Queen Elizabeth’s lifewas full, rich with both good and bad experiences. She was born on September 7th, 1533, and died on March 24th,1603. At the age of three, Princess Elizabeth’s mother was executed at the London Tower. She wasaccused by Sir William Fitzwilliam of adultery.
Later in life Queen Mary had a creepingsuspicion that her half-sister Elizabeth was planning on overthrowing her. At the age of 21,Elizabeth was imprisoned by Queen Mary in the Tower of London. After a year Elizabeth was releasedfrom her imprisonment and placed under house arrest. Three years later, Queen Mary died. It is thoughttoday that Queen Mary’s death was caused by a variation of cancers, such asuterine and stomach cancer. The onlyother woman in the Tudor family was Elizabeth, Elizabethwas crowned queen of England on January 15th, 1559. Queen Elizabeth’s life was eventful yetdifficult.
She had many issues to deal with such as the Catholics (she was a strict Protestant)and other religious issues. Queen Elizabeth thought she made very good changes to Europe such asthe end of the Catholic church’s political power in England. The Elizabethan era government was completely differentfrom what it is today.
Most monarchs today have little to no legal power incomparison to the time of Queen Elizabeth. Queen Elizabeth made every decisionthere was to make in Europe, “William Cecil andRobert Dudley both had large networks of clients, but it was Elizabeth whodecided ultimately who got what.” (Sommerville). In 1558, Elizabethpassed the Elizabethan Religious Settlement Act which allowed the Protestantchurch of England to improve the English government, and still allowed some Catholictraditions to continue, “Queen Elizabethwished to create a new moderate religious settlement derived from Henry VIII’sbreak from Rome, she established the Church of England in 1559.” (Bacon). The objective of parliament was to pass laws, and togrant the queens request of money. However, the Queen could pass laws withoutparliament’s vote. Queen Elizabeth was concerned about the amount of people inparliament so she lowered the amount of people on parliament, ” The Commons saw considerable turnover in its members.
Sixtypercent of the Members of the 1586 parliament had not sat in 1584, and theproportion was higher still on other occasions” (Sommerville). She believed that a lot of people withdifferent ideas would cause more problems then solve them, “There were fifty-seven male peers when Elizabeth acceded. Alongwith them in the House of Lords sat twenty-three bishops.” (Sommerville).
Queen Elizabethmade those statements in what were called Royal Proclamations. On June 15th1574 the of Excess of Apparelproclamation was passed. Which meant that only certain people of a certainsocial status or wealth could wear certain colors. This proclamation was meant toregulate the spending on fancy clothes. Restrictions were also placed on othergoods, such as gold, silks, furs, buttons, and swords. Clothing then became the main indication onone’s social hierarchy, but that quickly changed because the merchants tradedfor fine clothes in order to look like they had a good amount of wealth.ThePrivy council was another role Queen Elizabeth played in her rein.
The Privycouncil was responsible for the general administration of the country and wasbasically the parliament of the of most of the countries in Europe. QueenElizabeth lowered the number of members from 50 to abut 19,” The new Privy Council was dramatically slimmed-down from50 to 19. As Elizabeth’s goal was order and stability, she opted for a moreinclusive and cooperative model, drawing together the best of the old and thenew to help her govern” (Bacon). The councilof Marches was responsible for governing the more western side of Europe, andthe council of the north was responsible for governing the northern countriesof Europe. The Queen traditionally decided the number of members and who was onthese councils, “She also made it clear thatthe changes and job cuts to be made among her close advisers were not due toany fault of their own” (Bacon).Men in the general vicinity of the council had a very large influence due tohow much money they had, their social status.
Queen Elizabeth had to appease totheir needs to assure that the men would not turn against her. QueenElizabeth’s personal life was untraditional in comparison to other Queensduring the 16th century. Elizabeth was often called the whore of Europe, “Far from being the Virgin Queen, forsome hostile observers Elizabeth was the ‘whore’ of Europe.” (Whitelock). Elizabeth’sfirst love was Robert Dudley.
Queen Elizabeth had known him for most of herchildhood, and he been her right hand man through her reign. She often visitedRobert Dudley’s chambers at all times of night during her visits to his castlein Kenilworth England. She even calledhim names like “my sweet Robin”. “Elizabeth had appointed Dudley as master of the horse – a position thatguaranteed almost daily contact.” (Whitelock) Queen Elizabeth’s councilors wanted tofind a marriage for Elizabeth to strengthen England’s position in Europe and toprovide a heir to the throne.
Thecouncilors top choices were Philip II of Spain, Erik XIV of Sweden, the archdukesFerdinand and Charles of Austria. None of the candidates impressed QueenElizabeth enough, but Elizabeth enjoyed the attention of younger lords of thecountry like Thomas Heneage, Chris Hatton, Walter Raleigh, and later RobertDevereux, the earl of Essex according to HistoryUndressed.com. Robert Dudleywas still Queen Elizabeth’s favorite and probably only love. A year later she meetthe King of Frances brother Anjou. Anjou courted Queen Elizabeth and wrote herfrequent love notes.
In letters he wroteloving words like “Kissing and kissing all that your beautiful majesty canthink of”, and “as well as to be in bed between the sheets in your beautifularms.” (Starkey) Anjou had returnedto France but upon his quick return to London, Elizabeth was extremely excitedby Anjou’s presence and on November 22nd with the court assembled, Elizabethpublicly stated her intent to marry Anjou and proceeded by kissing him.However, overnight Elizabeth had second thoughts about marrying him andpublicly announced that she would not be marrying Anjou. Elizabeth continued flirtingwith Robert Dudley, but never married or produced an heir. Queen Elizabeth’s life was very eventful and difficult.
She had many issues to deal with such as the Catholic church and otherreligious issues. Queen Elizabeth was a very good manager of the country and astrong just leader of the country of England. Although Queen Elizabeth workedhard during her time of being queen, she came by the position of Queen ofEngland by the luck of her half-sister Mary’s death. Through her many yearsserving in the Privy council as well as parliament she always showed strongleadership and the name of Queen Elizabeth I will be in the minds of historiansand students for years to come.