“Bloody Mary,” daughter of Henry VIII, sentenced 300 people to death during her 5 year reign. At her death, NOVEMBER 17, 1558, her half-sister Elizabeth became Queen.
During Elizabeth’s 45 year reign, Shakespeare wrote plays, Francis Bacon began the scientific revolution and Sir Walter Raleigh attempted to settle a colony he named Virginia, in honor of the “Virgin Queen Elizabeth.”
When word came of a plot to assassinate her, Elizabeth executed dozens, including her cousin, Mary Queen of Scots – the mother of England’s next monarch, King James I. When Spain sent its Invincible Armada to conquer England, Elizabeth’s Sir Francis Drake, aided by a hurricane, defeated them. Though Elizabeth’s father, Henry VIII, separated the Anglican Church from Rome, it retained many rituals to which “Puritans” objected.
At her 1558 Coronation, Queen Elizabeth stated:
Christ was the Word that spake it, He took the bread and brake it, And what that Word did make it, I do believe and take it.
Of her epitaph, Elizabeth said:
I am no lover of pompous title, but only desire that my name may be recorded in a line or two, which shall express my name, my virginity, the years of my reign, and the reformation of religion under it.
Self-Educated American contributing editor, William J. Federer, is the bestselling author of “Backfired: A Nation Born for Religious Tolerance no Longer Tolerates Religion,” and numerous other books. A frequent radio and television guest, his daily American Minute is broadcast nationally via radio, television, and Internet. Check out all of Bill’s books here.