Elizabethan Era 1558 - 1603

Tudors Times 1485 - 1603

Jacobean Era 1603 - 1625

Imprisonment of Elizabeth



Elizabeth was born in 1533 as the daughter to King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. However, within a couple of years of Elizabeth's birth her mother, Anne was executed and she was declared as an illegitimate child. Elizabeth was looked after by Katharine Parr, her father's sixth and the last wife.


She loved Elizabeth and her siblings, Edward and Mary very much. Also, it was Katharine who encouraged them to obtain education. She was also known to have left a life long influence on Elizabeth. After the death of her father, Henry VIII, Edward who was just nine years old, became the King of England.


He did not rule for a long time as he died after suffering through an illness. On the death of Edward, Mary was next in line for the throne. Elizabeth at the time of her birth was declared as an illegitimate child of Henry VIII as her mother Anne Boleyn was considered to be a witch.


In order to ensure her coming to the power Mary, with the support of other Catholic members of the government, held the twenty year old Elizabeth captive and was sent to the Tower of London on 18th March 1554, where her mother and one of her step-mothers were executed.


Mary's counselors told Elizabeth that Mary wanted her to go to the Tower for some questioning and accordingly, on 17th March 1554, Elizabeth was escorted by the counselors to the Tower by water. Elizabeth was thus lured to go to a place where she was later on imprisoned.


The reason Elizabeth was imprisoned was to show that she had actively taken part in Wyatt's rebellion and thus execute her and clear the path for Mary I to take the throne.


Elizabeth was taken from Whitehall to the Tower by boat. However, on reaching the Tower, Elizabeth made clear that she did not intent to go inside. The counselors tried coaxing her to change her mind but she would not listen to anybody. To add to it, it was pouring cats and dogs when the captivators arrived with Elizabeth at the Traitor's Gate.


Elizabeth sat there for hours getting wet in the rains. She was ultimately consoled by an old lady and was taken into the Tower of London. It is however said that instead of entering from the Traitor's Gate, Elizabeth was taken to Tower Wharf.


The very experience of being in the Tower was petrifying for Elizabeth as she came across the scaffold remained from the execution of Lady Jane Grey and other several women executed. One can imagine the mental state of Elizabeth when she had to live in the very place where her mother was executed.


There are many references of the exact place where Elizabeth was imprisoned. Some say it was a dungeon, others say Bell Tower. However, Elizabeth was actually imprisoned in the royal palace inside the Tower of London. This place was renovated by Henry VIII, her father for her mother's coronation which unfortunately also became the place of her mother's death.


Elizabeth was in imprisonment in the Tower for a period of two months. During this time there was a constant fear of being executed that troubled Elizabeth. At the time of her trial, Elizabeth strongly and bravely denied all the charges against her.


However, since no evidence proved Elizabeth's involvement in the Wyatt's rebellion, she was released. Until the reign of Mary I, Elizabeth attended the Catholic mass. On the death of Mary I in 1558, Elizabeth was crowned as the new Queen of England.



   
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