Johann Gutenberg

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Johannes Gensfleisch zur Laden zum Gutenberg (circa 1398 – February 3, 1468), a German metal-worker and inventor, achieved fame for his contributions to the technology of printing during the 1440s, including a type metal alloy and oil-based inks, a mould for casting type accurately, and a new kind of printing press based on presses used in wine-making. Tradition credits him with inventing movable type in Europe, an improvement on the block printing already in use there. By combining these elements into a production system, he allowed for the rapid printing of written materials and an information explosion in Renaissance Europe.

Gutenberg was born in the German city of Mainz, as the son of a merchant named Friele Gensfleisch zur Laden, who adopted the surname "zum Gutenberg" after the name of the neighborhood into which the family had moved.

Printing

Block printing, whereby individual sheets of paper were pressed into wooden blocks with the text and illustrations carved in, was in use in Europe and East Asia long before Gutenberg. The Koreans and Chinese knew about movable metal types at the time, but due to the complex nature of the Chinese writing system, printed material was not as abundant as that of Renaissance Europe.

It is not clear whether Gutenberg knew of these existing techniques or invented them independently. Some also claim Dutchman Laurens Coster as the first European to invent movable type.

Gutenberg certainly introduced efficient methods into book production, leading to a boom in the production of texts in Europe, in large part due to the popularity of the Gutenberg Bibles, the first mass-produced work, starting on February 23, 1455.

Gutenberg was a poor businessman, and made little money from his printing system.

Gutenberg began experimenting with metal typography after he had moved from his native town of Mainz to Strassburg (then in Germany, now Strasbourg, France) around 1430. Knowing that wood-block type involved a great deal of time and expense to reproduce because it had to be hand carved, Gutenberg concluded that metal type could be reproduced much more quickly once a single mould had been fashioned. His first efforts enabled him to mass-produce indulgences, printed slips of paper sold by the Catholic Church to remit the temporal punishments in Purgatory for sins committed in this life.

Johann Fust

Bible

In 1455 Gutenberg demonstrated the power of the printing press by selling copies of a two-volume Bible (Biblia Sacra) for 300 florins each. This was the equivalent of approximately three years' wages for an average clerk, but it was significantly cheaper than a handwritten Bible, which could take a single monk 20 years to transcribe.

The one copy of the Biblia Sacra dated 1455 went to Paris and was dated by the binder.

Debt

The money Gutenberg earned at the fair was not enough to pay Fust back for his investments. Fust sued, and the court's ruling not only effectively bankrupted Gutenberg, it awarded control of the type used in his Bible, plus much of the printing equipment, to Fust. So, while Gutenberg ran a print shop until just before his death in Mainz in 1468, Fust became the first printer to publish a book with his name on it.

Gutenberg was subsidized by the Archbishop of Mainz until his death. Gutenberg was also known to spend what little money he had on alcohol, so the Archbishop arranged for him to be paid in food and lodging, instead of coin.

Gutenberg Bibles

Gutenberg Bible, Library of Congress, Washington D.C.

The Gutenberg Bibles surviving today are sometimes called the oldest surviving books printed with movable type, although the oldest surviving book was published in Korea in 1377. As of 2003, the Gutenberg Bible census includes 11 complete copies on vellum, 1 copy of the New Testament only on vellum, 48 substantially complete integral copies on paper, with another divided copy on paper, and an illiminated page (the Bagford fragment).

Other printed works

The Bible was not Gutenberg's first printed work, for he produced approximately two dozen editions of Ars Minor, a portion of Aelius Donatus's schoolbook on Latin grammar, the first edition of which is believed to have been printed between 1451 and 1452.

Legacy

Although Gutenberg was financially unsuccessful in his lifetime, his invention spread quickly, and news and books began to travel across Europe far faster than before. It fed the growing Renaissance, and since it greatly facilitated scientific publishing, was a major factor in originating the scientific revolution. Literacy also increased as a result. Gutenberg's inventions are sometimes considered the turning point from the Mediaeval Era to the Early Modern Period.

The term incunabulum refers to a western printed book produced between the first work of Gutenberg and the end of the year 1500.

There are many statues of Gutenberg in Germany, one of the more famous being a work by Thorvaldsen, in Mainz, which is also home to the Gutenberg Museum.

The Gutenberg Galaxy and Project Gutenberg commemorate Gutenberg's name.

Related articles

  • Printing
  • Typography
  • Incunabulum
  • Francysk Skaryna
  • William Caxton
  • World Almanac's Ten Most Influential People of the Second Millennium

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The Gutenberg Galaxy and Project Gutenberg commemorate Gutenberg's name. Elizabeth also adopted one of her mother's mottoes, Semper Eadem ("Always the Same"). There are many statues of Gutenberg in Germany, one of the more famous being a work by Thorvaldsen, in Mainz, which is also home to the Gutenberg Museum. Whilst her Tudor predecessors had used a gold lion and a red dragon as heraldic supporters, Elizabeth used a gold lion and a gold dragon. The term incunabulum refers to a western printed book produced between the first work of Gutenberg and the end of the year 1500. Elizabeth's arms were the same as those used by Henry IV: Quarterly, Azure three fleurs-de-lys Or (for France) and Gules three lions passant guardant in pale Or (for England). Gutenberg's inventions are sometimes considered the turning point from the Mediaeval Era to the Early Modern Period. Prior to that time she was referred to as Queen Elizabeth.

Literacy also increased as a result. She has been retroactively known as Queen Elizabeth I since the accession of Elizabeth II in 1952. It fed the growing Renaissance, and since it greatly facilitated scientific publishing, was a major factor in originating the scientific revolution. The supremacy phrase was never actually restored, and "etc." remained in the style, to be removed only in 1801. Although Gutenberg was financially unsuccessful in his lifetime, his invention spread quickly, and news and books began to travel across Europe far faster than before. It was inserted into the style with a view to restoring the phrase "of the Church of England and also of Ireland in Earth Supreme Head", which had been added by Henry VIII but later removed by Mary I. The Bible was not Gutenberg's first printed work, for he produced approximately two dozen editions of Ars Minor, a portion of Aelius Donatus's schoolbook on Latin grammar, the first edition of which is believed to have been printed between 1451 and 1452. Whilst most of the style matched the styles of her predecessors, Elizabeth I was the first to use "etc.".

As of 2003, the Gutenberg Bible census includes 11 complete copies on vellum, 1 copy of the New Testament only on vellum, 48 substantially complete integral copies on paper, with another divided copy on paper, and an illiminated page (the Bagford fragment). Elizabeth I used the official style "Elizabeth, by the Grace of God, Queen of England, France and Ireland, Fidei defensor, etc.". The Gutenberg Bibles surviving today are sometimes called the oldest surviving books printed with movable type, although the oldest surviving book was published in Korea in 1377. "Majesty", which Henry VIII first used on a consistent basis, did not become exclusive until the reign of Elizabeth's successor, James I. Gutenberg was also known to spend what little money he had on alcohol, so the Archbishop arranged for him to be paid in food and lodging, instead of coin. Like her predecessors since Henry VIII, Elizabeth used the style "Majesty", as well as "Highness" and "Grace". Gutenberg was subsidized by the Archbishop of Mainz until his death. In children's and young adults' fiction, Elizabeth's story is told in Elizabeth I, Red Rose of the House of Tudor, a book in the Royal Diaries series published by Scholastic, and also in Beware, Princess Elizabeth by Carolyn Meyer.

So, while Gutenberg ran a print shop until just before his death in Mainz in 1468, Fust became the first printer to publish a book with his name on it. Elizabeth's story is spliced with her mother's in Maxwell's book The Secret Diary of Anne Boleyn. Maxwell also writes of a fictional child Elizabeth and Dudley had in The Queen's Bastard. Decades ago, Margaret Irwin produced a trilogy based on Elizabeth's youth: Young Bess, Elizabeth, Captive Princess and Elizabeth and the Prince of Spain.. Fust sued, and the court's ruling not only effectively bankrupted Gutenberg, it awarded control of the type used in his Bible, plus much of the printing equipment, to Fust. They include: I, Elizabeth by Rosalind Miles, The Virgin's Lover and The Queen's Fool by Philippa Gregory, Queen of This Realm by Jean Plaidy, and Virgin: Prelude to the Throne by Robin Maxwell. The money Gutenberg earned at the fair was not enough to pay Fust back for his investments. There have been many novels written about Elizabeth. The one copy of the Biblia Sacra dated 1455 went to Paris and was dated by the binder. In television, the actresses Glenda Jackson (in the BBC drama series Elizabeth R in 1971, and the 1972 historical film Mary Queen of Scots) and Miranda Richardson (in the 1986 classic BBC sitcom Blackadder — a comic interpretation of Elizabeth known fondly as Queenie) both played the role with consummate talent, creating memorable (if wildly contrasting) portraits of Elizabeth I.

This was the equivalent of approximately three years' wages for an average clerk, but it was significantly cheaper than a handwritten Bible, which could take a single monk 20 years to transcribe. The same year British actress Judi Dench won an Academy Award for her supporting performance as the Virgin Queen in the popular Shakespeare in Love, a performance of only eleven minutes (the shortest ever to win an Oscar). In 1455 Gutenberg demonstrated the power of the printing press by selling copies of a two-volume Bible (Biblia Sacra) for 300 florins each. In 1998 Australian actress Cate Blanchett made her big break and received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress for her critically acclaimed performance in Elizabeth. His first efforts enabled him to mass-produce indulgences, printed slips of paper sold by the Catholic Church to remit the temporal punishments in Purgatory for sins committed in this life. In recent years, the story of Elizabeth has been filmed more than ever. Knowing that wood-block type involved a great deal of time and expense to reproduce because it had to be hand carved, Gutenberg concluded that metal type could be reproduced much more quickly once a single mould had been fashioned. Those who have made an impression in the role of Elizabeth in the last 100 years, have included French actress Sarah Bernhardt in Les Amours de la reine Élisabeth (1912), Florence Eldridge in Mary of Scotland (1936), Flora Robson in Fire Over England (1937) and The Lion Has Wings (1939), Bette Davis in The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex (1939) and The Virgin Queen (1955) and Jean Simmons in Young Bess (1953).

Gutenberg began experimenting with metal typography after he had moved from his native town of Mainz to Strassburg (then in Germany, now Strasbourg, France) around 1430. Notable portrayals of Queen Elizabeth in film and television have been plentiful; in fact, she is the most filmed British monarch. Gutenberg was a poor businessman, and made little money from his printing system. Benjamin Britten wrote an opera, Gloriana, about the relationship between Elizabeth and Lord Essex, composed for the coronation of Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom. Gutenberg certainly introduced efficient methods into book production, leading to a boom in the production of texts in Europe, in large part due to the popularity of the Gutenberg Bibles, the first mass-produced work, starting on February 23, 1455. Elizabeth is often shown holding a sieve, a symbol of virginity. Some also claim Dutchman Laurens Coster as the first European to invent movable type. Elizabeth was often painted in rich and stylised gowns.

It is not clear whether Gutenberg knew of these existing techniques or invented them independently. Many artists glorified Elizabeth I and masked her age in their portraits. The Koreans and Chinese knew about movable metal types at the time, but due to the complex nature of the Chinese writing system, printed material was not as abundant as that of Renaissance Europe. As Sir Walter said in relation to her foreign policy, "Her Majesty did all by halves". Block printing, whereby individual sheets of paper were pressed into wooden blocks with the text and illustrations carved in, was in use in Europe and East Asia long before Gutenberg. In reality, however, she often wavered before coming to the aid of her Protestant allies. . She was depicted in later years as a great defender of Protestantism in Europe.

Gutenberg was born in the German city of Mainz, as the son of a merchant named Friele Gensfleisch zur Laden, who adopted the surname "zum Gutenberg" after the name of the neighborhood into which the family had moved. Her achievements, however, were greatly magnified after her death. By combining these elements into a production system, he allowed for the rapid printing of written materials and an information explosion in Renaissance Europe. Elizabeth was also able to prevent the outbreak of a religious or civil war on English soil. Tradition credits him with inventing movable type in Europe, an improvement on the block printing already in use there. Under her, England managed to avoid a crippling Spanish invasion. Johannes Gensfleisch zur Laden zum Gutenberg (circa 1398 – February 3, 1468), a German metal-worker and inventor, achieved fame for his contributions to the technology of printing during the 1440s, including a type metal alloy and oil-based inks, a mould for casting type accurately, and a new kind of printing press based on presses used in wine-making. Elizabeth was a successful monarch, helping steady the nation even after inheriting an enormous national debt from her sister Mary.

World Almanac's Ten Most Influential People of the Second Millennium. Her problems in Ireland also serve to blemish her record. William Caxton. Elizabeth has also been criticised for supporting the English slave trade. Francysk Skaryna. Though England achieved military victories, Elizabeth was far less pivotal than other monarchs such as Henry V. Incunabulum. Many historians, however, have taken a far more dispassionate view of Elizabeth's reign.

Typography. Elizabeth I was the winner, with 48 points. Printing. In 2005, in the History Channel documentary Britain's Greatest Monarch, a group of historians and commentators analysed twelve British monarchs[1] and gave them overall marks out of 60 for greatness (they were marked out of 10 in six categories, such as military prowess and legacy). She placed seventh in the 100 Greatest Britons poll, which was conducted by the British Broadcasting Corporation in 2002, outranking all other British monarchs. Elizabeth proved to be one of the most popular monarchs in English or British history.

Accession Councils, rather than new Sovereigns, continue to issue proclamations in modern practice. James I's proclamation broke precedent because it was issued not by the new Sovereign him or herself, but by a Council of Accession, as James was in Scotland at the time. James VI was proclaimed King of England as James I a few hours after Elizabeth's death. In any event, none of the alternative heirs pressed their claims to the Throne.

There is no evidence to prove any of these tales. Finally, a third legend suggests that she remained silent until her death. According to another, she said, "Who but a King could succeed a Queen?". According to one story, when asked whom she would name her heir, she replied, "Who could that be but my cousin Scotland?".

It is sometimes claimed that Elizabeth named James her heir on her deathbed. They included Edward Seymour, Baron Beauchamp (the illegitimate son of the Lady Catherine Grey) and William Stanley, 6th Earl of Derby (Lady Anne Stanley's uncle). Still other claimants were possible. If, however, the rules of male primogeniture were upheld, the successor would be James VI, King of Scots.

If the will were upheld, then Elizabeth would have been succeeded by Lady Anne Stanley. The will of Henry VIII declared that Elizabeth was to be succeeded by the descendants of his younger sister, Mary Tudor, Duchess of Suffolk, rather than by the Scottish descendants of his elder sister, Margaret Tudor. The Latin inscription on their tomb translates to "Partners both in Throne and grave, here rest we two sisters, Elizabeth and Mary, in the hope of one resurrection". Elizabeth was buried in Westminster Abbey, immediately next to her sister Mary I.

She died on 24 March at Richmond Palace at 69, at which age she was the oldest English Sovereign ever to reign; the mark was not surpassed until George II died in his seventy-seventh year in 1760. Elizabeth I fell ill in February 1603, suffering from frailty and insomnia. During her last ailment, the Queen is reported to have declared that she had sent "wolves, not shepherds, to govern Ireland, for they have left me nothing to govern over but ashes and carcasses": see The Sayings of Queen Elizabeth (1925). After a devastating winter siege, Lord Mountjoy defeated both the Spanish and the Irish troops at the Battle of Kinsale; Lord Tyrone surrendered a few days after Elizabeth's death.

The Spanish, meanwhile, sent over 3,000 troops to aid the Irish, with the justification that intervention countered Elizabeth's previously aid to the Dutch rebels in their campaign against Spain. Lord Mountjoy attempted to blockade Lord Tyrone's troops and starve them into submission; the campaign effectively cast the English strategy of the earlier Desmond Rebellion (1580-83) into a larger theatre, with proportionatley greater casualties. Charles Blount, 8th Baron Mountjoy was sent to Ireland to replace Lord Essex. In 1601, Lord Essex led a revolt against the Queen, but was executed.

He failed utterly, and returned to England without the Queen's permission in 1600, and was punished by the loss of all political offices. One of the leading members of the navy, Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex, was appointed Lord Lieutenant of Ireland and put in charge of the attempt to crush the Irish rebellion in 1599. In 1598, the Earl of Tyrone offered a truce; upon its expiry, the English suffered their worst defeat in Ireland at the Battle of the Yellow Ford. Spain attempted to send two further Armadas, but both expeditions were foiled.

Seeking to avoid further war, Elizabeth made a series of truces with the earl. The chief executor of Crown authority in the north of Ireland, Hugh O'Neill, 2nd Earl of Tyrone, was declared a traitor in 1595. At the same time as England was fighting Spain, it also faced a rebellion in Ireland, known as the Nine Years War. These reforms, however, were only superficial; the practice of deriving funds from the grants of monopolies continued.

Shortly thereafter, twelve royal monopolies were ended by royal proclamation; further sanctions could be sought in the courts of common law. In her famous "Golden Speech", Elizabeth promised reforms. Elizabeth became somewhat unpopular because of her practice of granting royal monopolies the abolition of which Parliament continued to demand. His political mantle was inherited by his son, Robert Cecil, who had previously become Secretary of State in 1590.

In 1598, Elizabeth's chief advisor, Lord Burghley, died. In part because of the war, Raleigh and Gilbert's overseas colonisation attempts failed, and North American settlement thus did not proceed until James I negotiated peace in the Treaty of London, 1604. The Anglo-Spanish War, meanwhile, reached a stalemate after Philip II died later in the year. Further battles continued until 1598, when France and Spain finally made peace.

England attempted to attack the Azores in 1597, but their plan was foiled. Elizabeth sent a further 2,000 troops to France after the Spanish took Calais. In 1596, England finally withdrew from France, with Henry IV firmly in control, and the Holy League, which opposed him, demolished. They burnt some villages, seized supplies and then returned.

Also in 1595, a Spanish force under Don Carlos de Amesquita landed in Cornwall. In 1595 and 1596, a disastrous expedition on the Spanish Main led to the deaths of both Sir John Hawkins and Sir Francis Drake. English privateers continued attacking Spanish treasure ships from the Americas; the most famous privateers included Sir John Hawkins and Sir Martin Frobisher. Although Henry broke his promises and converted to Catholicism, Elizabeth remained beside him.

Elizabeth sent 20,000 troops and subsidies of over £300,000 to Henry IV, and 8,000 troops and subsidies of over £1,000,000 to the Dutch. The war was also waged in the Netherlands, which continued to fight for its independence from Spain, and France, where a Protestant, Henry IV, claimed the Throne. The battle, however, was not decisive, and war with Spain continued. The Armada was forced to return to Spain, sustaining severe losses on the north and west coasts of Ireland; the victory tremendously increased Elizabeth's popularity.

The Spanish plan was foiled by the English fleet under Charles Howard, 2nd Baron Howard of Effingham and Sir Francis Drake, aided by bad weather. She famously declared, "I know I have the body but of a weak and feeble woman; but I have the heart and stomach of a King, and of a King of England too". Elizabeth attempted to encourage her troops with a notable speech, known as the Speech to the Troops at Tilbury. In July 1588, the Spanish Armada, a grand fleet of 130 ships bearing over 30,000 men, set sail in the hopes of helping the Spanish army under the Duke of Parma in the Netherlands cross the English Channel and invade England.

In April 1587, Sir Francis Drake burnt the Spanish fleet at Cádiz, delaying Philip's plans. In her will, Mary had left Philip her claim to the English Throne; under force of the threat from Elizabeth's policies in the Netherlands and the east Atlantic, Philip began making plans for an invasion. Mary Stuart was convicted of complicity in the plot and executed at Fotheringhay Castle on February 8, 1587. However, a further scheme against Elizabeth, the Babington Plot, was revealed by Sir Francis Walsingham, who headed the English spy network.

Fearing such conspiracies, Parliament had passed the Act of Association 1584, under which anyone associated with a plot to murder the Sovereign would be excluded from the line of succession. This, together with economic conflict with Spain and English piracy against Spanish colonies, led to the outbreak of the Anglo-Spanish War in 1585 and in 1586 the Spanish ambassador was expelled from England for his participation in conspiracies against Elizabeth. After the assassination of the Dutch Stadholder William I, England began to side openly with the United Provinces of the Netherlands, who were at the time rebelling against Spanish rule. Meanwhile, Philip II conquered Portugal, and with the Portuguese Throne came the command of the high seas.

In 1580, Pope Gregory XIII sent a force to aid Desmond Rebellions in Ireland, but failed; the rebellion itself was crushed by 1583. However, Anjou, who is in any case said to have preferred men to women, returned to France and died in 1584 before he could be married. The Spanish Ambassador reported that she actually declared that the Duke of Anjou would be her husband. During the latter's visit in 1581, it is said that Elizabeth "drew off a ring from her finger and put it upon the Duke of Anjou's upon certain conditions betwixt them two".

Elizabeth even began marriage negotiations with Henry, Duke of Anjou (later King Henry III of France and of Poland), and afterwards with his younger brother François, Duke of Anjou and Alençon. The St Bartholomew's Day Massacre, in which thousands of French Protestants (Huguenots) were killed, strained the alliance but did not break it. Also in 1572, Elizabeth made an alliance with France. In 1572, Lord Burghley was raised to the powerful position of Lord High Treasurer; his post as Secretary of State was taken up by the head of Elizabeth's spy network, Sir Francis Walsingham.

In 1571, Sir William Cecil was created Baron Burghley. Spain, which had been friendly to England since Philip's marriage to Elizabeth's predecessor, ceased to be on cordial terms. After the Catholic Ridolfi Plot was discovered (much to Elizabeth's shock) and foiled, the Duke of Norfolk was executed and Mary lost the little liberty she had remaining. The 4th Duke of Norfolk was also involved in the first of these plots, the Ridolfi Plot of 1571.

Philip II participated in some conspiracies to remove Elizabeth, albeit reluctantly. Philip was already involved in putting down a rebellion in the Netherlands, and could not afford to declare war on England. After Philip had launched a surprise attack on the English privateers Sir Francis Drake and John Hawkins in 1568, Elizabeth ordered the seizure of a Spanish treasure ship in 1569. Elizabeth then found a new enemy in her brother-in-law, Philip II, King of Spain.

She instead began the persecution of her religious enemies, leading to various conspiracies to remove her from the Throne. After the Bull of Deposition was issued, however, Elizabeth chose not to continue her policy of religious toleration. The Bull of Deposition, Regnans in Excelsis, was only issued in 1570, arriving after the Rebellion had been put down. Pope Pius V aided the Catholic Rebellion by excommunicating Elizabeth and declaring her deposed in a Papal Bull.

In 1569, Elizabeth faced a major uprising, known as the Northern Rebellion, instigated by Thomas Howard, 4th Duke of Norfolk, Charles Neville, 6th Earl of Westmorland and Thomas Percy, 7th Earl of Northumberland. Elizabeth chose the last option: Mary was kept confined for eighteen years, much of it in Sheffield Castle and Sheffield Manor in the custody of George Talbot, 6th Earl of Shrewsbury, and his redoubtable wife Bess of Hardwick. Elizabeth was faced with a conundrum: sending her back to the Scottish nobles was deemed too cruel; sending her to France would put a powerful pawn in the hands of the French king; forcefully restoring her to the Scottish Throne may have been seen as an heroic gesture, but would cause too much conflict with the Scots; and imprisoning her in England would allow her to participate in plots against the Queen. She later escaped from her prison and fled to England, where she was captured by English forces.

Mary I, however, was unpopular in Scotland, where she had been imprisoned. Elizabeth was once again forced to consider a Scottish successor, from the line of her father's sister, Margaret Tudor, Queen of Scots. Her heiress was her sister, the Lady Mary Grey, a hunchbacked dwarf. She had left a son, but he was deemed illegitimate.

In 1568, the last viable English heir to the throne, Catherine Grey, died. Scottish nobles then rebelled, imprisoning Mary and forcing her to abdicate in favour of her infant son, who consequently became James VI. Lord Darnley was murdered in 1567 after the couple had several disputes, and Mary then married the alleged murderer, James Hepburn, 4th Earl of Bothwell. Elizabeth had suggested that if she married the Protestant Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester, then Elizabeth would "proceed to the inquisition of her right and title to be our next cousin and heir." Mary Stuart refused, and in 1565 married a Catholic, Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley.

Mary, Queen of Scots, had to suffer her own troubles in Scotland. Each possible heir had his or her disadvantages: Mary I was a Catholic, Lady Catherine Grey had married without the Queen's consent and the Puritan Lord Huntingdon was unwilling to accept the Crown. An even more distant possible successor was Henry Hastings, 3rd Earl of Huntingdon, who could claim descent only from Edward III, who reigned during the fourteenth century. The alternative line descended from Henry VIII's younger sister, Mary Tudor, Duchess of Suffolk; the heir in this line would be the Lady Catherine Grey, Lady Jane Grey's sister.

One possible line was that of Margaret Tudor, Henry VIII's elder sister, which led to Mary I, Queen of Scots. Different lines of succession were considered during Elizabeth's reign. The House of Commons threatened to withhold funds until the Queen agreed to provide for the succession, but Elizabeth still refused. Parliament did not reconvene until Elizabeth needed its assent to raise taxes in 1566.

She refused to do either, and in April, she prorogued Parliament. In 1563, alarmed by the Queen's near-fatal illness, Parliament demanded that she marry or nominate an heir to prevent civil war upon her death. At the end of 1562, Elizabeth had fallen ill with smallpox, but later recovered. Elizabeth, however, did not give up her claim to the French Crown, which had been maintained since the reign of Edward III during the period of the Hundred Years' War in the fourteenth century, and was not renounced until the reign of George III during the eighteenth century.

She made peace with France in 1564; she agreed to give up her claims to the last English possession on the French mainland, Calais, after the defeat of an English expedition at Le Havre. Elizabeth secretly gave aid to the Huguenots. In France, meanwhile, Catholic persecution of the Huguenots led to the outbreak of the French Wars of Religion. Upon the death of her husband Francis II, Mary Stuart returned to Scotland.

Though Mary vehemently refused to ratify the treaty, it had the desired effect, and the French threat was removed from Britain. Under pressure from the English, Mary's representatives signed the Treaty of Edinburgh, under which French troops were to be withdrawn from Scotland. A group of Scottish lords allied to Elizabeth deposed Mary of Guise. In Scotland, Mary Stuart's mother, Mary of Guise attempted to increase French influence in Britain by allowing French army fortifications in Scotland.

In 1559, Mary had declared herself Queen of England, supported by the French. The Queen found a dangerous rival in her cousin, the Catholic Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots and wife of the French King Francis II. What is known for certain is that marrying anyone would have cost Elizabeth large amounts of money and independence as all of the estates and incomes Elizabeth inherited from her father, Henry VIII, were only hers until she wed. It could also have been that given the unstable political situation Elizabeth could have feared an armed struggle among aristocratic factions if she married someone not seen as equally favorable to all factions.

It is also possible that Elizabeth did not wish to share the power of the Crown with another. Elizabeth decided that if she couldn't have him, she would not marry at all. However, her council refused to sanction the marriage because of his status and his family's participation in the Lady Jane Grey matter. There were also rumors that she would only marry one man, Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester, with whom she was deeply in love.

Contemporary gossip was that she had suffered from a physical defect that she was afraid to reveal, perhaps scarring from smallpox. Alternatively, she may have been psychologically scarred by her rumoured childhood relationship with Lord Seymour. She may have felt repulsed by the mistreatment of Henry VIII's wives. Her reason for never marrying is unclear.

Soon after her accession, many questioned whom Elizabeth would marry. The enforcement of English customs in Ireland proved unpopular with its inhabitants, as did the Queen's religious policies. Her other realm, Ireland, never benefited from such a philosophy. She adopted a principle of "England for the English".

Though Philip II aided her in ending the Italian Wars with the Peace of Cateau Cambrésis, Elizabeth remained independent in her diplomacy. Elizabeth also reduced Spanish influence in England. Elizabeth's chief advisors were Sir William Cecil, a Secretary of State, and Sir Nicholas Bacon, the Lord Keeper of the Great Seal. Under Elizabeth, factionalism in the Council and conflicts at court were greatly diminished.

She also appointed an entirely new Privy Council, removing many Catholic counsellors in the process. These were removed from the ecclesiastical bench and replaced by appointees who would submit to the Queen's supremacy. Many bishops were unwilling to conform to the Elizabethan religious policy. The Act of Supremacy 1559 required public officials to take an oath acknowledging the Sovereign's control over the Church or face severe punishment.

The Queen assumed the title "Supreme Governor of the Church of England", rather than "Supreme Head", primarily because several bishops and many members of the public felt that a woman could not be the head of the Church. Papal control over the Church of England had been reinstated under Mary I, but was ended by Elizabeth. The Act of Uniformity 1559 required the use of the Protestant Book of Common Prayer in church services. One of the most important concerns during Elizabeth's early reign was religion; she relied primarily on Sir William Cecil for advice on the matter.

He only accepted out of loyalty to Anne Boleyn's memory, since he found working with Elizabeth difficult at times. She later persuaded her mother's chaplain, Matthew Parker, to become Archbishop. Elizabeth I's coronation was the last one during which the Latin service was used; future coronations used the English service. The communion was celebrated not by Oglethorpe, but by the Queen's personal chaplain, to avoid the usage of the Roman rites.

Since the senior bishops declined to participate in the coronation (since Elizabeth was illegitimate under both canon law and statute and since she was a Protestant), the relatively unimportant Owen Oglethorpe, Bishop of Carlisle had to crown her. There was no Archbishop of Canterbury at the time; Reginald Cardinal Pole, the last Catholic holder of the office, had died shortly after Mary I. Elizabeth was crowned on 15 January 1559. She was far more popular than her sister, and it is said that upon Mary's death, the people rejoiced in the streets.

In 1558, upon Mary I's death, Elizabeth ascended the throne. For the remainder of her reign, the staunchly Catholic Mary persecuted Protestants, and came to be known as "Bloody Mary" because of a desire to present her assertion of authority as cruel. After two months in the Tower, Elizabeth was put under house arrest under the guard of Sir Henry Bedingfield; by the end of that year, when Mary was falsely rumoured to be pregnant, Elizabeth was allowed to return to court at Philip's behest, as he worried that his wife might die in childbirth, in which case he preferred Lady Elizabeth to succeed rather than her next-closest relative, Mary I of Scotland. Mary attempted to remove Elizabeth from the line of succession, but Parliament would not allow it.

There were demands for Elizabeth's execution, but few Englishmen wished to put a member of the popular Tudor dynasty to death. Wyatt's Rebellion in 1554 sought to prevent Mary from marrying Philip and, after its failure, Elizabeth was imprisoned in the Tower of London. Mary I contracted a marriage with the Spanish prince Philip, later King Philip II of Spain, and she worried that the people might depose her and put Elizabeth on the throne in her stead. Armed with popular support, Mary rode triumphantly into London, her half-sister Elizabeth at her side.

Lady Jane ascended the throne, but was deposed less than two weeks later. Contravening the Act of Succession 1544, it excluded both Mary and Elizabeth from succeeding to the throne and declared Lady Jane Grey to be his heiress. In 1553, however, Edward died at the age of fifteen, having left a will which purported to supersede his father's. As long as her Protestant half-brother remained on the throne, Elizabeth's own position remained secure.

Under the influence of Catherine Parr and Ascham, Elizabeth was raised a Protestant. She came to speak or read six languages: her native English, as well as French, Italian, Spanish, Greek, and Latin. There, Elizabeth received her education under Roger Ascham. It is believed that Seymour made advances towards Elizabeth while she lived in his household.

Catherine Parr married Thomas Seymour, 1st Baron Seymour of Sudeley, Edward VI's uncle, and took Elizabeth into her household. Henry VIII died in 1547 and was succeeded by Edward VI. However, from her father she did inherit her red hair. She also inherited her mother's onyx black eyes and petite girth and not her father's enormous weight.

Elizabeth also inherited her mother's delicate bone structure, physique and facial features. In terms of personality, Elizabeth was far more like her mother than her father: neurotic, glamorous, flirtatious, charismatic and religiously tolerant. One companion, to whom she referred with affection throughout her life, was the Irishman Thomas Butler, later 3rd Earl of Ormonde (ob.1615). Later, Parker would become the first Archbishop of Canterbury after Elizabeth became queen in 1558.

Matthew Parker, her mother's favourite priest, took a special interest in Elizabeth's well-being, particularly since a fearful Anne had entrusted her daughter's spiritual welfare to Parker before her death. She had been appointed to Elizabeth's household before Anne Boleyn's death. Chapernowne developed a close relationship with Elizabeth and remained her confidante and good friend for life. At the age of four, Elizabeth had a new governess, Katherine Chapernowne, who was often referred to as "Kat".

Elizabeth's first governess was Lady Margaret Bryan, a baroness whom Elizabeth called "Muggie". Henry's last wife Catherine Parr helped reconcile the King with Elizabeth, and she, along with her half-sister, Mary, daughter of Catherine of Aragon, was reinstated in the line of succession after Prince Edward under the Act of Succession 1544. Thereafter she was addressed as Lady Elizabeth and lived in exile from her father as he married his succession of wives. Elizabeth was three years old at that time and was also declared illegitimate and lost the title of princess.

After Queen Anne failed to produce a male heir, Henry had her executed on charges of treason (adultery against the King was considered treason), incest with her elder brother and witchcraft. Her maternal uncle was George Boleyn, Viscount Rochford. Her maternal aunt was Lady Mary Boleyn. Her surviving paternal aunts included Margaret Tudor and Mary Tudor.

Henry would have preferred a son to ensure the Tudor succession, but upon her birth, Elizabeth was the heiress presumptive to the throne of England. She was born in the Palace of Placentia in Greenwich, on September 7, 1533. Elizabeth was the only surviving child of King Henry VIII of England by his second wife, Anne Boleyn, Marchioness of Pembroke, whom he secretly married sometime between the winter of 1532 and late January of 1533. .

Virginia, an English colony in North America and afterwards a member of the United States, was named after Elizabeth I, the "Virgin Queen". Elizabeth also reduced the number of Privy Counsellors from thirty-nine to nineteen, and later to fourteen. Only eight peerage dignities, one earldom and seven baronies in the Peerage of England, and one barony in the Peerage of Ireland, were created during Elizabeth's reign. The reign was marked by prudence in the granting of honours and dignities.

She granted Royal Charters to several famous organizations, including Trinity College, Dublin (1592) and the British East India Company (1600). Like her father Henry VIII, she was a writer and poet. This last quality, viewed with impatience by her counsellors, often saved her from political and marital misalliances. Elizabeth was a short-tempered and sometimes indecisive ruler.

In addition, Francis Drake became the first Englishman to circumnavigate the globe; Francis Bacon laid out his philosophical and political views; and English colonisation of North America took place under Sir Walter Raleigh and Sir Humphrey Gilbert. Playwrights William Shakespeare, Christopher Marlowe, and Ben Jonson all flourished during this era. Elizabeth's reign is referred to as the Elizabethan era or the Golden Age and was marked by increases in English power and influence worldwide. She reigned during a period of great religious turmoil in English history.

Sometimes referred to as The Virgin Queen, Gloriana, or Good Queen Bess, Elizabeth I was the fifth and final monarch of the Tudor dynasty, having succeeded her half-sister, Mary I. Elizabeth I (7 September 1533 – 24 March 1603 ) was Queen of England and Queen of Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death.

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