Elizabeth's background, court life and ministers

  • Created by: RLou03
  • Created on: 30-08-18 15:33

Elizabeth's background and character

  • Elizabeth became Queen in 1558
  • She could speak Latin, Greek, French and Italian
  • She was charismatic
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Court Life 1

The Court, Privy Council and Parliament helped to run the country as a whole.

The Court: Noblemen who acted as Elizabeth's advisors and friends. They could also be Privy Council members.

The Privy Council:  Members of the Nobility who monitored Parliament, oversaw law and order and maintained the country's security.

Parliament: Made up of the House of Lords and the House of Commons. The HOL was made up of noblemen and bishops. The HOC was elected. Parliament passed laws and approved taxes.

Justices of the Peace: Landowners appointed by the Government who kept local law and order.

Local Lieutenants: Noblemen appointed by the government who governed the counties and rasied the local militia.

Elizabeth used Patronage in her court. This was where she rewarded her supporters by giving them jobs or land.

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Court Life 2

How the court worked

  • Courtiers tried to influence the Queen.
  • The court involved up to 2000 people.
  • There was a strict dress code. You were expected to wear gold and silver cloths and dyed velvet. Ruffs were also worn.
  • The court took care of Elizabeth's personal needs and helped her govern.

Where the court met

  • They met at Elizabeth's palaces(Greenwich and Hampton Court).
  • The court moved around the country on Royal Progresses. They stayed at the houses of the nobility. The nobility were expected to entertain the Queen and give her gifts. 
  • Elizabeth controlled her public image and depicted herself as more powerful than her court in her portraits.
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William Cecil (Lord Burghley)

  • Elizabeth's longest serving advisor
  • He became Secretary of State in 1558
  • Was made Lord Burghley in 1571
  • Acted as Lord Treasurer
  • Had influence over Elizabeth (Execution of Mary Queen of Scots 1587 and the war with Spain)
  • He defended the Elizabethan Settlement
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Robert Dudley (Earl of Leicester)

  • He was ambitious. Elizabeth often confided in him during the early years
  • He recieved estates from the Queen. He became influential on the Privy council and got into a feud with Cecil
  • Dudley and Elizabeth were rumoured to be lovers especially after the mysterious death of Dudley's wife Amy
  • He caused scandals. He had two affairs which resulted in children and was banished from court.
  • He was a strong protestant supporter and led military expeditions in the Netherlands.
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Francis Walsingham

  • He was MP for Lyme Regis before becoming Elizabeth's private secretary in 1573
  • He attended to the queen's security
  • He ran a network of spies and informers. He also ran a group of Agent provocateurs. These were people who encouraged the Queen's enemies to plot against her. They would then be able to justify the enemy's arrest. This helped to uncover the Babington and Throckmonton plots
  • He used coded letters
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