A poorhouse or workhouse is a government-run facility to support and provide housing for the dependent or needy. In England and Ireland a poorhouse was more known as a workhouse. Before the introduction of the Poor Law, each parish would maintain its own workhouse and these rural'poor houses' would be simple farms with the occupants dividing their times between working the farm and employed on maintaining local roads and other parish works. An example of one such is Strand House in East Sussex. In the early Victorian era, poverty was seen as a dishonorable state; as depicted by Charles Dickens, a workhouse could resemble a reformatory housing whole families, or a penal labour regime giving manual work to the indigent and subjecting them to physical punishment. At many poorhouses/workhouses and women were split up with no communication between them; the poorhouse was situated on the grounds of a poor farm on which able-bodied residents were required to work. Such farms were common in the United States in the early 20th centuries.
A poorhouse could be part of the same economic complex as a prison farm and other penal or charitable public institutions. Poor farms were county - or town-run residences; the farms declined in use after the Social Security Act took effect in 1935, with most disappearing by about 1950. Most were working farms that produced at least some of the produce and livestock they consumed. Residents were expected to provide labor to the extent that their health would allow, both in the fields, in providing housekeeping and care for other residents. Rules were strict and accommodations minimal. Poor farms were the origin of the U. S. tradition of county governments providing social services for the needy within their borders. The federal government did not participate in social welfare for over 70 years following the 1854 veto of the Bill for the Benefit of the Indigent Insane by Franklin Pierce; this tradition is, in most cases, codified in state law. The financial costs of such care has been shifted in part to state and federal governments.
Anne Sullivan and her younger brother, were raised in such a facility during the 19th century before James' childhood death and Anne's departure for the Perkins School for the Blind where she became Helen Keller's teacher and lifelong companion. The novel The Miracle Worker, its 1957 TV play, 1959 Broadway play, its 1962 film adaptation and television adaptations included Anne's descriptions of the harsh conditions that she observed in the Tewksbury, facility where she and her younger brother lived as smaller children; the poorhouse, with attached farm concept, was favored in Canada. According to a 2009 report by the Toronto Star, "pauperism was considered a moral failing that could be erased through order and hard work"; the oldest government-supported facility of this type, still standing, is located in Southern Ontario between Fergus and Elora, Ontario. The Wellington County House of Industry and Refuge was opened in 1877 and over the years, housed 1500 "deserving" poor, including those who were destitute and infirm or suffering from disabilities.
The sixty bed house for "inmates" was surrounded by a 30-acre "industrial" farm with a barn for livestock that produced some of the food for the 70 residents and the staff and provided work for them. Others worked in the House itself. A hospital was added in 1892; the nearby cemetery has 271 plots. In 1947, the House was converted into a home for the aged and in 1975 the building reopened as the Wellington County Museum and Archives, one of the National Historic Sites of Canada. Almshouse Hostel Halfway house Low income housing Over the Hill to the Poor House Public housing Public housing in the United States Scottish poorhouse Homeless shelter Illustrated History of Long Term Care “The poorhouse: America's forgotten institution” David Wagner. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, c2005. Rothman, David J.. "The Almshouse Experience", in series Poverty U. S. A.: The Historical Record, 1971. ISBN 0-405-03092-4 Jack London's firsthand account of life and poorhouses in the 1902 East End of London Workhouses in and around Bures, Suffolk, by Alan Beales McLean County, Illinois Poor Farm Finding Aid A study of Kansas poor farms / by Kansas Emergency Relief Committee
Strike action called labor strike, labour strike, or strike, is a work stoppage, caused by the mass refusal of employees to work. A strike takes place in response to employee grievances. Strikes became common during the Industrial Revolution, when mass labor became important in factories and mines. In most countries, strike actions were made illegal, as factory owners had far more power than workers. Most Western countries legalized striking in the late 19th or early 20th centuries. Strikes are sometimes used to pressure governments to change policies. Strikes destabilize the rule of a particular political party or ruler. Notable examples are the 1980 Gdańsk Shipyard, the 1981 Warning Strike, led by Lech Wałęsa; these strikes were significant in the long campaign of civil resistance for political change in Poland, were an important mobilizing effort that contributed to the fall of the Iron Curtain and the end of communist party rule in eastern Europe. The use of the English word "strike" was first seen in 1768, when sailors, in support of demonstrations in London, "struck" or removed the topgallant sails of merchant ships at port, thus crippling the ships.
Official publications have used the more neutral words "work stoppage" or "industrial dispute". The first certain account of strike action was towards the end of the 20th dynasty, under Pharaoh Ramses III in ancient Egypt on 14 November 1152 BC; the artisans of the Royal Necropolis at Deir el-Medina walked off their jobs because they had not been paid. The Egyptian authorities raised the wages. An early predecessor of the general strike may have been the secessio plebis in ancient Rome. In The Outline of History, H. G. Wells characterized this event as "the general strike of the plebeians, their first strike occurred because they "saw with indignation their friends, who had served the state bravely in the legions, thrown into chains and reduced to slavery at the demand of patrician creditors." The strike action only became a feature of the political landscape with the onset of the Industrial Revolution. For the first time in history, large numbers of people were members of the industrial working class.
By the 1830s, when the Chartist movement was at its peak in Britain, a true and widespread'workers consciousness' was awakening. In 1842 the demands for fairer wages and conditions across many different industries exploded into the first modern general strike. After the second Chartist Petition was presented to Parliament in April 1842 and rejected, the strike began in the coal mines of Staffordshire and soon spread through Britain affecting factories, mills in Lancashire and coal mines from Dundee to South Wales and Cornwall. Instead of being a spontaneous uprising of the mutinous masses, the strike was politically motivated and was driven by an agenda to win concessions; as much as half of the industrial work force were on strike at its peak – over 500,000 men. The local leadership marshalled a growing working class tradition to politically organize their followers to mount an articulate challenge to the capitalist, political establishment. Friedrich Engels, an observer in London at the time, wrote: by its numbers, this class has become the most powerful in England, woe betide the wealthy Englishmen when it becomes conscious of this fact...
The English proletarian is only just becoming aware of his power, the fruits of this awareness were the disturbances of last summer. As the 19th century progressed, strikes became a fixture of industrial relations across the industrialized world, as workers organized themselves to collectively bargain for better wages and standards with their employers. Karl Marx has condemned the theory of Pierre-Joseph Proudhon criminalizing strike action in his work The Poverty of Philosophy. In 1937 there were 4,740 strikes in the United States; this was the greatest strike wave in American labor history. The number of major strikes and lockouts in the U. S. fell by 97% from 381 in 1970 to 187 in 1980 to only 11 in 2010. Companies countered the threat of a strike by threatening to move a plant. International Covenant on Economic and Cultural Rights adopted in 1967 ensure the right to strike in Article 8 and European Social Charter adopted in 1961 ensure the right to strike in Article 6; the Farah Strike, 1972–1974, labeled the "strike of the century," and it was organized and led by Mexican American women predominantly in El Paso, Texas.
Most strikes are undertaken by labor unions during collective bargaining as a last resort. The object of collective bargaining is for the employer and the union to come to an agreement over wages and working conditions. A collective bargaining agreement may include a clause which prohibits the union from striking during the term of the agreement, known as a "no-strike clause." No-strike clauses arose in the United States following World War II. Some in the labor movement consider no-strike clauses to be an unnecessary detriment to unions in the collective bargaining process. Strikes are rare: according to the News Media Guild, 98% of union contracts in the United States are settled each of the 67 years without a strike. Workers decide to strike without the sanction of a labor union, either because the union refuses to endorse such a tactic, or because the workers concerned are non-unionized; such strikes are described as unofficial. Strikes without formal union authorization are known as wildcat strikes
Palace of Westminster
The Palace of Westminster serves as the meeting place of the House of Commons and the House of Lords, the two houses of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Known as the Houses of Parliament after its occupants, the Palace lies on the north bank of the River Thames in the City of Westminster, in central London, England, its name, which derives from the neighbouring Westminster Abbey, may refer to either of two structures: the Old Palace, a medieval building-complex destroyed by fire in 1834, or its replacement, the New Palace that stands today. The palace is owned by the monarch in right of the Crown and, for ceremonial purposes, retains its original status as a royal residence. Committees appointed by both houses manage the building and report to the Speaker of the House of Commons and to the Lord Speaker; the first royal palace constructed on the site dated from the 11th century, Westminster became the primary residence of the Kings of England until fire destroyed much of the complex in 1512.
After that, it served as the home of the Parliament of England, which had met there since the 13th century, as the seat of the Royal Courts of Justice, based in and around Westminster Hall. In 1834 an greater fire ravaged the rebuilt Houses of Parliament, the only significant medieval structures to survive were Westminster Hall, the Cloisters of St Stephen's, the Chapel of St Mary Undercroft, the Jewel Tower. In the subsequent competition for the reconstruction of the Palace, the architect Charles Barry won with a design for new buildings in the Gothic Revival style inspired by the English Perpendicular Gothic style of the 14th–16th centuries; the remains of the Old Palace were incorporated into its much larger replacement, which contains over 1,100 rooms organised symmetrically around two series of courtyards and which has a floor area of 112,476 m2. Part of the New Palace's area of 3.24 hectares was reclaimed from the River Thames, the setting of its nearly 300-metre long façade, called the River Front.
Augustus Pugin, a leading authority on Gothic architecture and style, assisted Barry and designed the interior of the Palace. Construction started in 1840 and lasted for 30 years, suffering great delays and cost overruns, as well as the death of both leading architects. Major conservation work has taken place since to reverse the effects of London's air pollution, extensive repairs followed the Second World War, including the reconstruction of the Commons Chamber following its bombing in 1941; the Palace is one of the centres of political life in the United Kingdom. The Elizabeth Tower, in particular referred to by the name of its main bell, Big Ben, has become an iconic landmark of London and of the United Kingdom in general, one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city, an emblem of parliamentary democracy. Tsar Nicholas I of Russia called the new palace "a dream in stone"; the Palace of Westminster has been a Grade I listed building since 1970 and part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987.
The Palace of Westminster site was strategically important during the Middle Ages, as it was located on the banks of the River Thames. Known in medieval times as Thorney Island, the site may have been first-used for a royal residence by Canute the Great during his reign from 1016 to 1035. St Edward the Confessor, the penultimate Anglo-Saxon monarch of England, built a royal palace on Thorney Island just west of the City of London at about the same time as he built Westminster Abbey. Thorney Island and the surrounding area soon became known as Westminster. Neither the buildings used by the Anglo-Saxons nor those used by William I survive; the oldest existing part of the Palace dates from the reign of William I's successor, King William II. The Palace of Westminster was the monarch's principal residence in the late Medieval period; the predecessor of Parliament, the Curia Regis, met in Westminster Hall. Simon de Montfort's parliament, the first to include representatives of the major towns, met at the Palace in 1265.
The "Model Parliament", the first official Parliament of England, met there in 1295, all subsequent English Parliaments and after 1707, all British Parliaments have met at the Palace. In 1512, during the early years of the reign of King Henry VIII, fire destroyed the royal residential area of the palace. In 1534, Henry VIII acquired York Place from Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, a powerful minister who had lost the King's favour. Renaming it the Palace of Whitehall, Henry used it as his principal residence. Although Westminster remained a royal palace, it was used by the two Houses of Parliament and by the various royal law courts; because it was a royal residence, the Palace included no purpose-built chambers for the two Houses. Important state ceremonies were held in the Painted Chamber, built in the 13th century as the main bedchamber for King Henry III; the House of Lords met in the Queen's Chamber, a modest Medieval hall towards the southern end of the complex, with the adjoining Prince's Chamber used as the robing room for peers and for the monarch during state openings.
In 1801 the Upper House moved into the larger White Chamber.
Edward VI of England
Edward VI was King of England and Ireland from 28 January 1547 until his death. He was crowned on 20 February at the age of nine. Edward was the son of Henry VIII and Jane Seymour, England's first monarch to be raised as a Protestant. During his reign, the realm was governed by a regency council; the council was first led by his uncle Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset, by John Dudley, 1st Earl of Warwick, who from 1551 was Duke of Northumberland. Edward's reign was marked by economic problems and social unrest that in 1549 erupted into riot and rebellion. An expensive war with Scotland, at first successful, ended with military withdrawal from Scotland and Boulogne-sur-Mer in exchange for peace; the transformation of the Church of England into a recognisably Protestant body occurred under Edward, who took great interest in religious matters. Although his father, Henry VIII, had severed the link between the Church and Rome, Henry VIII had never permitted the renunciation of Catholic doctrine or ceremony.
It was during Edward's reign that Protestantism was established for the first time in England with reforms that included the abolition of clerical celibacy and the Mass, the imposition of compulsory services in English. In February 1553, at age 15, Edward fell ill; when his sickness was discovered to be terminal, he and his Council drew up a "Devise for the Succession", to prevent the country's return to Catholicism. Edward named his first cousin once removed, Lady Jane Grey, as his heir, excluding his half-sisters and Elizabeth; this decision was disputed following Edward's death, Jane was deposed by Mary nine days after becoming queen. During her reign, Mary reversed Edward's Protestant reforms, which nonetheless became the basis of the Elizabethan Religious Settlement of 1559. Edward was born on 12 October 1537 in his mother's room inside Hampton Court Palace, in Middlesex, he was the son of King Henry VIII by Jane Seymour. Throughout the realm, the people greeted the birth of a male heir, "whom we hungered for so long", with joy and relief.
Te Deums were sung in churches, bonfires lit, "their was shott at the Tower that night above two thousand gonnes". Queen Jane, appearing to recover from the birth, sent out signed letters announcing the birth of "a Prince, conceived in most lawful matrimony between my Lord the King's Majesty and us". Edward was christened on 15 October, with his half-sisters, the 21-year-old Lady Mary as godmother and the 4-year-old Lady Elizabeth carrying the chrisom; the Queen, fell ill on 23 October from presumed postnatal complications, died the following night. Henry VIII wrote to Francis I of France that "Divine Providence... hath mingled my joy with bitterness of the death of her who brought me this happiness". Edward was a healthy baby who suckled from the outset, his father was delighted with him. That September, the Lord Chancellor, Lord Audley, reported vigour; the tradition that Edward VI was a sickly boy has been challenged by more recent historians. At the age of four, he fell ill with a life-threatening "quartan fever", despite occasional illnesses and poor eyesight, he enjoyed good health until the last six months of his life.
Edward was placed in the care of Margaret Bryan, "lady mistress" of the prince's household. She was succeeded by Lady Troy; until the age of six, Edward was brought up, as he put it in his Chronicle, "among the women". The formal royal household established around Edward was, at first, under Sir William Sidney, Sir Richard Page, stepfather of Edward Seymour's wife, Anne Stanhope. Henry demanded exacting standards of security and cleanliness in his son's household, stressing that Edward was "this whole realm's most precious jewel". Visitors described the prince, lavishly provided with toys and comforts, including his own troupe of minstrels, as a contented child. From the age of six, Edward began his formal education under Richard Cox and John Cheke, concentrating, as he recalled himself, on "learning of tongues, of the scripture, of philosophy, all liberal sciences", he received tuition from Elizabeth's tutor, Roger Ascham, Jean Belmain, learning French and Italian. In addition, he is known to have studied geometry and learned to play musical instruments, including the lute and the virginals.
He collected globes and maps and, according to coinage historian C. E. Challis, developed a grasp of monetary affairs that indicated a high intelligence. Edward's religious education is assumed to have favoured the reforming agenda, his religious establishment was chosen by Archbishop Thomas Cranmer, a leading reformer. Both Cox and Cheke were "reformed" Catholics or Erasmians and became Marian exiles. By 1549, Edward had written a treatise on the pope as Antichrist and was making informed notes on theological controversies. Many aspects of Edward's religion were Catholic in his early years, including celebration of the mass and reverence for images and relics of the saints. Both Edward's sisters were attentive to their brother and visited him – on one occasion, Elizabeth gave him a shirt "of her own working". Edward "took special content" in Mary's company, though he disapproved of her taste for foreign dances. In 1543, Henry invited his children to spend Christmas with him, signalling hi
The English Reformation was a series of events in 16th-century England by which the Church of England broke away from the authority of the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church. These events were, in part, associated with the wider process of the European Protestant Reformation, a religious and political movement that affected the practice of Christianity across western and central Europe during this period. Many factors contributed to the process: the decline of feudalism and the rise of nationalism, the rise of the common law, the invention of the printing press and increased circulation of the Bible, the transmission of new knowledge and ideas among scholars, the upper and middle classes and readers in general. However, the various phases of the English Reformation, which covered Wales and Ireland, were driven by changes in government policy, to which public opinion accommodated itself. Based on Henry VIII's desire for an annulment of his marriage, the English Reformation was at the outset more of a political affair than a theological dispute.
The reality of political differences between Rome and England allowed growing theological disputes to come to the fore. Until the break with Rome, it was general councils of the Church that decided doctrine. Church law was governed by canon law with final jurisdiction in Rome. Church taxes were paid straight to Rome, the Pope had the final word in the appointment of bishops; the break with Rome was effected by a series of acts of Parliament passed between 1532 and 1534, among them the 1534 Act of Supremacy, which declared that Henry was the "Supreme Head on earth of the Church of England". Final authority in doctrinal and legal disputes now rested with the monarch, the papacy was deprived of revenue and the final say on the appointment of bishops; the theology and liturgy of the Church of England became markedly Protestant during the reign of Henry's son Edward VI along lines laid down by Archbishop Thomas Cranmer. Under Mary, the whole process was reversed and the Church of England was again placed under papal jurisdiction.
Soon after, Elizabeth reintroduced the Protestant faith but in a more moderate manner. The structure and theology of the church was a matter of fierce dispute for generations; the violent aspect of these disputes, manifested in the English Civil Wars, ended when the last Roman Catholic monarch, James II, was deposed, Parliament asked William III and Mary II to rule jointly in conjunction with the English Bill of Rights in 1688, from which emerged a church polity with an established church and a number of non-conformist churches whose members at first suffered various civil disabilities that were removed over time. The legacy of the past Roman Catholic Establishment remained an issue for some time, still exists today. A substantial minority remained Roman Catholic in England, in an effort to disestablish it from British systems, their church organisation remained illegal until the 19th century; the Reformation was a clash of two opposed schemes of salvation. The Roman Catholic Church taught that the contrite person could cooperate with God towards their salvation by performing good works.
Protestants taught that fallen humanity was helpless and under condemnation until given the grace of God through faith. An earlier reform movement that anticipated some Protestant teachings but remained outside the religious mainstream was Lollardy. Derived from the writings of John Wycliffe, a 14th-century theologian and Bible translator, Lollardy stressed the primacy of scripture and emphasised the preaching of the word over the sacrament of the altar, holding the latter to be but a memorial. Unlike Protestants, the early Lollards lacked access to the printing press and failed to gain a foothold among the church's most popular communicators, the friars. Unable to gain access to the levers of power, the Lollards were much reduced in numbers and influence by the 15th century, they sometimes faced investigation and persecution and produced new literature after 1450. Lollards could still be found—especially in London and the Thames Valley, in Essex and Kent, Bristol and in the North—and many would be receptive to Protestant ideas.
More respectable and orthodox calls for reform came from Renaissance humanists, such as Erasmus, John Colet, Dean of St Paul's, Thomas More. Humanists downplayed the role of rites and ceremonies in achieving salvation and criticised the superstitious veneration of relics. Erasmus and Colet emphasised a simple, personal piety and a return ad fontes, back to the sources of Christian faith—the scriptures as understood through textual and linguistic scholarship. Colet's commentaries on the Pauline epistles emphasized double predestination and the worthlessness of human works. Anne Boleyn's own religious views were shaped by French humanists such as Jacques Lefèvre d'Étaples, whose 1512 commentaries on Paul's epistles stated that human works were irrelevant to salvation five years before Luther published the same views. Humanist scholarship provided arguments against papal primacy and support for the claim that popes had usurped powers that rightfully belonged to kings. In 1534, Lorenzo Valla's On the Donation of Constantine—which proved that one of the pillars of the papacy's temporal authority was a hoax—was published in London.
Thomas Cromwell paid for an English translation of Marsiglio of Padua's Defensor pacis in 1535. The conservative cleric Stephen Gardiner used Marsiglio's theory of a unitary realm to defend royal power over spiritual as w
An almshouse is charitable housing provided to people in a particular community. They are targeted at the poor of a locality, at those from certain forms of previous employment, or their widows, at elderly people who can no longer pay rent, are maintained by a charity or the trustees of a bequest. Almshouses were formed as extensions of the church system and were adapted by local officials and authorities. Many almshouses are European Christian institutions. Alms are, in the Christian tradition, money or services donated to support the indigent. Almshouses were established from the 10th century in Britain, to provide a place of residence for poor and distressed people, they were sometimes called the residents bedesmen or bedeswomen. Bede is the Anglo-Saxon word for prayer and the alms-men and women were obliged to pray for the founder of the charity; the first recorded almshouse was founded in York by King Athelstan. In the Middle Ages, the majority of European hospitals functioned as almshouses.
Many of the medieval almshouses in England were established with the aim of benefiting the soul of the founder or their family, they incorporated a chapel. As a result, most were regarded as chantries and were dissolved during the Reformation, under an act of 1547. Almshouses have charitable status and aim to support the continued independence of their residents. There is an important delineation between almshouses and other forms of sheltered housing in that almshouse residents have no security of tenure, being dependent upon the goodwill of the administering trustees. In 1269 or 1270 an almshouse was established in Stavanger as the first known in Norway; the English tradition of almshouses was introduced to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania by its founder, William Penn. The Maryland legislature created almshouses in Anne Arundel County, financed by property taxes on landowners throughout the state. Massachusetts had a long tradition of almshouses. In the United States, aid tended to be limited to the elderly and disabled, children had to sleep in the same rooms as adults.
The first almshouse in the United States history was founded in Boston, Massachusetts in 1622. The original Boston Almshouse was burned down in 1682 and was rebuilt away from the heart of Boston nearly a decade later. In 1884 the statistical analysis of the Massachusetts almshouses showed four in the city of Boston and 225 almshouses throughout the state; these almshouses housed nearly 7,000 people. Of these residents, 700 were believed to have a mental illness. Half of these almshouses did not house children. Upon entering the Almshouses in Connecticut, patients were whipped ten times. There were similar institutions developed from 1725-1773 in Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and New York. At the Pennsylvania Hospital, some "lunatics" were chained to a cellar wall or made to wear a primitive straitjacket. Before the American Civil War, local officials regulated almshouses and did not ensure the people inside them were being cared for in the proper way or given the time they needed for help, it was not until the 1860s that more progressive states such as New York began to create boards that regulated and reported on almshouses.
The Newark almshouse opened in September 1878 as a branch of the Syracuse State School. It was located on 104 acres of land within the town of Newark, New Jersey and held around 853 patients; the nine dormitory buildings that housed the patients were able to hold anywhere from 45 to 130 people. There was a small hospital within the almshouse that could hold up to 30 patients. There were not many employees, only about 110, to take care of the hundreds of young women admitted to the almshouse. Patients were committed to the Newark State School by superintendents of the poor as well as judges who declared them insane or feeble-minded in court. Many of the patients of the New York Custodial Asylum for Feeble-Minded Women were falsely considered to be mentally ill. Mary Lake was the daughter of a young woman, sentenced to 10 years in a state prison. Mary and her other siblings were put into almshouses, she was committed to the almshouse in Newark as feeble-minded. It was not until years where she was pronounced not mentally ill and was able to leave the almshouse.
Throughout the 19th century almshouses were a last resort for those who were poor and elderly. Residents experienced mistreatment and inhumanity; as almshouses continued into the 19th century, activists such as Dorothea Dix fought for institutional reform. Dix sought to remove children, the mentally ill, the developmentally disabled from all almshouses and increase the number of institutions and asylums for those to reside in; as her movement gained momentum, she played a vital role in the establishment and expansion of over 30 hospitals for the treatment of the mentally ill. Her efforts removed specific groups from almshouses. One of the biggest problems with almshouses is that they were self-sustaining, they were costly to run, the capacity of the inmates to pay for their own keep by working at the farm, or working at the almshouse itself, was overestimated. There were not enough staff, facilities were not kept up, the poor kept coming. By the end of the 1800s, almshouses began to be replaced by institutions.
Almshouses are multiple small terraced houses or apartments providing accommodation for small numbers of residents. Some 2,600 almshouses continue to be operated in the UK, providing 30,000 dwellings for
Elizabeth I of England
Elizabeth I was Queen of England and Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death on 24 March 1603. Sometimes called The Virgin Queen, Gloriana or Good Queen Bess, Elizabeth was the last of the five monarchs of the House of Tudor. Elizabeth was the daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, his second wife, executed two-and-a-half years after Elizabeth's birth. Anne's marriage to Henry VIII was annulled, Elizabeth was declared illegitimate, her half-brother, Edward VI, ruled until his death in 1553, bequeathing the crown to Lady Jane Grey and ignoring the claims of his two half-sisters and the Roman Catholic Mary, in spite of statute law to the contrary. Edward's will was set aside and Mary became queen, deposing Lady Jane Grey. During Mary's reign, Elizabeth was imprisoned for nearly a year on suspicion of supporting Protestant rebels. In 1558 upon Mary's death, Elizabeth succeeded her half-sister to the throne and set out to rule by good counsel, she depended on a group of trusted advisers, led by William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley.
One of her first actions as queen was the establishment of an English Protestant church, of which she became the Supreme Governor. This Elizabethan Religious Settlement was to evolve into the Church of England, it was expected that Elizabeth would produce an heir. She was succeeded by her first cousin twice removed, James VI of Scotland, she had earlier been responsible for the imprisonment and execution of James's mother, Queen of Scots. In government, Elizabeth was more moderate. One of her mottoes was "video et taceo". In religion, she was tolerant and avoided systematic persecution. After the pope declared her illegitimate in 1570 and released her subjects from obedience to her, several conspiracies threatened her life, all of which were defeated with the help of her ministers' secret service. Elizabeth was cautious in foreign affairs, manoeuvring between the major powers of Spain, she only half-heartedly supported a number of ineffective, poorly resourced military campaigns in the Netherlands and Ireland.
By the mid-1580s, England could no longer avoid war with Spain. England's defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588 associated Elizabeth with one of the greatest military victories in English history; as she grew older, Elizabeth became celebrated for her virginity. A cult grew around her, celebrated in the portraits and literature of the day. Elizabeth's reign became known as the Elizabethan era; the period is famous for the flourishing of English drama, led by playwrights such as William Shakespeare and Christopher Marlowe, for the seafaring prowess of English adventurers such as Francis Drake. Some historians depict Elizabeth as a short-tempered, sometimes indecisive ruler, who enjoyed more than her share of luck. Towards the end of her reign, a series of economic and military problems weakened her popularity. Elizabeth is acknowledged as a charismatic performer and a dogged survivor in an era when government was ramshackle and limited, when monarchs in neighbouring countries faced internal problems that jeopardised their thrones.
After the short reigns of her half-siblings, her 44 years on the throne provided welcome stability for the kingdom and helped forge a sense of national identity. Elizabeth was born at Greenwich Palace and was named after her grandmothers, Elizabeth of York and Elizabeth Howard, she was the second child of Henry VIII of England born in wedlock to survive infancy. Her mother was Anne Boleyn. At birth, Elizabeth was the heir presumptive to the throne of England, her older half-sister, had lost her position as a legitimate heir when Henry annulled his marriage to Mary's mother, Catherine of Aragon, to marry Anne, with the intent to sire a male heir and ensure the Tudor succession. She was baptised on 10 September 1533. A canopy was carried at the ceremony over the three-day old child by her uncle Viscount Rochford, Lord Hussey, Lord Thomas Howard, Lord Howard of Effingham. Elizabeth was two years and eight months old when her mother was beheaded on 19 May 1536, four months after Catherine of Aragon's death from natural causes.
Elizabeth was deprived of her place in the royal succession. Eleven days after Anne Boleyn's execution, Henry married Jane Seymour, who died shortly after the birth of their son, Edward, in 1537. From his birth, Edward was undisputed heir apparent to the throne. Elizabeth was placed in his household and carried the chrisom, or baptismal cloth, at his christening. Elizabeth's first governess, Margaret Bryan, wrote that she was "as toward a child and as gentle of conditions as I knew any in my life". Catherine Champernowne, better known by her married name of Catherine "Kat" Ashley, was appointed as Elizabeth's governess in 1537, she remained Elizabeth's friend until her death in 1565. Champernowne taught Elizabeth four languages: French, Flemish and Spanish. By the time William Grindal became her tutor in 1544, Elizabeth could write English and Italian. Under Grindal, a talented and skilful tutor, she progressed in French and Greek. After Grindal died in 1548, Elizabeth received her education under Roger Ascham, a sympathetic teacher who believed that learning should be engaging.
By the time her formal education ended in 1550, Elizabeth was one of the best educated women of her generation. At the end of her life, Elizabeth was believed to speak Welsh, Cornish and Irish in addition to the languages men