Queen Elizabeth I Timeline
Timeline Description: The 45-year reign of Queen Elizabeth I is heralded as a golden age in English history. The Elizabethan era witnessed the seafaring prowess of English adventurer Sir Francis Drake, great military defeat of the Spanish Armada, flourishing arts and drama written by Shakespeare and Marlowe, and the establishment of the modern-day Church of England.

Date Event
September 7, 1533 Princess Elizabeth is born.

Elizabeth, the second daughter of King Henry VIII, is born on September 7, 1533 to his second wife, Anne Boleyn. Titled a princess, Elizabeth is first in line to the throne as her older half-sister, Mary, became illegitimate when Henry annulled his first marriage.
May 19, 1536 Elizabeth's mother is executed.

Anne Boleyn is executed, leaving Elizabeth illegitimate and untitled like her older sister. King Henry immediately marries Jane Seymour who produces a male heir, Prince Edward, in 1537, before dying shortly after childbirth.
1937 Elizabeth's education

Catherine Champernowne is appointed as Elizabeth's governess in 1537. Elizabeth proves to be a good scholar and an excellent linguist, fluently speaking numerous languages including French, Flemish, Italian, Spanish and Greek.
1547 Elizabeth's father dies.

When King Henry VIII dies, Elizabeth's younger half-brother becomes King Edward VI aged nine. His uncle, Edward Seymour, oversees as Lord Protector. Elizabeth is taken into care by Henry's widow, Catherine Parr, and her new husband Thomas Seymour.
March 20, 1549 Thomas Seymour is beheaded.

When Parr finds Seymour and Elizabeth in an inappropriate embrace in May 1548, she banishes her step-daughter. After Parr's death in childbirth later that year, Seymour is accused of plotting to marry Elizabeth and overthrow his brother as Lord Protector. He is beheaded on March 20, 1549.
July 6, 1553 King Edward VI dies.

The young King dies aged just 15. Although his father reinstated Mary and Elizabeth as heirs in his later years, Edward's will sweeps them aside in favor of their cousin, Lady Jane Grey. She is deposed after just nine days, as Mary takes the crown with Elizabeth at her side.
1554 Elizabeth is imprisoned.

Mary and Elizabeth are raised on different religions and Catholic Mary persecutes all Protestants during her reign. Elizabeth is imprisoned for a year, initially in the Tower of London, for her supposed involvement in religious rebellions.
November 17, 1558 Elizabeth becomes Queen.

Mary falls ill in May 1558, and the childless Queen names her half-sister as her heir. Elizabeth becomes Queen at the age of 25 and her coronation the following year is a joyous spectacle. She recognizes that a monarch rules by popular consent and works closely with parliament and trusted advisers.
1559 Elizabeth declares a religious settlement.

Protestant Elizabeth is religiously tolerant, but mindful of a potential Catholic uprising. She establishes a Protestant-based church with many Catholic elements, and is named the Supreme Governor of the Church of England.
1559 Elizabeth considers marriage.

In 1559 Elizabeth is reported to be in love with her childhood friend, Robert Dudley. His wife is ill, but she dies in September 1560 from an accidental fall and foul play is suspected. Although Elizabeth decides not to marry him, she remains close to and possessive of Dudley.
1559 Other marriage proposals

It is expected that Elizabeth will marry and she considers a number of marriage negotiations as part of her foreign policy, but remains single and refuses to name a successor. She is known as the "Virgin Queen" and speaks of being married to her kingdom and subjects.
1568 Queen Elizabeth supports Scottish Protestants.

Elizabeth's cousin, Mary Queen of Scots, is considered by the French and many Catholics to be the rightful heir to the English throne. Queen Elizabeth, fearing a coup, supports Protestant rebels in Scotland. Mary is defeated and detained in England for 19 years.
1585 Queen Elizabeth starts the Anglo-Spanish war.

Queen Elizabeth's foreign policy is largely defensive, but in 1585 she sends an army to aid Protestant Dutch rebels fighting King Philip II of Spain. The resulting Treaty of Nonsuch marks the beginning of the Anglo-Spanish War, which lasts until 1604.
February 8, 1587 Mary Queen of Scots is beheaded.

Sir Francis Walsingham acts as Elizabeth's counsel on Catholic uprisings. He assembles a successful case against Mary, linking her to numerous plots on Elizabeth's life from 1571 to 1586. Elizabeth signs Mary's death warrant, but later claims she did not want it dispatched.
1588 Defeat of the Spanish Armada.

Sir Francis Drake undertakes numerous successful raids on Spanish fleets from 1585 to 1587. On July 12, 1588, the Spanish Armada sets sail to invade the southeast coast of England. Aided by bad weather, the English navy destroys the Armada and the nation celebrates with a lavish royal procession.
1588 Queen Elizabeth's famous speech at Tilbury.

Queen Elizabeth gives a rallying speech to troops in Tilbury. Her most famous line is, "I know I have the body of a weak, feeble woman; but I have the heart and stomach of a king = and of a King of England too."
1594 Nine Years' War in Ireland (1594

1603).=Queen Elizabeth faces hostility and irreverence in her kingdom of Ireland. Backed by the Spanish, Irish Catholics rebel against their Protestant Queen. It is a long and bloody battle, with the victorious Protestants administering a scorched-earth policy and condemning the Irish to poverty and starvation.
1590s Queen Elizabeth's second reign.

Elizabeth's trusted advisors all die around 1590 and she builds a new governing body which is troubled by internal conflicts. The economy suffers from the costly Spanish and Irish wars, crops fail, standards of living fall while costs rise, and riots break out over food shortages.
1590s Flourishing Elizabethan arts.

The arts flourished during the Elizabethan era as poetry and drama masterpieces are created by William Shakespeare and Christopher Marlowe, and English theatre is highly popular.
1601 Elizabeth's Golden Speech.

Queen Elizabeth gives her "Golden Speech" to parliament in 1601. Reflecting on her long reign, she says, "I was never any greedy, scraping grasper, nor a strait, fast-holding prince, nor yet a waster. My heart was never set on worldly goods but for my subjects' good."
March 24, 1603 Queen Elizabeth I dies.

In the Fall of 1602, Elizabeth suffers a severe depression after a number of close friends die. Queen Elizabeth I dies on March 24, 1603 at Richmond Palace.