Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Death of Elizabeth I

On March 24, 1603 Queen Elizabeth of England died, after weeks of ill-health, struggling with deep melancholy. She refused to lie down but would remain standing for hours. It is interesting that in spite of her persecution of Catholics out of what she saw to be political expediency, the queen's personal religious inclinations tended to be more Catholic than Protestant. Most Catholic sacramentals, such as relics, agnus deis and medals, were proscribed as being "papist superstitions." It is ironic that the queen in her fear of death took to fingering a gold amulet. It has been alleged that the gold piece was sent to the queen by an old Welsh woman with the promise that as long as Elizabeth wore it she would not die. Agnes Strickland, in her Lives of the Queens of England, claims that although there is no solid proof for the story of the Welsh woman, Elizabeth indeed wore the amulet around her neck. Her physical conditioned worsened, as did her emotional state, although she claimed she "knew of nothing in this world worthy of troubling her." In her last moments, when the Archbishop of Canterbury offered some prayers, she became more peaceful. Share


Jack Bennett said...

Every time I find myself feeling sorry for Elizabeth I, I let myself remember her judicial murder of her cousin, Mary (I think most scholars agree nowadays that the "evidence" actually used against the Scottish Queen was largely fabricated) and then crying she had nothing to do with it...as well as the continued thinking of her as as a more tolerant monarch than her contemporaries (i.e. see the recent Elizabeth movies for this continued fiction) when she was anything but (Margaret Clitherow's death under Eliz. was just as bad as Mary's burnings)

She was a great politician but as a person I'd rather spend time with either Mary Tudor or Mary Stuart.

elena maria vidal said...

So would I!

MaggieClitheroe said...

Hear hear!