Elizabeth I key people and dates

Reign of Elizabeth, OCR History B

HideShow resource information

Robert Dudley - Earl of Leicester

The first in Elizabeth's affections. Amy Robsarts mysterious death in 1560 meant that any thoughts Elizabeth had of marrying him were evaporated. The marraige would also be opposed by Cecil, so Elizabeth could have been avoiding that disagreement. Dudley became Earl of Leicester in 1564. 

Leicester provided a counterweight to Cecil, often arguing for a more ambitious foreign policy. His ambitions were more military than political - despite his poor attempts in 1585 when he was given command of the English army sent to the Netherlands. His death in 1588 shortly followed. 

1 of 23

William Cecil - Lord Burghley

Elizabeth's first secretary, at the centre of affairs. Was given Lord Burghley title in 1571

He was her trusted servant in all matters and, while at times he became angry at Elizabeth's changes of mood and mind, he never wavered in his devotion. 

He opposed ideas of marriage to Dudley, and was more politically interested than with military.

Died in 1598.


2 of 23

Sir Walter Ralegh - Captain of the Guard

After Dudley's death, Elizabeth's attention was drawn to Ralegh. He was made Captain of the Guard in 1587 and therefore gained access to Elizabeth. His wit won her favour, but he was never admitted to the Privy Council

He was imprisoned briefly in 1591 after making Bess Throckmorton pregnant, one of Elizabeth's maids, and he lost his job as Captain of the Guard.

3 of 23

Robert Devereux - Earl of Essex

Was Dudley's step son. He arrived at Court at the same time as Ralegh. 

Elizabeth gave him military commands in France in 1591, the command of a big expedition to Cadiz in 1596, and command of the army sent to deal with the Irish in 1599. The Cadiz expedition was a success - however, he failed in Ireland and without permission signed a treaty with Shane O'Neill (the biggest rebel).

In 1601 he planned to seize London. He therefore recieved a death sentence for treason. 

4 of 23

Robert Cecil - Privy Counsellor then Secretary

Not a favourite. William Cecil's son (Burghley's son). 

Was admitted to the Privy Council in 1592, then took place as Secretary.

The last years of Elizabeth's reign were marred by factional disputes between Robert Devereux (Essex) and Robert Cecil. 

5 of 23


Acts of Uniformity and Supremacy

The act of Supremacy made Elizabeth Supreme Governor of the Church, provided Communion in both kinds (laity got wine and bread), and guarenteed Protestants freedom of worship. It passed the House of Commons easily, but all Bishops in the House of Lords opposed.

The act of Uniformity was modelled on the Second Prayer Book in 1552 (Edward's). It enforced the Prayer Book in all churches, and attendance to church on Sundays & holy days. Church furnishings and vestments were not completely removed to discourage iconoclasm.  

Treaty of Cateau Cambresis

Between representatives of Henry II France, Philip II Spain and Elizabeth I England. It put an end to the conflict between France and Spain, the terms were a triumph for Spain and France. England confirmed that Calais was in French possession again.

6 of 23


Succession issue

Following Elizabeth's illness with smallpox, Parliament urged the queen to marry or nominate an heir, to prevent a civil war upon her death. She refused to do either.

39 Articles raised in Parliament

The Thirty Nine Articles are the historically defining statements of doctrines of the Chuch of England, with respect to the controversies of the English Reformation. First established in 1563, the articles served to define the doctrine of the Church of England.

Act for Poor

The threat to civil disorder* led to an Act of the Elizabethan Poor Law, to be passed through Parliament. The different types of Poor people were catagorised in order to determine the treatment they might recieve. 

*Due to big changes in religion, economics, unemployment and decrease in farmers (people started moving away from countryside and into towns).

7 of 23


Mary to England


Norfolk Plot

to assassinate Elizabeth and replace her with Mary, then for her to marry Duke of Norfolk.

The Revolt of the Nothern Earls

was an unsuccessful attempt by Catholic nobles from Northern England to depose Queen Elizabeth and replace her with Mary.

8 of 23


Elizabeth is excommunicated

Pope Pius V excommunicated Elizabeth in 1570, and asked all Catholics to do all they could to revolt against her.


9 of 23


Admonition to Parliament

Written by two London clergymen. Demanded that Elizabeth restore the 'purity' of worship in the Church of England, and eliminate the remaining Roman Catholic elements. The Queen resisted the document, and the authors were imprisoned. 

Massacre of St Bartholomew 

was a targeted group of assassinations, followed by a wave of Roman Catholic mob violence. Both were directed against the French Protestants.

Treaty of Blois

A marriage with Duke of Anjou was envisaged. Also asked France to back out of Scotland and stop supporting Mary. 

10 of 23


Alencon's visit ;) ;) ;)

As a surprise, though no contract had been written up, on August 17th Alençon himself arrived in England. A preliminary marriage contract was signed in November, 1579. Elizabeth's court and kingdom, however, were not in favor of the match, feeling that the negatives outweighed the positives. Leicester passionately opposed. Whether the happiness of her subjects and councillors was important enough to not marry the man she loved, or whether she changed her mind about marrying Alençon, is not known. The effect remained the same. Eventually, Elizabeth called off the match.

Fitzmaurice to Ireland

The Second Desmond rebellion was the more widespread and bloody of the two. Launched by the Fitzgerald dynasty of Desmond in Muntzer, against English rule in Ireland. The second rebellion began in July 1579 when James Fitzmaurice Fitzgerald landed in Ireland with a force of Papal troops, triggering an insurrection across the south of Ireland on the part of the Desmond dynasty, their allies and others who were dissatisfied for various reasons with English government of the country.

11 of 23


Laws against Catholics

Laws became harsher against Catholics, especially after Elizabeth's excommunication

Rescuancy fines raised

They were raised to up to £20 

12 of 23


Throckmorton Plot

was an attempt by English Roman Catholics in 1583 to murder Queen Elizabeth and replace her with her second cousin Mary, Queen of Scots. The plot is named after the key conspirator Sir Francis Throckmorton who confessed to the plot under torture.

13 of 23


Babington Plot

was a Catholic plot in 1586 to assassinate Elizabth and put Mary on the English throne. It led to the execution of Mary. The long-term goal was an invasion by the Spanish forces of King Philip II and the Catholic league in France, leading to the restoration of the Catholic religion in England. The chief conspirator was Sir Anthony Babington, a young Catholic nobleman.

14 of 23


Execution of Mary

Mary was executed in Feb, due to The Babington Plot 

Resignation of Dudley

Leicester resigns

15 of 23


First Spanish Armarda

Less than half the Spanish return to Spain

Dudley dies in Cornbury, Oxfordshire ZOOP ZOOP

16 of 23


Outbreak of Irish Rebellion 

The Earl of Tyrone* openly joined the rebellion in 1595, and moved against the English. He equipped a modern army and proclaimed himself the champion of Irish Catholics against English Protestant interlopers. 

He continued to try and negotiate alliance with traditional enemies amongst the Gaelic Lords. He was also able to obtain some money from Spain. Elizabeth was too busy with the continued threat of Spanish invasion, so sent only limited forces to Ireland.

(*Earl of Tyrone: On the death of Shane O'Neill, someone else became Lord of Tyrone. He tried to establish an indepenent power-base in Ulster. The English government responded to this by backing Hugh O'Neill as a rival leader. 

Hugh O'Neill was given English education and modern military training. The English also helped him get control over part of Tyrone's territory, and in 1585 Elizabeth made him Earl of Tyrone. However, he got too ambitious and didn't care about going against Elizabeth. He began to make contacts with Rome, Spain and his Irish rivals.)

17 of 23


Second Spanish Armarda

Defeated, again.

18 of 23


Harvest Failures

Thousands starved to death, it was the last nail in the coffin for a century of rising food prices and lower wages. 

Third Spanish Armarda

Defeated.. again, again.

19 of 23


Death of Burghley (Cecil)

Death of Philip II

Philip III was less motivated to send a strong Armarda to England, so Elizabeth could focus more on Ireland now

Essex to Ireland

Essex was sent to Ireland, but failed. He treated with the enemy, and left Ireland without permission. On his return, Elizabeth was furious and put him under house arrest for a year.

20 of 23


Essex Rebellion

He gathered 300 men in anger of the Queen's reaction to his failure and tried to seize London. He was executed for treason the same year. The only way is not Essex. 

Monopolies debate

Poor Law

21 of 23


Defeat of the Irish rebels

Defeat at the Battle of Kinsale

22 of 23


Death of Elizabeth

24th March

23 of 23


Elise Roberts



Similar History resources:

See all History resources »See all British monarchy - Tudors and Stuarts resources »