Queen Elizabeth I

Elizabeth I Jesus College

Queen Elizabeth I Facts

Born: 9/7/1533

Died: 3/24/1603

Reign: 1558-1603

House: Tudor

Her reign as the last of the Tudor monarchs lasted 44 years and brought stability and economic growth to England

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Queen Elizabeth I Summary

Queen Elizabeth I was born to King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn on September 7, 1533. Due to the question of the legality of the King’s annulment of his marriage to Katharine of Aragon, the birth of Elizabeth was considered illegitimate. Elizabeth’s early years were full of strife as the King worked to have Anne Boleyn and Elizabeth acknowledged, which meant that he had to strip his daughter Mary, by his Catholic wife Katharine, of her title of princess.

Most of society would not acknowledge Elizabeth or her mother, which caused considerable hardships. After the death of his legally acknowledged wife, Katharine, and a series of miscarriages by Anne Boleyn, Henry VII had Anne Boleyn charged with various crimes and executed. His next wife gave him a male heir, and Elizabeth I became part of his household as her father went through several more marriages.

Under the guidance of Henry’s sixth wife, Katharine Parr, Elizabeth received a tremendous amount of education, which was quite unusual for women during that time period. After her father’s death, Elizabeth became third in line to the throne, after her ten year old half-brother Edward and her half-sister Mary; if either of them produced heirs, she became further out of line. When Edward became ill and later died, a cousin, Lady Jane Grey, took the throne; her rule lasted only nine days until Mary overthrew her. Under Mary’s rule, England was restored to Catholicism, while Elizabeth remained, inwardly at least, Protestant.

In 1558, Mary died and Elizabeth became Queen. She quickly moved to restore the Church of England and soothe tensions between England and France. She was a diplomatic ruler, and England thrived throughout the better part of her reign; Elizabeth was a patron of the arts as well. Elizabeth died on March 24, 1603.