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The Tudors – Elizabeth I and the Succession Crises, 1558-1603

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About this Course

About the Course

In this course, Professor John Morrill (University of Cambridge) explores the reign of Elizabeth I (1533-1603) through the lens of the succession crisis that she faced throughout her life – both at the beginning of her reign in 1558, and at its end in 1603. In the first module, we think about monarchy in the early modern period. After that, we turn to the particular problems associated with Elizabeth which made her an unpopular choice for Queen among some sections of society – not least the fact she was female. In the third and fourth modules, we think about who else might have become King or Queen of England in Elizabeth's place – looking at a whole roster of candidates in the third module, before looking specifically at Mary, Queen of Scots in the fourth. In the fifth module, we think about why it was the Elizabeth refused to marry and provide a successor for the English throne, before moving on in the sixth module to consider the increasing tensions at the end of Elizabeth's reign, the attempts by various individuals to influence the succession in their favour, and the eventual succession of James I of Scotland to the English throne in 1603.

About the Lecturer

John Morrill was educated at Altrincham Grammar School (Cheshire) and at Trinity College Oxford (BA 1967, DPhil 1971). He was a Research Fellow there (1970-4) and a Lecturer at Stirling University (1974-5) before moving to Cambridge in 1975 as Lecturer, Reader and now Professor. He has been a Fellow of Selwyn College since 1975 and was Director of Studies in History 1975-92, Tutor 1979-92, Admissions Tutor 1982-7, Senior Tutor 1987-92 and Vice Master 1992-2001. He was elected as a Fellow of the British Academy in 1995 and served as Vice President from 2001-9. He is also an Honorary Member of the Royal Irish Academy and the Academy of Finland, and he holds honorary degrees from several universities and is an Hon. Fellow of Trinity College Oxford and Trinity College Dublin. He is also a permanent deacon in the Roman Catholic Church and holds several senior positions in the Diocese of East Anglia (eg Chair of the Commission for Evangelisation and Assistant Director for Diaconal Formation) and he teaches Church History and pastoral theology one weekend a month at St John's Seminary, Wonersh.