A timeline of events in the life of Elizabeth I
- September 7, 1533 Elizabeth, Princess of England is born at Greenwich Palace, as the first and only child of King Henry VIII of England and his second wife Queen Anne Boleyn. Elizabeth was named after her grandmothers: Elizabeth Howard, and Elizabeth of York.
- May 19, 1536 Less than 3 years after she is born, Elizabeth' mother Anne is executed at the Tower of London on trumped up charges of adultery and treason. In reality Anne's death was because she failed to produce a living male heir. Elizabeth is declared illegitimate at this time and loses her place in the line of succession.
- May 30, 1536 Eleven days after her mother's death, Elizabeth gets a new mother when her father marries Lady Jane Seymour at Whitehall Palace.
- October 12, 1547 Elizabeth's brother Prince Edward is born at Hampton Court Palace. Queen Jane dies 12 days later, and Elizabeth is placed in the household of the new heir.
- January 28, 1547 King Henry VIII, of England dies, leaving Edward VI King at the age of only 9.
- February 20, 1547 Elizabeth witnesses the coronation of her brother at Westminster Abbey.
- May 1548 14 year old Elizabeth is sent away from Chelsea Palace, after her stepmother Catherine Parr catches her husband Sir Thomas Seymour and Lady Elizabeth in a passionate embrace.
- March 20, 1549 Sir Thomas Seymour is beheaded for treason after he repeatedly tried to court Elizabeth.
- July 6, 1553 Elizabeth loses her beloved brother, when King Edward VI dies from tuberculosis at the age of only 15. The King's will excluded both Elizabeth and Mary from the line of succession, and their cousin Lady Jane Grey is proclaimed Queen.
- August 8, 1553 Elizabeth rides into England with a triumphant Mary after she reclaims the throne, Elizabeth is now next in line to be Queen.
- March 18, 1554 21 year old Elizabeth is imprisoned in the Tower of London after she is accused of plotting to overthrow her sister and become Queen.
- April 17, 1555 Elizabeth returns to Queen Mary's court in order to await the birth of her unborn child; however no child is born so Elizabeth's chances of becoming Queen are assured.
- November 6, 1558 Elizabeth is officially declared the heir of Mary I
- November 17, 1558 Elizabeth's sister Queen Mary I dies from illness, leaving Elizabeth as Queen of England at the age of 25.
- January 19, 1559 Elizabeth is officially crowned Queen of England at Westminster Abbey.
- May 8, 1559 The Act of Supremacy is issued which demands for all to declare their loyalty to the Monarch as the Supreme head of the Church of England.
- Spring 1559 With the Queen's marriage becoming an issue, Elizabeth falls in love with her childhood friend, Lord Robert Dudley.
- Autumn 1559 Several suitors are vying for the hand of the Queen of England, and some even stoop to spreading rumors in order to win.
- Early 1559 Elizabeth turns down King Phillip II of Spain as a husband.
- 1559-1563 Elizabeth considers a marriage proposal from King Eric XIV of Sweden for several years.
- 1569 With relations between England and the House of Habsburg deteriorating, Elizabeth considers Prince Henry, Duke of Anjou (Son of Henry II & Catherine de Medici) for a husband.
- 1572-1581 Prince Francis, Duke of Anjou (Brother of Prince Henry) is a serious contender for Elizabeth's hand in marriage and for some time she wears a frog shaped earring given to her by Francis. The purpose of this proposal was to stop Spanish control of The Southern Netherlands.
- 1570 It becomes apparent to Senior Advisers that their Queen is never going to marry or name a successor, and they begin to accept this.
- 1599 Elizabeth declares that she is married to her country and her people.
- July 1560 The Treaty of Edinburgh is established. This treaty ended French occupation in the Northern parts of Scotland, as Elizabeth was opposed to French presence in Scotland, and wanted to be rid of them; she feared that France would try and put Mary, Queen of Scotland on the English throne.
- 1561 When Queen Mary returns to Scotland, even though the Protestant rebels support Elizabeth; Queen Mary refuses to ratify the Treaty.
- 1563 Elizabeth proposes that her favorite Lord Robert Dudley marry the Queen of Scotland; however this falls apart when Mary weds Lord Darnley who carried a claim to the English throne.
- 1568 Elizabeth has Mary, Queen of Scotland imprisoned for secretly plotting to overthrow Elizabeth and take her throne. Mary is held for the next 19 years.
- 1571-1586 Two plots: The Ridolfi plot, and the Babington plot take place during this time, which brings more evidence of treason against Mary, and causes her suitor the Duke of Norfolk to lose his head.
- Late 1586 Because of the letters from the Babington plot which implicate Mary, Queen Elizabeth is sanctioned to try and execute the Queen of Scotland for treason.
- February 8, 1587 On the orders of her cousin Queen Elizabeth; Mary, Queen of Scotland is executed at Fotheringhay Castle, Northamptonshire, England. Mary left behind her son James in whose favor she abdicated her Scottish throne.
The Netherlands Edit
- 1585 Elizabeth sends an English army to aid Protestant Dutch rebels against King Phillip II of Spain. The result of this is the Treaty of Nonsuch, which promised military aid to the Dutch, and began the start of the Anglo-Spanish war.
- July 12, 1588 Phillip II declares war on England by sending the Spanish Armada to the Southeast cost of England and the Netherlands. While the English were victorious, the war continued and often favored Spain.
- 1589 Elizabeth tries unsuccessfully to invade France; defeat comes when her commanders disregard her orders, and go into battle unorganized. The troops return home in 1592 having accomplished nothing.
- 1594-1603 Elizabeth faces one of the toughest battles of her reign during the Nine years war, which takes place at the height of hostility with Spain who back the rebel leader. In 1599 she sent Robert Devereux to stop the revolt; however he defied her orders and returned to England having been unsuccessful.
- 1587-1603 The last 15 years of Elizabeth's reign are marked by new difficulties after the defeat of the Spanish Armada.
- 1591 The people of England begin to lose affection for Queen Elizabeth because of: ongoing conflicts with Spain and Ireland, increased tax burden, the suffering economy due to poor harvests and costs of war, the prices rise and the standard of living falls, and the Catholic repression intensifies. Elizabeth is forced to use spies and propaganda to create the illusion of peace and prosperity.
- August 4, 1598 Elizabeth's senor adviser William Cecil dies, leaving his son Robert to take his place. Since Elizabeth has named no successor, Robert begins a secret correspondence with King James VI of Scotland, son of Mary, Queen of Scotland to make him the Queen's heir.
- Autumn 1602 Elizabeth's health begins to fail after some of her close friends begin dying, and she plunges into severe depression.
- March 24, 1603 Queen Elizabeth I of England dies at Richmond Palace, at the age of 63. A few hours later King James VI of Scotland is proclaimed as James I of England. Elizabeth had ruled England for 44 years.
- April 28, 1603 The funeral of Elizabeth I takes place at Whitehall Palace, then she is laid to rest beside her sister Mary I in Westminster Abbey. The epitaph on their tomb is inscribed in Latin with: "Consorts in realm and tomb, here we sleep, Elizabeth and Mary, sisters, in hope of resurrection"