Elizabeth I, Queen of England
- David Scott
(b Greenwich, Sept 7, 1533; d London, March 24, 1603). English patron of music. She was the second daughter of Henry VIII (by Anne Boleyn), came to the throne in 1558 and reigned until her death. She received the classical education of a Renaissance prince, including studies in Latin and Greek with Roger Ascham. Shortly after Elizabeth’s death John Clapham, a courtier in Burghley’s household, wrote that ‘in matters of recreation, as singing, dancing and playing upon instruments, she was not ignorant nor excellent’. There are no contemporary accounts of her singing, but of the 1599 Twelfth Night revels the Spanish ambassador reported that ‘the head of the Church of England and Ireland was to be seen in her old age dancing three or four galliards’ (Calendar of Letters and Papers in the Archives of Simancas, iv, 650). As for her ‘playing upon instruments’, according to Playford (...