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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

All Hail the Queen!

November 17th 1558 marks the beginning of the Elizabethan Era: Queen Mary I was dead and was succeeded by our dear Elizabeth I.

An account from Elizabeth Jenkins biography "Elizabeth The Great" has this to say on Mary's death and Elizabeth's accession: "Cecil noted: 'In June [they were still using the Julien calendar] now burning in Smithfield seven at one fire.' The last martys were burned on Novemeber 11, and after their names, the Register exclaims: 'Six days afters these were burned to death, God sent us our Elizabeth.' At Hatfield, in the excrutiating excitment of the hour, ELizabeth had not let go of caution. She had told Sir Nocholas Throckmorton that he was to bring her the black-and-gold betrothal ring that would never leave Mary's hand until she was dead. Meanwhile Cecil came and went, with draft proclamations and plans to take over the government in the new Queen's name...At daybreak on November 17 Mary died, and Throckmorton set out for Hatfield with the ring, but he was outdistanced on the road by the Lords of the Council. When they arrived Elizabeth was walking in the park and they came up with her as she stood beneath a leafless oak. At their words she knelt on the grass and exclaimed: 'A domino factum est et mirible in oculis nostris!' ['This is the Lord's doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes']. "

On November 23 Elizabeth left her home of Hatfield for St. James palace in London. She was attended by the Lords of Council, her ladies in waiting and a royal household retinue which numbered "a thousand and more." Along the way she was met with loud acclamations and Elizabeth would stop to recieve the her Subjects greetings and oaths of allegiance, graciously extending her hand for each to kiss.

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