Elizabeth 1st, was a very important figure in English history. She was queen of England from 1558-1603.
Elizabeth was the daughter of Anne Boylan who was the second wife of Elizabeth’s father, King Henry the 8th, this meant she was a princess. She was born in Greenwich England, in September 7th, 1533.
Her mother was charged with the crime of adultery from her father, and was executed, when Elizabeth was only two years old! These charges were probably false, since Henry was displeased with Anne since she did not bear him a son, for an heir .
After this, Elizabeth and her older half sister Mary (Mary was the daughter of Henry and his first wife),were announced as illegitimate children, and were cut off from the line of heirs to the English throne. This favored her younger half brother, Edward, who was the son of Henry and his third wife Jane Seymor.
Even though Elizabeth was considered an illegitimate child she still was raised quite well; she lived with a governess, and got a pretty good education, excelling in the music and language arts.
After her father’s death in 1547, her younger brother Edward became King. Her brother’s time as King did not last for long; Edward had always been very weak in health, his bad health eventually caught up to him and he died in 1553. His death caused much political turmoil since Edward had left no heirs of his own but had chosen his cousin Lady Jane Grey, who was a devoted Protestant, instead of his oldest half sister Mary who was a devoted Catholic. This was because Edward was a Protestant, and he did not want Mary to rule since she would probably make England a Catholic nation.
But Mary soon gained popularity with the English people, and after only nine days of ruling Jane was unseated from the English throne and was thrown into prison, and Mary was crowned queen. This was not good for Elizabeth since she was a Protestant; to make matters worse for her, plans of a rebellion against Mary was uncovered in 1554. This plan contained details, that if the rebellion succeeded Elizabeth would be crowned queen. Right after this Elizabeth was thrown into prison, even though she denied that she had anything to do with this rebellion. And she was soon released, but she was never fully free because she was under close watch.
Her Time As Queen
In 1558 Mary died, leaving no heir of her own, Elizabeth became queen. In the beginning it was not exactly easy for Elizabeth, Mary had died when a lot of political and religious issues were going on, like a war between England and France, and the increasing tension between Protestants and Catholics.
Elizabeth took action right away on these issues, and these issues soon ended, but others arose throughout her reign such as the tension between Spain and England, and then there were attempts to remove her off the throne, the greatest effort to remove her came from Mary Queen of Scots, who was Elizabeth’s cousin. In 1567 in got so out of hand that Elizabeth had to imprison Mary. Mary was executed in 1587 for treason.
Even with all these issues during her reign she proved to be a very good and just ruler, and stood strong against many suitors. She was never married and is often referred to as the “virgin queen”.
Later Years And Death
Near the end of her reign and death, England was in troubled times, there were food shortages since the crops were failing in Ireland and many rebellions and riots. Her power began to fade, but she remained close and supportive to the citizens.
Elizabeth died on March 24th, 1603.
Elizabeth was remembered well even though the end of her reign was not exactly the best; she was a stable ruler most of her long reign, and was a great problem solver. Her reign is often said to have been the “Golden Age”, since creativity and art bloomed thanks to her.