Who’s Who – Elizabeth I

The key names from the Elizabeth I podcast episode:

The Royal Family

Elizabeth I – the Queen!

Henry VIII’s Reign

Henry VIII – Elizabeth’s father, whom she looks up to and frequently invokes, despite having cut her mother’s head off.

Anne Boleyn – Elizabeth’s mother and Henry VIII’s second wife. Executed for alleged adultery when Elizabeth was a toddler.

Edward VI’s Reign

Edward VI – Elizabeth’s younger brother. A radical Protestant who excluded Elizabeth and her sister, Mary, from the succession.

Catherine Parr – Henry VIII’s sixth wife, who helped restore Elizabeth to the succession but sent her away when she discovered her in a compromising position with her husband.

Thomas Seymour – Catherine Parr’s roguish husband who tried to have his way with Elizabeth during and after his marriage but came a cropper with the minority council of Edward VI thanks to his designs on power.

Mary I’s Reign

Mary I – Elizabeth’s older sister who resented her as Anne Boleyn’s daughter. Mary sought to restore England to Catholicism and suspected Elizabeth of complicity in Protestant plots against her.

Stephen Gardiner – the Bishop of Winchester and a leading Catholic figure at court who pushed hard for Elizabeth’s arrest and execution.

Thomas Wyatt – Son of the famous poet who led a rebellion against Mary and her marriage to Philip of Spain, for which Elizabeth was herself arrested.

Elizabeth’s Reign – Chief Ministers

William Cecil – Elizabeth’s most trusted friend and advisor, serving her throughout her life as her main advisor.

Robert Dudley – The love of Elizabeth’s life, who came close to marrying Elizabeth but remained her favourite throughout his life.

Sir Francis Walsingham – Elizabeth’s arch-Protestant spymaster, who helped uncover numerous plots against Elizabeth from the 1570s.

Robert Cecil – Son of William and replaced his father as Elizabeth’s chief advisor in her later years, managing the succession.

Earl of Essex – Dudley’s step-son and Elizabeth’s last favourite in the 1590s before a failed putsch led to his execution

Heads of State

Philip II – King of Spain and the most powerful figure in Europe. Initially protected Elizabeth to keep England out of French hands but later launched the doomed Spanish Armada against Elizabeth.

Mary Queen of Scots – Elizabeth’s cousin, closest blood relative and as a Scottish Catholic with links to France, the most threatening figure for most of the reign.

William of Orange – Leader of the rebellion against Spain in the Netherlands. As a fellow Protestant, he looked to Elizabeth for military aid.

Ivan the Terrible – An unlikely source of a proposal of marriage to Elizabeth!

Notable Others

Amy Robsart – Dudley’s wife, whose death in suspicious circumstances in 1560 made Elizabeth’s marriage to him technically possible but politically unthinkable.

Sir Francis Drake – Elizabeth’s top adventurer, who circumnavigated the world and played a crucial role in defeating the Spanish Armada.

Sir Walter Raleigh – Another adventurer who was, for a while, a favourite of Elizabeth’s in the 1580s before a secret marriage to one of her ladies.

Hugh O’Neill – Head of a powerful clan in Ulster who led an Irish rebellion against England in the Nine Years War.