maps of the British Isles: A Bibliography, 1477-1650 (London, 1980). 197
R. A Tudor Mystery: Laurence Nowcll's Map of England und Ireland' Map Collector 22 (1983) 16-21 and 'The minister puts his mind on the map' British Museum Society Bulletin 43 (1983) 18-9. 61-5.8 Cecil was heavily involved in the production of the unionist propaganda of that period which proclaimed the ideal of a united and Protestant island of Britain. Cecil's experiences in the 1540s when he had served Protector Somerset provided him with the ideological dimension of his strategy as well as a personal acquaintance with Scotland and the Scots. He was presented with a beautiful manuscript map by Laurence Nowell which showed with considerable accuracy and in great detail England. On the back of Nowell's map he wrote out a series of travel itineraries including those for Scotland. the first based on Ortelius' world atlas and the other on the proof sheets of Shaxton's atlas of the English counties. 24-7. quite literally. Darbcr.6 After 1570 the 'Nowell-Burghley' atlas was superseded by two larger volumes. 1579 2 vols. The loose maps and the made-up volumes demonstrate that one of his prime concerns was national defence.L. witnessing at first hand the shortcomings and the ultimate failure of Somerset's policy. The England of Elizabeth (London. Ireland and Southern Scotland.D. By his death Cecil had put together two whole books of Irish maps indicating both his own deep interest in the subject and the country's importance in English policy. Pollard (New York. * C. London.86f. 7 These maps enabled Cecil. For Ireland Cecil used and annotated John Goghe's manuscript map of 1567 and corrected Mercator's map of 1564 to make it more accurate. according to tradition. Barber. Early Maps of the British Isles A. Flower. II. 198 . to 'see' the British context of Elizabethan foreign policy and to help him to construct his British strategy. 'Laurence Nowell and the discovery of England in Tudor Times' Proceedings of the British Academy 21 (1935) 3-29.) 53-157.CECIL AND FOREIGN POLICY cartographical tools improved. Plates 22f. 5-12. Cecil had this and another of NowelPs maps bound up in a small notebook and. Mr Secretary Cecil and Queen Elizabeth (London. Plates 14-17: and Shirley. y W. A. Cecil's strategic appreciation of England's borders provided him with the basic contours of his British strategy. (Royal Geographical Society. in Tudor Tracts ed. 9 Similar sentiments were to be found in John Mardeley's metrical exhortation to the Scots which was read by Cecil and can now be found among his papers. The Expedition into Scotland'. Rowse. 7 G . Nos. 1964). Crone. He would have been familiar with James Henrisoun's 'Exhortation' and in the summer of 1548 Henrisoun sent his second book " P. 1961) I. wrote a diary of the campaign which expressed in apocalyptic terms English expectations for a united Britain.M. R . In particular his acute sense of geography impressed upon him the need to deal with the defence of the three kingdoms of Britain as a single problem. Read. The purpose behind that defence and the methods used to achieve it came from a different source. 1000-A. his introduction lo Facsimile of 1570 edition of Ortelius' 'Theatrum Orbis Terram' (Amsterdam. 1964 ed. Cecil also had close links with the Anglophile Scots who were writing propaganda supporting the English campaign. always carried it with him for reference.D. 1965) 38. 'Monarchs. William Patten. Patten. 1964) 31-65. A. Cecil's fellow judge of the Marshelsea court. He had taken part in the Scottish campaign of 1547-8 and fought at Pinkie. Wales. ministers and maps'.
'The Struggle for the Marriage of Mary Queen of Scots: English and French Intervention in Scotland. 11 Mcrriman. Mason. 34. to make me one Islande?'. converted and civilized kingdom of Ireland. 1974-5). New Perspectives on the Politics and Culture of Early Modern Scotland eds. 'James Henrisoun and 'Great Britain': British Union and the Scottish Commonwealth' Scotland and England ed. new edition. bee moste hable to defende us against all nacions: and havyng the sea for a wall.D. 1543-50. Antichrist and the invention of Great Britain'. Lyall (Aberdeen. 'Ane Resonyng' ed.11 In his later thinking the Secretary gave particular prominence to one aspect of the unionist propaganda: the idea that God had specially designed the British Isles to be set apart from the rest of the world by making it a single unit surrounded by the sea. He was most anxious that his fellow-Scotsmen should not squander the opportunity which God in His mercy had offered them to accept the new religion and with it the English as their new allies. 12 R. 94. The Assured Scots' Scottish Historical Review XLVII (1968) 10-35. It is possible that as Somerset's secretary Cecil had a hand in the composition of the 'Proclamation' [September 1547] or the 'Epistle' [February 1548]. At the end of Henrisoun's 'Exhortation'. 1979). R. the mutuall love for garrison. Assured Scots'. of any worldely or forrein power. though this would obviously require a suitably conquered. 1987) 85-112. and God for defence. This idea became the cornerstone of Cecil's defensive policy for the British Isles. University of London. Whatever the degree of his own involvement. Stewart. 'Scotching the Brut: Politics. 'War and Propaganda during the Rough Wooing' Scottish Tradition IX/X (1979-80) 20-30. Williamson. 1872). Mason (Edinburgh. For a Scottish rebuttal of this propaganda see W. From these ideological and 10 M.12 The 'Epistle' had taken the idea a stage further by portraying the sea as a divine blessing which would act as a moat and defend Britain: 13 If we twoo beyng made one by amitie. Dwyer. Murdoch (Edinburgh. (Scottish Text Society. 1982). thesis. 11 Cited in Merriman. 1985) and The Complaynt of Scotlande (Eary English Text Society. Merriman. it is clear that the propaganda of that period 'moulded Cecil's ideas regarding Scotland' and that in his dealings with the Scottish crisis of 1559-60 'there were unmistakable references to that propaganda'.J.' (Unpublished Ph. and A. DAWSON to Cecil to be approved for publication.10 Many of these ideas were found in two pamphlets produced by the English government during the Scottish campaign and attributed to Protector Somerset himself. Mason and A. Lamb. should make so noble and wel agreyng Monarchic. R. 'Britain' asked her warring children "Hath not the almighty providence severed me from the reste of the worlde. that neither in peace wee maie bee ashamed. By the beginning of Elizabeth's reign he had also expanded the original idea of Anglo-Scottish union to include the whole of the British Isles. 34-58. 8. A. and National Myth in Sixteenth-Century Britain' in Scotland and England 60-84.A. This set forth in considerable detail Henrisoun's vision of the new Britain which would result from an Anglo-Scottish union. nor in warre affraied. Henrisoun's 'Exhortation' printed in The Complaynt 207-36. J. 'James Henrisoun'.M. 199 . History. with a large sea. R. 'Scotland. ch.JANEE.
Prior to this time the Scottish frontier had been of secondary interest. the French and the Scots.S.B. during the later stages of the 'Rough Wooing1. The Mid-Tudor Polity c. The most obvious alteration was the loss of Calais and the few hundred square miles of the surrounding English Pale in northern France which had fallen to the French in January 1558. * * * The British context of early Elizabethan foreign policy was produced by the fundamental changes which took place in the location and status of England's borders. D. This emphasised the geographical fact that England was part of an island and that it was now divided from mainland Europe by the sea. 1983). 16 M.15 The loss of its old foothold in France also focussed attention upon England's sole remaining land border. The Government Policy of Protector Somerset (London. ch. Davies.CECIL AND FOREIGN POLICY cartographical building blocks he erected a full British strategy to deal with the crisis which confronted the Elizabethan regime in the summer of 1559. The English had never been able to neglect their northern frontier because of the Auld Alliance' which united their traditional enemies. the English had been forced to divide their forces between the two fronts. 168-78. littler. Protector Somerset had committed England's resources and his entire attention to the Scottish front. that with Scotland. J. in his Studies in Tudor and Stuart Politics and Government III (Cambridge. 11. it was also the last remnant of medieval England's continental empire. In the entire sixteenth century there was only one period when a conflict with Scotland had taken precedence over all other concerns. From 1547 to 1549. The psychological impact of its loss and the humiliating ease of its capture have attracted considerable comment. 305-20. From this time onwards. The capture of Calais followed shortly afterwards by the marriage of Mary Queen of Scots to the French Dauphin made the border a central English concern. They had to leave troops to guard the 'postern gate' against the Scottish incursion while the main army was committed against the French on the continent. England had ceased to be a physical part of the continent of Europe. 200 . Elton. 1966). 440-1. Loach and R. Bush.16 14 C. 1979).L. But historians have tended to treat it as the final disaster of Mary's unhappy reign: an event which destroyed English morale and crippled the war effort. the English were equally incapable of permanently conquering their northern neighbour. During the wars against Scotland and France. 'England and the French War. 1557-9'. The Reign of Mary Tudor (London. 1540-60 eds. Before the Armada (London. Wernham. 15 The phrase is taken from R. They have failed to emphasise the long-term strategic implications and the problems which Elizabeth immediately faced. England's southern border had been shifted and this radical alteration proved to be permanent. (London. England became an island 'off rather than 'of Europe. Also see G. Loades. being ranked below continental issues in England's list of priorities. But his grandiose efforts had merely demonstrated that while the Scots did not pose a serious military threat to England. where he places the break with the continent in 1492 with the annexation of the Duchy of Brittany. 1980). 'England and the Continent in the Sixteenth Century". 1975). 2.14 Although it was a small piece of territory for the Tudor monarchy to lose.
Elizabeth was illegitimate and so could not inherit the English throne. The first event had severed England from Europe. 39-40. the second had actually brought the continent into the British Isles. The main defences were to be found at Berwick-upon-Tweed. its walls could not withstand a heavy artillery bombardment. The accession of Queen Elizabeth gave the French a further incentive to invade and also provided them with a legal justification. It formalised the bond between France and Scotland and established a new relationship between the two states. it was at the time of her wedding that the young bride made the secret agreement which placed her kingdom unreservedly in French hands. Colvin (London. To guard against a French attack England needed defences along her northern border of an entirely different kind and sophistication than those which had existed hitherto. Merriman. An English bridgehead in France had been replaced by a French bridgehead in Britain. was widely suspected. ed. The old postern gate where the Scots could create a diversion had become the front door through which a French army might march. Viewed in this light. This fortified town controlled the two routes into England which could be taken by an invading army with a proper artillery train. in particular. Mary Queen of Scots (London.18 Contemporaries believed that a French invasion from Scotland had a much better chance of success than one which had to make the perilous Channel crossing and then force a landing on the southern coast of England. Donaldson. Scotland was no longer simply a French ally: it had become a kingdom to be ruled by the future King of France. 17 18 201 . Henceforth the English Privy Council had to face the real possibility that France might invade from Scotland. The terms of this agreement were not known in Scotland but their purpose.17 The loss of Calais followed by the marriage created new and acute problems for Elizabeth. By canon law. the country's absorption into the French empire. To hold the frontier against the French would require a full network of modern defensive fortifications. M.M.A. H. The link between the two countries could not now be severed except by. This transformation had frightening implications for Elizabeth. Significantly. which meant that the true Queen of England was the next heir in G. By contemporary continental standards. 'The Scottish Border'. This reversed English strategic priorities: the French threat was now located to the north across an open land frontier and not to the south across the Channel.JANEE. The English had replaced a frontier on French soil by a border which gave direct access to the heart of England. Berwick's fortifications were inadequate and outdated and. 1974). in The History of the King's Works IV Part II 1485-1660. the border looked pathetically weak. 1982). 607-13. It had proved perfectly capable of beating off any Scottish attacks but it would not be able to withstand a professional French army.the dissolution of the marriage. DAWSON The marriage of Mary Queen of Scots to the Dauphin transformed the status of the Scottish border.
Murdin. 1515-1624 6 vols. This consideration strongly reinforced the earl of N There were difficulties about Mary's claim as she had been specifically excluded from the succession by Henry VIII's will: M. 1558-V MQf. 1559. Mary Queen of Scots... It was in the hands of the MacDonnells. both entrances were now located inside the British Isles. Elizabeth] ed J Stevenson el. 11 Sept. then it would be extremely difficult to stop them overrunning England.19 At the start of Elizabeth's reign the prospect looked very bleak to anxious English observers: if the French were able to exploit their strengthened position in Scotland and assemble a large army there. 202 . In English eyes this made the kingdom of Ireland a strategic liability. Only twenty miles separated Ulster from the Scottish coast and there were no English defences on the Irish side. e.CECIL AND FOREIGN POLICY blood. 1966). the southern branch of the Scottish Clan Donald. ihe realm and all that depends thereupon'.g. If the French once occupied Ireland they could either mount a naval blockade or use it as a base for a descent upon the undefended west coast of England. Levine. Antrim itself lay beyond the control of the Elizabethan government in Dublin. Forfeign. The English were afraid that the French would win the MacDonnells and the Gaelic lords of Ulster to their side as they had tried to do during the 1550s.left by William Cecil. 'the French mean. (London. Paget to Parry and Cecil. 1867-73).21 This would enable them to expand that original plan. Also Calendar of] SftaieJ Pjapers]. 22 With Scotland becoming the front door for a French invasion and Ireland the postern gate. CSP For. Calif. 1560. 2 Vols.For this particular fear see the Earl of Sussex's report. I. 221. the Dauphin's wife. The Eurlv Elizabethan Succession Question. who were also masters of Kintyre and so controlled both sides of the North Channel between the two countries. 1740-59). Haynesand W. 1559-60. B[ritish] Lfibrary] Lansdo*ne MS. Memo 'Best worldlic felicitie'. 2 " England's new problems were not confined to her land border with Scotland. after their powers are brought into Scotland. S. These changes in England's borders ensured that the greatest initial threat to Elizabeth's survival came from within Britain. 21 ' There was general gloom at the beginning of Elizabeth's reign. I.) and next. In addition to the specific threat from the links between Scotland and Ulster. The British context of early Elizabethan foreign policy was a necessity not a choice. 'French Intrigue in Ireland during the reign of Henri II. 1863-1Q50). Calendar of the Carew Manuscripts preserved in the archiepiscopal library at Lambeth. Collection of Siale Papers . 1558-1568 (Stanford. 99-125. Elizabeth and her advisers feared that France would also seek to exploit the other Anglo-Scottish frontier: the stretch of sea which joined Ireland and Scotland and which was even more vulnerable than the land border. (which will be neither hard or long to do. International History Review 5 (1983) 159-80. al 23 vols. the English were acutely conscious of the general problem posed by their lack of control throughout Ireland. Potter. The threat was most succinctly expressed by the Privy Council memorandum of 24 Dec. first to conquer it. 302. 208. the rest of the country was open to foreign intrigue and intervention. (London. 1547-1559'. :. With English authority restricted to Dublin and the Pale. that they and the Scots will invade this realm principally upon the north parts'. 26-7. (London.. and this would put in hazard 'the stale of the crown. Lord Burghiey eds. IV () fos. -' D. enter northern Ireland with ease and from there take over the whole country.
The Elizabethan Conquest of Ireland: A Pattern Established. 1565-76 (Hassocks. al 24 vols. was also preoccupied with domestic issues and had. at. Medatlic Illustrations of the History of Great Britain (London. 70. M.11 Although superficially successful. Henry II. These problems dominated Henry's short-term policies. Philip of Spain had little cause to value England or English power. Only then would Henry II make serious use of Mary Queen of Scots' claim to the English throne and seek to invade Elizabeth's kingdom from the north.). and for a different view of the dating. From his own personal experience as the husband of Mary Tudor.JANEE. the Scottish suitably smaller than the French. France was also split by growing religious and political divisions which demanded immediate attention. Sussex. like Philip. 3 vols. 1558. Bradshaw. In spite of all his efforts he had been unable to make any lasting change to the situation in Ulster or the rest of Ireland. the capture of England was never the sole or even the central objective of French policy. The first step would be to gain complete control over his daughter-in-law's kingdom of Scotland. Hamilton. It shows Mary's two crowns. Ireland under the Tudors (London. been forced to suspend repayments on his debts in 1557. In 1558 he had far more formidable and immediate problems in the Netherlands. 74 H. 410-12. Nos. 1885). I. Hawkins et. The conclusion of the peace of Cateau-Cambresis allowed the final stages of the religious settlement to be 23 B. I. 75: R. eds. 26 Although a glittering prize. 34 An awareness of their vulnerability within the British Isles and the specific threats to England's borders forced Elizabeth and her ministers to consider Britain as the top priority in their foreign policy. Part III. 72. 149-50. Canny.6.. Thereafter Philip's main concern was to prevent France gaining England rather than himself retaining real influence there. Spain and the Mediterranean. Adams Camden Miscellany XXVIII (1984) 302-44. 1976). DAWSON Sussex's desire to implement the decision which had been made at his appointment as Lord Deputy in 1556 and bring the whole of the country under Dublin's rule. 96-7. Calendar of state papers relating to Ireland 1509-1670 ed.C.A. but he retained a strong long-term interest in England. 25 The French King. -6 A graphic illustration of French ambitions can be seen in the medal struck for Mary Queen of Scots in 1559-60. The Irish Constitutional Revolution of the Sixteenth Century (Cambridge. * ** The temporary reduction in England's importance to France and Spain offered the Elizabethan regime a breathing space and an opportunity to tackle their new British problems. and the outline of a third crown composed of stars resting in the clouds: E. N. 25 'The Count of Feria's Dispatch to Philip II of 14 November 1558'. Bagwell. (London. Sussex's reports 3. the military expeditions of 1557 and 1558 had revealed the Lord Deputy's failure to achieve any quick or easy victory. 1963 ed. 1979). et. 203 . Rodriguez- Salgado and S. This was assisted by the conclusion of the peace of Cateau-Cambresis in April 1559 and the consequent reduction of England's importance to the West European powers.31 Oct.J. I. 1860-1912).. In the late summer of 1558 Sussex had temporarily pushed the MacDonnells out of Antrim and had even crossed the North Channel and burned their lands in Kintyre.
For Elizabeth and her ministers the most immediate and disturbing consequence of Henry's death was the change it brought to Scotland.27 However. 50-60. Donaldson. The accession of Francis II made Mary Queen of Scots also the Queen of France and gave her uncles. considerable influence in both kingdoms. To further this aim she had introduced an increasing number of French officials. (London 1983) ch. there was little chance for domestic consolidation or for mature reflection upon policy towards Scotland or Ireland for the European situation was transformed by Henry II's untimely death. Mary Queen of Scots. 204 . On 30 June the King was wounded in the eye during a joust to celebrate the peace with Spain. The prospect of a large French army based in Scotland. the Guises. Since the marriage in April and the bestowal of the crown matrimonial upon the Dauphin the following November Mary of Guise had abandoned her previous policy of conciliation in religious matters and had adopted instead a vigorous Catholic line. Elizabeth's advisers felt that when this had been accomplished the temptation to use that army to invade England and Jones. The rebels were weak and had difficulty resisting the Regent's professional French troops.CECIL AND FOREIGN POLICY manoeuvred through parliament. Francis. The Regent could herself bring pressure upon the young king to secure more assistance in Scotland through her brothers and her daughter. as was expected. G. He died a fortnight later and was succeeded by his son. ft turned the vulnerability of England's northern borders into an immediate and pressing danger. government advisers and troops. England. Faith by Statute. The Scottish Regent needed French aid because she was encountering stiff opposition to her new tough policies. 3. the Scottish rebellion was doomed. At the time of Henry II's death an anti-French and anti-Catholic revolt had already begun led by a group of Scottish Protestant nobles who called themselves the 'Lords of the Congregation'. from being a long-term possibility had become a short-term certainty.28 The Scottish rebellion and Henry's death combined to give a new urgency to the dilemma facing Elizabeth and her ministers. These changes increased Scotland's importance in French thinking. 118-20. The Duke of Guise and the Cardinal of Lorraine favoured the rapid extension of French power in Scotland and support for the Scottish Regent Mary of Guise. Francis' wife. Mary of Guise had sought to consolidate her control over Scotland. who was also their sister. All the Queen's Men. Both of these developments deeply alarmed the Scots. The English assumed that when the Regent's reinforcements arrived from France they would easily subdue the Scots. The Scots had to have foreign support to survive and they turned for help to their old enemy. If large numbers of reinforcements were to arrive from France. Throughout her regency and especially after her own position was immeasureably strengthened by her daughter's marriage to the Dauphin.
Shaping. Elizabeth tended to shy away from grand strategies feeling safer with short-term tactics. but Ireland and Scotland as well. DAW SON place Mary Queen of Scots upon the English throne would be difficult for the French to resist. 7-8. She appeared generally unsympathetic to Cecil's vision of a united. MacCaffrey.30 Cecil's political vision and strategic grasp gave English foreign policy its purpose and direction. 67-70. and the corollary conception of a kind of Monroe doctrine for the British Isles were the columns on which all his policy rested".32 Cecil tailored his arguments to fit in with his royal mistress's attitudes. S. (303). minimal entanglements or commitments abroad. as was shown in the discussions about English intervention in Scotland in 1559-60.A. 'Scotland had bene to hir [Elizabeth] as this daye. In the conclusion of The Shaping of the Elizabethan Regime. S Adams (History Today Special Issue. Protestant British Isles. A short memorial of the state of the realm. in Haynes and Murdin.. Although there is very little direct evidence concerning her personal preferences. Maximum autonomy for England in international affairs. " W. and its successful resolution brought him to pre-eminence as the Queen's chief minister. 3: Ibid. 579-88. Adams. Elizabeth's Secretary. It was handled throughout by William Cecil. The preservation of the As Cecil later commented. 1983) 38-42. 1558-68'. Secretary Cecil chs. (1569)'. Elizabeth would agree to act on the basis of an immediate threat to her own position or to her kingdom. During the Scottish crisis he worked out a coherent policy which dealt with all of England's problems within the British Isles both now and in the future. This had its dangers.JANEE. 21 (1963). Anglophile government in Edinburgh which would be able to enter into the closest possible alliance with England and so accomplish the first stage of his grand strategy. Past and Present. He devised a British strategy which encompassed not merely the defence of England. 205 29 .29 By the summer of 1559 the situation on England's borders had become quite critical. With their English allies. he explained that Cecil's 'analyses were dominated by a vision of foreign policy which was near isolationist in character. 1984) 27-53. The Queen's outlook was much more European than her chief minister's. 68.31 Cecil recognised that the Scottish crisis was part of a much wider problem of security within the British Isles. Instead Cecil had to use different arguments to persuade her. the Scots would be helped to defeat the French and then establish themselves in control in Edinburgh. In all his dealings over the war in Scotland he kept the wider British perspective in view. 341 Read. without a sea to defend his force and enmyte'. I. MacCaffrey has come closest to recognising that Cecil had a full British strategy. C. For Cecil the purpose of such action was to produce a Protestant. a France. Haigh (London. The Queen Embattled' in Elizabeth /ed. This was more difficult since he was unable or unwilling to win over the Queen to his long-term objectives. To achieve this aim the intervention had to be prompt in order to save the Scottish Lords of the Congregation from being crushed by the Regent's troops. 'Elizabeth's First Year' The Reign of Elizabeth /ed. 26-7. 'Elizabethan Politics: The First Decade. MacCaffrey. if nothing had been done in 1559-60. and she would have preferred to play international politics with the continental crowned heads but was usually inhibited by the risks involved. though he does not describe it in any detail. Jones. N.
(Edinburgh. CSP For. 1976). their common Protestant faith would help to seal the new Anglo-Scottish alliance. 1558-9. 223. Cecil clearly recognised the lessons of the 1540s and was determined to avoid similar mistakes. as he wrote to Sir James Croft.33 Cecil realised that Elizabeth could make a break with past associations of English aggression if she offered her assistance in a careful way. As the Rough Wooing had proved. the preservation of the Lords of the Congregation. 148-62: MacCaffrey. 15 But for Cecil's real purpose. for if it be quenched the opportunity will not come again in our lifetime'. It was this which pushed him into :< Cecil was well aware of the need to seize the opportunity. •" This was the line of reasoning used by Sir Nicholas Bacon: R Tittler. In addition to the trust that this would engender between the two nations. The need to anticipate a French invasion of England did not automatically demand immediate action in the winter of 1559-60 and there were voices on the Privy Council urging the Queen to wait at least until the spring and see what happened in Scotland. the English were incapable of occupying Scotland successfully or forcing the Scots into a lasting alliance. CSP Sc 1. 1898-1969). It had also shown that fair words about the union of Protestant Britain sounded very hollow when accompanied by an invading English army. no delay was possible. Read. 61f. 93-6. but there were counter-arguments which supported a different timetable for intervention. it was not these arguments which Cecil advanced to the Privy Council and the Queen during the second half of 1559. I. 220-4. at 14 vols. Nicholas Bacon (London. Permanent friendship between the two realms was a principal ingredient in Cecil's objective of a united British Isles. 206 . He chose instead to put the case for a preventive war against France to be fought on Scottish soil. Bain et.CECIL AND FOREIGN POLICY Lords of the Congregation was vital to Cecil's strategy because they held the key to an Anglo-Scottish alliance. It was these long-term plans nurtured by Cecil which demanded that the Lords of the Congregation be saved by English support and established in power to carry through their two revolutions. Cecil was already thinking about an Anglo-Scotish alliance at this time. 519-24. 8 July 1559. The French threat to Elizabeth and to England was real and immediate but it was perhaps not as pressing as Cecil suggested. Cfalendar of] S/iate] Pfapers relating to] Scfoiland and Mary Queen of Scots 1547-16031 ed. However. To ensure that his proposals won the day he had to maximise the immediate danger posed by the French to Elizabeth's own position on the throne and to her realm. 222.34 Such a line of argument had its drawbacks. and it could only be achieved with Scottish co-operation. The rebellion of the Lords of the Congregation offered England an opportunity to reverse the disastrous impressions created a decade before and to act in accordance with the unionist propaganda of that period. 1559-60. England's support must come without strings and all claims to sovereignty over Scotland must be dropped if the Scottish Lords were to consider the idea of long-term friendship with the old enemy. u Cecil's arguments were contained in the papers he prepared for two meetings of the Privy Council in August and December 1559. Secretary Cecil. Shaping. "kindle the fire. 4 July 1559. His arguments for prompt action were logistically sound. one in religion and the other in Anglo-Scottish relations. J.
1966 ed. emerged. Its terms demonstrate that Cecil was not simply aiming at containing the French threat. Cecil's aim of a long-term friendship depended. Denmilne state papers. 49. 33. I. •* This clause in the Treaty has been overlooked principally because it is not included in the precis printed in CSP Sc. Some of the ideas behind the clause were worked out in detail in Cecil's memorandum. 413-5. for help in the subjugation of Elizabeth's other kingdom. 244.JANEE. An English naval squadron was sent north commanded by Admiral Winter while an English army was assembled on the Border under the overall authority of the Duke of Norfolk. In CSP For 1559-60. I.g. In particular. 263-4. e. The best way to prove this was for the English to provide military assistance to the Scots as to equal partners in a common enterprise.1. 207 . Cecil's plans were eventually approved. 15 Feb. 1818 fos. In his mind the problems of Scotland and Ireland were intimately connected and this made it possible for him to contemplate solutions which were similarly linked. Ireland. This is precisely what was agreed in the Treaty of Berwick. DAWSON the unprecedented step of threatening the Queen with his resignation if aid were not sent immediately to the Scottish rebels. they were two aspects of the same problem: that of establishing a united.G.g. This was apparent in two different aspects of the treaty: its treatment of the Scots and the clause concerning Ulster. 1560. Cruiksnank. 323-4. but that he viewed the intervention as the great opportunity to secure a united and Protestant British Isles. Even by this early date Argyle had already agreed Co help the English: J.37 The other important feature of the Treaty of Berwick revealed the full scope of Cecil's British strategy and the link between his Scottish and Irish policies. 17 The arguments which had been circulating at the end of 1558 and in the early months of 1559 based upon the premises of English sovereignty over Scotland had been dropped completely.A. CSP For 1558-9. the clause is briefly summarised.1 No. Adv. B 9 f. it was now possible to look to England's newest ally. Eg. B. 18 March 1560. 59. 2 April 1560. Cecil had carefully framed the treaty so that it gave the Scots the help they so badly needed but demanded no concessions in return. printed in Hayncs and Murdin. at this stage. which was the argument he had employed in the Privy Council.L. Elizabeth's Army (Oxford. which stated:38 * Read.E. vii-viii: for the military campaign see C. Elizabeth to whomsoever. previously inconceivable. 34. 2. MS.* * ** The agreement with the Scots on the use of these forces was formalised in the Treaty of Berwick signed in February 1560. 9-10. N[alional] Lfibrary of] S(cotland).) 207-36: for (he navy below n. chs. secure and ultimately Protestant British Isles. If Britain's three kingdoms really could be treated as a single unit then a whole range of possibilities. e. upon demonstrating that England had abandoned any idea of conquering or dominating its northern neighbour. The new mood was reflected in the letters sent to Scottish nobles to encourage them to join the Congregation. Cecil to Earl of Huntly. The quotation is taken from the version in BL Cotton Caiig. No hint of a threat to Scottish pride or Scotland's integrity was allowed to appear in the text for fear of jeopardising the new trust between the Lords of the Congregation and the English. Haynesand Murdin. 'Two Kingdoms or Three?: Ireland in Anglo-Scottish Relations in the Middle of the Sixteenth Century' in Scotland and England. the Scots. Secretary Cecil 161. Indeed. 113-38. Dawson. The very first indication of the Link between Scotland and Ulster comes in the Queen's instructions to the Duke of Norfolk. I.A.
41 The Dublin government was predisposed to regard the Scots as its enemies and a potential threat to the security of all Ireland. 389.43 The idea of using Scottish troops to fight for the English government in Ireland was. 1985). Gregory. 8 Feb. The MacDonnells of Antrim (Belfast. History of the Western Highlands (London. Sir Henry Sidney was convinced that the French wanted to complete their domination and take Ireland from the Queen: Sidney to Privy Council. had hired mercenaries from the Western Isles of Scotland and these gallowglasses and redshanks had provided the core of their armed resistance to the English. Wormald. 154-179. 103-4. 1558 P[uhlic] R[ecord] O[ffice]. The idea of bringing over a large number of Scottish redshank mercenaries to fight for the Dublin government was quite new. Through W.A. cf. In 1545 Henry VIII had been willing to employ Donald Dubh. S[tate] P(apers] 63/2 fos. 12 Nov. Lords and Men (Edinburgh. J: Writing just after he had heard news of the fall of Calais. As well as offering some prospect of a solution to the Irish problem this clause neatly solved the question of repayment for the English intervention in Scotland. and several thousand of his followers but they were to be used in Scotland as part of the Rough Wooing. The surprising inclusion of the clause about Ulster indicated a complete reversal of English policy. It required a major change in attitude towards the Scots not only in Ireland but in England as well.2. 1873) chs.CECIL AND FOREIGN POLICY that the erle of Argyll sal] imploy his force and guid will wher he salbe requyred by the quenis majestic to reduce the north partis of yrland to the perfyt obedience of england conform to ane mutuall and reciprok contract to be past betwix the lord depute of yrland for the tyme and the said erle. *' G. 1565-1603 (London. French attempts during Edward VTs reign to link up with Irish rebels had left a deep impression and a lasting fear. 1560. Scots Mercenary Forces in Ireland. difficult to accept. 41 See the bond of manicnt made between the Earl of Argyle and James MacDonald/ MacDonnell of Dunyveg and the Glens in which James promised 'to resist any invasion of Frenchmen' in Ireland. CSP For. 20 Feb. w 208 . J. 15-6. By accepting help in Ireland the English could maintain the posture of altruistic friend to the Scots and avoid any suggestion of infringing their sovereignty or offending their pride by formally demanding fortifications or indemnities. 1881). It had also been hostile to any more Scots entering Ulster because of the alarming success of the MacDonnells in Antrim.39 Since the thirteenth century the Gaelic chiefs of Ireland. They had steadily expanded their territory in the north-eastern corner of Ulster at the expense of all their rivals. The English and the Anglo-Irish found it just as difficult to alter their opinion about their old enemies as the Scots had about the English. (recognised throughout the Highlands as the last MacDonald Lord of the Isles). 1937). especially in the north. 185. 1559-60. 1. Hill. 1559 Cecil to Sadler and Crofts. therefore. Neither the Irish chiefs nor the English administration had been able to contain them. Hayes-McCoy. 42 Even after the French withdrawal from Scotland in the summer of 1560 the Lord Deputy of Ireland remained worried about the threat from France.*1 The Dublin government had not normally been willing to hire native or Scottish gallowglasses for its own campaigns and had never done so in any numbers before. 41 G. Throckmorton to Oueen.4.
without accession of any new force. In that month the Treaty of Edinburgh was concluded which ensured the departure of all French troops from Scottish soil. and yet England remains always one. united strength. it was removed from the final version of the Treaty of Berwick.44 that France and Spain have of late so increased their estates that now they are nothing like what they were. the cause of establishing a united British Isles seemed to be well advanced by July 1560. though it proved inaccurate. They also seem to have accepted the other part of Cecil's plan. is worthy consideration. For avoiding the peril thereof. By this means Ireland might be reformed and brought to perfection of obedience. The break with the Auld Alliance. Although there was to be no simple device such as the Arran marriage to cement the Anglo-Scottish union. having also Ireland knit thereto.was complete and Scotland's links with France were reduced to nominal allegiance to an absentee ruler. But the arguments in support of the match which the Scottish Lords employed almost certainly reflected Cecil's own thinking. the subjugation of Ireland. probably on her insistence. I. and the Queen would be the strongest Princess in Christendom upon the seas. DAWSON 1559-60 Cecil did all that he could to emphasise that the new relationship should be one of partnership. powerful and secure British Isles which would dominate the surrounding seas. though apart from the earl of Argyle they had little involvement there. the wider benefits of such a marriage would be felt in Ireland. 433-6. It was not unreasonable. In their letter they explained. and establish a certain monarchy by itself in the ocean. This heavy emphasis upon religious unity was less acceptable to Queen Elizabeth and. for the Scottish Lords to believe that the ideas they had shared and discussed with Cecil during his visit to Edinburgh in June and July 1560 would appeal to his royal mistress. 1560-61.A. Such a proposal had little chance of success after the open and indiscreet way in which it was presented to the English Queen and at the time of Dudley's dramatic rise in royal favour. This section is not included in CSP Sc. 209 . It would then be possible to create a united. Each regretted the lost opportunity of the 1540s and continued to use and believe the unionist ideals formulated then. Both Cecil and the Scottish Lords were clear that they were fighting to establish a Protestant island of Britain. 495. Both Mary Queen of Scots and the French tacitly recognised that for the immediate future the Lords of the Congregation would govern in Edinburgh.JANEE. The most eloquent plea for this British strategy came from the Scottish Lords in their urging of a marriage between Queen Elizabeth and the earl of Arran in 1560-1. by joining the two kingdoms. The Lords of the Congregation needed little persuasion concerning the political and religious benefits of an Anglo-Scottish alliance. English troops left Scotland at the same 44 CSP For. They therefore argued that in addition to the immediate gains accruing from the unification of the two kingdoms of Scotland and England. divided from the rest of the world. This new co-operation was to be securely founded upon shared religious conviction.
By the autumn of 1560 Cecil had achieved the first stage of his grand design. 308-10. The diplomatic and religious revolutions undertaken by the Scots in 1560 were precisely what was required to complete the initial stage of Cecil's British strategy. The administration of the Royal Navy under Henry VIM'.. quhilk wes a beginnyng of the reconciliation amang us. Mary Stewart's People (Edinburgh. 1987). all of England's borders would be pushed into the surrounding seas. For defence. 'that wcr of lait our encmeis. Cecil's careful policy of military assistance to equal partners made a considerable impression upon the Scots. R . the adoption of Protestantism. At the same time as he was negotiating with the French in Edinburgh. Efforts to make the navy England's first line of defence had already begun and Cecil could build upon these foundations: his ideas were part of a much longer-term reassessment of English strategy.CECIL AND FOREIGN POLICY time as the French thereby dispelling any remaining fears of an attempt to dictate to the Scots. 57. He had secured a firm Anglo-Scottish alliance reflecting the common faith and shared interests of the two countries. in some respects. Reform and Reformation (London. But the king and his advisers never developed a strategic concept of war at sea and the navy never fought a major engagement. He had also made an agreement which offered the prospect of a successful conquest of Ireland. 210 . * * * Though in theory this new defensive plan would emerge after England's border problems had been solved. It appeared as if both Scotland and Ireland would soon be secure.I. Sanderson.000 troops to serve in Ulster. English Historical Review LXXX (1965). Cecil always regarded the emphasis on the navy as an integral part of his British strategy and. * PRO. as William of Drummond of Lochleven testified.nglish. The two islands of Great Britain could then be treated as a single defensive unit. 268-88.46 The earljs considerable private army offered the Chance to bring the whole island under Dublin's authority. C. not even against the French fleet during the invasion scare of 1545. Argylc offered 3.45 The Scottish Lords confirmed the English alliance and then set about their second revolution. 58-60. Davics. Cecil had been working out the details of Argyle's assistance to the English in northern Ireland. as being independent of his diplomatic initiatives. most important. SP 63/2 fos. Henry VIII had given considerable resources and attention to the royal fleet and there had been an important reorganisation of naval administration at the end of the reign. | 7 G . With the British Isles as the key defensive unit England then could rely upon the navy rather than the army for defence. would close the doors into Elizabeth's kingdom to foreign invaders. Elton.4? Further changes in the organization and use of the navy 4* In his Testament' written in 1568 William Drummond of Lochleven recalled the change brought by the arrival of the English naval squadron to his attitude towards the F. 1977).S. William had personal experience of such a loss as his own father had been killed at Pinkie and he added that 'wes the first oceasioun that I did remit the sam with my hairt': cited in M. and that the hairtis of tham quhilk wer in malice againis tham throw want of thair predecessouris in battail wes begun to be slokinif. This would dramatically alter the nature of England's defence and.
B. Mariners Mirror 51 (1965). This trend was continued after Elizabeth's accession and the Queen approved a programme of rebuilding which would take six years.. Glasgow Jr. 1559-60'. Williamson. Glasgow. The success of the naval operation was in sharp contrast to the costly failures of the English army to storm Leith. 211 . 'List of ships in ihe Royal Navy from 1539-1588 (and 4rt further comments)'. 351-3. 288. it was becoming more important as a component in English military calculations. P. Sl T. 1927).'Maturing the Naval Administration. 321-43. J. DAWSON occurred during Mary's reign when a considerable rebuilding programme was also carried out. Mariners Mirror 54 (1968).N. Mariners Mirror 54 (1968). 1562-4'.51 Although the navy was still being used in traditional ways. though with less success than before. The starting point for general discussions of the navy during the first half of Elizabeth's reign remains M. England's fleet retained its strictly supporting role. 49-91. The Rise and Fall of British Naval Mastery (London. 1896) 115-83. During the war with France in 1557-8 the English navy had performed its tasks of protecting the 'narrow seas* and conveying English troops across the Channel relatively well. 'Vice-Admiral Woodhouse and Shipkeeping in the Tudor Navy'. Oppenheim. 281-96. Its timely arrival and its close blockade of the Firth of Forth throughout the campaign confined the French troops to Leith and then denied them supplies and reinforcements. . This was partly by default for the army had been shown to be no match for the well-trained professional soldiers of the continental powers. Kennedy. 23-37. Naval finances were reorganised in 1557 to guarantee an 'ordinary' annual revenue to run the navy as well as special injections of cash for ship building. 51 T. 305-28. 13-35. 56 (1970).5'1 The first assistance sent north was a naval squadron under Admiral Winter. Quinn and A. such as protecting and transporting troops or blockading ports. 23. Glasgow Jr. 299-307. 252-63. 1976). Sir John Hawkins (Oxford. 1556-64'.. 1557-8'. 73-6. A History of the Administration of the Royal Navy and the Merchant Shipping (London. 3-26. New ideas on its use and on war at sea can also be glimpsed. It was principally the sea blockade which forced the French to withdraw and to accept a settlement.JANEE. 'Maturing the Naval Administration'. The difficulties faced in all these campaigns proved that the new naval administration could cope with the considerable strains of sustained operations. and T. Ryan.A. The navy was Much of ihe interest and initiative for the Marian programme came from Philip of Spain: Loades. 'The Navy in Philip and Mary's War. The navy's role in the English intervention in Scotland in 1559-60 was of far greater significance for the successful outcome of the whole enterprise. The Navy in the Le Havre Expedition.M. Mariners Mirror 53 (1967). 4y T. 48 These gradual changes improved the capability and the efficiency of the navy and permitted the development of a permanent fleet during both peace and war. But as the war was decided on land between the great military machines of Spain and France. 61 (1975). The English navy also played a significant role in the disastrous Newhaven adventure of 1563-4.A. 267.49 By the opening years of her reign the navy had become a permanent institution with a proper organization and a standing fleet. England's Sea Empire (London. 'The Royal Navy at the start of the reign of Elizabeth I'. 1983). Glasgow J r . 63 (1971). 'The Navy in the First Elizabethan Undeclared War.. also see D. Glasgow Jr.
Mariners Mirror 60 (1974). whose tendency to think geographically about defence had produced his British strategy.52 This was initially seen in terms of securing the 'narrow seas' but gradually it was extended to the rest of the home waters. 1569-71. out of the day-to-day administration and into actual naval operations. He showed great enthusiasm for the naval projects of the first years of the reign and was a key figure in persuading the Queen to support them. it is a great folly for a prince to venture the loss of a kingdom in possession. The French would seek English naval support which would dangerously expose England if a large number of ships were lost. in Changing Interpretations and New Sources in Naval History ed. Scotland might be friendly and Protestant but particularly after the return of Mary Queen of Scots. 1568-79. Pollit. 119-32. He was also able to move his friend Lord Clinton. W Love Jr. R. Cecil feared that the threat to Ireland being as easy to be taken by Spain as defended by England. 'Bureaucracy and the Armada'. al 13 vols. (London. the Lord Admiral. Such thinking had been anticipated in the 1540s and was certainly shared by Cecil. 1862-1964). Cecil was primarily interested in naval administration. he felt the need to be doubly sure. M R. 1980). The importance of controlling the seas can be seen in Cecil's 'Consideration for a League with France 22 August 1571'. 51 CSPFor. 212 . 31 May and 1 June 1569. and only dealt with the naval aspects of English defence. Tyler et. for thereby he would become a more potent prince on the sea than England. 'they being the wall of England'. (New York. By pressing for full and detailed accounts he was able to increase the importance of the Treasurer to the Navy and through him to control the Navy Board. The second problem Cecil identified concerned the details of the proposed offensive/defensive alliance with France. 68-79. Cecil's administrative skills together with his cartographical sense gave him a passion for contingency planning and the navy was one of his main targets. but the massive cost of modernising the fortifications at Berwick-upon-Tweed was another major K In 1569 the Spanish ambassador reporting to Philip II on the English defence preparations explained "that they expect to be able to repel any attack by means of their fleet1. 'Rationality and Expedience in the Growth of Elizabethan Naval Administration'. Calendar of State Papers.53 In the minds of Elizabethan statesmen the sea.CECIL AND FOREIGN POLICY beginning to be seen as a weapon in its own right and one which could be used as the first line of defence against invasion. Most of the ordinary expenditure on war was devoted to the navy. R. and Ireland would be of more moment to a King of Spain. 157. had become a great asset. which now provided England's defensible borders. As to make account that England might recover some part of the Low Countries.513.54 Despite his hopes for security based on the fleet. Spanish ed. Having salt water between England and the rest of Europe was a blessing and not a curse. They believed that their island status conferred a great strategic advantage and that the sea had become a defensible moat to be protected by the navy. Cecil was also aware of the importance of strengthening England's land defences. to seek another country by conquest. foor as soon may Spain send an army by sea to the south of Ireland as England can.
L. " King's Works. 56 Cruikshank. s7 D. making England and the British Isles as a whole into a defensible unit. Ramsay. 261-2. Antiquaries Journal XLV (1965). 1986) and his article in The Reign of Elizabeth 147-68.A. He did make various attempts to move the cloth Staple away from Antwerp. DAWSON drain on resources. Neither Elizabeth nor her subjects were prepared to contemplate a standing army. 1983). J. 213 . In addition to a shortage of training in the ranks there were few Englishmen who were capable or experienced commanders as their dismal record in the field demonstrated. 'Social Change and Military Decline in Mid-Tudor England' History LX (1975).D. 185-97. Despite the constant exhortations in his memoranda Cecil found no solution to England's military inferiority. It was in the diplomatic field that his ideas faltered and ultimately failed. This vast sum was ten times more than was spent on any other military building during Elizabeth's reign. and even then they were no substitute for the professional armies which held sway on the continent. especially for the English cloth trade. External defence was strengthened by the rebuilding of the naval and military establishments and the measures taken to secure England's European trade and encourage a native munitions industry. ™ The importance of Antwerp for English foreign policy in general has been demonstrated by G. In a similar way Cecil's domestic policies were mainly directed towards strengthening the internal security of the realm by maintaining its political and religious stability. Queen's Merchants and the Revolt of the Netherlands (Manchester. The south coast had already been protected by the defensive fortifications built by Henry VIII and the only work carried out in this area was to protect the naval bases at Chatham.57 The much broader economic dependence upon this market. especially after the Anglo-Dutch trade embargoes of 1563-4. But the success of his British strategy ultimately rested upon the new relationship between the three kingdoms of Britain. 64-%. The first was the army. Portsmouth and Dover. the shire levies were not an effective righting force until the introduction of the trained band system in 1572. The Age of Elizabeth (London. Palliser. 'The Elizabethan Fortifications of Berwick'. Boynton. The Elizabethan Militia (London. 18.JANEE. 1975). The militia had been reorganized by the Militia Act of January 1558 which replaced the old duality in military organization by instituting a new national military system.58 * ** Cecil's efforts were all directed towards the same aim. 1967).55 If England were to defend herself successfully Cecil had to tackle two further problems. Between 1558 and 1570 no less than £130.000 was spent turning Berwick into a fortified town protected by continental-style bastions. also worried the Secretary. Although an improvement. Maclvor. IV (II) 402-14. Elizabeth's Army. The Cily of London in international politics at the accession of Elizabeth Tudor (Manchester. I. Goring.56 He was slightly more successful when he tackled his second problem: that of establishing a native arms industry to free England from dependence on Antwerp for military supplies.
Mary's marriage to Darnley also provoked a rebellion in Scotland led by Lord James Stewart.6" This was to damage his British strategy irreparably. That unity rested upon the Protestant policies and the friendship of the Scottish Anglophiles most of whom supported Lord James in his rebellion. In an ironic echo of the earlier discussions attention focussed on the threat to England and to Elizabeth herself from the new Scottish regime and whether rebels should be supported/'1 The problem was not viewed in terms of British unity and the preservation of the Anglo-Scottish alliance. International History Review 8 (1986). Lord James appealed to Elizabeth for help and. there were long debates in the English Privy Council over intervention. Elizabeth was persuaded to send troops to support the Huguenots by the prospect of securing a French port which could subsequently be exchanged for Calais. and this made intervention far less attractive. 214 .CECIL AND FOREIGN POLICY The fact that Cecil could not or would not persuade the Queen of the value of his ideas meant that — as over the Scottish intervention — each of the early crises of Elizabeth's reign had to be dealt with as a particular issue and not as part of an overall strategy. I. even though it meant the end of the special relationship with Scotland and the abandonment of England's Scottish friends.E. He therefore felt forced to recommend a policy of waiting on events and. 350-9. In the debate Cecil found himself trapped by his own earlier arguments about the direct threat to Elizabeth and hamstrung by his own refusal to make concessions to Mary Queen of Scots on the English succession. Lord Darnley and Anglo-Scottish Relations in 1565'. B 10 fos. 'Mary Oueen of Scots. 59 In 1562-3 during the discussions over the Newhaven expedition he was far more circumspect and perhaps not immune to the tide of enthusiasm himself.A. This became English policy. The outbreak of the religious wars in France in 1562 and the disastrous English expedition to Newhaven [Le Havre] was the first crisis to threaten Cecil's strategy. "" CSP Sc. The expedition's humiliating failure left a deep impression upon the Oueen. Cotton Calig. since it weakened its Irish component as well as the Scottish dimension. 105. as in 1559. It was quite clear to the English Privy Council that though the direct threat to England and to Elizabeth herself was potentially very serious it was by no means as pressing as six years earlier.L. refusing Lord James any help. The Oueen wanted to recover Calais and could not be persuaded that England was far better off without a continental foothold. over the marriage of Mary Oueen of Scots to Lord Darnley. In 1565 Cecil was prepared to sacrifice one of the principal elements of his strategy. "'J. in the meantime. though it did not cure her of the hankering after Calais. Cecil had written a stinging rebuke to his royal mistress when Elizabeth had suggested a similar manoeuvre in July 1560 in the flush of success after the surrender of Leith. " B. 445-6. Dawson. SP 52/11 f. This fear of bold action inhibited Cecil in the next diplomatic crisis which blew up. In addition the international situation was much more threatening. Cecil's firm friend. 1-24. It served to confirm all of Cecil's worst suspicions about foreign entanglements and made him doubly cautious in the future.
A. From being a close ally he became an enemy and his new stance created substantial and protracted problems for the Dublin administration. The earl of Argyle was a firm supporter of Lord James in his rebellion and Elizabeth's abandonment of her Scottish friends transformed his own attitude towards the English. though in a novel guise. But the loss of help in Ulster was disastrous and complete. Cecil's strategy was a diplomatic failure. Just as the intervention in Scotland in 1560 had secured Anglo-Scottish friendship and the assistance of Argyle in Ireland. 1470-1603 (London. most of her ministers accepted and even welcomed its permanent loss. The importance of the navy grew and by the end of Elizabeth's reign it had come to be seen as an offensive as well as a defensive weapon. Although the Queen never gave up the hope of recovering Calais.JANEE. In a more generalised way the idea that England's safety required a united British Isles was to become an axiom of English K. 139-162.63 The abandonment of Cecil's British strategy left England vulnerable within the British Isles. Without a strong and united British Isles as a base the English were constantly looking over their shoulders whilst they were involved in the European conflicts of the last quarter of the century. so the decision not to intervene in 1565 lost both. Friendship between the two countries was restored on a relatively secure basis for the rest of the century after Mary's abdication and subsequent flight into England in 1568. w S. That was achieved by simultaneous developments in 1565. The geographical locations had changed. As that most serious of Irish rebellions proved. if Ulster could not be controlled. Tudor Ireland. Argyle's political and military support for the Ulster chiefs allowed them to remain independent of Dublin and ultimately provided the secure operational base for the earl of Tyrone during the Nine Years War. The Price of Friendship: The 'Well-affected' and English Economic Clientage in Scotland before 1603'.62 The real damage done by the decisions of 1565 proved to be in Ireland. 1985) 278-320. in Scotland and England. It also revived the old problem of having to divide English military resources. from France and Scotland in the first half of the sixteenth century to the Netherlands and Ireland by its closing years. DAWSON Yet it was not this apparent body blow which destroyed his British strategy. Ellis. Brown. though the original warmth never returned. 62 215 . But the problem of simultaneous war on two fronts remained identical. the conquest of Ireland could not be completed. They were more inclined to view England's island position as a providential blessing and the seas which surrounded Britain as a defensible moat. yet the British context of early Elizabethan foreign policy which had produced it did lead to a gradual change in English thinking. In Scotland Mary's lack of political judgement led to a series of events — the murders of Rizzio and Darnley and the Bothwell marriage — which completely undermined her own position and thereby removed her as a serious external threat to Elizabeth. The friendship with Scotland was subsequently patched up. In the last twenty years of Elizabeth's reign English troops were once again being employed both within the British Isles and on the continent.
Cecil's policy was ultimately designed for England's own needs. By the seventeenth century this attitude had become instinctive and any reversal of the union of the crowns became unthinkable. Scotland and Ireland should be treated as a single defensible unit protected from interference by other European powers. 216 .CECIL AND FOREIGN POLICY policy even before 1603. if it came to a choice. Cecil had created a foreign policy with a British dimension which took for granted that England. Despite the changes it had undergone this basic assumption retained the key characteristic of Cecil's British strategy — that it was principally designed for the defence of England and that. However. the harmony of the British Isles should be sacrificed for the sake of English security. as in 1565. he had not formulated a British strategy which served the interests of all three kingdoms.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue reading from where you left off, or restart the preview.