24 March-Queen Elizabeth I

Margaret Butler of Kilkenny Castle was the grandmother of Anne Boleyn and great grandmother of Queen Elizabeth I of England. Elizabeth I reigned for 44 years. She was the fifth and last monarch of the Tudor dynasty. Elizabeth I was succeeded by James VI, King of Scotland. He became James 1 of England and styled himself ‘King of Great Britain and Ireland’.

Queen Elizabeth I was born Greenwich London on September 7th 1533. She began her reign on the death of her half-sister Mary 1 on November 17th 1558. The coronation of Elizabeth I took place on January 15th 1559. During her long reign she depended heavily on her advisors. She established the Church of England of which she became supreme governor. The Spanish Armada was defeated during her reign.

Efforts by Elizabeth I during her reign, to extend her control in Ireland led to many uprisings, widespread destruction and great loss of life. She is reputed to have been proficient in many languages including Latin, French, Welsh, Cornish and Irish in addition to English. She encouraged the use of Irish even in the Pale.

Following a visit by Shane O Neill of Ulster to Queen Elizabeth I, she expressed a desire to understand Irish. Sir Christopher Nugent, Baron of Delvin Co Westmeath prepared an Irish primer on her behalf. However when she was visited by Grace O Malley (Graineuaile) from Co Mayo in 1593 the meeting was conducted in Latin.

Queen Elizabeth I died at the age of 69 in the year 1603 On This Day.

Engraving of Queen Elizabeth I, with chronogram recording the year of her death (1603



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