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HOME   -   PEOPLE IN HISTORY A-Z   -   ELIZABETH I

 
   


Elizabeth I, 1533 - 1603

 

Elizabeth I  1533-1603

Image above:

Elizabeth I, Queen of England. Note her pretty hands.



Elizabeth I was also called Good Queen Bess. Another nickname was The Virgin Queen. She was Queen of England from 1558 to 1603.


As one of the most captivating rulers in history, Elizabeth came to power at a time when women were expected not to participate in public life.

Much like her father,
 Henry VIII, she had great charisma. She also knew how to operate very economically with the small budget she had at the beginning of her reign.

Elizabeth was courageous, intelligent, and insightful to human nature. She carefully navigated through the minefields of politics and was a lively person in private. She assumed the responsibility of her office and received the respect and loyalty of her subjects.

Elizabeth was famous for her speeches, e.g. her  Golden Speech of 1601.

 

Elizabeth I Family

Lizzy's father was Henry VIII. Her mother was  Anne Boleyn.

Her half-sister, Mary I, came from Henry's first wife  Catherine of Aragon. Half-brother Edward VI was the son of Henry's third wife  Jane Seymour.

Here is more on the  Tudor family.

 

Elizabeth I — Youth

Elizabeth's birth was not much celebrated because her father wanted a male heir. When Elizabeth was two years of age, her mother, Anne Boleyn who was Henry's second wife, was executed.

Elizabeth received a royal education. Her studies included Greek, Latin, French, Italian, history, rhetoric, philosophy, and theology. The tutors were impressed by her intellect and wit.

 

Elizabeth I — Prison

Elizabeth's half-sister Mary I was a ruthless Catholic who persecuted Protestants. During Mary's reign a rebellion was put down and Elizabeth became one of the suspects. She was imprisoned in the Tower of London for two months, but no evidence was found of her involvement.

 

Elizabeth I — Strategy

Elizabeth learned from an early age when to keep her thoughts concealed, and how to make her opinions known in a diplomatic way. Later she turned the disadvantage of being a woman ruler into an advantage and promoted a regime motivated by sincere love of her subjects. She was genuinely respected.

 

Elizabeth I — Succession

Her successor was the son of  Mary Queen of Scots, James VI of Scotland, who became  James I of England and thus the Stuarts succeeded to the throne of England.

Here is more on the  Stuart family.

 

Elizabeth I — Remarkable

Much to the despair of many people, Elizabeth decided to stay single. Reasons for this decision are not known. Most likely, she just did not wish to compromise her power. This, however, didn't stop her from conducting marriage "negotiations" as part of political strategies.

Queen Elizabeth I of England
LIZZY AROUND AGE 13. SHE WAS
ALWAYS VERY PROUD OF HER HANDS.



WAR WITH SPAIN
Encouraged by the pope, Catholic Spain, led by
 Philip II, launched her fleet of 130 ships, the  Invincible Armada, in an attempt to defeat Protestant England.