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Britain: Elizabethan England - Accession And Marriage
Roman Catholics were at a disadvantage when seeking Elizabeth I's hand.

Britain: Elizabethan England - Accession And Marriage

In GCSE History, as a part of their learning the history of Britain, students will be taught about Elizabethan England. One aspect of this is Elizabeth's accession to the throne and her possible marriage.

Elizabeth's accession to the throne in 1558 marked the beginning of Elizabethan England. She was an unmarried woman, and she died in 1603 still unmarried. If she married an Englishman she risked alienating his rivals. Likewise if she married a foreigner, she risked upsetting other potential foreign suitors.

Test your knowledge on Elizabeth's accession and her prospective marriage by playing this quiz - one of four on Elizabethan England.

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1.
Mary, Queen of Scots was a serious contender for the throne until her execution in 1587. Why was she put to death?
Plotting with Roman Catholics to overthrow Elizabeth
Following the Roman Catholic faith
Inviting the French king to invade England
Urging Scottish nobles to make war on Elizabeth
Mary's persistent Catholicism and her secret contacts with foreign powers put her in danger of treason charges
2.
Who was Elizabeth's heir when she took the throne in 1558?
Mary Tudor
Edward Tudor
Mary, Queen of Scots
James Stuart
Contemporaries worried that Elizabeth might be succeeded by another woman, and by a Roman Catholic one too
3.
Which European king, recently widowed, sought Elizabeth's hand from 1558, but later became hostile?
Eric of Sweden
Archduke Charles of Austria
Philip II of Spain
Henry II of France
Many foreign royals wooed Elizabeth as they wanted England's alliance against their diplomatic or military rivals
4.
Who was the legal heir to the throne after the execution of Mary, Queen of Scots in 1587?
James Stuart, Mary's son
Henry III of France
Christian of Denmark
Henry IV of France
By the age of 54 Elizabeth could not bear a child, but she still had value as a potential wife
5.
Charles, Archduke of Austria, threw his hat in the ring for Elizabeth's hand in marriage in 1563. Which religion did he practise?
Islam
Judaism
Protestantism
Roman Catholicism
Religious divisions were crucial in the 16th Century. Non-Christians or Catholics were at a disadvantage in seeking Elizabeth's hand. This factor did not, however, discourage a number from trying
6.
Which English suitor's chances as a bridegroom for Elizabeth were reduced when his wife, Amy Robsart, was found dead at the foot of a staircase?
Lord Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester
Sir Walter Raleigh
William Cecil
Sir Francis Walsingham
There was acute rivalry at the English court for Elizabeth's favour, and even more for her hand in marriage. But she was unlikely to accept an English claimant for fear of fuelling factional disputes
7.
To which continental family did Francis, Duke of Anjou (previously Duke of Alencon) belong?
Bourbon
Valois
Hapsburg
Guise
Foreign candidates welcomed the chance to marry the English queen as they valued an English alliance against rival European states. Naturally Elizabeth was an even more valuable catch while she was of child-bearing age
8.
In 1562 Elizabeth nearly died from a contagious disease. Had she died the succession would have been thrown into turmoil. From which illness did she suffer?
Bubonic Plague
Cholera
Polio
Smallpox
As an unmarried woman, with a disputed succession likely on her death, Elizabeth's health was always a major issue
9.
Who eventually succeeded Elizabeth on the English throne?
James I
Henry IV of France
Margaret of Denmark
Philip III of Spain
Elizabeth never did marry, so the Tudor line died out on her death. She was succeeded by James Stuart who was already King James VI of Scotland and now became King James I of England
10.
Ambassador de Feria pressed his monarch's claim for Elizabeth's hand. Which sovereign state was he representing?
Portugal
Spain
Italy
Belgium
Diplomats in London were by now often resident in the capital, and were able to arrange audiences with the Queen to seek her hand in marriage on their employer's behalf
Author:  Edward Towne

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