When Elizabeth was a year old, her father, Henry VIII, made her Princess of Wales, making
Mary, his older daughter, illigitimate in the process. But after her mother, Anne
Boleyn, was executed, Elizabeth was also cast out of the line for succession. For years
Henry couldn't even bring himself to look at his second born child. Elizabeth's governess
had to beg for money for such things as clothes. When Elizabeth was eight, her mother's
cousin and her father's wife, Katherine Howard, was executed on charges of adultery.
After her father's death, Elizabeth's younger brother, Edward, became king, and upon his death,
her older sister Mary was named queen. But of the three children of Henry VIII, it was Elizabeth
who truly left a mark on her the country of her father and her father's father.
Elizabeth the Queen
Elizabeth's cousin, Catholic Mary Stuart, fled primarily Protestand Scotland in 1567 and went
to Elizabeth for help and protection. Unfortunately, Mary eventually began encouraging Catholic
plots to overthrow Elizabeth. Mary was imprisoned for 19 years until Elizabeth signed her warrant
of execution in 1587. It was a difficult time for Elizabeth, who saw Mary as both a kinswoman
and fellow Queen, but she felt she had no choice.
In the same year that Mary was executed, Philip II of Spain sent his powerful fleet of ships to
destroy the English Navy. Evidently it no longer mattered to King Philip (his was crowned when his father
died around the same time as Mary I's death) that he was Elizabeth's former brother-in-law.
It was predicted all around that the English navy would be destroyed. But the Armada was crushed
by Britain's navy, never to return to power again. The victory marked the beginning of England's
dominance as a naval power in the 1600's and 1700's.
Good Queen Bess
Elizabeth brought prosperity and growth to England despite threats from foreign powers and
internal fighting among the English. She made the Protestant Church of England the official state
religion while managing to avoid war with the Roman Catholic countries of Europe. The
first English settlers were sent to North America to colonize the continent. The state of
Virginia and the first European child born in America, Virginia Dare, was named after the
Virgin Queen. Elizabeth's court was known far and wide as a center of learning for artists
and scholars. Shakespeare was busy writing his famous plays and poetry; in fact, Elizabeth was
present for the opening night of A Midsummer Night's Dream!
Elizabeth, never having married, died in 1603, leaving the throne to her cousin, James of
Scotland, son of Mary Stuart. So ended the amazing tale of the Tudor Monarchy.
More about Elizabeth and Mary Stuart
Accurate, informative information about the Tudors.
More info on on good queen Bess!
Gasp! A site that actually sites sources!! A great list of links, too!
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