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Last updated 25 Oct 2018
France was an old enemy of England as England and France have had many wars throughout history. France at this time had a bigger population and far more money than England did. Added to this, France was allied to England’s other main enemy: Scotland.
One more thing made the threat from France even worse. Mary Queen of Scots was married to the French King and was the cousin of Elizabeth. Mary Queen of Scots had a claim to the throne of England.
When Elizabeth’s sister, Mary died in 1558, Mary Queen of Scots declared that she was the rightful heir to the English Crown. Catholics in England agreed and wanted Mary, Queen of Scots as the rightful Queen.
The border with England was a long one, which was difficult to defend and as a result was often raided by the Scottish. Whilst, Mary’s mother was ruling Scotland, she used Scotland’s friendship with France to station French soldiers in the country, which posed a problem for Elizabeth.