Queen Elizabeth I and the Issues of Marriage

Christine Egger
Eng. 122
November 23, 2010
Library Research Paper

Queen Elizabeth I and Marriage
Queen Elizabeth I of England was a monarch beloved by her subjects although she remained a virgin queen.   She evaded the issue of marriage and procreation several times.   History says that she didn’t care for the idea of spouse and children and was heard to say on a number of occasions that she never wished to marry even though her Privy Council continuously pestered her on the issue.   At the age of eight, she told Dudley, her childhood friend and erstwhile suitor, that she would never marry.   Why did she forgo the comforts of marriage and why did she remain in a virginal state?
Elizabeth was the offspring of Henry Tudor, otherwise known as the notorious Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn.   Henry VIII had six wives.   Catherine of Aragon was his first wife and the mother of a little son Henry who died several days after his birth.   Eventually she had a daughter named Mary who ruled before Elizabeth and because she could not give him a living male heir, Henry had his marriage annulled.   This also caused his break with the Catholic Church and Rome, because the pope refused to annul his marriage.   Anne Boleyn was his second wife.   She was one of the great ‘femme’s fatal” of the time (Starkey19).   His third wife was Jane Seymour, who died after the birth of their son Edward VI, due to a childbed fever.   Anne of Cleves was Henry’s fourth wife.   It was not a happy marriage, so after six months, she gave him the divorce he asked for.   Katherine Howard was executed and Catherine Parr was lucky enough to outlive him, so you can see that Henry VIII, Elizabeth’s father, was not the greatest example of marital bliss.
Elizabeth was born on Sunday, September 7, 1533.   Her mother, Anne flew in the face of tradition, choosing to breastfeed Elizabeth until she was old enough to be given her own household in Hatfield House at the age of three months.   Elizabeth was the second of Henry’s...