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Elizabeth I was Queen of England and Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death on 24 March 1603.  She was the last of the five monarchs of the House of Tudor.

Elizabeth was the daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, his second wife, who was executed two-and-a-half years after Elizabeth's birth. Anne's marriage to Henry VIII was annulled, and Elizabeth was declared illegitimate. Her half-brother, Edward VI, ruled until his death in 1553, bequeathing the crown to Lady Jane Grey and ignoring the claims of his two half-sisters, the Roman Catholic Mary and the younger Elizabeth, in spite of statute law to the contrary. Edward's will was set aside and Mary became queen, deposing Lady Jane Grey. During Mary's reign, Elizabeth was imprisoned for nearly a year on suspicion of supporting Protestant rebels.

In 1558 upon Mary's death, Elizabeth succeeded her half-sister to the throne and set out to rule by good counsel. She depended heavily on a group of trusted advisers, led by William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley. One of her first actions as queen was the establishment of an English Protestant church, of which she became the supreme governor. This Elizabethan Religious Settlement was to evolve into the Church of England. It was expected that Elizabeth would marry and produce an heir; however, despite numerous courtships, she never did. She was eventually succeeded by her first cousin twice removed, James VI of Scotland, laying the foundation for the Kingdom of Great Britain. She had earlier been responsible for the imprisonment and execution of James's mother, Mary, Queen of Scots. (Wikipedia article).

BNJ References

   
Dates      Issue       Spink Numbers 
1559-1600   Hammered Gold   2511- 2545
1560   Silver Countermarked Edward VI Shillings    2546 - 2547
1559 - 60       SIlver - 1st Issue   2548 - 2554A
1560 - 61   Silver - 2nd Issue   2555 - 2558
1561- 77   Silver - 3rd & 4th Issues   2559 - 2571
1561 - 71   Silver Milled Coinage   2589 - 2607
1578 - 82   Silver - 5th Issue       2572 - 2576
1582 - 1600   Silver - 6th Issue   2577 - 2581
1601-02   Silver - 7th Issue   2582 - 2588
1600-01   East India Company Trade Coinage   2607A - 2607D