IMMEDIATELY on the death of the Catholic Queen Mary, she was succeeded by her sister Elizabeth, the daughter of Henry VIII. and Anne Boleyn, and who became queen in the year of our Redeemer 1559. As soon as she wielded the sceptre, imitating her father, she excited the most violent and fierce storms against the professors of Christian truth. In England she nearly extinguished the Catholic faith and religion; then she set herself to detach the Irish from the faith. The system of her persecutions has been
p.2given above, and is here also repeated. The most blessed sacrament of the Eucharist, in which Christ our Lord is really and truly present is removed from the churches and the eyes of the people; sacred images are burnt; priests banished; and the entire Catholic people groan under injustice; churches are contaminated either by profane uses or execrable heretical superstitions. Ecclesiastical revenues are bestowed on most abandoned heretics; all things established for the honour of God are defiled. Catholic bishops, friars, priests, either in hiding or disguised in secular apparel, scarcely dare to walk abroad. In their places Lutherans, Calvinists, and other sects of heretics are supplied. The messenger of faith, religion, piety, virtue, is banished; licentiousness, lust, crime, heresy, is hospitably received. The queen is declared head of the church in her own kingdoms, and all must admit her to be head and attest same by an oath. These ordinances began to be enforced by the royal ministers and magistrates first in the queen's towns despite the greatest opposition and firmness of the townsmen; then they were carried into the territories of the Irish chiefs, and here because the chieftains were nowise willing to conform, various artifices were devised, by means of which they were despoiled of their property, gradually overthrown and punished with death. Hence the sword was drawn. The kingdom blazed, burned, and perished with war, slaughter, and famine. As long as some of the Irish were in arms for the liberty of the Catholic religion and of themselves, so long a cessation from persecution was allowed to other chiefs and to the queen's towns, until the defenders of liberty were destroyed. Queen Elizabeth, the instigator of all these crimes, was not undeservedly smitten with the sword of excommunication by Pope Pius V. We shall relate, although not all, yet in great part, the events most deserving of mention which occurred during those twenty-nine years of Elizabeth's reign.