The Birth of Elizabeth I

Elizabeth I young 227x300 The Birth of Elizabeth I

Elizabeth I aged around 13 by William Scrots

Today in 1533 the future Queen Elizabeth I was born at Greenwich Palace, she was the daughter of Henry VIII and his second wife, Anne Boleyn. The birth was quick and the baby was healthy, it was said she had her father’s complexion and her mother’s dark black eyes.

Preparations for Elizabeth’s arrival had begun in early August. Greenwich was the palace of choice for the birth, it had been a favourite of Henry’s mother, Elizabeth of York, and was the place of his own birth 42 years earlier. As was customary for the time a chamber was prepared at Greenwich for Anne’s confinement. Historian David Starkey describes how the walls and ceilings of the chamber were hung and tented with precious tapestries called arras which were woven with gold or silver thread and there were rich carpets laid on the floor. Anne’s bed was also richly hung with tapestries that matched the rest of the room. At the last minute gold and silver plate was brought into the chamber, there were cups and bowls to stand on the cupboard and crucifixes, candlesticks and images for the alter. Starkey describes the chamber as being like a “cross between a chapel and a luxuriously padded cell”

Greenwich Palace Tudor 300x229 The Birth of Elizabeth I

Greenwich Palace

Anne entered her confinement on the 26th August. There had been a lot of anxiety leading up to this date as it appears Anne had some difficulties in the later stages of her pregnancy. Eric Ives explains how Henry was said to have “been at his wits end, even hoping for a miscarriage if it would save Anne’s life”. Anne eventually gave birth to Elizabeth less than 2 weeks into her confinement. The birth was straightforward and Henry was hugely relieved that his wife and child were safe. Henry and Anne named their baby Elizabeth, after both their mothers.
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HenryVIII Holbein Small Welcome to Tudor

Henry VIII 1509-1547

The Tudors ruled England from 1485 until 1603 during one of the most exciting periods of English history. During these tumultuous times England experienced immense change caused by the Renaissance and Reformation, involved itself in wars with the great powers of Europe and spawned some of our most fascinating monarchs, not to mention being the era that brought us Henry VIII’s wives!

Our story begins with Henry VII winning the Battle of Bosworth, ending The Wars of the Roses and establishing his Tudor dynasty. From here the Tudor story will take us to Henry VIII, his wives and his court, the lives of the Tudor Queens; Mary I, Elizabeth I, Mary Queen of Scots and Lady Jane Grey and to such great events as the defeat of the Spanish Armada that would forever change the way England is viewed by the world. No study of the Tudor era would be complete without also exploring the lives of ordinary folk and how things changed for them when events like the Protestant Reformation swept through Europe.

If there are any topics you want to see included please contact me, I’m always happy to hear from other Tudor fans!

If you’re new to Tudor history a good place to start is by finding out Who were the Tudors?

Or you can take a look at the Tudor’s Family Tree …..