Below is the first of a series of articles I'm writing on the Tudors of Britain. I'm open to all comments grammatical correction, and criticism. Thanks!


In The Footsteps of Turmoil
Elizabeth I, Ascension of the House of Tudor
By: Sarah Simpson

A New Princess
Elizabeth Tudor was born on Sunday, September 7th, 1553, the daughter of King Henry VIII and his second wife, Anne Boleyn, at Greenwich, one of her father’s many palaces and manors. When she was born around 3 PM that afternoon, few could have predicted the glittering life ahead of her. The birth was a great disappointment to her father, (he expected a son), and a political disaster to her mother and all of her supporters. It had always been Henry’s main goal to father a healthy living son to succeed him to the throne, but after 20 years of marriage to the Spanish Catherine of Aragon and the birth of many children, he had only one living legitimate child, Mary I.
Had Elizabeth been a boy, or Anne had borne Henry a healthy son in the years immediately after Elizabeth’s birth, Anne’s fate would have been quite different. A few years after Elizabeth, Anne gave birth to a stillborn son. It’s sad to think this could have changed her fate. When Henry came to find that Anne would not be able to bear him a son, she was accused, (probably falsely), of witchcraft, adultery, and incest. She was put on trial and was found guilty of all charges. It was up to Henry how she died, decapitation or burning, and Henry chose the former. He ordered a French swordsman to be brought in to do the job, for it is said that it hurts less with a sword. Anne was beheaded on the Tower Green at the Tower of London on the 19th of May, 1536. Elizabeth was only two years of age.
After the disgrace of the execution of her mother, Elizabeth’s life wouold never be quite the same. She was probably too young to be effected by her mother’s sudden death, but her life changed greatly.

Never Be Queen

Henry’s 3rd wife, Jane Seymore, gave him the son he’d longed for, whom they named Edward, in 1537. He was destined for the throne. Henry’s goal was fulfilled. During their early childhood, Elizabeth formed an extremely close bond with her half brother. Although she got along well with her half sister, they were never really close. They were of different religions, Mary Catholic and Elizabeth Protestant, and of very different ages, Mary was 17 years older.
From an early age, Edward and Elizabeth were taught in Latin, Greek, Spanish, French, as well as the other requirements of a classic education, philosophy, mathematics, and history.
As the siblings grew older, there began to be rivalries and conflicts between them concerning the succession to the throne. Finally, after many acts of Parliament and decisions by many members of the family (mainly their father), it became, Edward, Mary, then Elizabeth. (Also, as king or queen, Edward or Mary could name different heirs if they wished.)
Elizabeth was told she’d never be queen.
When King Henry passed away on January 28th, 1547, Edward became King Edward VI at the young age of 9. Because he was so inexperienced, he was given a council of advisors to help him rule. In a few years, they could tell the young king was ailing, and he died from tuberculosis at the age of 17. Elizabeth was devastated.
On the death of Edward, Lady Jane Grey, a niece of Henry VIII, was named heir, and took reign. But the country rallied to Mary, the daughter of Catherine of Aragon and Henry VIII, she was a devout Roman Catholic. Hence, Jane reigned 9 days and was then executed for treason.
Upon Jane’s death, Mary took the throne. An act of Parliament in 1533 had declared her illegitimate, but was she reinstated in 1544. Mary destroyed the Church of England that her father had set up and turned England back into a Catholic nation.
This made her very unpopular with the many Protestants who lived in the country at that time. At age 37, Mary wished to marry and have children, thus leaving a Catholic heir to the throne and to consolidate her religious reforms. It was also remove her sister Elizabeth from the succession. Mary married Phillip, King of Spain in 1556, and the decision was very unpopular with the people. The marriage was childless when Mary died in 1558, possibly from cancer, at the age of 42.
When Mary died, it left Elizabeth to be queen, the young woman who was told she’d never be queen!

Her Reign

Elizabeth inherited a tattered realm; conflicts between Catholics and Protestants tore at the very foundation of the kingdom, the royal treasury had been drained by her father and Mary and their advisors, Mary’s loss of Calais left England with no continental possessions for the first time since the arrival of the Normans in 1066, and many (mainly Catholics) doubted Elizabeth’s Claim to the throne. Continental affairs added to the country’s problems- France had some control in Scotland and in Spain, the strongest Western nation at that time. Elizabeth proved to be the most calm, (even though she had a terrible temper), of the Tudors in carrying out her royal business.
Her task at hand was to eliminate the religious conflicts. Elizabeth lacked the fanaticism of her siblings, Edward was strict in Radical Protestantism, and Mary was a strict Conservative Catholic. She was determined to loosen the rules of the church to make everyone happy. To do this, she was forced to go to war, a situation that she had strongly tried to avoid. The battles with the Catholics came to a head when Elizabeth rejected a marriage proposal from Phillip II; the indignant king of Spain; who because of this sent his armada to raid England. The English won the naval battle handily, due as much to bad weather as to English prowess. England emerged as the world’s greatest naval power, setting the stage for later English Imperial designs.
Elizabeth’s reign was during one of the most constructive eras in English history. Literature blossomed with the works of Spencer, Marlowe, and Shakespeare. Francis Drake and Walter Raleigh were instrumental in expanding English influence on the world. Elizabeth’s religious compromise laid many fears to rest. Fashion and education came to the front because of Elizabeth’s penchant knowledge, courtly behavior, and extravagant dress.
Good Queen Bess, as she came to be known, maintained her regal image until the day she died, as written by Paul Hentzen, he wrote, “ Next came the Queen in the 65th year of her age, as we were told, very majestic, her face oblong, fair, but wrinkled; her eyes small yet black and pleasant; her nose a little hooked; her lips narrow... she had in her ear 2 pearls, with very rich drops... her air was stately; her manner of speaking mild and obliging.’ Elizabeth died peacefully in her sleep at Richmond Palace on Thursday, March 24th, 1603, at the age of 69.
Her regal image surely had it faults, but this last Tudor excelled at rising to challenges and emerging victorious.

I would suggest that you simplify your punctuation. There is a rough guide that more than two commas (unless in a list) in a sentence is too many! You do not use commas around brackets either.
Thanks Nona!