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The consolidation of Elizabeth’s rule, 1558-71: Succession and Settlement

The establishment of Elizabeth’s authority

17 November: Nicholas Heath announced Mary’s death to parliament and proclaimed Elizabeth’s succession → showed the political elite collectively assented to Elizabeth’s accession

20 November: Appointed Sir William Cecil as Principal Secretary → established partnership

Thomas Parry was appointed Comptroller of the Household

Robert Dudley was appointed Master of the Horse

23 November: Elizabeth left Hatfield for London

28 November: Took up residence at the Tower of London

15 January: Coronation led by Marian bishop Owen Oglethorpe, Bishop of Carlisle

25 January: First Parliament

The ideas and policies of Elizabeth I

• Elizabeth believed she was entitled to rule the kingdom and it was clear she was in charge

• Spanish ambassador, Count of Feria: Elizabeth was more feared than her sister had been and gave orders ‘as absolutely as her father did’

• No desire to involve herself in the details of government in the same way as Henry VII

• She took an informed interest in decision-making processes

• She was determined to preserve the prerogative powers of the Crown → she wanted to make the most important decisions

• She had to overcome the prejudice against female rulers and the inferior woman stereotype

The Role of Key Personalities

• Most important person: Sir William Cecil, later Lord Burghley, who served for almost the whole of her reign

• Robert Dudley: important as a military figure and as a promoter of the Puritan cause

Relationships between Elizabeth and her ministers

• John Guy: ‘she controlled her own policy more than any other Tudor’

o ‘she knew her mind; her instinct to power was infallible’

• Alan Smith:

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