The main religion during the time of William Shakespeare was Protestantism. Protestantism had been declared the national religion of England, one year before Shakepeare's birth in 1564. The Catholic church was also still strong in England during this time, primarily among the noble families of northern England.
The ascension of Queen Elizabeth I, on November 17, 1558, began the period of time known as the Elizabethan era. During her reign, Elizabeth was able to re-establish the English language mass and Protestant bible. Protestant communities could be found among the seaports and larger English towns. She did not persecute Catholics during the beginning of her reign, in an attempt to tone down the religious violence in the country.