Isabel y el matrimonio

Isabel y el matrimonio

Poco después de que Isabel se convirtiera en reina de Inglaterra, los protestantes obtuvieron el control total del Parlamento. Ahora era muy importante para el Parlamento que Isabel se casara y engendrara un heredero protestante al trono. Al Parlamento le preocupaba que si Isabel moría sin hijos, Mary Stuart, una católica, probablemente se convertiría en reina de Inglaterra. Temían que si eso sucedía, todos los protestantes que tenían el poder bajo Isabel serían perseguidos.

Elizabeth tenía muchos favoritos en su propia corte. En varias ocasiones circularon rumores de que Elizabeth se casaría con hombres como Robert Dudley, conde de Leicester, Sir Charles Hatton y Thomas Howard, duque de Norfolk.

En octubre de 1562, Isabel contrajo viruela. Durante un tiempo, los médicos pensaron que Elizabeth moriría. Esta enfermedad hizo que el Parlamento se diera cuenta de lo peligrosa que era la situación. Por lo tanto, después de que se recuperó, le pidieron una vez más que considerara el matrimonio. Elizabeth respondió que lo pensaría pero se negó a tomar una decisión.

En 1566, los miembros del Parlamento intentaron obligar a Elizabeth a actuar discutiendo el tema en la Cámara de los Lores y la Cámara de los Comunes. Elizabeth estaba furiosa con el Parlamento por hacer esto. Ordenó a treinta miembros de cada Cámara que asistieran a una reunión en Whitehall Palace. Elizabeth leyó un largo discurso donde señaló que si se casaba o no era algo que ella decidiría. Añadió que para el Parlamento decidir esta cuestión era como "los pies dirigiendo la cabeza".

Los parlamentarios presentes en la reunión acordaron no volver a mencionar el tema. Sin embargo, algunos miembros no estaban dispuestos a permanecer callados sobre el tema. Un político, Peter Wentworth, afirmó que los miembros del Parlamento tenían derecho a discutir cualquier tema que quisieran. Elizabeth respondió ordenando que lo enviaran a la Torre de Londres.

En 1579 Isabel comenzó a tener conversaciones sobre la posibilidad de casarse con el duque de Anjou de Francia. John Stubbs escribió un panfleto criticando el matrimonio propuesto. Stubbs objetó el hecho de que el duque de Anjou fuera católico. También argumentó que, a los cuarenta y seis años, Elizabeth era demasiado mayor para tener hijos y, por lo tanto, no tenía necesidad de casarse.

Elizabeth estaba furiosa y ordenó que se arrestara a Stubbs y al editor del panfleto. Al principio, Elizabeth quería que los hombres fueran ahorcados, pero finalmente decidió que los hombres debían cortarse la mano derecha. Isabel no se casó con el duque de Anjou. Tampoco se casó con nadie más. Cuando Isabel murió a la edad de sesenta y nueve años, la dinastía Tudor llegó a su fin.

Stubbs y Page se cortaron la mano derecha con un cuchillo, atravesado por la muñeca con la fuerza de un mazo, sobre un andamio en la plaza del mercado de Westminster ... Recuerdo que Stubbs, después de que le cortaran la mano derecha, se quitó el sombrero con la izquierda y dijo en voz alta: "Dios salve a la reina"; la multitud que estaba a su alrededor estaba profundamente silenciosa: o por el horror de este nuevo castigo; o bien por tristeza.

Nunca te casarás ... la reina de Inglaterra es demasiado orgullosa para sufrir un comandante ... piensas que si estuvieras casado, solo serías reina de Inglaterra, y ahora eres rey y reina ambos.

Entiendo que ella (Elizabeth) no puede tener hijos.

A juicio de los médicos familiarizados con el cuerpo de Su Majestad ... ella puede tener hijos. La investigación ... demuestra que Su Majestad es muy apta para la procreación de hijos.

¿Quién iba a ser el marido de la reina y qué poder iba a tener sobre el gobierno del país? ... Si él fuera un extranjero, no se sabía qué poder podría obtener sobre la reina, poder que muy probablemente usaría para el bien de un país extranjero, y no para el bien de Inglaterra. Por otro lado, si fuera inglés, debía ser elegido entre los súbditos de la reina, y entonces era seguro que habría celos y contiendas entre todos los grandes nobles del país cuando vieran escogido a uno de ellos. y los hizo rey.

Mientras viva, seré reina de Inglaterra. Cuando muera me sucederán los que tengan más derecho ... Conozco al pueblo inglés, cómo siempre les disgusta el gobierno actual y tienen los ojos puestos en la persona que está a continuación en triunfar.

¿Fue la reina Catalina Howard culpable de traición? (Comentario de respuesta)

Enrique VIII (Respuesta al comentario)

Enrique VII: ¿un gobernante sabio o malvado? (Comentario de respuesta)

Hans Holbein y Enrique VIII (Respuesta al comentario)

El matrimonio del príncipe Arturo y Catalina de Aragón (Respuesta al comentario)

Enrique VIII y Ana de Cleves (Respuesta al comentario)

Anne Boleyn - Reformadora religiosa (Respuesta al comentario)

¿Ana Bolena tenía seis dedos en la mano derecha? Un estudio sobre propaganda católica (comentario de respuesta)

¿Por qué las mujeres fueron hostiles al matrimonio de Enrique VIII con Ana Bolena? (Comentario de respuesta)

Catherine Parr y los derechos de la mujer (comentario de respuesta)

Mujeres, política y Enrique VIII (Respuesta al comentario)

Historiadores y novelistas sobre Thomas Cromwell (Respuesta al comentario)

Martin Luther y Thomas Müntzer (Respuesta al comentario)

El antisemitismo de Martín Lutero y Hitler (comentario de respuesta)

Martín Lutero y la reforma (comentario de respuesta)

Mary Tudor y los herejes (comentario de respuesta)

Joan Bocher - Anabautista (Respuesta al comentario)

Anne Askew - Quemada en la hoguera (Respuesta al comentario)

Elizabeth Barton y Enrique VIII (Respuesta al comentario)

Ejecución de Margaret Cheyney (Respuesta al comentario)

Robert Aske (Respuesta al comentario)

Disolución de los monasterios (comentario de respuesta)

Peregrinación de gracia (comentario de respuesta)

Pobreza en la Inglaterra Tudor (Respuesta al comentario)

¿Por qué la reina Isabel no se casó? (Comentario de respuesta)

Francis Walsingham - Códigos y descifrado de códigos (Comentario de respuesta)

Sir Thomas More: ¿Santo o pecador? (Comentario de respuesta)

El arte y la propaganda religiosa de Hans Holbein (Respuesta al comentario)

Revueltas del Primero de Mayo de 1517: ¿Cómo saben los historiadores lo que sucedió? (Comentario de respuesta)


Para conmemorar el Mes de la Historia de la Mujer, el Dr. Paul Hunneyball, editor asistente de nuestra sección Lords 1558-1603, recuerda la primera declaración pública de la 'Reina Virgen' de que no tenía planes de casarse, y la incomprensión con la que reaccionaron sus súbditos (masculinos). ...

El primer Parlamento convocado por Isabel I se inauguró el 25 de enero de 1559 con una agenda repleta. Los asuntos urgentes en los primeros días incluyeron un nuevo acuerdo para la Iglesia de Inglaterra y un proyecto de ley que reconoce el derecho de la reina al trono, un tema delicado dada su eliminación periódica de la línea de sucesión real y su supuesta ilegitimidad & # 8211 los frutos de su tumultuosa vida temprana. Sin embargo, una vez que se completaron las formalidades de la apertura estatal, solo tomó cuatro sesiones antes de que se planteara otro tema en la Cámara de los Comunes, uno que la propia Elizabeth no deseaba que se discutiera. Como registra el Diario el 4 de febrero, hubo "argumentos de que se puede solicitar matrimonio a la Alteza de la Reina" (Revistas de la Cámara de los Comunes, I. 54). La génesis y el curso de este debate están envueltos en un misterio, pero probablemente fue impulsado por algunos de los propios consejeros de Elizabeth a sus espaldas, y el tema fue de gran preocupación para los miembros reunidos.

Por supuesto, existían urgentes razones de Estado para querer conocer las intenciones matrimoniales de la reina. Aunque la adhesión de Isabel en noviembre de 1558 había sido aceptada sin dudarlo por la gran mayoría de sus nuevos súbditos, ella era la última de la descendencia de Enrique VIII, y mientras no tuviera hijos, el futuro de su dinastía y la estabilidad del reino mismo estaban en peligro. En duda. Después de más de una década de agitación política y religiosa en Inglaterra, esta continua incertidumbre fue profundamente desagradable. Además, el sucesor potencial más creíble en esta coyuntura era su joven prima, María Reina de Escocia, una católica acérrima, y ​​este hecho representaba una seria amenaza para los protestantes en el Parlamento que ahora estaban comprometidos en dar forma al asentamiento religioso isabelino. Tal como estaban las cosas, no había un heredero protestante convincente al trono a menos que la propia Isabel se casara y tuviera hijos.

Es cierto que el matrimonio de su hermana y predecesora, Mary I, había terminado sin hijos, por lo que esta no era una solución garantizada. Además, el consorte de María, Felipe de España, había llevado a Inglaterra a una guerra desastrosa con Francia que culminó con la pérdida de Calais, la última posesión del país en el continente. Sin embargo, ese hecho fue visto como un argumento a favor de que Elizabeth se casara con un inglés, en lugar de disminuir en ningún sentido la creencia de que necesitaba un marido.

Más allá de estas consideraciones, había otro prejuicio profundamente arraigado que no se expresó. En la Inglaterra Tudor, se daba por sentado que una mujer de la edad de Isabel debía casarse. El orden social, consagrado por la costumbre y respaldado por la Biblia, se construyó en torno a un marco en el que los hombres eran las figuras de autoridad y las funciones principales de sus esposas eran la maternidad y la gestión del hogar. Una viuda rica podía gozar de un alto grado de independencia, pero a los ojos de la ley, las mujeres casadas eran a todos los efectos propiedad de sus maridos. En consecuencia, al menos para la población masculina, la existencia de una jefa de Estado que fuera mujer, soltera y dueña de su propio destino, era cuando menos inquietante y, en un sentido real, un desafío a las normas de la sociedad. El protestante radical John Knox había provocado controversia apenas un año antes con su libro franco, El primer toque de trompeta contra el monstruoso regimiento de mujeres, una denuncia intransigente de la noción misma de mujeres gobernantes. Pocos ingleses fueron lo suficientemente valientes como para hacerse eco de los sentimientos de Knox, pero había pocas dudas de que una reina casada sería más agradable para ellos.

Así fue como el 6 de febrero de 1559, los Comunes accedieron a enviar una delegación de sus miembros para "solicitar matrimonio a Su Alteza". El texto de su petición no ha sobrevivido, pero parece haber sido una petición bastante general para que Elizabeth diera este paso como lo considerara oportuno. Pasaron otros cuatro días antes de que su respuesta fuera entregada a través del portavoz, Sir Thomas Gargrave, y debió haber tomado a la Cámara por sorpresa. Por supuesto, hubo las esperadas cortesías floridas, la Reina agradeció a los miembros por el gran cuidado que habían brindado a ella y al reino, y señaló con aprobación que no habían violado su prerrogativa al sugerir con quién debería casarse. Sin embargo, no perdió tiempo en afirmar que era soltera porque prefería estarlo: 'desde mis [primeros] años de entendimiento ... elegí felizmente este tipo de vida en la que aún vivo, que les aseguro ... que hasta ahora ha sido mejor me contento y confío que ha sido muy aceptable para Dios. 'Ella había tenido la oportunidad de casarse, pero había optado conscientemente por no tomarlas' si alguno de estos ... podría haberme atraído o disuadido de este tipo de vida, no lo había hecho. ahora permanecí en esta propiedad en la que me ves. 'Elizabeth reconoció las preocupaciones de los miembros sobre la sucesión, y prometió que si se casaba, elegiría a un hombre' tan cuidadoso para la preservación del reino y a ti como a mí '. Sin embargo, evitó cuidadosamente comprometerse con ese matrimonio, simplemente afirmando que se aseguraría de que el reino pasara a su debido tiempo a un heredero adecuado. En conclusión, ella observó: "esto me bastará, que una piedra de mármol declare que una Reina, habiendo reinado tal tiempo, vivió y murió virgen". (Simonds D’Ewes, Diarios de todos los parlamentos durante el reinado de la reina Isabel (1682), 46)

Esto no era lo que los Comunes querían escuchar. En aras de la forma, se señaló en el Diario que el mensaje de Elizabeth había causado un gran 'contento' a los miembros, pero solo cinco días después, la Cámara solicitó una conferencia con los Lores para debatir 'la autoridad de esa persona a quien le agradaría llevar a la Reina al marido 'Diario de los comunes, I. 54). Eso solo puede significar que los miembros no tomaron en serio la declaración de Elizabeth, o pensaron que debería ser ignorada. Se acordó una reunión, pero el asunto no siguió adelante. O Elizabeth misma intervino para bloquear la discusión, o los compañeros reconocieron que no se podía lograr nada más en este momento.

Y así se preparó el escenario para las discusiones sobre la sucesión y el fracaso del matrimonio de la reina que marcaron la mayoría de los parlamentos posteriores durante su reinado. La propia Elizabeth aprovechó hábilmente las oportunidades diplomáticas que le brindaba su condición de solterona y, de hecho, disfrutó de las maniobras románticas, pero nunca se comprometió con ningún hombre. Sus sujetos fracasaron constantemente en apreciar los beneficios de este comportamiento, incluso si la 'Reina Virgen' finalmente se convirtió en un símbolo icónico de la libertad inglesa. Pero el hecho es que Elizabeth expuso sus intenciones muy claramente solo meses después de su adhesión. La culpa fue de su audiencia, que no pudo aceptar un mensaje tan radical y poco convencional.

GRAMO. Elton, El Parlamento de Inglaterra 1559-1581 (1986)

María Perry, La palabra de un príncipe: una vida de Isabel I a partir de documentos contemporáneos (1990)

Anne Laurence, Mujeres en Inglaterra 1500-1760: una historia social (1994


Las amistades peligrosas

Elizabeth estaba claramente fascinada con Seymour, se dijo que se sonrojó ante la mera mención de su nombre. Y no se resistió a los juegos coquetos que se jugaban. Pero después de que Seymour fuera arrestada y acusada de traición, descubrió lo peligroso que podía ser ese coqueteo.

A la edad de solo 15 años fue detenida para interrogarla, sola, a excepción de sus sirvientes más cercanos.

Sin nadie que la protegiera en ese momento, tuvo que pararse sobre sus propios pies. Y lo hizo con notable aplomo y notable talento estratégico.

La princesa tomó una posición firme, diciendo: “Sí, tal vez se había discutido el matrimonio, pero solo si el consejo (privado) estaba de acuerdo”, y que ella nunca había hecho nada indebido. Y ella no se movería de esa posición.

El hombre que estaba a cargo de interrogarla inicialmente dijo que tendría resultados en uno o dos días. Pero al final de la semana decía: “Esto es imposible. No puedes sacarle nada ”.


El matrimonio de la reina del invierno

La boda de Elizabeth Stuart y Frederick V tuvo lugar el 14 de febrero de 1613.

Nacida en Escocia en 1596, Elizabeth Stuart era la hija mayor de James VI de Scots y la nieta de Mary, Queen of Scots. Se mudó a Inglaterra cuando tenía seis años en 1603, cuando su padre se convirtió en James I, y creció en Combe Abbey en Warwickshire, aprendiendo francés e italiano con fluidez y disfrutando de la equitación, la música y el baile. En 1605, los conspiradores de la pólvora planearon matar a su padre y ponerla en el trono en su lugar, como monarca católica. Se incorporó a la corte de Londres a los 12 años en 1608.

Elizabeth era admirada por su apariencia de cabello dorado y su padre consideraba muchos maridos para ella, con el objetivo de obtener la máxima ventaja política. Casi todos eran príncipes protestantes, al igual que el finalmente elegido, Federico V, conde palatino del Rin, líder de un grupo de gobernantes protestantes en Alemania. El contrato de matrimonio se firmó en mayo de 1612, a pesar de los recelos de su madre, Ana de Dinamarca, que pensaba que su hija se estaba casando por debajo de ella.

El conde Frederick llegó a Inglaterra a principios de octubre y él y su futura esposa, ambos de 16 años, se conocieron por primera vez en el Whitehall Palace de Londres. Después de eso, pasaron mucho tiempo juntos y parece que se sintieron realmente atraídos el uno por el otro. Ambos eran protestantes celosos. Su inglés era rudimentario y ella no sabía alemán, por lo que presumiblemente conversaron en francés. Disfrutaba burlándose de él porque era más bajo que ella. La boda se retrasó por el duelo de la corte por el adorado hermano mayor de Isabel, el príncipe Enrique, quien murió en noviembre, pero finalmente fue programado románticamente para el Día de San Valentín de 1613 en la capilla real del Palacio de Whitehall.

En sus últimos días como solterona, Elizabeth se compró 17 pares de medias de seda como parte de su ajuar "muy rico" y fue con Frederick a seis obras de Shakespeare. Hubo un tremendo espectáculo de fuegos artificiales en el Támesis tres días antes de la boda y la tarde anterior, un sábado, los londinenses y la corte presenciaron un simulacro de batalla naval en el río entre 38 embarcaciones que representan a cristianos contra turcos, en la que varios de los involucrados fueron gravemente lesionado.

El mismo día, las multitudes se reunieron para ver a Elizabeth dirigirse a "la unión del Támesis y el Rin" con un vestido blanco bordado con plata, su cola llevada por 13 o más damas de honor. La capilla era pequeña y hubo muchas disputas por lugares antes de que el arzobispo de Canterbury casara a Isabel y Federico. Se representaron máscaras en las festividades y obras de teatro y poemas celebraron la unión como un triunfo sobre el mal del papado. El mejor homenaje a la ocasión fue el poema Epithalamion de John Donne, en el que se compara a los novios con dos fénix:

Cuyo amor y coraje nunca decaerán
Pero haz que todo el año pase, tu día, oh San Valentín.

En abril partieron hacia Heidelberg, la capital del conde Federico, con un numeroso séquito inglés. A Elizabeth le gustaba gastar dinero y vivían con estilo. Le gustaba estar rodeada de sus perros y sus monos mascotas. El primero de sus 13 hijos nació el 1 de enero de 1614. En noviembre de 1619 se convirtieron en rey y reina de Bohemia. Isabel fue conocida desde entonces como la Reina del Invierno. Después de solo un año, el emperador Fernando II, un católico, los expulsó de Bohemia por la fuerza y ​​sus tropas tomaron el Palatinado.

Elizabeth y Frederick huyeron a La Haya, donde pasaría casi el resto de su vida. Bella, de mente fuerte, decidida e inteligente, se convirtió en la pareja dominante en el matrimonio y mantuvo una extensa correspondencia con gobernantes poderosos y clérigos y diplomáticos influyentes en Europa para obtener apoyo para Federico y la causa protestante, aunque en vano. También intercambió cartas con el filósofo Descartes sobre materias matemáticas. Una heroína protestante, su belleza y coraje inspiraron la veneración de 'la Reina de Corazones' (aunque los católicos la llamaban con resentimiento 'la Helena de Alemania'), pero no obtuvo el apoyo que quería de su padre en Inglaterra o de su hermano Carlos. I.

Isabel quedó devastada por la muerte de Federico en 1632. Se le ofreció asilo en Inglaterra, pero se negó por temor a sabotear sus propios reclamos y los de sus hijos al Palatinado, que continuó persiguiendo tenazmente. Su hijo Charles Louis recuperó el Palatinado en 1648, pero ella permaneció en Holanda. Por fin fue a Inglaterra en 1661, después de que su sobrino Carlos II fuera restaurado al trono, y murió en Londres al año siguiente, a los 65 años. Fue enterrada en la Abadía de Westminster, junto a su querido hermano Enrique.


1946: Felipe le pide al rey Jorge VI la mano de Isabel en matrimonio.

Para el verano de 1946, los dos se habían enamorado y querían comprometerse. "Haber sido salvado en la guerra y visto la victoria, haber tenido la oportunidad de descansar y reajustarme, haberme enamorado por completo y sin reservas, hace que todos los problemas personales e incluso del mundo parezcan pequeños y mezquinos, "Philip escribió en una carta a Elizabeth más tarde ese año, según la biógrafa Ingrid Seward.

La biógrafa Sally Bedell Smith escribe que al rey le agradaba Felipe, ya que le había dicho previamente a su madre que Felipe era "inteligente, tiene buen sentido del humor y piensa en las cosas de la manera correcta". Pero Isabel todavía era joven y el príncipe nacido en Grecia carecía de los títulos reales que los críticos consideraban vitales para casarse con la futura reina. El rey Jorge asintió, pero tenía una petición propia: le pidió a Felipe que retrasara el anuncio formal de su compromiso por un año para que Isabel cumpliera 21 años.


La importancia de un matrimonio de Isabel I

Haga clic en el botón de abajo para descargar esta hoja de trabajo para usar en el salón de clases o en casa.

Desde el momento en que Isabel I se convirtió en reina, hubo una pregunta que todos se hicieron: ¿con quién se casará la reina? La mayoría de la gente creía que sería uno de los

las primeras cosas que haría Elizabeth. Esperaban que ella seleccionara un esposo para ayudar aquí a administrar el país y, lo que es más importante, que la dejara embarazada para que hubiera un heredero que la suceda.

Isabel era joven y había grandes esperanzas de que pronto Inglaterra volviera a tener una familia real. Si Elizabeth moría sin tener un hijo, el futuro sería incierto. Muchos temían que la rivalidad por la corona desembocara en una guerra civil. En las primeras semanas de su reinado hubo muchos pretendientes para la mano de Elizabeth. Isabel era la mujer más buscada de Europa. Recibió ofertas de matrimonio de reyes, príncipes y duques, pero ¿con quién debería casarse?

Elegir un esposo:

Hacer la elección correcta de marido no sería tan fácil. Elizabeth no quería repetir el error de su hermana al casarse con un hombre que sería impopular entre su gente. ¿En qué tenía que pensar Isabel al elegir un marido adecuado?

Lista de verificación para esposo adecuado:

    • A sus súbditos protestantes les agradaría que ella fuera protestante y los enojaría si él fuera católico.
    • No debería ser demasiado poderoso (un rey extranjero no era bueno). Los ingleses no querían que los extranjeros interfirieran en los negocios de Inglaterra.
    • ¡Debe tener un rango adecuado para casarse con la reina que cualquier campesino viejo no haría!
    • Si se casaba con un inglés, debía asegurarse de no poner celosos a otros ingleses. Si estaban celosos, podrían rebelarse contra ella.
    • Ella debe asegurarse de que el matrimonio traiga consigo una alianza que sea buena para Inglaterra.

    Los candidatos:

    1.- Rey Felipe II de España: Felipe era un católico poderoso. Estaba casado con Mary, la hermanastra de Elizabeth. Ese matrimonio era tan impopular que había provocado una rebelión.

    2 Rey Eric de Suecia
    Isabel y sus ministros pensaron mucho en Eric de Suecia. Eric era protestante, también era popular en el país, y cuando se rumoreaba
    que Elizabeth había aceptado su propuesta, se hicieron medallas en Londres con una foto de Elizabeth y Eric en ellas. Pero Eric no era rico y un matrimonio con él era de poco beneficio para Inglaterra, ya que no le dio a Inglaterra un aliado europeo fuerte.

    3. Robert Dudley.
    Se creía que Elizabeth se había enamorado de uno de sus propios súbditos, Lord Robert Dudley. Lord Robert era el maestro de caballos de Elizabeth. Habían sido amigos cuando eran niños y él era uno de los pocos hombres que Elizabeth pensaba que la deseaba para ella, no porque fuera reina. Lord Robert era protestante e inglés.

    Pero no tenía el mismo rango y no le daría a Inglaterra un aliado extranjero. También hubo otro problema. ¡Ya estaba casado! Se casó con una chica llamada Amy Robsart cuando tenía diecisiete años. Si esto no era suficientemente malo, era hijo de un traidor y nieto de un traidor. Traición

    parecía ser algo en la familia. Muchos ingleses creían que no se podía confiar en él.

    Las cosas empeoraron cuando la esposa de Lord Robert murió en circunstancias misteriosas y hubo rumores de que había sido asesinada. ¡Algunos incluso dijeron que la reina había estado involucrada en su muerte!

    4. Archiduque Carlos
    El archiduque Carlos también era un candidato serio y el matrimonio con él siguió siendo una posibilidad durante varios años. Pero el archiduque era católico y, como católico, su traje no era popular entre los protestantes del consejo de Isabel.

    5. Francisco, duque de Alencon, más tarde Anjou.
    El único otro competidor serio por la mano de Elizabeth en matrimonio fue Francisco, duque de Alencon, más tarde duque de Anjou. Era hijo de Catalina de Medici, reina madre de Francia, y hermano del rey francés. Era mucho más joven que Elizabeth, pero casarse con él traería a Inglaterra una buena alianza. Los franceses eran católicos, pero no parecían tan hostiles al protestantismo inglés como el

    Los españoles eran. También se sabía que el propio Alencon simpatizaba con los protestantes franceses y no le importaba casarse con una reina protestante. Este fue el noviazgo extranjero más serio del reinado de Isabel, y parecía que Isabel se casaría con él. Francis incluso vino a Inglaterra para que Elizabeth lo conociera. A la reina le gustó bastante el francés, a quien llamaba "rana", aunque no era guapo y le había asustado un ataque de viruela. Isabel anunció ante algunos de sus cortesanos que se casaría con él, lo besó y le dio un anillo.


    El secreto del Rey Virgen: ¿Era la reina Isabel I realmente un hombre?

    Es famoso que, a pesar de innumerables propuestas y oportunidades para casarse con una variedad de solteros adecuados, Elizabeth se resistió y su línea murió con ella. & # 8220 Ya me he unido en matrimonio con un marido, es decir, el reino de Inglaterra, & # 8221, afirmó, pero ¿era eso cierto?

    El voto de abstinencia de Elizabeth fue muy inusual para su época, y hubo quienes creen que la verdadera razón fue mucho más biológica: Elizabeth era un hombre.

    La teoría de que la reina virgen era en realidad el rey virgen fue publicada por primera vez nada menos que por Bram Stoker, pero no hay duda de que algunos de los contemporáneos de Isabel tenían ideas similares. Conocido por escribir la novela de terror gótica. DráculaStoker descubrió esta teoría por primera vez cuando visitó el pueblo de Bisley en los Cotswolds. Descubrió una peculiar tradición del pueblo durante las celebraciones del Primero de Mayo, donde la Reina de Mayo era en realidad un niño vestido con ropa isabelina.

    Curioso por saber más sobre esta extraña tradición, investigó un poco, descubrió una leyenda y la inmortalizó en su libro de 1910. Impostores famosos.

    La historia cuenta que en algún momento de su infancia, probablemente alrededor de 1543 o 1544, la joven Elizabeth fue enviada a Bisley para escapar de la amenaza de la peste en la ciudad.

    El rey hizo los arreglos para ir a ver a su hija en su retiro en el campo, pero poco antes de lo esperado, la joven Isabel se enfermó y murió. Sabiendo lo temible que era la reputación de Henry y no deseando sentir la peor parte de la ira real, la institutriz ideó un plan. Escondió el cuerpo de la niña y se apresuró a ir a la ciudad en busca de una niña para que se hiciera pasar por la princesa.

    Desafortunadamente para la institutriz en pánico, no había ninguna niña de la edad apropiada que se pareciera siquiera vagamente a Elizabeth. Entonces recordó a una compañera de juegos de la princesa, una niña muy pequeña que bien podría hacerse pasar por ella. Solo había un problema: era un niño. Sin más opciones, la institutriz encontró al niño y lo vistió con la ropa de Elizabeth justo cuando llegó Henry.

    Sorprendentemente, la estafa se desarrolló sin problemas. Por suerte para la institutriz, Henry no visitaba a su hija a menudo y ella era conocida por ser tímida con él, además, él tenía prisa. Después de vislumbrarla, se sintió satisfecho y siguió su camino. El engaño funcionó tan bien que continuó indefinidamente, nadie que lo supiera se atrevió a informar al rey, y los más conscientes del intercambio se limitaron a la pequeña aldea remota en las colinas de Cotswold, por lo que la verdad quedó enterrada para siempre.

    El cuerpo de Elizabeth (la verdadera Elizabeth que es) supuestamente nunca fue movido del ataúd de piedra en el que estaba escondido, y más de 300 años después, durante las obras de construcción, fue descubierto. Según los informes, el reverendo Thomas Keble le dijo a su familia que el cuerpo encontrado era el de una niña con un vestido isabelino. Al darse cuenta de lo que había descubierto, convenientemente la volvió a enterrar en otro lugar, supuestamente comenzando la leyenda que intrigó a Stoker y creó la peculiar tradición drag del Primero de Mayo.

    Stoker no estaba jugando con esta conspiración, estaba completamente convencido de que era 100% cierto, y es fácil ver cómo pudo haber llegado a esta conclusión. Elizabeth tenía muchos atributos y hábitos que eran muy inusuales para una mujer en su época, sin mencionar su famoso discurso a las tropas de Tilbury ante la Armada Española:

    Sé que tengo el cuerpo de una mujer débil, débil, pero tengo el corazón y el estómago de un rey, y también de un rey de Inglaterra, y creo que el desprecio que Parma o España, o cualquier príncipe de Europa, deberían atreverse para invadir las fronteras de mi reino, al que antes que a mi deshonra crezca, yo mismo tomaré las armas, yo mismo seré vuestro general, juez y galardonador de cada una de vuestras virtudes en el campo ”.

    Se argumentó que un discurso tan conmovedor con un porte varonil tan notable no podía salir de la boca de una mujer. También estaba el hecho de que constantemente usaba pelucas, ¿tal vez para ocultar una línea de cabello que retrocedía? También era conocida por cubrirse la cara con maquillaje, así como por usar vestidos grandes con un escote alto, perfectos para disfrazar una forma masculina.

    Hubo múltiples rumores durante el reinado de Isabel de que no podía tener hijos. El Conde de Feria, consejero de Felipe II de España, escribió en 1559, cuando Isabel tenía 25 años:

    "Si mis espías no mienten, lo cual creo que no lo hacen, por una cierta razón que me han dado recientemente, entiendo que ella no tendrá hijos".

    ¿Fue esta la razón por la ausencia de órganos reproductores femeninos? Stoker ciertamente lo creía, y también sostenía que se trataba de un secreto que 'Elizabeth' guardó de cerca toda su vida. El cortesano Sir Robert Tyrwhitt escribió en 1549:

    “Realmente creo que ha habido una promesa secreta entre mi señora, la señora Ashley [la institutriz de Elizabeth] y el cofre [sir Thomas Parry] de nunca confesarse a muerte. "

    Stoker no fue el único que comparó a Elizabeth con un hombre. Su tutor Roger Ascham escribió en 1550: "La constitución de su mente está exenta de la debilidad femenina y está dotada de un poder masculino de aplicación". En pocas palabras, era demasiado inteligente para ser mujer. La negativa de Elizabeth a ver a otros médicos que no fueran el suyo también se consideró sospechosa. Incluso cuando se enfermó durante el arresto domiciliario en Woodstock, se negó a ver a nadie más que a sus propios médicos. Esta renuencia a que otros examinaran su cuerpo continuó durante toda su vida, y dejó muy claro que no habría absolutamente ninguna autopsia de su cuerpo después de su muerte.

    Sin embargo, como la mayoría de las teorías de la conspiración, se desmorona si miramos un poco más los hechos. Parece extraño que incluso un padre tan distante como Henry no se diera cuenta de que su pequeña era ahora un niño, especialmente teniendo en cuenta lo obsesionado que estaba por adquirir uno propio.

    Aunque Elizabeth nunca se casó, estuvo vinculada sentimentalmente con hombres, sobre todo con Robert Dudley. Aunque afirmó que nunca había hecho algo con él (lo cual es creíble teniendo en cuenta que estaba constantemente rodeada de ojos atentos día y noche), parece poco probable que ninguno de sus favoritos masculinos se dé cuenta de que ella es un él.

    Robert Dudley, uno de los favoritos de Elizabeth, aunque el resto de la corte real no compartía tal cariño por él.

    Otro posible pretendiente, Felipe II, había escuchado rumores sobre su infertilidad y decidió descubrir la verdad por sí mismo sobornando a su lavandera para obtener más detalles. Informó que la reina funcionaba normalmente como mujer, lo que indica que estaba menstruando. Satisfecho de que ella realmente pudiera darle un heredero, Philip le propuso matrimonio a Elizabeth sin éxito.

    En otra ocasión, un panel de médicos la inspeccionó durante las negociaciones matrimoniales para asegurarse de que aún pudiera tener hijos, y confirmaron que sí. O eran médicos muy mal entrenados o Elizabeth era, de hecho, mujer.

    Quizás lo que demuestra esta conspiración, definitivamente una tontería, es cuán cimentadas estaban las opiniones hacia las mujeres. En la década de 1500, el papel de la mujer estaba tan definido que incluso la mujer más poderosa del país, la reina de Inglaterra, no podía desafiarlo sin que la gente cuestionara su género.

    • Elizabeth y las mujeres # 8217: la historia oculta de la reina virgen, Tracy Borman
    • Impostores famosos, Bram Stoker
    • Una historia de Gran Bretaña en 100 errores, Gareth Rubin

    All About History es parte de Future plc, un grupo de medios internacional y editor digital líder. Visite nuestro sitio corporativo.

    © Future Publishing Limited Quay House, The Ambury, Bath BA1 1UA. Reservados todos los derechos. Número de registro de la empresa de Inglaterra y Gales 2008885.


    Elizabeth - Cine e Historia

    La película de 1998 Elizabeth por Shekhar Kapur describe los primeros años del reinado de la reina Isabel I conocida como "La Reina Virgen". Esta no es una presentación estirada de "Masterpiece Theatre", sino una pieza de entretenimiento conmovedora que es colorida y envolvente. La película cuenta con la gran ayuda de las excelentes interpretaciones de Cate Blanchett como Elizabeth y Joseph Fiennes como su amante Robert Dudley. Cate Blanchett hace que Elizabeth cobre vida como una mujer real que enfrenta una batalla cuesta arriba para establecer su gobierno. Her faithful protector William Cecil (Richard Attenborough) and the cunning Francis Walsingham (Geoffrey Rush) support Elizabeth in her struggles with potential usurpers. The other characters, however, are little more than stereotypes: the noble protector, the wily servant, the arch villain, the usurper, and so forth. If you do not care about fully developed characters or historical accuracy and are interested in period melodrama with plots, romance, some nice Elizabethan music, and lots of intrigue, Elizabeth is for you.

    Antecedentes históricos

    In the sixteenth century, England was divided along lines of wealth and religion. The independence of the English church from Rome asserted by Henry VIII and retracted under Mary had been re-instituted under Elizabeth, who was excommunicated by Rome. Apparently almost half the population, however, including the older nobility remained Roman Catholic. This was in large part due to the resentment of the new mercantile class which was largely Protestant. As a ruler, Elizabeth was pragmatic, allowed Masses to be performed and even allowed the practice of Judaism, which was outlawed by the realm. For the first thirty years of her reign, the focus of the chronic plotting against her was centred on the Catholic Queen of Scots, Mary Stuart. The story picks up when Princess Elizabeth is thrown into the Tower of London, accused of plotting against her "sister" Queen Mary of England.

    How The Movie Tells It

    The film dramatizes Elizabeth's succession to the throne and the first several years of her reign as Queen of England. It centres on conflicts between the ruling Protestants and the Catholics who have excommunicated Elizabeth and are out to regain control. One of the turning points is where she musters her courage to take on the Catholic bishops and persuades them to accept her religious settlement, known as the Elizabethan Settlement. This declared that she did not care what men believed, just so long as they attended the Church of England. The film also deals mainly with the rebellion against Elizabeth's rule, supposedly instigated by Thomas Howard, the 4th Duke of Norfolk and others, though in fact the Duke of Norfolk was not beheaded until 1572, or 14 years into Elizabeth's reign.

    Marriage is likewise an issue as the struggle for succession was a preoccupation for many. Robert Dudley, a childhood friend, is her lover who proposes marriage (even though he is already married to Amy Robsart). Elizabeth must also deal with marriage proposals from the King of Spain and the French Duc d'Anjou (Vincent Cassel) depicted as a ludicrous cross-dresser. If Elizabeth married a foreigner, she would hand England s rule over to that country as well. If she married domestically, her husband would have become de facto King. She handles this by rejecting them all and proclaiming herself "The Virgin Queen", married only to England. Elizabeth emerges as the dedicated public servant whose devotion to England was boundless.

    The next few sections provide a few of my thoughts on the period. I do admit that some of it is highly speculative, but given the paltry historical record of the time that may be all we can ever do.

    Elizabeth I, Queen of England from 1558 to 1603, was the "Virgin Queen", and we all know that the Easter Bunny hides all those eggs. To characterize Elizabeth as the Virgin Queen is to read her press releases. It cannot be expected that there would be any honest record of the Queen's affairs since there were no newspapers at the time and the Crown controlled the press. To think that she did not have children because they were not documented is to contradict the realities of the time she lived in. The record of the history of the period was under the direction of the chief architect of Tudor chicanery, William Cecil. It is quite plausible that the Virgin Queen moniker was a piece of clever propaganda dedicated to enhancing the Tudor cause. In most accounts of the period, the sexual involvement of Elizabeth with Robert Dudley is played down despite the fact that they had adjoining apartments in various castles and could freely see each other day and night. The possibility that they not only slept together but had children is never mentioned.

    There were indeed rumours that Queen Elizabeth had children both by Robert Dudley and Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford. Indeed several people were pilloried or imprisoned for saying that Elizabeth had children by Dudley. It was author Henry Hawkins who said in 1581 "That my lord Robert hath fyve children by the Queene and she never goeth in progress [tour of the countryside] but to be delivered". The rumour is that she had five children by Robert Dudley. The possibilities include Mary Sidney (1561), Robert Cecil (1562), Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex (1566), and Elizabeth Leighton (1568). There is also the rumor that Henry Wriothesley, the young man to whom Shakespeare dedicated his sonnets and his poem Venus and Adonis to, was the son of Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford and Elizabeth Tudor. There is also an author, Paul Streitz, who believes that Edward de Vere himself may have been the child of Elizabeth and Thomas Seymour (reference: Oxford, Son of Queen Elizabeth, by Paul Strietz).

    Where Did The Children Go?

    If Elizabeth did have children, what happened to all of them? The aristocrats of that day were not independently wealthy and owed their holdings and titles to the monarch. Consequently, they were required to do whatever the monarch desired. No one could object or refuse to obey the dictates of the King or Queen. There is evidence that many unwanted children of royalty were brought up in the house of noblemen upon request by the monarch as "changeling" children. For example, Henry VIII had a variety of children that were raised by a variety of foster parents and did not carry the Tudor name.

    The evidence that these children were in fact Elizabeth's is circumstantial however, keep in mind that records kept of these events would have been most unlikely given the totalitarian nature of the monarchy. Nonetheless, it is a fertile avenue for historians to explore. According to author and lecturer, Paul Streitz, the following criteria might be used as a starting point. Was there rumours or gossip at the time about the birth of a child? Was there a period of time when the mother was not in public view? Was there a child raised nearby or at the court that received special or unusual treatment? Did the adult life of the child reveal a relationship to the alleged parents?

    The movie portrays Norfolk as a very unpleasant character, full of treasonous thoughts and sour disposition. Far from being the villainous plotter to restore Catholicism, however, Thomas Howard, the 4th Duke of Norfolk may have been just an unlucky man and out of his depth. Marriage was promoted between Mary, Queen of Scots (Elizabeth's cousin) and Norfolk while an army was being massed to move south in the so-called northern rebellion. Norfolk was not Catholic but firmly Protestant and probably thought he could restrain Mary in areas of religion. He made the serious mistake, however, of lying to the Queen when asked if he intended to marry her cousin. Norfolk told the Earls of Northumberland and Westmoreland that the uprising must be postponed but they had already gone ahead. When the time came for his execution in 1572, Elizabeth put off signing the warrant for his execution for months upon requests to spare him from his cousin, Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford. He finally went to his end after parliament was recalled and called for Norfolk's head. Denying he ever committed treason (unlike the braggart in the movie), Norfolk is reported to have gone to his death with dignity.

    No Babe In The Northumberland Forest

    Elizabeth is shown in the film as sweet and so innocent, and how could you not root for Cate Blanchett to conquer that sleazy looking Duke of Norfolk (Christopher Eccleston) and that awful Pope? She is portrayed as a weakling thrown in against conniving men who think they can bully her because she is a woman. The truth is somewhat different. Though she often did vacillate in foreign affairs, Elizabeth was no babe in the woods. She was energetic and vivacious, shrewd and highly intelligent (something she could not possibly have inherited from Henry VIII). Fluent in six languages, including Latin, Greek, French, and Italian, she once remarked to an ambassador that she knew many languages better than her own. She was educated in theology, history, philosophy, and rhetoric and was an accomplished sportswoman.

    The Dark Side Of The Farce

    There is a dark side to her character, however. Elizabeth ordered barbarous reprisals against rebel captives during the northern rebellion. Sparing the lives of the propertied and wealthy class, she ordered 800 of the rank and file soldiers to be hanged. According to the Dictionary of National Biography, "Nothing in Elizabeth's life is more dreadful than the callous savagery which she permitted and more than permitted in this slaughter and pillage of the northern rebellion". Another incident may have involved treachery and complicity in murder with Dudley. The film says that Elizabeth did not know that Dudley was married. The facts are somewhat different.

    According to Hugh Ross Williamson in his book, Historical Enigmas, Elizabeth not only knew of his marriage but was present at the wedding. Ms. Robsart was an obstacle that stood in the way of their marriage plans and apparently she was dealt with in true Tudor fashion. On September 8, 1560, Amy Robsart, Dudley's wife was found dead at the foot of a staircase under suspicious circumstances. The implication from dispatches from foreign diplomats indicated that there was prior knowledge of a plot to murder her and that Elizabeth knew of the plans in advance. She intimated that something was going to happen and then she knew the cause of death the next day. This is impossible given the communications of the time (she didn't receive a fax). The marriage to Dudley was to have taken place in 1561 but the intervention of William Cecil who did not want to see Dudley on the throne forever halted these plans.

    Neurotics And Sociopaths

    If an individual tortures and murders people, it is called psychotic and criminal. If a monarch tortures and burns a thousand heretics for believing in a different religion, however, it is called an accepted practice of the times. Calling the Tudors neurotics, sociopaths, or psychotics is not an accepted way or reporting history. In truth during this period, manifestations of sadistic behaviour were expressed as the social norm. It was not uncommon for a monarch to turn against his wife or children on the slightest provocation and have them beheaded, only to remarry the next day. The Tudor monarchs were scared children who grew into frightened rulers, unable to find satisfaction in meaningful relationships.

    That Elizabeth managed to survive the fact that her father murdered her mother (Anne Boleyn) and was constantly placed in physical and emotional jeopardy is a testament to her strength. Perhaps her ability to have intimate relationships was impaired, but she didn't act out her demons on the English people as a whole like other rulers (her sister Mary was known to have executed 300 heretics and was referred to as "Bloody Mary"). Elizabeth was responsible for only five beheadings in her 40 year reign, one of them, however, was the Earl of Essex (who may have been her son by Robert Dudley) an act from which she never recovered emotionally or physically.

    Who Was That Shakespeare Fellow?

    The history of the Elizabethan age cannot be fully understood without recognizing the role of Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford. When his father John de Vere died/was murdered when he was 12-years old, Oxford was brought up as a ward of the court under the guidance of William Cecil and the protection of Queen Elizabeth. Educated at Oxford and Cambridge, he also studied law and travelled extensively in Italy and France. Oxford was an acknowledged playwright, poet, theatrical producer, musician, dancer and literary figure of the Elizabethan era. Because it was not considered proper for a nobleman to consort with performers or theatrical types, he wrote under several pen names and under the names of living persons. His most famous pen name may have been William Shakespeare.

    According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, not an instrument given to wild speculation, "Edward de Vere is the strongest candidate proposed for the authorship of Shakespeare's plays". If true, Oxford's life at the court would have allowed him to gain tremendous insight into the daily life of royalty that no commoner could possibly have. De Vere's intimate and conflicted relations with powerful persons such as William Cecil or even Queen Elizabeth I, often dramatized or even lampooned in the plays, meant that the plays were a political tinderbox. The plays and poems of Shakespeare indeed seem to describe key figures in the court (for example, Burleigh as Polonius, Ophelia as Oxford's wife, Anne Cecil, the Queen as the "dark lady" of the sonnets, and so forth.), as well as actual events in de Vere's life.

    Unfortunately, this subject, while endlessly fascinating, is massive in scope and beyond the purposes of this essay. Given the popularity of the film Shakespeare in Love, it seems as if the public has a yearning to connect the works of Shakespeare with a real honest-to-goodness person. Perhaps someday someone in Hollywood will realize that the film Oxford in Love would be ten times more dramatic, intriguing, and valid.

    The Legacy Of Elizabeth, A Summation

    The film, Elizabeth, completely ignores what the Elizabethan age was about. Its legacy is not plots and intrigue, but the flowering of the arts and the development of a more flexible approach to religion and politics. It was the period of the emergence of a new social class less dependent on conformity to class, religion, and the state. The universities of Cambridge and Oxford were centres of the English Renaissance and aristocrats began to pride themselves on their learning and knowledge. Case in point - the afore-mentioned Edward de Vere, who travelled extensively and brought back to the court the knowledge of Italian literature, music, and art. A new humanism was in the air, nowhere even hinted at in the movie.

    Elizabeth I was a complex individual, a person of high intelligence that could be called the first modern monarch. She could be vacillating and also ruthless but whatever her faults, without Elizabeth there would be no William Shakespeare, no Aldea o Ricardo III. Shakespeare's work under another monarch would probably never have been performed at all, much less at the court. It was Elizabeth's desire for theatrical performances that allowed Shakespeare to write and the highest levels of English society to see his plays. That is her enduring legacy, not the melodrama shown in the film.


    For some very useful links to material about Shakespeare in the movies and much more visit the
    Mr William Shakespeare and the Internet website at:


    Why did Queen Elizabeth I of England Never Marry?

    Queen Elizabeth I of England is often seen as one of England’s greatest monarchs. The last of the Tudor monarchs, she strengthened England and her reign became known as a Golden Age. But, despite being the last in the Tudor line, Elizabeth never married. In an extended article, we focus on the life of Elizabeth before she became Queen, including her relationship with her father Henry VIII’s wives, and how this influenced her decision to never marry.

    See past Tudor history writing from the author on King Henry VIII’s son, Edward VI (aquí ), the person who could have been king instead of Henry VIII (aquí ), and on whether the reign of Mary I was a failure (aquí ).

    A portrait of Queen Elizabeth I of England that commemorates the 1588 English victory against the Spanish Armada.

    “Good Queen Bess,” “Gloriana,” or most controversial of all, “The Virgin Queen,” was the last of the five monarchs of the House of Tudor but also one of the most famous and influential. Her 44-year reign oversaw a glorious transformation of a politically and religiously unstable nation into one of the Great Powers in Europe and was subsequently referred to as England’s Golden Age.

    Yet, behind her achievements and beneath her façade, Elizabeth Tudor is a woman we still know little of in personal regards. One of the greatest questions pertaining to her personal life is why this great queen never married. Historians have debated and speculated the reasons why this is with conflicting answers.

    The closest reasons lay most clearly in her early life from her ill-fated mother, her quick-tempered father, and a predatory stepfather. Reasons both personal and political may have disenchanted Elizabeth from a tender age to defy centuries of English history’s expectation of a married monarch, even more so of a female monarch.

    The unwelcome birth

    The birth of a girl, Elizabeth, in September 1533 was a disappointment to her father, King Henry VIII of England, possibly the “worst” disappointment of his life according to Tudor historian Heather Sharnette of Elizbabethi.org . Henry had done the unthinkable in contemporary times by breaking from the Church of Rome and defying the Pope that had refused to annul his marriage to his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, in order to marry his mistress, the dazzling Anne Boleyn. In his defiance, he had destroyed monasteries and abbeys and put to death loyal friends for defending their faith, only to be given what he already had, a daughter. There was little celebration for her birth and the magnificent Christening that had been planned for the longed for baby prince went ahead anyway.

    As long as Elizabeth’s mother, Anne Boleyn, was Queen of England, Elizabeth was treated as the most important person in England, only second to her father and was even proclaimed “princess,” the title to the heiress to the throne. However, this was only short-lived as Queen Anne could not produce any more surviving children. Henry’s passionate love for her had died down. Her sharp tongue, fiery intelligence, and stubbornness that had initially appealed to him began to irritate him. After Catherine of Aragon’s death in January 1536 and the subsequent miscarriage of a boy, Henry was free to dispose of Anne without facing petitions to return to Catherine. Only four months later, Anne was arrested and faced trumped up charges of witchcraft, adultery, and incest. Not surprisingly, she was found guilty and sent to the Tower of London where she was to await her penalty: death.

    The decision to die via burning or decapitation was up to Henry who chose the latter and showed a single streak of mercy towards the woman he once loved by granting her request to be executed by sword instead of the customary axe. Anne was beheaded on May 19, 1536 on Tower Green. Elizabeth was only two and a half years old.

    After her mother’s death

    The death and disgrace of her mother left little Elizabeth’s lifestyle greatly changed. She was probably far too young to be emotionally affected by her mother’s execution. The marriage between her father and mother was annulled and Elizabeth was declared a bastard with her title of Princess stripped from her. From a young age, Elizabeth took after her mother’s shrewd intelligence and remarked on the change upon her: “How haps it governor, yesterday my Lady Princess, today but my Lady Elizabeth?”

    Just eleven days after her mother’s execution, Henry married her lady-in-waiting, Jane Seymour. With Elizabeth’s new status, her governess found that the little girl’s needs were being ignored even writing to the king to ask him to send for more clothes as Elizabeth had grown out of everything.

    In October of 1537, after twenty-eight years and two wives, Henry finally sired the longed for son, Prince Edward VI. Only a few days later, Jane Seymour died and the king was crushed at her loss. Now Edward, like Elizabeth, would grow up motherless and the two would share a close bond grounded on age proximity, religion, and their mutual passion for learning. Though Elizabeth was on friendly terms with her half-sister, Mary, the sisters were never close. This relationship would dangerously sour for Elizabeth in later years.

    Following the death of Jane Seymour and Henry’s emergence from seclusion, marriage negotiations began once again on behalf of the king’s fiercely Protestant advisors, Thomas Cromwell and Thomas Cranmer, who maneuvered Henry to marry the mildly Protestant Duke of Cleves’ sister, Anne. They were married in January 1540 after an awkward, disastrous first meeting. Elizabeth now had a second stepmother and according to Italian historian, Gregorio Leti, who wrote the following account two centuries after the event occurred of Elizabeth writing to her father for permission to meet her new stepmother, Anne of Cleves. Anne, upon giving the letter to her husband, Henry “took the letter and gave it to Cromwell” ordering him to write a reply: “Tell her,” he remarked. “that she had a mother so different from this woman that she ought not to wish to see her.” There is controversy as to whether this is true but Elizabeth was eventually brought to Court from Herford Castle to meet Anne.

    Anne, in turn, was reportedly “charmed by her beauty, wit and… that she conceived the most tender affection for her,” and to have Elizabeth “for her daughter would have been greater happiness to her than being queen.” Henry, on the other hand, was not sharing the sentimental atmosphere as soon as he endured a wedding he could not evade, he become resolute on obtaining a divorce. Six months later, he finally achieved this upon the discovery of a previous marriage contract (but no marriage) to the Duke of Lorraine and on the grounds of non-consummation (the reason being her cruelly remarked appearance).

    King Henry VIII’s marriage to Anne of Cleves was his shortest and least influential marriage but no doubt it may have had the most profound impact on young Elizabeth by this time. She was probably too young to be deeply affected by the deaths of her mother and first stepmother, but by the time Anne of Cleves appeared into her life, she was almost seven years old and better able to comprehend the functions of Court life and her father’s effect on them. Anne was the first stepmother Elizabeth had formed a notable bond with and upon the king’s second divorce, Anne had requested of the king permission to still see Elizabeth which the king agreed to. This bond would remain strong between the two ladies until Anne’s death in 1557. Anne of Cleves was considered the luckiest of Henry VIII’s wives. Anne’s influence of her stepdaughter’s unmarried state was once supposedly referenced by Queen Elizabeth herself to Count Feria, the Spanish Ambassador, who said that she had “taken a vow to marry no man whom she has not seen, and will not trust portrait painters.”

    Catherine Howard becomes Queen

    Almost immediately upon her father’s second divorce, he wed the dazzling and witty Catherine Howard. Historians debate on how old she was when she wed the 49-year old Henry. Most calculate that she was about 15 years old and according to Charles de Marillac was “rather graceful than beautiful, of short stature, etc.” Personality-wise, Catherine was described as charming, sensual, and obedient which proved a welcoming contrast to her first cousin, Anne Boleyn. Many observers noted that he showed the most generosity and affection to her than his other wives. De Marillac noted, the “King is so amorous of her that he cannot treat her well enough and caresses her more than he did the others.”

    Once Henry acknowledged her as queen, “she directed that the princess Elizabeth should be placed opposite to her at table, because she was of her own blood and lineage.” At marriage festivities, Catherine “gave the lady Elizabeth the place of honour nearest to her own person.” Elizabeth’s maternal grandmother, Elizabeth Boleyn was a sister to Edmund Howard, Catherine’s father. The young new queen reached out to Elizabeth to formulate a bond with her kinswoman by arranging for her to be taken from Suffolk Place to Chelsea where Catherine joined her. As of November 1541, Catherine presented the eight-year old Elizabeth with a jewel as a kind gesture.

    The fall of Henry VIII’s fifth wife came after John Lascelles revealed to Archbishop Cranmer the Queen’s promiscuity during her years at the Dowager Duchess of Norfolk’s estate, her step-grandmother. Many young women residing there “entertained” men after hours and Catherine was among them. When she was 13, Catherine engaged in physical relations with Francis Dereham after being earlier involved with her music teacher, Henry Manox.

    Cranmer and Lascelles were both ardent Protestants while Catherine came from a conservative Catholic and undoubtedly powerful and influential English noble family. Cranmer launched a full-scale investigation that resulted in allegations of Catherine’s intimacy with Thomas Culpeper, a member of the king’s privy chamber, after her marriage to Henry.

    Under interrogation (possibly torture), Culpeper admitted being in love with Catherine and “persisted in denying his guilt and said it was the Queen who, through Lady Rocheford, solicited him to meet her in private in Lincolnshire, when she herself told him that she was dying for his love.” Culpeper rebuffed claims that they had committed adultery despite their secluded time together.

    Regardless, the Council felt there was enough evidence because Jane Boleyn, Lady Rochford, Catherine’s lady-in-waiting, confessed to helping them arrange their meetings and implied there was a physical relationship between them. The most damning evidence against the queen was a letter from Catherine found in Culpeper’s belongings.

    When the King was informed of the accusations by a document left for him in his church pew, his quick temper exploded. Supposedly, he demanded a sword to slay her himself as she would never have “such delight in her inconstancy as she would have torture in her death.” Catherine was arrested and taken to the Tower of London. On the night before her execution, Catherine asked for a block to be brought to her so that she could practice placing her head on it.

    On February 13, 1542, the fifth teenage Queen of Henry VIII was executed, “in the same spot where Anne Boleyn had been executed. Her body was then covered [with a black cloak] and her ladies took it away,” recounted Ambassador Chapuys to Charles V. No records survive of Elizabeth’s reactions to the execution of her stepmother and cousin or the loss of any of her stepmothers for that matter. We can, though, infer her reaction through the text of Larissa J. Taylor-Smither’s article, “Elizabeth I: A Psychological Profile” that states that the “shock of Catherine Howard’s execution (at the impressionable age of eight) would have been more immediate, for even if Elizabeth had not been especially close to her young stepmother, Catherine’s sudden extinction must at the very least have had a powerful effect on her subconscious.”

    Henry VIII’s sixth wife

    Following the execution, Henry VIII passed a law requiring all future queens of England to disclose any ‘indiscretions’ and possess chaste pasts. That certainly narrowed the list for Henry’s next selected wife. A notable candidate by the name of Katherine Parr seemed ideal she was charming and cordial, pleasant to both nobles and servants and possessed sensibility and was a skilled conversationalist. She was also experienced with stepchildren through her two previous husbands.

    It is certainly remarkable that she was the only one of Henry’s brides that did not want to marry him. Historians surmise that reasons range from her competence to see the pattern of dangers in marrying him to falling in love with Thomas Seymour, Lord High Admiral. Despite her reluctance to enter a marriage she couldn’t back out of, this was her chance, she believed, to promote the Protestant Reformation in England and the promotion of her family. As Queen, Katherine used her influence with the King to bring his children to Court to see their father more. Katherine was already well acquainted with Henry’s eldest child, Mary, as Katherine’s mother was a lady-in-waiting to Mary’s mother. Katherine “greatly admired her [Elizabeth’s] wit and manners.” A letter survives of the 10-year old Elizabeth writing with gratitude and praise at Katherine’s gesture to bring them to court. An excerpt from the letter reveals Elizabeth’s warmness towards her new and fourth stepmother: “…So great a mark of your tenderness for me obliges me to examine myself a little, to see if I can find anything in me that can merit it, but I can find nothing but a great zeal and devotion to the service of your Majesty.”

    Between the summers of 1543 and 1544, historians speculate that Elizabeth offended her father in some way that led to her banishment to Ashridge near the Hertfordshire-Buckinghamshire border. Katherine still kept in contact with her stepdaughter and Elizabeth conveyed her belief that the young girl was “not only bound to serve but also to revere you with daughterly love…” Henry was abroad fighting against France and left Katherine as Regent in his absence. This was the first time Elizabeth witnessed firsthand a woman’s ability to rule on her own and revealed Henry’s confidence in his wife. Katherine successfully convinced the King to let Elizabeth join her at Hampton Court again, signifying their mother-daughter bond.

    However, Katherine’s place and life was almost stripped from her upon two men attempting to arrest the Queen on the King’s orders. They were Thomas Wriothesley, 1stEarl of Southampton, Lord Chancellor and Stephen Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester, who convinced Henry that she concealed radical religious leanings and increased his irritation with her recently expressed views. Wriothesley arranged for forty yeomen of the guard to accompany him with the arrest warrant and crept upon the Queen while she was in Henry’s company at Whitehall gardens.

    Unbeknownst to Wriothesley, Katherine had been warned and hurried to her husband to explain herself and apologize. She assured him that she had not discussed theological meanings to lecture him but to learn from him and to distract him from the pain in his leg. Henry forgave her and upon Wriothesley’s arrival to arrest her, the King severely reprimanded him and sent him off. Barely escaping Henry’s wrath that claimed his previous wife, Katherine never again spoke out against the religious establishment. Katherine’s deep love of learning was shared with Elizabeth and she took charge of her education, employing Protestant and humanist tutors.

    After Henry VIII

    Following the King’s death in 1547, Katherine married the love of her life, Thomas Seymour. Thomas Seymour was shrewdly ambitious and the new king’s uncle and set his sights on Elizabeth as a possible wife and closer step to the throne. Finally catching onto her husband’s inappropriate advances on the 14-year old Elizabeth, Katherine removed her from her household at Chelsea in 1548 to the household of Anthony Denny and his wife at Cheshunt. Katherine was to go into confinement as the time for giving birth drew near, which would have allowed Seymour unlimited access to the vulnerable girl. It is likely Katherine removed Elizabeth for her own safety rather than to punish her. Katherine gave birth to a baby girl, Mary, in August 1548 and died eight days later of puerperal fever.

    With Katherine now dead, Thomas Seymour’s attempts at wooing Elizabeth became more aggressive. Thomas, envious of his brother’s title as Lord Protector of the 9-year old Edward VI, also grew more serious in his quest for power. In 1549, Thomas was caught attempting to break into the King’s apartments at Hampton Court Palace and was arrested and sent to the Tower of London. His associates were arrested, including Elizabeth and her governess, Kat Ashley. She was interrogated for weeks and the flirtatious incidents between Elizabeth and Thomas Seymour were revealed but there was no evidence of Elizabeth conspiring with Thomas against the King. Thomas was convicted of treason and beheaded on March 20, 1549. Elizabeth narrowly escaped conviction.

    From the time of her mother’s execution to the death of her most influential stepmother from childbirth, Elizabeth had witnessed the disposal and unstable position of her father’s many queens. The seventeen-year old Henry had begun his reign in 1509 as a popular, pleasant and seemingly sensible monarch. His later years however were marked by violence and tyranny with a formidable quick temper, with theories behind this sudden change in personality ranging from a jousting accident in 1536 to mental deterioration at his wives’ repeatedly failed pregnancies. Henry’s constant mood swings no doubt had an effect on the position of the young Elizabeth and like her half-sister Mary her illegitimate status had prevented a marriage negotiation as long as her father lived.

    From Edward to Mary

    In 1553, King Edward VI was fifteen years old and, despite a relatively healthy childhood, had contracted a form of consumption, possibly tuberculosis. When it became clear that the boy would not survive, the new Lord Protector, John Dudley, schemed with the dying king to name a Protestant successor instead of his half-sister, Mary who was an ardent Catholic and would have reversed Edward’s Protestant reforms. An heir(ess) was named – his cousin, Lady Jane Grey, an equally committed Protestant. To John Dudley’s advantage, Jane was also his daughter-in-law. Edward died on July 6 1553, just six years into his reign. Lady Jane Grey was proclaimed queen three days later. However, just nine days into Jane’s “reign,” she was deposed by Mary and her army of supporters. Mary was proclaimed Queen of England on July 19, 1553 in London. John Dudley was arrested and later executed along with Jane Grey and her husband. At first, Mary I viewed Jane as a mere pawn of her husband’s and father-in-law’s treasonous ambition, but after the Protestant Wyatt’s Rebellion, Mary was left with no choice but to put her cousin to death lest she become a figurehead of the Protestant movement that Mary had means to crush.

    Upon Mary I’s start as Queen of England, relations between the two half-sisters remained cordial despite their religious differences. It would only sour after Wyatt’s Rebellion which was in reaction to Mary’s planned marriage to Philip II, the son of her cousin Charles V, and heir to the Spanish throne. Aside from opposing the marriage, the plans were not known in great detail, but one scheme was to have Elizabeth marry Edward Courtenay, Earl of Devon, to ensure a native born succession to the throne. Elizabeth was once again under suspicion of treason. She denied any involvement or knowledge of Wyatt’s plans though several of Mary’s Councilors were determined to be rid of her. She was taken as prisoner to the Tower of London on Mary’s orders. Many had never returned from this place, including Elizabeth’s mother, and Elizabeth desperately declared her innocence.

    Elizabeth was in a delicate and dangerous situation, where her life depended on the Queen’s orders. Her existence was a threat to her Catholic realm and Mary’s advisors urged her execution. The queen was reluctant, although this was not enough, as she had already succumbed to pressure to execute Lady Jane Grey against her will. Powerful persuasion would have led Mary to sign her sister’s death warrant, but multiple factors led to Elizabeth’s survival: lack of evidence against Elizabeth, Wyatt’s assurance that Elizabeth was innocent, and Elizabeth’s increasing popularity in the country. Instead of execution, Elizabeth was taken to the manor of Woodstock, near Oxfordshire, still as prisoner. Soon after Mary’s marriage to Philip, the queen believed she was pregnant, much to the joy of her Catholic supporters. A Catholic heir to the throne of England diminished hopes of a Protestant England and Elizabeth succeeding to the throne. A discouraged Elizabeth even reputedly considered escaping to France to avoid an imprisoned life.

    Queen Elizabeth I

    As the months passed, however, Mary’s pregnancy turned out to be nothing more than a phantom pregnancy and no baby would arrive. Philip left England for Flanders to attend to other political matters, leaving his devastated wife behind. The marriage of Philip and Mary was intended as a political match though Mary was reputed to have fallen in love with her husband. It was once again an opportunity for Elizabeth to observe a husband’s unloving treatment of his wife. Philip had departed in the summer of 1555 upon the abdication of his father’s throne and did not return until the spring of 1557, undertaking and flaunting his extramarital affairs before English diplomats in the meantime. At one point, Mary had removed one of her husband’s portraits from her sight and publicly declared “God sent oft times to good women evil husbands.” King Henry II of France even remarked from across the Channel, “I am of the opinion that ere long the king of England [as Philip was styled during their marriage] will endeavor to dissolve his marriage with the queen.”

    Within months of his return, Mary believed herself to be pregnant again. However, no baby appeared a second time and this time, Mary was seriously ill. Without a natural heir, Elizabeth was still next in line for the English throne. Though she was Protestant, Philip was concerned that the next claimant after Elizabeth was the Queen of Scots, who was betrothed to the Dauphin of France, and so would fall into French hands. He even persuaded his wife that Elizabeth should marry his cousin to secure the Catholic succession, but Elizabeth refused to be a pawn for political gain.

    Mary died on November 17, 1558, either of ovarian cancer or the influenza epidemic that plagued England at the time. Philip was already away when he heard of his wife’s passing and wrote, “I felt a reasonable regret for her death.”

    No marriage

    Elizabeth was now twenty-five years old and Queen of England. She was the last of the Tudor dynasty and therefore the pressure to marry and produce an heir was focused on from the moment of her succession. If Elizabeth died without a natural heir, many feared rival claims of Henry VII’s distant relatives would propel the nation into bitter civil war that had only ended upon the accession of the first Tudor monarch. The court was abuzz with suitors eager for her hand. European ambassadors busied themselves with marriage negotiations. Queen Elizabeth received offers from the King of Spain, Prince Erik of Sweden, The Archduke Charles, the son of John Frederic Duke of Saxony, The Earl of Arran, and Earl of Arundel, and Sir William Pickering. Only Elizabeth seemed uninterested in the subject of marriage. Over the years it was clear that the queen would never marry, instead “calling England her husband and her subjects her children.”

    Political reasons begin with the complicated matter of a married female ruler as opposed to a male ruler. With the risk of childbirth that had already claimed the lives of two of Elizabeth’s stepmothers, the potential danger of a husband wanting to rule the country rather than being content with consort, a bitter struggle would ensue against various claimants. If Elizabeth married the heir to Spain or France, as already offered, England could have been absorbed into the Spanish Empire for example, losing English identity in the process. Her close relationship with the only man she ever loved, Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, was immersed in controversy and prevented a marriage from ever taking place. Protestant nations were generally poorer than Catholic ones at the time and alliances with other Catholic nations would have been a conflict of religion and very unpopular with her subjects and Council. Under English common law, a woman who married was the property of her husband and the possibility of sacrificing power to him must have appalled her.

    From an early age and into her reign as Queen of England, Elizabeth had witnessed the subservience of women expected in Tudor times and the established pattern of bad marriages that plagued her family. By the time of her death in 1603, Elizabeth had ruled for 44 years and proved that a woman could rule as well as any man. Because of her, England started to become one of the most affluent and powerful countries in the world - and would remain so for centuries.


    Elizabeth and Ninian Edwards home (Lincoln marriage site)

    Elizabeth and Ninian Edwards home, 1886. Photo published in Abraham Lincoln: Story of a Great Life, by William H. Herndon and Jesse W. Weik, 1888.

    Abraham and Mary Lincoln were married in the dining room of Elizabeth Todd Edwards (1816-88), Mary’s sister, and her husband, Ninian Wirt Edwards (1809-99), in the 500 block of South Second Street in Springfield on Nov. 4, 1842. Mary Lincoln died in the home on July 16, 1882.

    The Edwards home was built in 1836. Episcopalian Bishop Rev. George Seymour bought the home in 1884 and converted it to St. Agatha School, a day and boarding school for girls. St. Agatha’s closed in 1905.

    The home was demolished in 1918 to make way for state government’s Centennial Building (later renamed the Howlett Building), and the northwest corner of the Howlett Building now occupies much of what was the Edwards home’s footprint. (Part of the Capitol can be seen in the background of the photo above). By 1918, officials felt the home already had been so extensively remodeled that it had lost most of its historic significance.

    “The building has undergone much remodeling since that (the Lincolns’) time, according to persons conversant with its history,” the Springfield News-Record reported, “and there has been some dispute as to whether the room remains in which the wedding took place. That fact and the impracticality of moving the massive old building caused the abandonment of plans to preserve it as a relic.”

    Una reconstrucción de la casa & # 8212 una & # 8220 & # 8220 menos precisa & # 8221, según el informe de Fever River Research & # 8217s sobre el vecindario de Aristocracy Hill & # 8212 se construyó más tarde en la esquina sureste de Eighth Street y Capitol Avenue. Ahora es el Centro de Conferencias del Sitio Histórico Nacional Lincoln Home.

    Más información: Carpeta sobre casas a lo largo de South Second Street, Colección Sangamon Valley, Biblioteca Lincoln.

    Derechos de autor del contenido original Sangamon County Historical Society. Usted es libre de volver a publicar este contenido siempre que se le dé crédito a la Sociedad.Aprenda a apoyar a la Sociedad.


    Ver el vídeo: ISABEL