James's attitude towards Catholics was more moderate than that of his predecessor, perhaps even tolerant. He promised that he would not "persecute any that will be quiet and give an outward obedience to the law", and believed that exile was a better solution than capital punishment: "I would be glad to have both their heads and their bodies separated from this whole island and transported beyond seas." Some Catholics believed that the martyrdom of James's mother, Mary, Queen of Scots, would encourage James to convert to the Catholic faith, and the Catholic houses of Europe may also have shared that hope. James received an envoy from the Habsburg Archduke Albert of the Southern Netherlands, ruler of the remaining Catholic territories after over 30 years of war in the Dutch Revolt by English-supported Protestant rebels. For the Catholic expatriates engaged in that struggle, the restoration by force of a Catholic monarchy was an intriguing possibility, but following the failed Spanish invasion of England in 1588 the papacy had taken a longer-term view on the return of a Catholic monarch to the English throne.
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