Queen Elizabeth

Queen Elizabeth

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“We wanted a boy, she is not what we wanted”. Imagine hearing these words come from a parents mouth, especially a fathers. Generally fathers are to favorite daughters more than sons, and mothers favorite sons more that daughters. However, on the afternoon of September 7th 1533, those were the words and thoughts that were heard as a princess, and future queen was born to King Henry VII and Anne Boleyn. It appears that even in the 1500's oppression against women was evident. Women throughout the years have never been equal with men. Men in Elizabeth's day were seen as the most suitable heirs to the throne (Watkins).
Three days after the birth of the future queen of England, she was Christened Elizabeth. What should have been the most joyous day for the child’s parents was not. The King needed a son to secure the future of England, and Anne needed a son to make sure she was not executed. The only person not present at the christening ceremony was the father, King Henry. He could not bring himself to attend the ceremony, because he had gone against his countries religion and values and married Anne Boleyn, without divorcing his first wife Katherine of Argon. He left Katherine because she was unable to produce in the King's eyes a suitable heir to the throne, which would have been a male, instead Katherine had a little girl, Mary, who would be Elizabeth's half sister. Very quickly after Elizabeth was born, Anne was pregnant once more. On January 29th 1536 she finally had the son that the King so longed for, unfortunately the child was still born. King Henry at this time was tired of Anne, so he falsely accused her of adultery and incest. On May 19th 1536 she was beheaded on the Tower Green.

After Anne's death Mary and Elizabeth were declared illegitimate by Parliament as future heirs to the throne. Not long after the execution of Elizabeth's mother, King Henry married again. This time he married Jane Seymour, and on October 12th 1537 his wish of finally having a son came true, Prince Edward was born. Unfortunately Prince Edwards mother died shortly after he was born on October 24th . On January 6th 1540 King Henry married Anne of Cleves.

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The marriage was very quickly abolished. On July 28th 1540 King Henry married once again, this time is was Catherine Howard, the cousin of Elizabeth's mother Anne Boleyn. The result of Henry marring Catherine Howard who just so happened to be the heir to the Scottish throne made Henry assume the tile of King of Ireland and the “Head of the Church in Ireland”. On November 9th 1541 Katherine Howard was sent to the Tower of London. On February 13th 1542 Catherine Howard was executed on charges of adultery. On July 12th King Henry married once again. This time it was Catherine Parr (Castelow).
On January 28th 1547 King Henry VIII died at age 55. Edward was to become King at only 9. Edward Seymour, who was the Duke of Somerset, became protector of England, because Edward was to young to rule by himself. On February 20th Edward is officially crowned King of England. On March 20th 1549 Thomas Seymour, the brother of the protector of England, Edward Seymour, was executed for treason. His execution brought disgrace upon Edward, and he was replaced as Protector by John Dudley. On July 6th 1533 Edward VI died, and on July 10th Lady Jane Grey was proclaimed Queen. John Dudley swayed the young dying king to give his crown to Lady Jane Grey, who just by chance was the Duke's daughter-in-law. She was actually 5th in line to the throne, but she was Edward's personal choice because she was Protestant. Edward's half sister Mary Tudor was the actual next in line to the throne, but because she was Catholic she was not favored. Edward wanted to keep England completely Protestant, and knew that Mary would take it back to the Catholic faith, however the country came together in favor of the true royal line and Council proclaimed Mary Tudor queen just 9 days later on July 20th 1553. On August 3rd 1553 Mary rode into London in triumph, and took her half-sister Elizabeth with her. On October 30th 1553 Mary I had her coronation ceremony. Lady Jane and her husband were logged in the Tower of London because of the conspiracy to take the throne from Mary, who was the blood line to the throne. They both were taken out and beheaded on the Tower Green on February 12th 1554 (Queen Elizabeth I biography).
As Mary took over the role as Queen of England she became suspicious of Elizabeth, and accused her of planning to steal the throne from her. As chatter of a overthrow of power started to grow, Mary became even more worried. Elizabeth pleaded to write her sister a letter to show Mary that she did not intent to take the throne from her. The letter that Elizabeth sent Mary showed that she was visibly shaken and that she had absolutely nothing to do with the plan to remove her from the throne. Elizabeth testified before the Parliament that she had absolutely nothing to with the plan to remove Mary from the throne and that she was innocent, but she was still sent to the Tower of London to be imprisoned. She was kept here for two months, then was moved to Woodstock Manor where she was kept for a year. The stress of both of these places of imprisonment were very evident, with Elizabeth becoming noticeably thinner and was struck with chronic headaches and stomach problems (Elizabeth I biography).
Elizabeth's health concerns worried Mary, so she ordered that Elizabeth be brought to Hampton Court. Mary had remarried , and now had a step-son. When Elizabeth arrived she was brought through a side door and was very heavily guarded. Upon arriving inside she was taken to her living quarters and was told to wait in peace for the Queen to call upon her. After what seemed like forever the queen called upon her. Once thy met Elizabeth and Mary argued and Elizabeth was sent away. She was then kept confined at Hampton Court for a year, and to much surprise she was happy. She was happy until the Protestant killings started to come about. Protestantism became associated with treason, sedition, and other secular crimes, so Mary ordered the heretic's killed, in order to save their souls. These acts would earn Mary the nickname of “Bloody Mary”(Chronology).
When Mary died and the news was spread that Elizabeth would succeed to the throne, bonfires were lit and tables were set in the streets in order to celebrate the good news. Elizabeth was warmly welcomed to have been treated so terribly in the years before. Elizabeth finally succeeded to the throne on November 17th in 1558. She was officially the bishop of Carlisle. The coronation ceremony was a mix of Catholic and Protestant traditions, with Mass in Latin. Oglethorpe placed the heavy crown of the great Saint Edward upon Mary's head, but it was immediately removed after the oath was given and replaced with a lighter daintier crown fit for a queen (Watkins).
Once crowned, she immediately jumped into action restoring the Protestant Church in England and the debased coinage. Elizabeth had inherited a very troubled land. Drought had stuck many farmers, causing prices to soar, and poverty to become even more common, but this never discouraged her. Elizabeth became Supreme Governor of the Church of England, surpassing the title of Supreme Head of the Church of England that her father had held. Although she held this high positions, Elizabeth did not want to persecute any of her people for their religious belief (Castelow).
Now that she was queen she was even more watched than she was ever before. Elizabeth became known for her love of gorgeous gowns and beautiful jewelry, however before she was Queen, it is said that Elizabeth used to dress in plain white or black dresses that were very modest. Elizabeth always wore her hair down, and wore no form of cosmetics (Castelow).
One of the most widely asked questions asked about Elizabeth came about after her coronation, would she ever marry? Countless Proposals were made after she was crowned. Although suitable offers were given, Elizabeth refused them all. It is questioned whether or not this is because of her father's numerous marriages. Parliament wondered what would happen to the line of succession if Elizabeth did not marry and produce an heir. Parliament petitioned the Queen numerous times to produce an heir to the throne, but she wrote countless responses to these, and got her way each and every time. She once told Parliament that she wanted to live and die a virgin as a sacrifice to God. She also told Parliament that id she was to take a husband that she would not by any chance be told who to marry. As rumors of heirs and marriage spread, Mary Stuart, Elizabeth's cousin, gave birth to a son. This was the only trace of Tudor bloodline for the line of succession (Castelow).
Elizabeth's first Parliament met from January to April in 1559. Religious turmoil would become the most popular topic at this gathering. The fact that Elizabeth had the title of Supreme Governor of the Church of England, she was able to pass the Act of Uniformity, causing her version of the prayer book to be used, and for roughly one third of parish clergy to be removed from their positions (Elizabeth I biography).
Throughout the majority of her rule, religious peace was maintained, that was until the Puritan movement came into England. The puritans claimed that the Church of England became decited more to Elizabeth and England itself than to God. The Puritans were eventually shutout until the end of Elizabeth's rule. The Puritans had been stopped, but the Catholics were waiting in the shadows for the moment to rebel. The Northern Rebellion was caused by the uprising of Catholics and Protestants, and was eventually shut down by queen Elizabeth's rule (Castelow).
Elizabeth was very cautious when it came to foreign affairs. In fact she was so cautious that she sought to avoid them altogether, however some things could not be avoided. Elizabeth was forced to become involved with the threat of the Spanish Armada. Spain sent a fleet, to attack the coast line of England, but they were not defeated. England navy did ll they could and sent a number of flaming ships into the bay to unsuspecting Spanish fleet. The English then proceeded to chase the Spanish out of the bay, where they would be faced with countless storms that would pick up the fleet. This became a very important win for England and Queen Elizabeth. This also marked the highest point of Elizabeth's popularity and power. This high point would never come again, Elizabeth died very shortly after on March 24th , 1603 (Chronology).

Queen Elizabeth came through a lot to take on the title of queen. She was at first not wanted by
her parents. Almost executed for people thinking she wanted to take the throne away from her sister,
and then finally she was given the title of queen. Elizabeth's father went through wife after wife hoping to have a son, which he considered a suitable heir to the throne. Unfortunately what her father did not realize was that scientifically it was his fault he was not having a son. Chromosomes in the sperm determine the sex of a child. A woman’s egg has only X chromosomes. A man's sperm can have X or Y chromosomes. I think that Queen Elizabeth’s life is an excellent example of how society has oppressed women, and how women have showed that they are capable of just as much as men are. King Henry longed for a son, had one of his wives executed because she could not produce a son, and divorced others because they could not, when actually it was his daughter, Queen Elizabeth who had the greatest influence in the English royal line (Watkins).

Works Cited
Castelow, E. (n.d.) “Lady Jane Grey.” The Nine Day Queen. Retrieved November 20, 2013, from http://www.historic-uk.com/HistoryUK/HistoryofEngland/Lady-Jane-Grey/
Chronology: 1533-1569. Chronology: 1533-1569. Retrieved November 20, 2013, from http://www.elizabethi.org/contents/chronology/one.html
Elizabeth I : Biography. (n.d.). Elizabeth I : Biography. Retrieved November 18, 2013, from http://www.elizabethi.org/contents/biography/
Queen Elizabeth I biography. (n.d.). Bio.com. Retrieved November 18, 2013, from http://www.biography.com/people/queen-elizabeth-i-9286133
Queen Elizabeth I: Biography, Portraits, Primary Sources. (n.d.). Queen Elizabeth I: Biography, Portraits, Primary Sources. Retrieved November 18, 2013, from http://englishhistory.net/tudor/monarchs/eliz1.html
Watkins, S., & Fiennes, M. (1998). In public and in private Elizabeth I and her world. London: Thames & Hudson.
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