Elizabeth, Queen of England (15331608)

Elizabeth, Queen of England (1658-1603), daughter of Henry VIII. and Anne Boleyn, born in Greenwich Palace; was an indefatigable student in her youth; acquired Greek and Latin, and a conversational knowledge of German and French; the Pope's opposition to her succession on the ground of being judged illegitimate by the Church strengthened her attachment to the Protestant faith, which was her mother's, and contributed to its firm establishment during the reign; during it the power of Spain was crushed by the defeat of the Armada; maritime enterprise flourished under Drake, Raleigh, and Frobisher; commerce was extended, and literature carried to a pitch of perfection never before or since reached; masterful and adroit, Elizabeth yet displayed the weakness of vanity and vindictiveness; the execution of Mary, Queen of Scots, is a blot upon her fame, and her intrigues with Seymour, Leicester, and Essex detract from her dignity; her wisdom was manifested in her wise choice of counsellors and leaders, and her patriotism won her a secure place in the hearts of her people (15331608).

Definition taken from The Nuttall Encyclopædia, edited by the Reverend James Wood (1907)

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