Coronation of Queen Elizabeth I

From "The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church", F.L. Cross, 1958, pp446-447:

"ELIZABETH I (1553-1603), Queen of England from 1558."...
"Though apparently illegitimate through the invalidity of the King's marriage both by canon and civil law, she was placed next in succession after Edward and Mary by Act of Parliament."...
"During the reign of Mary (1553-1558) she conformed outwardly to Catholicism. Though suffering imprisonment after the plot of Thomas Wyatt in 1554, she succeeded in clearing herself of suspicion and was readmitted to court  at the end of the year."...
"On her accession one of her main difficulties was the religious question. Devoid of strong convictions, she sought to solve it acc. to political expediency."...
"She therefore distrusted both Calvinists and Catholics and aimed at a compromise between the Lutheran political theory with its emphasis on the prerogatives of the temporal ruler, and the episcopal organization of Catholicism, many of whose institutions, such as the celibacy of the clergy and the use of crucifixes and statues, she wished to retain. All the bishops, however, refused to take the Oath of Allegiance and declined to take part in the coronation, a ceremony which was eventually performed by the Bp. of Carlisle, Owen Oglethorpe." 

In light of the delay caused by this difficulty in finding a bishop willing to perform the necessary crowning of Elizabeth it is likely that Dee was consulted not just for his astronomical/astrological skills but, more relevantly, for his inside information on the Marian bishops, since he had served as an assistant in the household of a notorious persecutor of Protestants, Bishop Bonner of London. He would thus, likely be able to advise Elizabeth on household observations and gossip that could be used to apply pressure on one or other of the Marian bishops (all of whom still held office). It is noteworthy that we have only Dee's explanation (with no corroboration) that his assistance for Queen-to-be Elizabeth was astrological, and Dee gave that explanation in a context where he was (much later) reminding Elizabeth, via her officers, of his services to her both public and private, while at the same time witholding from those officers any information he and Elizabeth had agreed to maintain as a mutual secret.

From Sarah Gristwood, "Elizabeth & Leicester: Power, Passion, Politics", pub. Viking  2007, p74-75:

"If we doubt that there were dealings done, in these days of waiting and watching - dealings too secret to leave a paper trail - we have only to consider the story of John Dee. The one-time tutor in the Dudley household, who had secretly cast Elizabeth's horoscope for her, was himself close to Cecil as well as to the old royal tutor Cheke. Dee's name crops up repeatedly in the chronicles of Mary's reign, appearing first as a suspected heretic - and then as a Catholic inquiry agent in the service of the regime! One might assume that he had simply turned traitor to his beliefs... but in that case why would Robert Dudley approach him, of all available astrologers, to select a propitious day for Elizabeth's coronation, when the time came? It seems more likely that Dee was playing an underhand role not towards his Protestant friends, but to the Catholic authorities, and that these covert dealings would be known to such an ambitious insider as Robert Dudley."
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