Elizabeth - History


Elizabeth - History

Elizabeth I as Princess
attributed to William Scrots

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Born: 7 September 1533
Greenwich Palace

Became Queen: 17 November 1558

Coronation: 15 January 1559
Westminster Abbey

Died: 24 March 1603
Richmond Palace

Buried: 28 April 1603
Westminster Abbey

Elizabeth's life was troubled from the moment she was born. Henry VIII had changed the course of his country's history in order to marry Anne Boleyn, hoping that she would bear him the strong and healthy son that Catherine of Aragon never did. But, on September 7, 1533 in Greenwich Palace, Anne bore Elizabeth instead.

Anne did eventually conceive a son, but he was stillborn. By that point, Henry had begun to grow tired of Anne and began to orchestrate her downfall. Most, if not all, historians agree that Henry's charges of incest and adultery against Anne were false, but they were all he needed to sign her execution warrant. She was beheaded on the Tower Green on May 19, 1536, before Elizabeth was even three years old.

Elizabeth was probably at the royal manor at Hunsdon when her mother was arrested and executed after being at court for Christmas (and likely the last time she saw her mother). Henry had remarried and was eagerly awaiting the son he hoped Jane Seymour was carrying. As it turned out, she was indeed to bear Henry a son, Edward (future Edward VI). Jane died shortly after her son was born.

Elizabeth's last stepmother was Katherine Parr, the sixth queen to Henry VIII. Katherine had hoped to marry Thomas Seymour (brother to the late Queen Jane), but she caught Henry's eye. She brought both Elizabeth and her half-sister Mary back to court. When Henry died, she became the Dowager Queen and took her household from Court. Because of the young age of Edward VI, Edward Seymour (another brother of Jane's and therefore the young King's uncle) became Lord Protector of England.

Elizabeth went to live with the Queen Dowager Katherine, but left her household after an incident with the Lord Admiral, Thomas Seymour, who was now Katherine's husband. Just what occurred between Elizabeth and Thomas will never be known for sure, but rumors at the time suggested that Katherine had caught them kissing or perhaps even in bed together. Katherine was pregnant at the time of the incident. She later gave birth to a daughter named Mary. Katherine died not too long afterwards and was buried at Sudeley Castle. This left Thomas Seymour as an eligible bachelor once again.

Because Elizabeth was a daughter of the late King Henry VIII, she was in line to the throne (despite several attempts to remove her from the chain, she was in Henry's will as an heir) and was therefore a most sought-after bride. During the reign of Edward VI, Thomas Seymour asked for Elizabeth's hand in marriage, which she refused. From this incident, both Thomas and Elizabeth were suspected of plotting against the king. Elizabeth was questioned, but was never charged. Seymour however, after an attempt to kidnap the boy king, was arrested and eventually executed for treason. Elizabeth was reported to have said, upon hearing of the Lord Admiral's death (although it is probably apocryphal): "Today died a man of much wit, and very little judgment."

Edward may have contracted what was then called consumption (possibly tuberculosis) or had a severe respiratory infection. When it looked inevitable that the teenager would die without an heir of his own body, the plots for his crown began. Reports of the young King's declining health spurred on those who did not want the crown to fall to the Catholic Mary. It was during this time that Guilford Dudley married Lady Jane Grey, who was a descendant of Henry VIII's sister Mary, and was therefore also an heir to the throne. When Edward VI died in 1553, Jane was proclaimed Queen by her father Henry Grey and her father-in-law John Dudley, who rallied armies to support her. However, many more supported the rightful heir: Mary, daughter of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon. Nine days after Jane was proclaimed Queen, Mary rode into London with her sister Elizabeth. Jane Grey and her husband Guilford were imprisoned in the Tower.

Shortly after becoming Queen, Mary was wed to Prince Philip of Spain, which made the Catholic Queen quite unpopular. The persecuted Protestants saw Elizabeth as their savior, since she was seen as an icon of "the new faith". After all, it was to marry her mother Anne Boleyn that Henry instituted the break with Rome. Because of this, several rebellions and uprisings were made in Elizabeth's name, although she herself probably had little or no knowledge of them. However, Mary sensed the danger from her younger sister, and imprisoned her in the Tower.

The story, possibly apocryphal, of Elizabeth's entry into the Tower is an interesting one. She was deathly (pun intended) afraid of the Tower, probably thinking of her mother's fate in that place, and when she was told she would be entering through Traitor's Gate, she refused to move. She had been secreted to the Tower in the dark so as not to raise the sympathy of supporters. That night was cold and rainy, and the Princess Elizabeth sat, soaking wet, on the stairs from the river to the gate. After her governess finally persuaded Elizabeth to enter, she did so and became yet another famous prisoner of the Tower of London.

Elizabeth was released from the Tower after a few months of imprisonment and was sent to Woodstock where she stayed for just under a year. When it appeared that Mary had become pregnant, Elizabeth was no longer seen as a significant threat and the Queen let her return to her residence at Hatfield, under semi- house arrest. Mary Tudor was nearly 40 years old when the news of her "pregnancy" came. After a few months, her belly began to swell, but no baby was ever forthcoming. Some modern historians think that she had a large ovarian cyst, and this is also what lead to her failing health and eventual death.

News of Mary's death on November 17, 1558 reached Elizabeth at Hatfield, where she was said to be out in the park, sitting under an oak tree. Upon hearing that she was Queen, legend has it that Elizabeth quoted the 118th Psalm's twenty-third line, in Latin: "A Dominum factum est illud, et est mirabile in oculis notris" -- "It is the Lord's doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes."

Elizabeth I’s difficult childhood

Elizabeth, daughter of the mercurial King Henry VIII and his second wife, Anne Boleyn, was born on September 7, 1533, at Greenwich Palace. Though Anne had bewitched the King, she was despised by most of the court and the public. Her redheaded daughter was considered the �stard child of a whore.”

Henry VIII had cast aside his universally respected Catholic wife, Catherine of Aragon, and their daughter, Mary, for Anne. He also broke with the Catholic Church when the Pope refused to validate his marriage to Anne. But the turmoil would be justified if Henry’s 𠇌oncubine” produced the male heir that the King and kingdom had long prayed for.

It was not to be. “The King’s mistress was delivered of a girl, to the great disappointment and sorrow of the King, and of the Lady herself,” Eustace Chapuys, the hostile ambassador to the Holy Roman Empire, wrote, 𠇊nd to the great shame and confusion of physicians, astrologers, wizards, and witches, all of whom affirmed that it would be a boy.”

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This disappointment and her subsequent inability to produce a son, hastened the spectacular fall of Anne Boleyn. Although it is unknown whether three-year-old Elizabeth was aware of her mother’s execution in 1536, it appears the precocious, watchful girl was quick to notice the dramatic change in her station. “How haps it Governor,” she asked in 1537, “yesterday my Lady Princess, and today but my Lady Elizabeth?”

And so, the newly-styled Lady Elizabeth was declared illegitimate and coldly hidden out of her father’s sight, with a small household and little income. Things got so bad that the year of her mother’s death, Elizabeth’s governess pleaded for money, complaining the child “hath neither gown, nor kirtle, nor petticoat.”

Elizabeth’s childhood was not totally devoid of comfort. She developed a devoted little court, and a clutch of servants who would stay with her for decades. Governess Kat Ashley would be like a mother to Elizabeth, taking "great labor and pain in bringing me up in learning and honesty."

The lonely child received a superior education. “The constitution of her mind is exempt from female weakness,” her tutor Robert Ascham would write. “She is endued with a masculine power of application. No apprehension can be quicker than hers, no memory more retentive.”

Elizabeth was occasionally brought to the English court where she impressed her distant father with her intellectual prowess. She also developed a relationship with her step-mother, Henry’s fifth wife, Katherine Howard, only to see the flighty teen executed by her father in 1542. It is said that this was the incident that prompted the practical nine-year-old to vow she would never marry.

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Marriage and Motherhood

In 1839, Elizabeth stayed in Peterboro, New York, with her cousin Gerrit Smith—who later supported John Brown’s raid of an arsenal in Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia𠅊nd was introduced to the abolitionist movement. While there, she met Henry Brewster Stanton, a journalist and abolitionist volunteering for the American Anti-Slavery Society.

Elizabeth married Henry in 1840, but in a break with longstanding tradition, she insisted the word “obey” be dropped from her wedding vows.

The couple honeymooned in London and attended the World Anti-Slavery delegation as representatives of the American Anti-Slavery Society however, the convention refused to recognize Stanton or other women delegates.

Upon returning home, Henry studied law with Elizabeth’s father and became an attorney. The couple lived in Boston, Massachusetts, for a few years where Elizabeth heard the insights of prominent abolitionists. By 1848, they had three sons and moved to Seneca Falls, New York.

Elizabeth I

Famous for being Queen of England 1558-1603
Born – 7th September 1533 – Greenwich Palace London
Parents – Henry VIII King of England, Anne Boleyn
Siblings – Mary (half-sister), Edward (half-brother)
Married – No
Children – No
Died – 24th March 1603

Elizabeth was born in 1533, the daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. After her mother was beheaded she was declared illegitimate. Elizabeth was imprisoned in the Tower of London for much of Mary’s reign on suspicion of plotting with Protestants to remove Mary from the throne and take her place. She had been excluded from the succession by Edward VI due to her illegitimacy but this was overturned by the government following Mary’s death.

Elizabeth was crowned in Westminster Abbey on 15th January 1559.

As Queen, Elizabeth needed to win the support of her people, both Catholics and Protestants, and those who believed that a woman could not rule a country by herself. One of the best ways for a monarch to win support was by making a tour of the country and showing themselves to the people. However, Elizabeth had many Catholic enemies and it was not safe for her to travel around the country. She chose, instead, to use portraits to show herself to her people. It was, therefore, essential that the portraits showed an image of Elizabeth that would impress her subjects. At intervals throughout her reign the government issued portraits of Elizabeth that were to be copied and distributed throughout the land. No other portraits of the Queen were allowed.

From the time of her accession, Elizabeth was pursued by a variety of suitors, eager to marry the most eligible woman in the world. However, Elizabeth never married. One theory is that she never married because the way that her father had treated his wives had put her off marriage, another is that she was abused by Thomas Seymour while under the care of Katherine Parr, a third theory suggests that she was so in love with Robert Dudley that she could not bring herself to marry another man. When Elizabeth became Queen, Robert Dudley was already married. Some years later his wife died in mysterious circumstances. Elizabeth could not marry him because of the scandal it would cause both at home and abroad.

As queen, Elizabeth established a moderate Protestant church with the monarch as Supreme Governor of the Church of England. Her action led to her excommunication by the Pope and also made her subject to Catholic plots to remove her from the throne and replace her with her cousin Mary Queen of Scots. This ultimately led to Elizabeth being forced to sign the warrant for Mary Queen of Scots’ execution.

Her foreign policy was largely defensive, however her support of the Dutch against Spain was a contributary factor that led to the invasion of England by the Spanish Armada in 1588.

Elizabeth died in 1603. Her death marked the end of the Tudor dynasty. She was succeeded by Mary Queen of Scots’ son James.

Spanning Time: The story behind Elizabeth Church Manor, and the woman it's named after

Correction: A previous version of the is story incorrectly identified descendants of Elizabeth Church.

You know what they say about the word assume.

There is some truth in that axiom, and I can prove it, thanks to a reader who suggested an idea for a column to which I “assumed” I knew the answer.

Once again, my mouth (or this case, fingers) went ahead of my brain. He wanted to know about Elizabeth Church, as in Elizabeth Church Manor in the Town of Dickinson. It is a retirement/long-term health care facility operated by United Methodist Homes.

The reader asked if I knew about Elizabeth Church, since most did not. What I had done was assumed the facility was named after a religious structure named Elizabeth Church since the Methodist Church operated the facility. That would seem to be logical, right? Wrong!

My knowledge about Elizabeth Church Manor was relegated to speaking there on a number of occasions through the decades to the residents. I also had a cousin, Jane Kattell — the widow of Thomas Kattell, of Hinman, Howard & Kattell — who lived the last few years of her life there in the 1960's. I have several other friends who live there, but I never gave the name much thought.

The Frank Boland home, Whispering Elms, that became the core of the nursing home/retirement facility in 1960. (Photo: File)

I was aware that the original home was the residence of the late Frank Boland, a well-known contractor and developer. “Whispering Elms,” as the Boland family called the estate at 893 Upper Front St., was sold to the Wyoming Conference of the United Methodist Church for about $70,000 in 1960.

This was a time when the percentage of those over the age of 60 was on the rise in Broome County. People were living longer, and there was a concerted effort to build facilities that could both house those who were mobile, as well as provide nursing home functions to those who required it.

Ground was broken for the addition to Elizabeth Church Manor in 1961. (Photo: File)

The plan with the purchase of the house and the land was to construct an additional wing that would result in the ability to house 28 people with a later infirmary wing to be added. That first addition was completed in 1961, and the facility formally opened in 1963 with 14 residents.

Carrie Freeman, who was a member of Tabernacle Methodist Church in Binghamton, was the first “guest” to sign up to live in the new facility. Since that time, many additions, an apartment building and other operations have been added as the number of residents has significantly increased over the past six decades.

Carrie Freeman, the first “guest” of Elizabeth Church Manor, in 1963. (Photo: File)

You may have noticed that I have not yet told you how the facility got its name. That was purely intentional, to make you aware of the facility, but also to think about how it may have gotten that name.

Well, the answer is that Elizabeth Church was not a religious structure, but a person. Mrs. Levi (Elizabeth) Church donated 200 shares of IBM stock to the Wyoming Conference for the creation of a home for the aged. After a 3-2 split in the stock, there were 300 shares of stock in 1960 worth about $80,000. It was the major gift for the creation of the manor, which originally cost about $350,000.

Elizabeth Church as she appeared around 1915. (Photo: File)

The former Elizabeth Dickinson married local businessman Levi Church in 1911. Levi ran a mail-order dry goods establishment. Both Elizabeth and Levi were very active in local groups and charitable efforts. Levi died in August 1953, and Elizabeth donated those shares, as well as another 174 shares and her home on Clifton Boulevard, in May 1962.

She passed away on Sept. 17, 1962 at the Sheraton Inn on Front Street, where she lived the last few months of her life.

During that life, she knew that her generosity had helped start a needed home for the elderly, as well as her many other efforts. Her estate was valued at $750,000, excluding the previous gifts. While many organizations received some of the estate, her daughter, Enid Wahl, was the principal beneficiary of the estate.

It appears that public service and good works ran deep in the family of Elizabeth Church — a very real and notable person.

Grandchildren and Great-Grandchildren

Charles and Diana gave birth to Elizabeth’s grandsons Prince William, who was created Duke of Cambridge upon his own marriage in 2011, second-in-line to the throne, in 1982, and Prince Harry in 1984. Elizabeth has emerged as a devoted grandmother to William and Harry. Prince William has said that she offered invaluable support and guidance as he and Kate Middleton planned their 2011 wedding.

On July 22, 2013, Elizabeth&aposs grandson William and his wife Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, welcomed their first child, George Alexander Louis — a successor to the throne known officially as "His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge."

On May 2, 2015, William and Kate welcomed their second child, Princess Charlotte਎lizabeth Diana, the queen&aposs fifth great-grandchild. On April 23, 2018, they followed with their third child, Prince Louisਊrthur Charles.

On May 6, 2019, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and his wife, Meghan Markle, gave the queen another great-grandchild with the birth of their son,ਊrchie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor.

In addition to Prince William and Prince Harry, the queen’s other grandchildren are Peter Phillips, Princess Beatrice of York Princess Eugenie of York Zara Tindall Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn. She is also a great-grandmother to 10.

Who succeeded Elizabeth I?

King James VI of Scotland.

By the early 1600s, Elizabeth’s health had been failing for some time. Frail and melancholy over the deaths of many of her close friends and advisors, she would stand for hours, refusing to rest. She was balding, had bad breath due to her rotting teeth – eww! – and spent a lot of her time expressing regret over decisions she’d made during her reign – especially the execution of Mary, Queen of Scots.

On 24th March 1603 Elizabeth I died, having reigned for 44 years as a very popular queen. As she had no children, and therefore no direct heir to the throne, she was the last Tudor monarch. Following her death, Mary, Queen of Scots’ son – James VI of Scotland – was named King James I of England.

The cause of her death was never determined. But whilst no theory has been proven, many people think Elizabeth may have had blood poisoning from the make-up she wore. Make-up in the Tudor era was full of toxic ingredients such as lead – and Elizabeth famously wore a lot of it!


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Elizabeth, Russian in full Yelizaveta Petrovna, (born December 18 [December 29, New Style], 1709, Kolomenskoye, near Moscow, Russia—died December 25, 1761 [January 5, 1762], St. Petersburg), empress of Russia from 1741 to 1761 (1762, New Style).

The daughter of Peter I the Great (reigned 1682–1725) and Catherine I (reigned 1725–27), Elizabeth grew up to be a beautiful, charming, intelligent, and vivacious young woman. Despite her talents and popularity, particularly among the guards, she played only a minor political role during the reigns of Peter II (reigned 1727–30) and Empress Anna (reigned 1730–40). But when Anna Leopoldovna assumed the regency for her son Ivan VI (1740–41) and threatened Elizabeth with banishment to a convent, the young princess allowed herself to be influenced by the French ambassador and members of the Russian court who hoped to reduce German domination over Russian affairs and reverse Russia’s pro-Austrian, anti-French foreign policy. On the night of November 24–25 (December 5–6), 1741, she staged a coup d’état, arresting the infant emperor, his mother, and their chief advisers after summoning all the civil and ecclesiastical notables of St. Petersburg, Elizabeth was proclaimed empress of Russia.

Upon ascending the throne, Elizabeth abolished the cabinet council system of government that had been employed by her predecessors and formally reconstituted the Senate as it had been created by her father. As a result of this and similar measures, her reign has been generally characterized as a return to the principles and traditions of Peter the Great. In fact, Elizabeth’s restoration of the Senate as the chief governing body was only nominal (the country really being ruled by her private chancery), and the empress actually abolished some of her father’s major reforms. Furthermore, rather than assume a dominant role in government as Peter had done, Elizabeth occupied herself with splendid court and church activities and the purchase of stylish Western clothing. She also encouraged the development of education and art, founding Russia’s first university (in Moscow) and the Academy of Arts (in St. Petersburg) and building the extravagant Winter Palace (also in St. Petersburg). She left control of most state affairs to her advisers and favourites, under whose leadership the effectiveness of Russia’s government was handicapped by continual court intrigues the country’s financial situation deteriorated and the gentry acquired broad privileges at the expense of the peasantry.

Simultaneously, however, Russia’s prestige as a major European power grew. Guided by Aleksey Bestuzhev-Ryumin, who enjoyed Elizabeth’s complete confidence, the country firmly adhered to a pro-Austrian, anti-Prussian foreign policy, annexed a portion of southern Finland after fighting a war with Sweden (1741–43), improved its relations with Great Britain, and successfully conducted hostilities against Prussia during the Seven Years’ War (1756–63).

Before Russia and its allies, France and Austria, could force Prussia’s collapse, however, Elizabeth died, leaving her throne to her nephew Peter III, who was a great admirer of Frederick II the Great of Prussia and who withdrew Russia from the war.

The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica This article was most recently revised and updated by Michael Ray, Editor.


Elizabeth was born in 1533 at Greenwich, England. She was the daughter of King Henry VIII of England and his second wife, Anne Boleyn. She had an older half-sister Mary, and, later, a younger half-brother Edward. [1]

Elizabeth was given a good education. She could speak and read six languages: her native English, as well as French, Italian, Spanish, Greek, and Latin. [2]

When she was thirteen and a half years old, on 28 January 1547, King Henry died. Elizabeth's half-brother, Edward, became King Edward VI of England. He died age 15. Mary succeeded him in 1553, and after Queen Mary's death in 1558, Elizabeth became Queen. [1]

Mary I had brought back the Roman Catholic religion in England. Elizabeth returned the nation to the Church of England of her father. She did however retain some of the Catholic traditions. She wanted her subjects to make it look like they were being Protestant even if they were not. [2]

The years of Elizabeth's reign had many artistic achievements. William Shakespeare, Christopher Marlowe, Edmund Spenser, and other writers created enduring drama and poetry. Composers Thomas Tallis and William Byrd worked at Elizabeth's court. [2]

During her reign, many men sought adventure abroad. Elizabeth rented a slave ship to John Hawkins and gave him weapons and equipment to keep slave trading. [3] [4] Sir Francis Drake, Sir Walter Raleigh, Humphrey Gilbert, and other "sea dogs" looted Spanish ships. They also sailed to the Americas. [5] In 1580, Drake became the first Englishman to sail around the world. [2] The expeditions of these men prepared England for an age of discovery and international trade and owning other parts of the world. In 1600, Elizabeth herself established a trading company known as the East India Company that became an important tool of the British Empire. [1]

England and Spain had long quarrelled. Elizabeth encouraged Protestants in the Spanish-held Netherlands to rebel against Spain. She also encouraged her "sea dogs" to raid Spanish ships. In 1588, King Philip II of Spain sent an armada (a large fleet of ships) to invade England.

Elizabeth met her troops at Tilbury telling them: "I know I have the body of a weak, feeble woman but I have the heart and stomach of a king – and of a King of England too". [2]

The Spanish Armada was met by England's smaller ships on 29 July 1588. They defeated the Armada. The Armada was driven by southwest winds to the north. The English fleet harried it up the east coast of England. The Armada returned to Spain round the north of Scotland and south around Ireland. It was hit by bad weather near Scotland and Ireland, and some ships were wrecked on those coasts. More than a third of the ships did not return to Spain. [5]

Elizabeth never married, and she had no children. However, she was fond of several noblemen in her court. Prominent among these noblemen was Robert Dudley, the 1st Earl of Leicester. Later, she turned to Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex. He wanted to overthrow the government of the Queen. He was defeated and executed. [6]

Elizabeth died at Richmond Palace on 24 March 1603. The Protestant King of Scotland James VI became King of England. He was the son of her cousin Mary, Queen of Scots. [2]

Elizabeth I was the last Tudor monarch, and reigned for 44 years. Her accession date was a national holiday for two hundred years. [1]