Blank Verse - · Non-rhyming verse taking the form of iambic pentameter
and used extensively in Elizabethan drama by playwrights like Marlowe
Coronation - · The ceremony by which someone is crowned king or queen
Galleon - · A heavy, square-rigged, sail-driven vessel favored
by the Spanish in the Elizabethan period. The Spanish Armada was
comprised of galleons.
Golden Hind - · Sir Francis Drake's ship, which he sailed around the
Interdict - · A form of papal censure and condemnation. An interdict
strips a person or community of most sacraments and the right to Christian
Privy Council - · The private council of the English King or Queen.
Today, the Privy Council exercises no real power, but in Elizabeth's
era it had great control over national policy.
Spanish Armada - · In 1588, Philip II of Spain sent this fleet to fetch
his soldiers in the Netherlands and then invade England. Although
it was supposed invincible, the Armada was defeated by the English navy.
Tower of London - · This royal fortress and residence served as a jail
for important political prisoners (Elizabeth and Mary Queen of
Scots were both detained there). The tower has also guarded important items
such as the Crown Jewels.
Duke de Alencon
- The fourth son of Henry II of France and Catherine
de Medici and brother to the king of France (Francis II). He unsuccessfully
courted Elizabeth. In 1576, his title changed to Duke of Anjou.
- Known as Duke de Alencon
until 1576, Anjou was the fourth son of Henry II of France and
Catherine de Medici and brother to the king of France (Francis
II). He unsuccessfully courted Elizabeth.
- Lawyer, Statesman, counselor to James I, early scientist
and man of letters. Early in his career, Bacon's patron was the
Earl of Essex.
- Second wife of Henry VIII and Elizabeth's mother
- Originally called Sir William
Cecil, he was Elizabeth's chief Secretary of State until 1571,
when she named him Lord Burleigh and replaced him with the more
ruthless (albeit loyal) Francis Walsingham.
- Sir Francis Drake was an English-backed pirate and later
admiral who terrorized Spanish treasure galleons, circumnavigated
the globe (1577–1580) and led the English fleet in crucial battles
against the Spanish Armada (1588).
younger half-brother, he briefly ruled England from 1547 to 1553.
Earl of Essex
- Robert Devereaux (or
Devereux), Earl of Essex, was one of Leicester's stepsons and became
Elizabeth's favored companion, or favorite, towards the end of
her life until a botched military intervention in Ireland destroyed
his reputation. Essex was put to death in 1601 after leading an
- A Spanish ambassador to Elizabeth's court
- Serving as pope from 1572 to 1585, Gregory urged the
adoption of the calendar named in his honor (the Gregorian).
- Powerful European Royal family,
which exercised control in Spain, Austria, the Netherlands, and
the Holy Roman Empire during Elizabeth reign. The Spanish king
Philip II was a Hapsburg.
- One of Elizabeth's advisors, Hatton served as Lord
Chancellor of England from 1587 to 1591.
King of England from 1509 to 1547. He began the English Reformation,
had six wives over the course of his life, and was father to Elizabeth
I, Edward VI and Mary I. Although possessed of the bad habit of killing
off those wives who did not bear male heirs, he was beloved by
the people for his strength and dynamism.
Stuart King of England and successor to Elizabeth, James I ruled
from 1603 to 1625.
- The title given to Sir
Robert Dudley by Elizabeth in 1564. Serving as Master of the Horse
and also in some military leadership positions, Leicester was the Queen's
close friend and probably her lover. When he died in 1588, Elizabeth
shut herself in her room until Lord Burleigh bashed open the door.
- Poet and dramatist who preceded and competed with
Shakespeare. An early pioneer of blank verse.
Tudor, also known as "Bloody Mary" for her persecution of non- Catholics,
was Elizabeth's older half-sister, and ruled England from 1553 to
her death in 1558. A fervent Catholic, she was married to the future
Philip II of Spain.
Mary of Guise
- Mother of Mary Queen of Scots, she served as Queen
Regent in Scotland and brought French forces into Scotland to fight
the Protestants there.
Mary Queen of
- Also known as Mary Stuart, she
was the Catholic Queen of Scotland (1542–1567) and had her eyes
set on the throne of England. She was ultimately beheaded in 1587.
Her son, James I, succeeded Elizabeth.
- Hapsburg King of Spain from 1556
to 1598, this defender of Catholicism had trouble suppressing Protestants
in the Netherlands; the English navy destroyed his supposedly invincible
Spanish Armada in 1588.
from 1566 to 1572, Pius tirelessly (and harshly) persecuted and
encouraged the persecution of Protestants throughout Europe.
- The ruling family in England from 1154 to 1485
- This English writer and adventurer delighted Elizabeth
but was put to death by her successor, James I.
- Spanish ambassador to England
- Elizabethan playwright and poet who later developed
the reputation as the greatest writer of all time
- English poet of the Elizabethan period, famous for
his lengthy allegorical poem The Faerie
- The royal family that succeeded the Tudors. Members included
James I and Mary Queen of Scots.
- The ruling family of England from 1485 to 1603. Following
the Plantagenets and preceding the Stuarts, the Tudor line included
Henry VIII, Edward VI, Mary I, and Elizabeth the Great (Elizabeth
- Elizabeth's chief secretary of state from 1573 to
1590, replacing Burleigh. Walsingham was a devout Protestant and
a cunning spymaster.
William the Silent
- A protestant, William the Silent fought for an independent
Netherlands during the Elizabethan era.
Act for the Preservation of the Queen's Safety - This 1585 policy was intended to quash conspiracies against
the Queen, and was enacted in response to recent plots like the
Duke de Guise Plot and the earlier Ridolfi Plot.
Acts of Supremacy and Uniformity - These two acts, ratified together, were meant to settle
religious conflicts: while the Act of Supremacy made Elizabeth
the "Supreme Governor" of the Church, with the authority to make absolute
decisions affecting religious practices, the Act of Uniformity
restored, with some amendments, the Protestant Prayer Book that
Mary I had banned.
Babington Plot - Anthony Babington led this 1586 plot to overthrow Elizabeth and
put Mary Queen of Scots on the throne. Mary was thrown into the
Tower of London and subsequently executed for involvement in this
plot, which Walsingham cleverly detected and exposed.
Bond of Association - A 1584 decree by which Parliament forced all English
men to sign a pledge that, in the event of Elizabeth's assassination,
they would hunt down the culprit.
Cadiz - This was the site of a devastating 1587 raid on the Spanish Armada,
led by Sir Francis Drake; the name now also refers to the battle
Duke de Guise Plot - A 1582 Catholic plot on Elizabeth's life
Ridolfi Plot - A 1570 to 1571 plot led by an Italian conspirator (Roberto
di Ridolfi) to overthrow Elizabeth and install Mary Queen of Scots on
the throne of England. The plot involved assassinating Elizabeth
and using the Spanish Army to conquer the countryside.
Sir Thomas Wyatt the Younger's Rebellion - In 1554 Sir Thomas Wyatt undertook a plot against then-queen Mary
I; he intended to overthrow Mary's government and take control
for himself, after marrying Elizabeth and thus legitimating his
rule. When the plot was detected, Mary suspected Elizabeth of
complicity and imprisoned her in the Tower of London.