Elizabeth (Tudor) I of England

Queen of Great Britain, Good Queen Bess, The Virgin Queen

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Portrait of Queen Elizabeth

Background Information

  • Reigned from November, 1558 through March, 1603 in England
  • Born September 7th, 1533 in Greenwich, England
  • Died March 24th, 1603 in Surrey, England
  • Unmarried
  • Parents were Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn (Henry's 2nd wife and was beheaded when Elizabeth was two years old)
  • Brother was Edward VI of England (1537-1553)
  • She spoke six languages
  • Half sister was Mary Tudor (daughter of Catherine of Aragon)
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Queen Elizabeth's Family


1. Defeated Spanish Armada: after Elizabeth's half sister Mary's execution, King Phillip of Spain planned to invade England with 130 ships and 30,000 men in July, 1588 with the Spanish Armada ship; Elizabeth I then invaded Spain and Portugal in April, 1589 with help of Sir Francis Drake who she knighted and he helped lead England in defeating the Spanish

2. Compromise Between Protestants and Catholics: in 1559, Elizabeth was proclaimed Supreme Governor of the Church of England; she was raised Protestant but believed that Protestants and Catholics were under same faith so tried to keep peace-eventually most people naturally followed her religion becoming Protestant

3. Interaction with Parliament: she voted taxation to cover high military expenses, voted for reform in Church, and debated whether to execute Mary, her half sister

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Spanish Armada

Approach to Governing

Elizabeth I was trying to accomplish religious settlement between Protestants and Catholics, to invade Spain and Portugal after Spain invaded England, and she had the power to summon, prorogue, and dissolve the Parliament through legislation, advice, and taxation. Two policies she enacted to achieve these goals were that she voted taxation to cover high military expenses, and she knighted Sir Francis Drake to lead in defeating the Spanish Armada.

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Map of England during Reign of Queen Elizabeth