Tim Newark & Angus McBride's Ancient Celts PDF

By Tim Newark & Angus McBride

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The Lord Keeper’s speech made it clear that he and many other Elizabethans generally did not like or trust foreigners, but, as already noted, numerous other Englishmen indicated from the very beginning of Elizabeth’s reign that they supported the concept of asylum and were determined to defend it. This apparent dichotomy of attitudes, however, was neither simple nor clear. Many who held Bacon’s view had initially welcomed the aliens who came as Protestant refugees crowding into England from the Continent; likewise, many who advocated providing sanctuary for these persecuted brethren covertly regarded them with suspicion.

2 Despite Cecil’s open patronage and protection, however, government documents and actions reveal that he and other councillors privately worried about the possible ill effects that a substantial alien presence in the realm might cause. Indeed, it was not unusual to find those advocating the principle of granting sanctuary also voicing suspicion of immigrants. They may have subscribed to the idea of providing refuge, but they were still concerned about the idea’s possible practical consequences.

28 Lambard, another author writing about the same time, also rebuked many of his countrymen for ‘the inveterate fierceness and cankered malice’ they held for aliens. 30 A DICHOTOMY OF ATTITUDES There existed in Elizabethan society a dichotomy of attitudes toward the strangers which caused anxiety for the national and local authorities laboring to maintain the peace and foster prosperity at their respective levels of power and responsibility. Owing largely to the twin perceptions that the aliens deserved sanctuary for religious conscience and offered potential economic benefits, but also represented a possible threat in many respects, government at both national and local levels sought to regulate and control the immigrants and their interactions with natives.

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