Queen Elizabeth 1

Queen Elizabeth 1 of England

Queen Elizabeth 1 , nicknamed the Virgin Queen and the Good Queen Bess, (born September 7, 1533 in Greenwich, near London, England – died March 24, 1603, Richmond, Surrey), Queen of England (1558-1603) during a period, often called the Queen Elizabeth 1 Age, when England vigorously asserted itself as a major European power in politics, commerce and the arts. BORN September 7, 1533 Greenwich, England DIED March 24, 1603 (aged 69) Richmond, England TITLE Queen, England (1558-1603) ROLE IN Battle Of Cadiz HOUSE / DYNASTY House of Tudor NOTABLE FAMILY MEMBERS Father Henry VIII Mother Anne Boleyn

Facts About Queen Elizabeth 1

Queen Elizabeth 1 loved hunting, dancing, and horseback riding into her 60s.

•Elizabeth survived an episode of smallpox, which killed many in England at the time. She carried the scars the rest of her life.

•Elizabeth wore her coronation ring on her wedding finger as a sign of her symbolic marriage to her country and her subjects.

• Elizabeth may have died of blood poisoning from the toxins in the thick makeup she was wearing. Although her little kingdom is threatened by serious internal divisions, Queen Elizabeth 1 mixture of finesse, courage and majestic self-display inspires fiery expressions of loyalty and helps unify the nation against foreign enemies.

The adulation which was granted to him during his lifetime and during the following centuries was not entirely a spontaneous outpouring. It was the result of a carefully designed and brilliantly executed campaign in which the Queen was fashioned as the sparkling symbol of the nation’s destiny. This political symbolism, common to monarchies, had more substance than usual, because the queen was by no means a simple figurehead. Although she did not exercise the absolute power dreamed of by Renaissance leaders, she tenaciously maintained her authority to make critical decisions and to define central state and church policies. The second half of the sixteenth century in England is rightly called the Queen Elizabeth 1 age: the collective life of an entire era has rarely received such a distinctly personal cachet.

Childhood of Queen Elizabeth 1

Queen Elizabeth 1 early years did not bode well. She was born at Greenwich Palace, the daughter of King Tudor Henry VIII and his second wife, Anne Boleyn. Henry had challenged the Pope and broken England from the authority of the Roman Catholic Church in order to dissolve his marriage with his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, who had given him a daughter, Marie. As the king fervently hoped that Anne Boleyn would give birth to a male heir, believed to be the key to a stable dynastic estate, the birth of a second daughter was a bitter disappointment that dangerously weakened the position of the new queen. Before Elizabeth reached her third birthday, her father had her mother beheaded for adultery and treason. In addition, at Henry’s instigation, an act of Parliament declared his marriage to Anne Boleyn invalid from the start, making their daughter Elizabeth illegitimate, as Roman Catholics had always claimed. (Apparently, the king was not discouraged by the logical inconsistency of simultaneously invalidating the marriage and accusing his wife of adultery.) The emotional impact of these events on the baby girl, who had been raised since l childhood in a separate house in Hatfield, is not known; no doubt no one thought it was worth recording. What has been noted is its early severity; at six, it was observed with admiration, she was as serious as if she were 40. When Henry’s third wife, Jane Seymour, in 1537 gave birth to a son, Edward, Elizabeth sank into relative obscurity again, but she was not overlooked. Despite his capacity for monstrous cruelty, Henry VIII treated all his children with what contemporaries regarded as affection; Elizabeth was present at the ceremonies and was declared third on the throne. She spent a large part of her time with her half-brother Edward and, from her 10th year, benefited from the loving attention of her stepmother, Catherine Parr, sixth and last wife of the king. Under the direction of a series of distinguished tutors, the best known of which is Cambridge humanist Roger Ascham, Elizabeth received the rigorous education normally reserved formale heirs, consisting of a curriculum focused on classical languages, history, rhetoric and moral philosophy. “Her mind has no feminine weakness,” wrote Ascham with the unconscious sexism of the time, “his perseverance is equal to that of a man, and his memory keeps a long time what it quickly picks up.” In addition to Greek and Latin, she was fluent in French and Italian, an achievement of which she was proud and which would serve her in the conduct of diplomacy later. Thus imbued with secular Renaissance learning, the lively and seriously intellectual princess also studied theology, permeating the principles of English Protestantism in its formative period. Her association with the Reformation is of crucial importance, as it shaped the future course of the nation, but she does not seem to have been a personal passion: observers noted the young princess’s fascination more for languages than for religious dogmas.

Position Under Edward VI And Mary

With the death of her father in 1547 and the accession to the throne of her frail 10-year-old brother Edward, Elizabeth’s life took a perilous turn. His tutor, the Dowager Queen Catherine Parr, almost immediately married Thomas Seymour, the Lord’s grand admiral. Handsome, ambitious and dissatisfied, Seymour began to plot against his powerful older brother, Edward Seymour, protector of the kingdom during the minority of Edward VI. In January 1549, shortly after the death of Catherine Parr, Thomas Seymour was arrested for treason and accused of having conspired to marry Elizabeth in order to rule the kingdom. Repeated interrogations of Elizabeth and her servants led to the accusation that, even when his wife was alive, Seymour had repeatedly behaved in a flirtatious and all too familiar manner towards the young princess. Under meticulous and humiliating questioning, Elizabeth was extraordinarily wary and ready. When told that Seymour had been decapitated, she betrayed no emotion. The need for circumspection, self-control and political acumen became even greater after the death of Protestant Edward in 1553 and the advent of Elizabeth’s older half-sister, Mary, a religious fanatic who got ready toreturn England, by force if necessary, to the Romans. Catholic faith. This attempt, along with his unpopular marriage to the ardently Catholic King Philip II of Spain, aroused bitter Protestant opposition. In an atmosphere charged with treason rebellion and inquisitorial repression, Elizabeth’s life was in grave danger. For if, as her sister demanded, she conformed externally to official Catholic observance, she inevitably became the target and the obvious beneficiary of plots to overthrow the government and restore Protestantism. Arrested and sent to the Tower of London after the rebellion of Sir Thomas Wyatt in January 1554, Elizabeth narrowly escaped the fate of her mother. Two months later, after a thorough interrogation and an espionage revealing no conclusive evidence of betrayal on her part, she was released from the Tower and placed in police custody for one year in Woodstock. The plight of her situation has eased somewhat, although she is never far from a suspicious examination. Throughout the unhappy years of Mary’s childless reign, with its Protestant fires and military disasters, Elizabeth continued to protest against her innocence, to assert her unfailing loyalty and to proclaim her pious horror of heresy. It was a sustained lesson in survival thanks to self-discipline and delicate manipulation of appearances. Many Protestants and Roman Catholics assumed that her presentation was misleading, but Elizabeth managed to keep her inner convictions to herself, and in religion as in many others, they remained something of a mystery. With Elizabeth there is a continuous gap between a dazzling surface and an interior which she kept carefully hidden. Observers were repeatedly tempted by what they thought was a glimpse of the interior, only to discover that they had been shown another facet of the surface. At the very beginning of Elizabeth’s life taught her to pay close attention to how she represented herself and how she was represented by others. She learned her lesson well.


When Mary died on November 17, 1558, Elizabeth ascended the throne amid bells, bonfires, patriotic demonstrations and other signs of publicjubilation. His entry into London and the grand coronation procession that followed were masterpieces of the political court. “If ever a person,” wrote an enthusiastic observer, “had the gift or style to win the hearts of people, it was this queen, and if ever she expressed the same thing at that time, associating sweetness and majesty as she did and stooping majestically. Elizabeth’s smallest gestures were examined for signs of politics and the tone of the new regime: when an old man in the crowd turned his back to the new queen and cried, Elizabeth exclaimed with confidence that he did it for joy; when a girl in an allegorical contest presented her with a Bible in English translation – prohibited during the reign of Mary – Elizabeth kissed the book, held it reverently, then put it on her chest; and when the abbot and monks of Westminster Abbey came to greet her in broad daylight with candles in her hand, she quickly returned with the words “Away from those torches! we can see pretty well.” The specs They were thus assured that under Queen Elizabeth 1 , England had returned, cautiously but decisively, to the Reformation. The first weeks of his reign were not entirely devoted to symbolic gestures and public ceremonies. The Queen immediately began to form her government and issue proclamations. It has reduced the size of the Privy Council, partly to purge some of its Catholic members and partly to make it more effective as an advisory body; she began a restructuring of the enormous royal house; it carefully balanced the need for substantial administrative and judicial continuity with the desire for change; and it brought together a core of experienced and trusted advisers, including William Cecil, Nicholas Bacon, Francis Walsingham and Nicholas Throckmorton. The chief among them was Cecil (after Lord Burghley), whom Queen Elizabeth 1 appointed her principal secretary of state on the morning of her accession and who was to serve her (first in this capacity and after 1571 as lord treasurer) with sagacity and remarkable skill for 40 years.

The Woman Ruler In A Patriarchal World

During the last year of Mary’s reign, Scottish Calvinist preacher John Knox wrote in his first blast of the trumpet against the regiment of monstrous women that “God has revealed to some of ourtime that it is more than a monster of nature which a woman must reign and carry the empire above the man. With the advent of the Protestant Queen Elizabeth 1 , Knox’s trumpet was quickly muted, but there remained a widespread belief, reinforced by both custom and teaching, that if men were naturally endowed with In authority, women were temperamentally, intellectually and morally incapable of governing. Men saw themselves as rational beings; they viewed women as creatures susceptible to being dominated by impulse and passion. The gentlemen were trained in eloquence and the arts of war; the gentle women were asked to remain silent and take care of their needlework. Among the upper classes, the will to dominate was admired or at least assumed; in women, it was considered dangerous or grotesque. Queen’s apologists countered that there had always been important exceptions, such as the Biblical Deborah, the prophetess who had judged Israel. In addition, Crown attorneys have developed a mystical legal theory known as the “two bodies of the king”. When she ascended the throne, according to this theory, the queen’s entire being was deeply altered: her mortal “natural body” was linked to an immortal “political body”. “I am only one body, naturally considered,” said Elizabeth in her membership speech, “although with the permission of [God] a political body to govern.” His body of flesh was subject to the imperfections of all human beings (including those specific to women), but the political body was timeless and perfect. Therefore, in theory, the sex of the queen did not threaten the stability and the glory of the nation. Queen Elizabeth 1 made it clear that she intended to govern beyond her name and that she would not subordinate her judgment to that of an individual or a faction. Since her sister’s reign did not constitute a satisfactory model for female authority, Elizabeth had to improvise a new model, which would make it possible to overcome the considerable cultural responsibility of her sex. Furthermore, regardless of this responsibility, the power of any English leader to compel obedience had its limits. The monarch was at the top of the state, but the state was relatively impoverished and weak, without a standing army, an effective police force, and a highly developed and efficient bureaucracy. To obtain sufficient revenue to govern, the Crown had to apply for subsidies and taxes from a potentially angry and recalcitrant Parliament. Under these difficult circumstances, Elizabeth developed a rule strategy which mixed imperious command with an extravagant and histrionic worship of love. The cult of Elizabeth as a virgin queen married to her kingdom was a progressive creation that took place over many years, but its roots can be glimpsed at least as early as 1555. At that time, according to a report reached the court French, Queen Marie had proposed to marry her sister to the resolutely Catholic Duke of Savoy; Elizabeth, usually cautious and impassive, burst into tears, declaring that she did not want a husband. Other correspondences were proposed and summarily rejected. But in this vulnerable period of her life, Elizabeth had obvious reasons to wait for her time and keep her options open. No one – not even the princess herself – had to take her stated desire to remain single very seriously. When she became queen, speculation about a suitable match immediately intensified and the options available became a matter of serious national concern. Beyond the general conviction that a woman’s proper role was that of a woman, the dynastic and diplomatic stakes in the royal marriage project were extremely high. If Elizabeth died childless, the Tudor line would end. The closest heiress was Mary, Queen ofScotland, the granddaughter of Henry VIII’s sister Margaret. Marie, a Catholic whose claim was supported by France and other powerful Catholic states, was seen by Protestants as a nightmarish threat that could be better avoided if Elizabeth produced a Protestant heir. The Queen’s marriage is essential not only for the issue of succession but also for the entanglement of international diplomacy. England, isolated and militarily weak, badly needed the great alliances that an advantageous marriage could forge. Important contenders were impatiently manifested: Philip II of Spain, who hoped to renew the link between Catholic Spain and England; The Archduke Charles of Austria; Erik XIV, king of Sweden; Henri, Duke of Anjou and later King of France; François, Duke of Alençon; and others. Many scholars believe that it is unlikely that Elizabeth ever seriously intended to marry one of these aspirants to her hand, as the dangers always outweighed the possible benefits, but she skillfully played one against the other and maintained marriage negotiations for months, even years, at an instant appearing on the verge of acceptance, at the next turn towards vows of perpetual virginity. “She’s a princess,” said the French ambassador, “who can play any game he likes.” Elizabeth was also courted by English suitors, most diligently by her main favorite, Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester. As a master of the horse and a member of the Privy Council, Leicester was constantly at the side of the queen, who showed him all the signs of an ardent romantic attachment. When Leicester’s wife, Amy Robsart, died in a suspicious fall in September 1560, the favorite appeared on the verge of marrying his royal mistress – so at least rumors had it so far – but, although the Queen’s behavior towards him continued to generate outrageous gossip, decisive no action was taken. Elizabeth’s resistance to a marriage that she herself seemed to want may have been motivated by political reasons, since Leicester had many enemies at court and an unsavory reputation in the country at large. But in October 1562, the queen almost died of smallpox and, faced with the real possibility of a disputed succession and a civil war, even frivial factions probably supported the marriage. Probably at the heart of Elizabeth’s decision to remain single was a reluctance to compromise her power. Sir Robert Naunton recorded that the Queen once said angrily in Leicester, when he tried to insist on a favor: “I will have only one mistress here and no master.” To her ministers, she was unwavering in loyalty, encouraging their candid advice and weighing their advice, but she did not cede ultimate authority, even to the most reliable. Although she patiently received petitions and listened to anxious advice, she zealously retained her power to make the final decision in all crucial state affairs. Unsolicited advice can sometimes be dangerous: when in 1579 a brochure was vehemently published denouncing the Queen’s proposed marriage to the Catholic Duke of Alençon, its author, John Stubbs, and his publisher William Page were arrested and cut off from the right hand. Elizabeth’s performances – her demonstrations of infatuation, her apparent inclination to marry the pretender of the moment – often convinced even the closest advisers, so that the level of intrigue and anxiety, always high in the courses royal, often reached a feverish height. Far from trying to calm anxiety, the queen seemed to increase it and use it, because she was skilled at manipulating factions. This competence went beyond marriage negotiations and became one of the characteristics of his regime. A powerful nobleman would be led to believe that he had a unique influence on the queen, only to discover that a hated rival had been led to a comparable belief. A golden shower of royal favor – apparent intimacies, public honors, the granting ofprecious advantages such as land grants and monopolies – would give way to royal distancing or, even worse, to royal anger . The Queen’s anger was particularly aroused by challenges to what she saw as her prerogative (which she left indefinitely indefinite in scope) and, in fact, by any unwanted signs of independence. The courteous atmosphere of liveliness, wit and romance would suddenly cool, and the queen’s demeanor, as her godson Sir John Harington said, “left no doubt about the girl she was.” This identification of Elizabeth with her father, and in particular with her capacity for anger, is something that the queen herself – who never mentioned her mother – invoked periodically. A similar mixture of charm and imperiousness characterized the Queen’s relations with Parliament, on which she had to depend for her income. Many sessions of Parliament, particularly in the early years of her reign, were more than cooperative with the Queen; they looked rhetorical about the celebrations. But under the pressure of the issue of marriage and inheritance, the festive tone, which masked serious policy differences, began to wear out over the years, and the sessions involved complicated, often acrimonious, negotiations between the crown and the commons. More radical members wanted to include broad areas of public policy in the debate; Queen’s spokespeople found it difficult to restrict free discussion to government bills. Elizabeth had a rare gift for combining calculated demonstrations of intransigence with equally calculated demonstrations of grace and, on rare occasions, a prudent willingness to concede. As far as possible, she transformed the language of politics into the language of love, comparing herself to the wife or mother of her kingdom. This rhetorical strategy was characterized by its famous “golden speech” of 1601, when, faced with strong parliamentary opposition to the royal monopolies, it promised reforms: I do assure you, there is no prince that loveth his subjects better, or whose love can countervail our love. There is no jewel, be it of never so rich a price, which I set before this jewel; I mean, your love: for I do more esteem of it, than of any treasure or riches. A discourse of rights or interests has thus become a discourse of mutual recognition, obligation and love. “We all loved her,” wrote Harington with just a hint of irony, “because she said she loved us.” In her relations with the parliamentary delegations, as with the suitors and the courtiers, the queen succeeded in transforming her sex of a serious responsibility into a distinct advantage.

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