History of Elizabeth l: 1533-1549

The birth of Elizabeth on 7 September 1533 was a bitter disappointment to Henry Vlll and Anne Boleyn, who had desperately wanted a son. Nonetheless, until she was two and a half years old the baby enjoyed the title of’princes’ and lived in her own household, where she had precedence over her half-sister Mary. In 1536, however, Elizabeth’s bastardization and demotion followed Anne’s execution. The next year, Elizabeth joined the household of her newborn half-brother Edward, where she remained, except for short visits to court, until Henry died. In 1544, she and Mary were restored to the succession although the taint of bastardy was not removed.” – The Tudor Chronicle 1485-1603, by Susan Doran

Henry VIII c.1536
by unknown artist circa 1560;  National Portrait Gallery, London
Elizabeth c. 1560
 National Portrait Gallery, London
Anne Boleyn c. 1533-36







Elizabeth was well educated. She could speak and write Latin, Greek, Italian and French. She was also musical like her father and could play the keyboard and lute.

The Bridgeman Art Library, London
The Bridgeman Art Library, London

When Henry died in 1547, Katherine Parr (the queen dowager) was named guardian to the young Elizabeth. This was something Henry agreed to prior to his death.Henry also insisted that Katherine be treated as queen after his death. This would change when Katherine, only months later married Lord Thomas Seymour of Sudeley. The problem was that Katherine had not mournedthe death of the king long enough, plus they married in secret – not getting permission from the council or King Edward VI to marry – many saw this as unseemly. These things caused Katherine to lose favor with the council and the young king. She was never treated the same again.

Katherine Parr, c. 1545
Elizabeth c. age 13 NPG, London
Elizabeth c. age 13
Thomas Seymour c. 1547-49, RMG
Thomas Seymour c. 1547-49
Photo Credit: Wdejager / CC BY-SA 4.0
Sudeley Castle: Photo Credit: Wdejager / CC BY-SA 4.0

I’d like to believe that Katherine Parr had a great love affair with Thomas Seymour and that he loved her as well, but it seems to me that Thomas may have been an opportunist, like his brother Edward, Lord Protector. It is said that Thomas had flirted shamelessly with the young Elizabeth and may have been caught in her bedchamber in an inappropriate situation. While we don’t know what happened exactly, it must have caused concerned with the then pregnant Katherine Parr. Soon after, the young Elizabeth left the household (May 1548) and later moved to Hatfield House in Hertfordshire.

Hatfield House Old Palace; Public Domain
Hatfield House Old Palace; Public Domain

17 February 1549 Thomas Seymour was arrested when his brother, Edward Seymour – Lord Protector, discovered his plan to marry Elizabeth and kidnap Edward Vl. He also believed that Elizabeth knew of this and was involved. This implicated them both in a treasonous act. Elizabeth’s servants were sent to the Tower and admitted to Sudeley’s inappropriate behavior. They also confessed that he had hoped to marry Elizabeth.Elizabeth was also interviewed (at Hatfield house) but she had nothing to confess nor did she admit any involvement.

This was not the last time Elizabeth was involved in scandal with a man.

Interested in learning more on your own? I’ve included links to some websites for you to explore on your own. I’ve included quotes from some of the sites to give you an idea of what you’ll find – other’s are just links and will take you to that website from here. It will open a new tab so you can easily come back to Tudors Weekly. Enjoy!



Being Bess

Elizabethan Quote of the Day:

Elizabeth Speaks on Marriage and Children

“And therefore I say again, I will marry as soon as I can conveniently, if God take not him away with whom I mind to marry, or myself, or else some other great let happen. I can say no more, except the party were present. And I hope to have children, otherwise I would never marry.”

The Virgin Queen

“Succession became an another pressing issue for Elizabeth once she took the throne. She showed her talents as a diplomat, managing a number of suitors and potential royal matches during her reign. Through her father and her sister, Elizabeth had seen the troubles and challenges of royal marriages. Mary had made an unpopular choice in marrying Phillip II of Spain, who shared her devotion to the Roman Catholic faith. In the hopes of reuniting their two countries once more, Phillip even offered to wed Elizabeth at one time.

Other suitors for Elizabeth’s hand included the king of Sweden, Archduke Charles of Austria, and the future King Henry III of France. She used her availability as a means to political ends, but she never agreed to marriage. She herself seemed to have some interest in a member of her court, Robert Dudley, and their relationship was the subject of much gossip and speculation. Both parties came under suspicion after the mysterious death of Dudley’s wife.

Elizabeth, however, seemed to have no interest in sharing power with a spouse. Over time, she cultivated her image as a queen married to her job and her people. For this dedication Elizabeth earned the nickname the “Virgin Queen.



Queen Elizabeth I Tudor Queen

Elizabeth Tudor is considered by many to be the greatest monarch in English history. When she became queen in 1558, she was twenty-five years old, a survivor of scandal and danger, and considered illegitimate by most Europeans. She inherited a bankrupt nation, torn by religious discord, a weakened pawn between the great powers of France and Spain. She was only the third queen to rule England in her own right; the other two examples, her cousin Lady Jane Grey and half-sister Mary I, were disastrous. Even her supporters believed her position dangerous and uncertain. Her only hope, they counseled, was to marry quickly and lean upon her husband for support. But Elizabeth had other ideas.

The official website of British Royal History:

“Elizabeth succeeded to the throne on her half-sister’s death in November 1558. She was very well-educated (fluent in six languages), and had inherited intelligence, determination and shrewdness from both parents.

Her 45-year reign is generally considered one of the most glorious in English history. During it a secure Church of England was established. Its doctrines were laid down in the 39 Articles of 1563, a compromise between Roman Catholicism and Protestantism.

Elizabeth herself refused to ‘make windows into men’s souls … there is only one Jesus Christ and all the rest is a dispute over trifles’; she asked for outward uniformity.”

Tudor History:

“When Elizabeth took the throne, she was immediately descended upon by suitors. However, as we all know, she never married. One of the most obvious questions would be “why?”. Some theorize that because of the way her father treated his wives, Elizabeth was disgusted by the idea of marriage. The more romantic feel it was because she couldn’t marry the man that she really loved, Robert Dudley. When Elizabeth became Queen, Dudley was married, and then his wife Amy died under mysterious circumstances a few years later. Although Robert Dudley was cleared of any wrong-doing in the matter, Elizabeth could not marry him because of the scandal that would no doubt arise. Or perhaps she never married because of a combination of reasons. Regardless, Elizabeth never married, but managed to successfully play her suitors off of one another for about 25 years, gaining alliances and wealth from gifts on the possibility of marriage. The one serious contender for her hand was Francis, Duke of Alenon of France, but negotiations eventually failed.”

BBC i Wonder:

“Elizabeth is 13-years-old when Henry VIII dies. Her nine-year-old half-brother Edward becomes King.

Elizabeth joins the household of her stepmother Catherine Parr. When Elizabeth is caught in an embrace with Parrs husband Thomas Seymour, she is banished from the house. In 1548 Catherine dies in childbirth and Seymour is subsequently executed for plotting to marry Elizabeth and kidnap Edward VI. When Elizabeth is questioned by the authorities she protests her innocence and escapes prosecution.”

THESE ARE IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER: (Click link and you’ll be brought to an Elizabeth specific page)

Royal Family History

Ten Facts About Elizabeth l

History.com #TDIH

Elizabeth l



Geni.com/Photos & Documents



Spark Notes

Primary Homework Help

The History Learning Site

British Heritage

The Elizabeth Files

Tudor Chronicles/On This Day-Elizabeth

Social media no longer shows our posts to a majority of our followers - Don't want to miss out on new articles? Get notified! Subscribe to email updates from Tudors Dynasty.

Join 5,729 subscribers.

Attractions Elizabeth l History House of Tudor

2 Comments Leave a comment

  1. The more I read, the better your material is. I’ve covered a lot
    of the other resources, like this on https://kunenerak.org/podcast-job-interview-dos-donts/nonetheless, only here,
    I have found legitimate information with such necessary facts to
    bear in mind. I suggest you will publish articles with various topics to
    update our knowledge, mine in particular.
    The language is another thing-just brilliant! I believe I’ve already
    found my ideal supply of the most up-to-date info, thanks to you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *