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January 15: The Coronation of Elizabeth I

Hey, this is Heather from the Renaissance English History Podcast, and this is your Tudor Minute for January 15.

Today is the anniversary of the coronation of Elizabeth I. The daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, she was the longest reigning child of Henry VIII, ruling for 44 years. Today, though, I want to talk about why this date was chosen. John Dee, the well known Elizabethan mathematician, scholar, and scientist was also an astrologer and alchemist, and he chose the date of January 15 because of its astrological importance. Robert Dudley, Elizabeth’s favorite, actually suggested calling on Dee to devise the best date for the coronation. He came up with what is known as an electional chart. He only had a few months to work with, and he devised a chart that would make the most of positive signs, like the stars signifying good judgement and fortune, while minimizing the effect of negative stars and planets.

Incidentally, today in 1535 is also the date when Henry VIII declared himself the church of England, thus ushering in the Protestant Reformation in England. One of Elizabeth’s first jobs as queen was to come up with a settlement for the church in England – an issue that had been plaguing the country since her father’s fateful decision.

That’s your Tudor Minute for today. Remember you can dive deeper into life in 16th century England through the Renaissance English History Podcast at englandcast.com.