Thursday, January 18, 2007

Question from Karin - Elizabeth hearing of Anne's execution

What is known about how and when Elizabeth I found out about the fate of her mother?


Anonymous said...

It's clear that Elizabeth remembered her mother with considerable pride and even affection in later life; indicating that she believed in her mother's innocence and probably due to her close association in childhood & adolescence with people who had known Anne or been related to her - her treasurer Ashley, Father Matthew Parker (Elizabeth's first archbishop of Canterbury), the Carey siblings etc. However, there is no surviving record of how the young Elizabeth found out about her mother's execution, or even when she did. There is a legend that she noticed her demotion in status from 'princess' to 'Lady Elizabeth' and questioned this once she'd learnt to speak, but it's impossible to say when - or even, if - this probing question took place. She was still searching for a replacement mother-figure at the age of 7 in her letter to Anne of Cleves; so, in my humble opinion, that indicates that she maybe hadn't quite made her peace with her own mother's memory at that stage. How could she, at such a young age? But I think that not long after tha, by the end of her father's reign, she had an acquired knowledge of what had happened to her mother. It was perhaps the death of Catherine Howard in 1542 which prompted the questioning, although this is just sheer guesswork on my part. Certainly, it was in that year that Elizabeth confided in Robert Dudley that she never wanted to marry, indicating that some link between marriage and death had already been forcibly made in the young girl's mind.

Anonymous said...

Garethr, is there a link for the letter Elizabeth wrote to Anne of Celeves? I've heard about it several times but never seen it.