According to the Norton Anthology of English Literature on WWW, in late 1520’s attempts were made to buy and burn copies of English translated bible written by William Tyndale in order to stop the spreading of heresies from Germany, which they termed as a dangerous plague. Henry VIII decided to divorce Catherine since only Mary survived infancy of the total six children. Catherine being the daughter of Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile had strong connections with powerful allies in Rome and the pope.
Thus pope rejected the divorce petition of Henry VIII, but in 1533 the divorce was finalized and Anne Boleyn was crowned as queen on June 01 in the same year. King was formally declared as the “Supreme Head of the church in England” in late 1533. According to Margaret Odrowaz-Sypniewski as stated on Angelfire. com on WWW, Anne Boleyn gave birth to Queen Elizabeth also called as Elizabeth Tudor on September 07, 1533 at Greenwich.
According to Alexandra Briscoe as stated on bbc. co. uk in the Elizabeth I: An Overview on WWW, Queen Elizabeth grew up under the care of governess and tutors at Hatfield house since Anne Boleyn was beheaded by Henry VIII when Queen Elizabeth was just two years old. Elizabeth was educated and brought up in Protestant faith under the direction of Roger Ascham a Cambridge scholar at Hatfield house studying Greek and Latin.
Henry’s sixth wife Katherine Parr evinced keen interest in educating Elizabeth to highest standards and trained her to speak in public which was unheard of women in those times, her ability to address large public gatherings, ministers in Parliament and troops on the battle field boosted her image and this turned the opinion in her favor. According to the Historic figures as stated on bbc. co. uk on WWW, Queen Elizabeth’s half sister Mary I accessed throne in 1553 and was determined to re-establish Catholicism. She deemed protestant Elizabeth as a direct threat and imprisoned her at the Tower of London for a brief period.
Colin Hinson stated in the Queens of England on the WWW, that Elizabeth was kept in close confinement during the Mary’s regime and was moved from Tower to Woodstock and later to Hatfield house. Alexandra Briscoe stated on bbc. co. uk in the British history Tudors on WWW, that at the age of 25, Elizabeth was crowned on November 17, 1558 and acknowledged the compliments of even the poorest beggar on the street. She had a deep sense of responsibility for these people and required their support in her future endeavors. Crowds cut out pieces of carpet Elizabeth walked on to Westminster Abbey and retained them as souvenirs.
In order to establish a “clear religious framework” she introduced various acts between 1559 and 1563 and “made up the church settlement. ” Thus England returned to Protestant faith, now the public could worship and read bible in English rather than in Latin. But Elizabeth was careful in retaining some of the Catholic traditions such as candlesticks, crucifixes and clerical robes thus attempting to maintain a status quo. Though the puritans protested to the continuance of catholic traditions “an uneasy compromise was reached and maintained throughout her reign. ”
Marriage was a necessity since this could lead to the formation of a useful political alliance with a European power and her children would fall in “line of succession. ” But on the contrary Queen Elizabeth I was reluctant to get married and attached utmost importance to the welfare of the people as it is clear from her remark “I am already bound unto a husband which is the Kingdom of England. ” In 1566 the Parliament refused to grant funds to Elizabeth, but she could cleverly convince with her rhetorical skills that she would marry only when it was convenient and advised the parliament to not to keep out of her personal matters.
Despite her decision to abstain from marriage she enjoyed the company of men such as Henry, Duke of Anjou, Francis (Anjou’s brother) and Duke of Alencon. A marriage with any one of these could result in a useful alliance with France. But she was reluctant to get married as is visible in her words “If I followed the inclination of my nature, it is this, beggar woman and single, far rather than queen and married. ”
Though Queen Elizabeth I was against marriage she was very close to a very long known Robert Dudley, the Earl of Leicester. Most of the ministers feared that the Leicester might speak against them to the Queen. The Earl even hosted a party for the queen in the summer of 1575 to win her heart at Kenilworth Castle. He even altered the castle layout and built luxurious buildings to for the queen and her entourage. Houses were constructed the shape of letter ‘E’ to flatter her.