Author Robert Parry has written a series of articles over at The Elizabeth Files – see Cambridge Connections and Cambridge Connections Part 2 – where he examines what Anne Boleyn was actually doing when she asked her chaplain Matthew Parker to make sure that her daughter, Elizabeth, was looked after if anything happened to her. She was not just putting her daughter into the hands of a chaplain, she was putting Elizabeth’s future into the hands of a man with important connections, a set of men with humanist and Protestant ideals who would influence and help her daughter – John Cheke, Roger Ascham, William Cecil, William Grindal and John Dee.

After reading Robert’s wonderful articles, I’m left wondering if Elizabeth was more her mother’s daughter than the “lion’s cub”, and whether Anne Boleyn should actually take some credit for the Elizabethan Golden Age – her influence definitely extended beyond the grave.  An interesting thought and one which should not be dismissed lightly.

You can read both articles at The Elizabeth Files:-

and we are busy discussing the question “Was Anne responsible for Elizabeth becoming queen?” on our forum at, so please do join us.

I continue to rave about Robert Parry’s wonderful book, “Virgin and the Crab”, which is a fictional account of Elizabeth I’s rise to the throne and the Cambridge set of men who helped her. I adore this book and have no qualms about saying that it is better than the Philippa Gregory ones I have read, it’s brilliant. Read my review at for more details.

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11 thoughts on “Anne Boleyn and Elizabeth I’s Golden Age”
  1. I feel like the credit of Elizabeth is often directed to Anne Boleyn,who passedgreat qualities(and flaws) to her daughter,but unfortunately even had the possibility to know and influence her better and Henry VIII who loving Elizabeth treated her more like another useless daughter than anything else. There’s another person who really did diference to Elizabeth Tudor, IMO Catherine Parr was the key and the mother Elizabeth was forbid to have she deserves a credit too.

  2. Hi Jessica,
    Over at The Elizabeth Files, I have dicussed many people who had an influence on Elizabeth – Catherine Parr, Blanche Parry, Kat Ashley, Catherine Carey, Henry VIII etc. – but here I was simply saying that Anne Boleyn should not be overlooked. Many people say that Anne had no influence on Elizabeth because Elizabeth was so young when Anne died but I don’t believe this to be the case. Anne Boleyn definitely deserves some of the credit for the person and queen that Elizabeth became but, as Elizabeth herself said: “We are more bound to them that bringeth us up well, than to our parents, for our parents do that which is natural for them, that is bringeth us into the world, but our bringers up are a cause to make us live well in it.” and there were many people that influenced her in her childhood and early adulthood.

  3. Great article. Yes – it’s true, we do think of the two great women of Tudor times as being different. This brings it together in a way – like a bridge between the two. Good work, Rob. Loved it.

  4. Did you guys watch this week’s Tudors? Catherine Parr mentions that she wants to bring up Elizabeth in Anne’s spirit. Sounds to me very close to the truth-Catherine had a hand in bringing her up, but she still deferred to Anne’s influence.

  5. For sure Claire and i do agree with you, i do belive that Anne had some influence on her daughter, biologically and some of her attitudes too, but i don’t see people talking about the definitive influence Catherine had on Elizabeth, i have a feeling that Elizabeth’s sense of tolerance came not only for her observation under the fanatical reigns of king Edward VI and Queen Mary I, her siblings but also from Catherine Parr. She was a protestant but loved the catholic princess Mary so much to constantly send gifts, write letters,visited her and name her own daughter after her. She was amazing. Besides AB and COA she is one of my fav queens of Henry VIII.

  6. Catherine Parr is my second favourite queen and I think she had a huge influence on Elizabeth, as I have written previously, but people like Blanche Parry, Kat Ashley and Catherine Carey also deserve some credit as they too were mother figures to Elizabeth. I think Catherine showed Elizabeth how to be queen and was a good role model. Elizabeth saw Catherine rule successfully as regent while Henry was in France, she saw her intelligence and her love of learning, her passion for her faith, her relationships with those around her and, as you say, her tolerance. Catherine’s house at Chelsea was also frequented by some of the best humanist scholars of the time so Elizabeth would have been surrounded by intelligent and forward thinking people. So, yes, I believe that Catherine was a major influence on Elizabeth and I think people do recognise that now, however, I’m not sure that they credit Anne with any influence at all.

  7. It is the supreme irony that Elizabeth, the daughter and as such, a disappointment to her father in particular, led England to it’s Golden Age. I like to think Anne’s genes gave Elizabeth her flair for languages as well as her towering intellect. (I’ve read that intelligence passes through the mother’s side) Anne, too, was quite well-educated and smart. The gift of the Cambridge Connection certainly makes sense–Blanche Parry was a well-educated woman who was cousin to Dr. Dee as as well as William Cecil. She really was surrounded by those who shared her mother’s world view.

  8. You know, i have seen people saying that Catherine Parr was “not at all interesting”, i can’t really believe when i read those thigs, about Anne, i have seen people more talking about her being themother of the great Elizabeth than Henry’s, what i find quite good since Anne have gone into history of a traitor, what we know it’s not true. I belive that Elizabeth inherited from her parents her love for knowledge, arts and quick temper. The rest i believe was shaped in her life by people around her.

  9. Hello everyone – just to say thank you for your comments and so pleased you enjoyed the article. Thanks too go to Claire for hosting it here.

  10. I don’t think anyone’s disagreeing about KP’s influence on Elizabeth, Jessica. Dive into the forums here. You’ll find plenty of admiration and credit for KP. We just want Anne to get her deserved credit, too. It IS the Anne Boleyn Files, after all. Hugs.

  11. I don’t think her mother would have had that much influence on her, she was her father’s daughter. She had her father’s temper and determination, and it is this which I believe led her to become queen. She was only 2 and a half years old when her mother died, so she probably wasn’t that close to her, and as Elizabeth was very clever, I don’t think she would have wanted to follow the example or influence of her mother anyway after her execution.

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