An Admonition to the Nobility and People of England

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The An Admonition to the Nobility and People of England (1588) was written by William Cardinal Allen in an attempt to raise the English Catholics in revolt against their queen, Elizabeth I, at the same time that the Spanish Armada mounted their invasion of England. The publication was a scathing attack on Elizabeth, her ancestry and her legitimacy. Allen wrote that Elizabeth was "known for an incestuous bastard, begotten and born in sin of an infamous courtesan Anne Boleyn". It was intended for distribution just after the Armada. It has been described as "vituperative billingsgate" [1]

However, the majority of English Catholics refused to betray their queen. Seeing the Armada as predominantly politically (rather than religiously) motivated, they felt no obligation to support the arriving Spanish. The publication was an embarrassment to politically loyal Catholics in England, particularly after the dramatic failure of the Armada.

Upon the defeat of the Armada, Allen carefully consigned his publication to the fire, and we only know of it through one of Elizabeth's spies, who had stolen a copy.[2]

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