Since women could not inherit property in Elizabethan times, marriage was important to securing their future and well being.
Marriage pacts were made between families in order to secure wealth, property and/or status with little consideration of love.
Elizabeth’s accession in 1558 was universally met with expectations of change in religion.
Catholics dreaded the renewal of schism from Rome, while Protestants eagerly anticipated the continuation of reforms begun under Henry VIII and Edward VI.
It was not unusual for marriage pacts to made when those involved were still very young children.
The legal age for marrying in the Elizabethan era was 12 for girls and 14 for boys, although people generally did not marry until they were in their 20s.
Her failure to respond to earlier parliamentary protests about licences and monopolies therefore meant that by 1601 they became the focus of one of the most dramatic constitutional confrontations of the reign.
( and royal policy such as the granting of licences to enforce penal statutes or trade in prohibited commodities, and patents to protect new inventions and industries.
Cecil also strongly discouraged the Commons from pursuing Hyde’s bill, suggesting instead that ‘yt were verye ffitt to have a newe committment to consider what her Majestie maye graunte, what not, what course wee shall take and uppon what poyntes’. 386, 398.) With tension running high within and beyond Parliament Elizabeth eventually decided to revoke some patents and allow others to be put on trial in common law courts; a Proclamation to this effect was issued before the end of the session.