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She eventually claimed the throne at the age of 25 and held it for 44 years, keeping England in the ascendant through wars, and political and religious turmoil. Elizabeth I, perhaps England's most famous monarch, grew up in complex and sometimes difficult circumstances.The daughter of King Henry VIII and his second wife, Anne Boleyn, she was only two years old when she lost her mother.

She was a princess but declared illegitimate through political machinations.Anne Boleyn was beheaded on the orders of her husband, based on questionable charges of adultery and conspiracy.Before long, Elizabeth and her older half-sister Mary were declared to be illegitimate as her father sought to pave the way for a male heir. Their half-brother Edward was born in 1537 by Henry VIII's third wife, Jane Seymour.And yf the persons that would be maryed dwell in diverse Paryshes, the banes must be asked in both Parishes and the Curate of the one Paryshe shall not solempnize matrimonye betwyxt them, wythout a certifycate of the banes beyng thryse asked, from the Curate of the other Parysh. So men are bounde to love their owne wyves, as their owne bodies. For never did any man hate his owne fleshe, but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Londe doeth the congregacion, for we are membres of his body: of his flesh and of hys bones.At the date appoincted for solempnizacyon of Matrimonye, the persones to be maryed shal come into the body of the Churche, wyth theyr frendes and neighbours. EARELY beloved frendes, we are gathered together here in the sight of God, and in the face of his congregacion, to joyne together this man and this woman in holy matrimony, which is an honorable state, instytuted of God in Paradise, in the time of manes innocencie, signiflyng unto us the mistical union that is betwixt Christ and his Churche: which holy state Christe adourned and beautified with his presence and firste myracle that he wrought in Cana of Galile, and is commended of sainct Paul to be honourable emong all men, and therfore is not to be enterprised, nor taken in hande unadvisedly, lightly or wantonly, to satisfye mennes carnall lustes and appetytes, lyke brute beastes that have no understandyng ; but reverently, discretely, advisedly, soberly, and in the feare of God, duely consideryng the causes for the which matrimony was ordeined. For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shalbe joined unto his wife, and thei two shalbe one flesh.In London many in the Privy Council were fearful that France would rekindle her relationship with Scotland and that England would face threats on two fronts.

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