Elizabeth I: The Golden Age - Preface

Elizabeth I:  The Golden Age (Illustration) Biographies Film Geography Legends and Legendary People Social Studies Tragedies and Triumphs World History

"The Ermine Portrait" of Elizabeth I of England. Painted in 1585 by Nicholas Hilliard.  Maintained by private collection.  Image online courtesy Wikimedia Commons. 


I have the heart
and stomach
of a king ...
We shall shortly have
a famous victory..

Elizabeth I 
West Tilbury Camp 
August 9, 1588

Henry VIII (who became king of England in April, 1509) was upset. Married to Catherine of Aragon,  he had a daughter - Mary - but no sons. He wanted a son to succeed him.

Thinking it best to marry a different woman (twenty-year-old Anne Boleyn was his choice),  the King wanted to divorce Catherine (whose nephew was king of Spain). The current Pope (Clement VII),  however, would not give Henry permission to divorce his wife.

Taking matters into his own hands, Henry VIII declared the Pope was no longer head of the church in Britain. Parliament agreed, passing an act (in 1534) that the King (not the Pope) was head of  the Anglican Church.

However, to make such a significant change, the Church of England had to be Protestant, not Catholic. Even a king cannot “fire” a pope.

Britain’s Protestant Reformation, therefore, had some of its roots in Henry VIII’s desire to have a son. But it was a daughter - named Elizabeth - who became the strong heir her father fervently desired.

And it was Elizabeth who successfully led her people in their defense against the Spanish Armada.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5190stories and lessons created

Original Release: Oct 01, 2007

Updated Last Revision: Nov 04, 2016

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