A significant historical event that occurred was the imprisonment of Mary, Queen of Scots, in England, after the 1569 York Conference. It was significant because it was the turning point in the relationship between two female monarchs, Elizabeth I and Mary, Queen of Scots. Within its various causes and consequences, it is evident that the political factor is predominant over all – including international and religious factors. However, it must be noted that political factors cannot be seen in isolation. Its causes include the 1559 Religious Settlement, Mary's return to Scotland and claim to the English throne, and Mary's abdication and escape to England. Mary's escape to England was the most important cause, as it was the immediate catalyst that changed her relationship with Elizabeth – it made her an instant threat. The event led to several consequences that impacted many people, including the 1569 Northern Rebellion, the heightened Catholic threat in the 1570s and 1580s, and the 1586 Babington Plot and Mary's subsequent execution. The most important consequence was Mary's execution, as it gave Elizabeth's throne security from the hands of a Catholic foreigner.
The 1559 Religious Settlement was the politically driven long-term cause of the imprisonment of Mary, Queen of Scots, as it laid down the groundwork for the religious conflict in Elizabethan England by creating a Protestant Church in a predominantly Catholic country. The 1559 Religious Settlement created a Church with a Protestant doctrine, but Catholic structure and traditions. In creating a Church with a Protestant label, Elizabeth can be seen as acting on both religious and political factors. Protestantism was Elizabeth's personal religion, and bringing it back would be politically advantageous, as the politically active nobility, who had been in exile during the Catholic Mary I's reign, could return with loyalty towards Elizabeth.