24 March 1603 – The Death of Queen Elizabeth I

Posted By on March 24, 2013

On this day in 1603, in the early hours of the morning, Queen Elizabeth I died at Richmond Palace. The daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn had lived to the age of sixty-nine and had ruled for over forty-four years. Diarist John Manningham recorded the Queen’s last twenty-four hours: “I dyned with Dr. Parry in the Priuy Chamber, and understood by him, the Bishop of Chichester, the Deane of Canterbury, the Deane of Windsore, &c. that hir Majestic hath bin by fitts troubled with melancholy some three or four monethes, but for this fortnight extreame oppressed with it, in soe much that shee refused to eate anie thing, to receive any phisike, or admit any rest in bedd, till within these two or three dayes. Shee hath bin in a manner speacheles for two dayes, verry pensive and silent; since Shrovetide sitting sometymes with hir eye fixed upon one obiect many howres togither, yet shee alwayes had hir perfect senses and memory, and yesterday signified by the lifting up of hir hand and eyes to heaven, a signe which Dr. Parry entreated of hir, that shee beleeved that fayth which shee hath caused to be professed, and looked faythfully to be saved by Christes merits and mercy only, and noe other meanes. She tooke great delight in hearing prayers, would often at the name of Jesus lift up hir handes and eyes to Heaven. Shee would not heare the Arch[bishop] speake of hope of hir longer lyfe, but when he prayed or spake of Heaven, and those ioyes, shee would hug his hand, &c. It seemes shee might have lived yf she would have used meanes; but shee would not be persuaded, and princes must not be forced. Hir physicians said shee had a body of a firme and perfect constitucion , likely to have liued many yeares. A royall Maiesty is noe priviledge against death.

This morning about three at clocke hir Majestic departed this lyf, mildly like a lambe, easily like a ripe apple from the tree, cum leue quadam febre, absque gemitu. Dr. Parry told me that he was present, and sent his prayers before hir soule; and I doubt not but shee is amongst the royall saints in Heaven in eternall joyes.

I find his words so poignant and I’m glad that Elizabeth appears to have died peacefully. If you’re interested in Elizabeth I, you’ll find lots of articles over at The Elizabeth Files.

Notes and Sources

  • Diary of John Manningham of the Middle Temple, and of Bradbourne, Kent, Barrister at Law, 1602-1603, (1838), London, Longmans, p146

22 thoughts on “24 March 1603 – The Death of Queen Elizabeth I”

  1. Chele Cardwell says:

    Lovely account.

    I believe in reincarnation and I have reason to believe I may have been Elizabeth in a previous life. This could explain my interest in Anne Boleyn. It is also interesting to note that my mother in this life was born on the 351st anniversary of Elizabeths death. I know this all probably sounds like I’m mental but my husband is a medium and has been given certain references to this being the case. I intend to have regression sessions to investigate further.

    1. Jette says:

      I too believe in reincarnation and have thought similarly to you, several times before. I’ve always felt a connection to the Tudor lineage and am probably just as infatuated with Anne as you are, if not moreso. People probably think we’re lunatics. Oh well.. we are all etitled to our own thoughts and opinions. I wish you good luck on your journey.

      1. Terri says:

        If you, Jette, and Chele are lunatics, count me one too. I feel as though I was Anne Boleyn.

        1. I’ve felt the se way my entire life. I sometimes wonder if maybe the energies that are us are almost more like chemistry. Created by God, formulated almost. The DNA instructions adjusting so no two are alike. So when you are reincarnated, you are somewhat, “spilt up” and combined for lack if better words. I think that’s kinda in line with what I saw as “heaven and hell” when your body dies, the parts of you that are light ascend into the light while the parts of you that are dark descend into the dark and must be “saved”.
          Who sounds like a crazy person now?? Lol!
          I’m glad to hear there are other people who resonate with Anne and Elizabeth.

    2. Tudorrose says:

      Interesting theory!.

      1. It’s all stuff I received, revelations, while meditating on scripture. It has kind of peeled back layers of an onion and I look forward to seeing what else comes forward and develops. This is probably like the kindergarten version of the truth lol That seems to be what happens every time I think I finally know something.

    3. Sly says:

      Yeah, right.

  2. Mary Heneghan says:

    Jonh Manningham seems to suggest that Elizabeth had just given up on life. I wonder why? Her doctors did not seem to think that her health was bad. Had anything traumatic occurred in the period before her death?

    1. Baroness Von Reis says:

      Mary Heneghan,I wonder the same thing?But mortality back then ,Elizabeth 1 lived a very long life ,perhapes not having a normal life and the hardship of a Queen ,may have had somehing to do with her death.It was said her last words were Robert,her life love,me being one of the last of the romantics,a broken heart??

      1. Mary Heneghan says:

        Baroness, I was wondering what she could have been thinking about or seeing when she was looking into space. I also felt it could have been Robert. I would love to know if she had regrets that she did not throw convention to the winds and marry him. I have been reading lately about people who are dying having visitations from loved ones who have passed on, and who come to accompany them on their journey into the next world. I feel that she could have seen Robert.

        1. Baroness Von Reis says:

          Mary Heneghan,I truely think about the Queen’s life and how lonely it must have been,we think just because your a Royal that makes for a Happy Life.Look at Diana Princess of Wales,whom truely loved her husband,who she could never have. Science has proven that one can die of heart break.Study showed that people who were in loving relationships,this was a study after death,that the left lower part of the heart, was much darker and did not fuction as a normal heart would,that had know grey or darker in color ,in the lower left part of the heart.With that said, maybe she died of a broken heart ? I also truely think that Elizabeth1, had always loved Robert,even though he angerd her when she found out he was married and consorting with,people that were in the pay of Spain. I was shocked to find she let him live,all the rest were put to death,so maybe this could have had taken her will to live?As humans we all need love,thats a huge part right at birth,any one living thing needs love to live and thats a fact. Regards Baroness x

        2. Very interesting. I wouldn’t be surprised at all. Aw, it hurts the heart but it’s comforting too.

    2. Tudorrose says:

      Well Robert Devereux the Earl of Essex raised a rebellion against the Queen in 1601 which was just two years before her death not only that but she had also worn Essex’s ring up until three months before her passing when her fingers where said to have swelled and the ring being stuck on her finger was cut off. Do not forget he had been a favourite of Elizabeth just like Leicester not forgetting that both of their names were Robert! Coincidentally! I would agree likewise with the comment made earlier, I too believe that had been the case.

      1. Baroness Von Reis says:

        Tudorrose,I speak of Robert Dudley,who she ha loved since she was a young lady,.

  3. H. Elizabeth says:

    Rest in Peace Elizabeth I

  4. Dawn 1st says:

    It is good to know that Elizabeth slipped away peacefully, without pain and illness.
    I believe that she just felt tired and worn out, most of her contempories had gone, those that she had loved too, and she now wanted to join them. It seems she lapsed into memory of all things past which gave her great comfort until she passed away.

    I would have though the majority of England’s people felt a great lost on this day, she was a formidable Lady and Queen. I suspect also there was alot of uncertainty too about the new Monarch from Scotland and what this would bring.

    Rest in eternal happiness and peace Elizabeth.

  5. Baroness Von Reis says:

    A very sad and heavy day this Great Queen Elizabeth 1,God did take her gently. Now she dwells in the house of the Lord. Rest In Peace Elizabeth 1

  6. Tessa says:

    Rest in peace Elizabeth! Thanks for all you did to make England great!

  7. mary the quene says:

    Beautiful account of her having “departed this lyf, mildly like a lambe, easily like a ripe apple from the tree.”

    None of us know how what is asked of us in this life will direct what will be in the future. Anne Bolyen spoke, on the scaffold, words of acceptance, not arguement, in order that her daughter would not be affected negatively. What a profound validation she would have felt, knowing her baby girl had grown up using her wits and cool head to attain the throne – and to have ruled in a fashion so above even her own father’s ability. I think that is why I admire Anne Boleyn, and her daughter, as I do.

  8. Tudorrose says:

    One of England’s best ever monarchs to rule England. Rest in peace Queen Elizabeth I!.

  9. I was shocked when l heard about the dead of mother of the world on Sunday morning.
    We are going to miss mother of world in Nigeria. My prayer before is to see her face to face whenever l come to UK but unfortunately for me is not come to pass. She has a fulfillment life, generous and faithfulness.

    in the book of Eccl 3 :1-22. God said………
    I will continue to pray for u in my heart.

    Eyin Oku Ko Ni Mo Eni,
    Sun re ooooo.

  10. kathy from Canada says:

    When I was traveling England and touring castles, I mentioned an interest in the Tudors and the guide said to me ‘don’t tell me, you think you were Elizabeth I in another life’? And I looked at him with a rather puzzled look on my face and he told me that every week he met several tourists who were convinced they were her in a previous life.

    I think because of what she achieved in a mans world – many aspire to have been her.

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