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Tudor Minute July 10: William of Orange is assassinated

Hey, this is Heather from the Renaissance English History Podcast, and this is your Tudor Minute for July 10.

On July 10 in 1584 William of Orange, or William I, was assassinated. He was shot in the chest in his home in Delft by a Catholic. Philip II of Spain had offered a reward of 25,000 crowns for the killing of William, who was a main leader of the Protestant revolt against Spanish forces in the Netherlands, and a Frenchman, Balthazar Gerard, took Philip up on the offer. He was captured and tortured before finally being killed four days later.

This Philip was, of course, the same Philip who was married to Mary I, Queen Elizabeth’s sister, and who would invade Elizabeth in 1588 with the mighty Spanish Armada. The assassination of William brought home to Elizabeth just how fragile her own situation could be, in that she could easily be assassinated as well. Her spymaster, Francis Walsingham, amped up his activities, and life became very tough for Catholics, who were seen with such suspicion. After all, how could you be loyal to both the Queen and the Pope, if the Pope had excommunicated the Queen?

These questions, which had been troubling the Protestants in England since the start of Elizabeth’s reign, grew stronger and more insistent after William’s assassination today, July 10.

That’s your Tudor Minute for today. Remember you can dive deeper into life in 16th century England through the Renaissance English History Podcast at englandcast.com.

Links:
Catholics in Elizabethan England episode