Stubbs, Gaping Gulf

Sir John Stubbs (c. 1541?–1590).
The Discoverie of a Gaping Gulf whereinto England is like to be swallowed by an other French marriage, if the Lord forbid not the banes, by letting her Majestie see the sin and punishment thereof.
[London: H. Singleton for William Page], 1579. (00753)

This pamphlet on the proposed marriage between Queen Elizabeth I (1533–1603) and the much younger Francis, Duke of Anjou (1555–1584), argued that English sovereignty, religion, and morality would be undermined by the queen’s union with this Catholic French suitor. In a particularly controversial passage, Stubbs wrote “S. Paul speaking of contrary couplings together, compareth them to the uneven yoking of the cleane Oxe to the uncleane Asse, a thing forbidden in the lawe.” The booklet was banned by the queen’s order, and most copies were publicly burned. Convicted of sedition, Stubbs and William Page, his patron, were punished in the market at Westminster by having their right hands cut off.

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Early Censorship in England
Stubbs, Gaping Gulf