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Doubtful and dangerousThe question of succession in late Elizabethan England$
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Susan Doran and Paulina Kewes

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780719086069

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719086069.001.0001

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A view from abroad: continental powers and the succession

A view from abroad: continental powers and the succession

(p.257) Chapter 13 A view from abroad: continental powers and the succession
Doubtful and dangerous

Thomas M. McCoog, SJ

Manchester University Press

Unfettered by official prohibition against any discussion of the succession, Catholic exiles examined and debated the credentials of various candidates. Factions formed around the two leading contenders: the Spanish princess Isabella and the Scottish king James. The former, a Catholic, received support from the English Jesuit Robert Persons. The Scottish Jesuit William Crichton, among others, advocated James who promised conversion. Spain and France, although at peace since 1598, eyed suspiciously any claimant that would bring advantage to the other. Attempts to identify a neutral candidate, e.g. Arbella Stuart or Anne Stanley, failed. Kings Philip III and Henry IV reluctantly and somewhat disingenuously conceded choice of the Catholic candidate to Pope Clement VIII. But the political dithering persisted, and Catholic Europe was left unprepared at Elizabeth’s death.

Keywords:   Robert Persons, William Crichton, Infanta Isabella Clara Eugenia, James VI and I, Henry IV of France, Pope Clement VIII, Philip III of Spain, religious toleration

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