When Elizabeth was born in 1533, she was obviously not Henry's favourite offspring, because Henry had wanted a boy to be his successor. When Elizabeth was a very young child, she was sent away to live with her half-sister Mary.
When Elizabeth was two years old her mother Anne was executed. I think that Elizabeth was too young for this to have a massive effect on her personality; if it did it might have made her a bit more wary of other people.
According to Elizabeth's governess's letter to King Henry, Elizabeth was living a deprived life; she had hardly any clothes to wear and no nightdress or gown.
As Elizabeth was growing up Henry had a much improved view of his daughter, he had warmed to her a lot and was now very fond of her intelligence. When Henry visited I'm sure that Mary was very jealous of Elizabeth because she was banished to her room.
When Elizabeth was thirteen she suffered a huge blow that would greatly affect her personality; her father Henry died. During this time of sadness she formed a very strong bond with her brother Edward. One of Elizabeth's eleven stepmothers took her under her wing and cared for her greatly; it was Catherine Parr, she took Elizabeth to her manor and loved her as a daughter.
Elizabeth's brother Edward took the throne, so Elizabeth had to be obedient and loyal. During Edward's reign Elizabeth was viewed by some as a rogue; she was thought to be plotting against King Edward. These accusations were dropped because no one could prove anything against her.
In 1553 Edward died yet another sad time for Elizabeth. Mary was to success Edward. Mary a devout Catholic was to become known as 'Bloody Queen Mary' because of her ruthlessness against Protestants. Mary was engaged to Prince Phillip of Spain, which angered many people. Sir Thomas Wyatt was especially angry and led a revolt which Elizabeth was alleged to be involved in. Elizabeth was arrested and sent to the Tower of London. But again nothing could be proved against her, so she was set free.
Finally in 1558 Mary died and Elizabeth became Queen of England.
In that brief history of Elizabeth it is clear that she lived a very eventful life and that there were a lot of things that could of affected her personality, especially the death of her main parents and the expectation of becoming Queen.
In the next part of this essay I'm going to look at the seven figures that featured prominently in Elizabeth's formative years and life and how they could have affected her personality/view of life.
The first person I'm going to study and evaluate is Henry VIII Henry obviously played a huge part in Elizabeth's life while he was alive. Elizabeth was extremely proud of her father's intelligence, which had filtered through; (Elizabeth was very clever.) During her formative years she saw Henry infrequently, but when they did see each other they spent long hours reciting poetry to each other.
Catherine Parr loved Elizabeth as a daughter after Henry died. She was the overseer of Elizabeth's learning and religious guidance. After Henry died Elizabeth moved to Chelsea with Catherine Parr who was married to Thomas Seymour. During this period Seymour started to flirt and tease Elizabeth, this went on until Catherine was forced to send Elizabeth away.
Thomas Seymour as I mentioned above was fond of Elizabeth, but not just because of what she looked like. He, as most men were, was interested in the throne. He figured that if he married Elizabeth then he could abduct Edward, thus being able to have a big say in the way the country is run. When Catherine Parr (his wife) died in 1548, he realised that his plan could become a reality. But soon after he began to flirt and play with Elizabeth he was arrested for treason. The in 1549 he was executed.
Kat Ashley was Elizabeth's governess. She was with Elizabeth from when Elizabeth was three. She was also alleged to be a part of Seymour's plot against Edward. She was cleared of the charges in 1548. I'd say that Kat was the most important of the seven people who Elizabeth spent her childhood with. When Elizabeth was made Queen she appointed Kat to be First Lady of the Bedchamber.
Roger Ascham was Elizabeth's tutor. He was very pleased to be teaching such an intelligent woman, and he described her as the 'brightest star'. Ascham was not happy with the atmosphere of the royal household that Elizabeth was being bought up in. After he had a row with a steward he quit his job teaching Elizabeth and returned to studying at Cambridge.
Edward VI was Elizabeth's half-brother and one of her closest friends. Edward became king at nine, so he was separated from Elizabeth. Even then the pair still wrote to each other frequently. When Elizabeth was accused of treason Edward became slightly bitter toward Elizabeth for six months. When the Duke of Northumberland took the job of Master of the Household at Edward home he insured it was impossible for them to communicate.
Finally; Mary Tudor was Elizabeth's half-sister. She had always been slightly hostile with Elizabeth, mainly because she was forced to give up her title as 'princess' to Elizabeth at the age of eighteen. Another reason for tension between the girls was that Mary was a Catholic and Elizabeth was a Protestant. Mary had always been wary of her half-sister's acts and Mary had finally found something to hold against Elizabeth. Simon Renard, Mary's Imperial ambassador, told Mary about Elizabeth's involvement in Wyatt's rebellion. Mary was also angry that Elizabeth should succeed her on the throne because, in Mary's view Elizabeth was a 'bastard daughter of a notorious woman who had replaced her mother the rightful Queen.'