Behold These English Dogs!: Englishmen in the Atlantic World Before the Holy Office of the Inquisition, 1560-1630

Date of Graduation

Summer 2005


Master of Arts in History



Committee Chair

John Chuchiak


This thesis asserts that the Spanish Inquisition treated Englishmen more severely than any other group. The inquisitorial persecution of Englishmen, especially by the Tribunal in New Spain (México), set off a chain reaction of events that infuriated Queen Elizabeth I of England and brought about her conflict with King Philip II of Spain which challenged his Grand Strategy for World domination. Elizabeth’s status as a heretic provoked Philip to use the Spanish Inquisition’s severity against all Englishmen who served the heretical Queen. The Inquisition’s actions eventually also led to the attempted invasion of England by the Spanish Armada of 1588. The single most important catalyst to this chain reaction of events that embroiled the whole Atlantic world in Religious struggle was the 1568 capture and persecution of the members of Sir John Hawkins’ fleet apprehended in México. Many of these captured Englishmen received some of the harshest imprisonments, tortures, and punishments of any other foreigners arrested and tried by the Spanish Inquisition. It appears, as this thesis argues, that Philip II wielded the Inquisition as a tool of imperial control, and he used it mostly vehemently against Englishmen, wherever they were encountered in the Spanish Atlantic world.


Inquisition, Philip II, Elizabeth I, New Spain, Atlantic world

Subject Categories



© Michael S. Hale