Elizabeth I of England
Queen Elizabeth I of England was born on 7th September 1533 in Kent, England. She died on 24th March 1603. She was the only surviving child of Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII and at the time of her birth, she was already considered the heir to the king’s throne.
When Elizabeth I of England was only two years old, her beloved mother Anne Boleyn was executed for no known clear reasons. A year later, Edward, a male heir to the throne was born. She now had a brother and only returned to her father’s kingdom or court when he married Katherine Parr who was his sixth and final wife.
After Henry VIII died, she went to live with her step mother with her new husband Thomas Seymour. However, she had to leave home indefinitely after an incident with Thomas. To date, no one really knows what happened between the two but there are rumors that Katherine found Elizabeth I kissing Seymour.
King Edward took over the leadership of the throne after his father died. He also passed on in 1553 and it was during the period that Mary, Elizabeth’s sister came to the king’s throne. Elizabeth was then confined to the Tower of London briefly over treason suspicions and rebel collaborations with rebel Thomas Wyatt.
However, after some months in the Tower of London, Elizabeth was sent to Woodstock. Here, she was placed under a one year house arrest. It was only until Mary I thought that Elizabeth was pregnant that she allowed her to return to her residence, her Hatfield Residence.
Mary married Phillip II of Spain and this was a clear indication that an heir to the throne would be born. Even with the possibility, this did not come to pass as Mary did not conceive and died childless in 1558. As a result, Elizabeth I on 15th January 1559 was then officially crowned as the Queen of England.
Queen Elizabeth reigned for 45 years and the period was known as the Golden Age of Elizabeth or the Elizabeth era. It was one of the best and most constructive periods of the English in history. As a matter of fact, Literature and English bloomed through the famous works of Shakespeare, Marlowe, Spenser, Walter Raleigh and Francis Drake. These were instrumental scholars who expanded the influence of English language across the New World.
Even so, Elizabeth’s religious compromise remained a major concern and laid fears to the rest. It also enhanced education, fashion industry and defused a potential powder keg. This is because of the queen’s penchant for courtly behavior, extravagant dress and knowledge.
Even though religion was a major concern during the reign of Queen Elizabeth, she often relied on Sir William Cecil for religious and leadership matters. With the Act of Uniformity in place, she was able to assent and ascend the throne as expected and
- The Protestant Book of Common Prayer was used in all church services,
- The Communion for the Catholics was reinstated and
- The act of Supremacy was passed in 1559
Religious toleration could not continue England after Pope Pius excommunicated the queen in 1570. Under the leadership of the Queen, the Spanish Armada of 1558 was also destroyed.
The Queen also had many suitors including Robert Dudley, her great love but remained unmarried till she met her death in 24th March 1603, and was buried in Westminster Abbey marking the end of the Tudor Dynasty.