Thursday, April 17, 2014

What was Easter like in Elizabethan times?

An Elizabethan Maundy, a miniature of Queen Elizabeth I observing the tradition of a Maundy Thursday with the common people. The miniature is most likely by Elizabethan female court painter Leevina Teerlinc. Picture acquired through Wikimedia Commons. Image public domain.

Happy Easter weekend to those who celebrate it!

You can find out how Easter was celebrated in Elizabethan England in our BeingBess article here.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

On This Day in Elizabethan History: Sir Walter Ralegh Receives a Patent

A map of Ralegh's colony in Virginia, founded in 1585. British Library. Image from Lara E. Eakins.

On this day in Elizabethan history in 1584, Sir Walter Ralegh (modern spelling 'Raleigh') was granted a patent by Queen Elizabeth I to colonize land in the New World. This settlement would become known as Virginia, in honor of Elizabeth, the Virgin Queen.

View and follow our Sir Walter Ralegh and Sir Francis Drake Pinterest board here.

Monday, March 24, 2014

On This Day in Elizabethan History: Queen Elizabeth I Dies

The Funeral Procession of Queen Elizabeth I, 1603. Elizabeth's funeral effigy is now part of the Westminster Abbey effigy collection.
"If you knew what awaited me in my bed, you would not go and lie down, either"

On this day in Elizabethan history in 1603, after 44 effective years on the throne, Queen Elizabeth I, the last of the Tudor dynasty, died at the age of 69 at Richmond Palace. Her reign of peace, prosperity, and pageantry became known as The Golden Age, and she herself was affectionately known as Good Queen Bess. As historian Garrett Mattingly observed, never had their been a love affair like the one between Elizabeth Tudor and her subjects.

To read about Elizabeth's final days before her death, and to revisit the highlights of her illustrious reign, please read our BeingBess article here.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Henry VIII Passes an Act of Succession in Favor of Elizabeth

Another significant legal document passed around this time was the Oath of Allegiance,  shown above,  which English subjects were required to sign, thus declaring that they believed in the validity of King Henry VIII and Queen Anne Boleyn's marriage. People were executed for refusing to swear the oath. Picture acquired through Wikimedia Commons. Image public domain.

On this day in 1533 (sometimes written as 1534), Henry VIII passed the Act of Succession, which would be revised several times before his death in 1547. The Act declared that only Henry VIII's children by his second wife, Anne Boleyn, could inherit the throne of England. The Act also stated that, were he to die before his wife, Queen Anne would become regent. Also significant, "slander or derogation of the lawful matrimony [with] his most dear and entirely loving wife, Queen Anne," would be considered treason.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

The Birth of Katherine Willoughby

A sketch by Holbein, identified as Katherine Willoughby, Duchess of Suffolk, dated between 1534-36. Picture acquired through Wikimedia Commons. Image public domain.

On this day in 1519, Katherine Willoughby, eventual Duchess of Suffolk, was born to Baron William Willoughby and his Spanish wife, Maria de Salinas. As the only surviving child of the couple, Katherine was a wealthy heiress who became 12th Baroness Willoughby de Eresby in her own right.

Katherine Willoughby was an extraordinary woman who used her education and position to promote religious reform in England. Her beliefs and actions made her a target of the Marian government, and she and her second husband and their household fled abroad, only returning upon the accession of the Protestant Elizabeth Tudor.

To learn about the accomplishments of this fearless early-modern woman, please read our BeingBess article about her life.