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1576

John Shakespeare's fall from grace begins

cross and candle
Cross and candle
In the same year that England's wool trade collapses, resulting in financial hardship for the broggers (people like John Shakespeare who had previously illegally traded in wool), the Protestant Elizabeth I began to further exert her authority over practitioners of the old religion.

The Queen appoints a Grand Commission to inquire into offences against her 1559 statutes of supremacy, which made the monarch, not the Pope, supreme governor of the Church of England. Those holding civic office will be forced to take an oath of allegiance to the queen in matters of religion. Those absenting themselves from church – i.e. Catholics – were to be fined and the money raised from these fines distributed among the poor. In worst cases, the offender could be imprisoned.

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portrait not availableJohn Shakespeare

Elizabeth IElizabeth I

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