Four Hundred and Sixty years ago this year the Elizabethan Settlement was born in “The Revolution 0f 1559”. Queen Elizabeth I ascended to the throne of a country riven by political and religious division. The divisions split the great political families and divided every hamlet, village, town and city. The divisions had been caused by the breakdown in the relationship between the Pope and King Henry VIII and they persisted through the reigns of King Edward VI, Lady Jane Grey, and Queen Mary.
Then, as now, politics had become toxic, with disagreement threatening to destroy the state itself. Through cunning, guile and force of personality – the Queen brokered an agreement among her leading subjects and councillors which has lasted to this day. It was, and is, a model of compromise and fudge.