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charlie, computer cat

April 2019



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Poll #1490404 History

Which century did Elizabeth I's reign begin in?

Narrow it down - which decade did Elizabeth I's reign begin in?

I was educated in the UK and...

I'm totally guessing randomly
I have a very vague idea
I have a guess based on period dramas I have seen
I'm pretty sure on the century, but the decade eludes me
I'm pretty sure on the century, and figure I have the right quarter century
I'm fairly sure on both
I'm certain on the both
I looked it up on google before I answered.

I was educated elsewhere and...

I'm totally guessing randomly
I have a very vague idea
I have a guess based on period dramas I have seen
I'm pretty sure on the century, but the decade eludes me
I'm pretty sure on the century, and figure I have the right quarter century
I'm fairly sure on both
I'm certain on the both
I looked it up on google before I answered.

Inspired by last night when I asked Alex to pick out a medieval This Sceptred Isle for me. He read out the dates on the box and I said sleepily "So, Elizabeth I and James I probably" and he was very impressed that I actually knew that from the dates. I asked him which century Henry VIII reigned in and he found it hard. So am I weird for knowing this stuff, or is he unusual for not knowing it. I can't really remember where I got taught it, I just kind of picked it up. I can also name all the Kings and Queens since William I in order, given a little thinking time, which I know is weird.


Ooh, I feel good, I got quite close! Was thinking about Shakespeare's English being Elizabethan (because I remember those dates), even though she wasn't queen while he was writing, so kind of narrowed it down. Yay.
But she was queen while he was writing, for at least 10 years.
107 years out. I got confused! Tried to add a likely number onto the founding of Christ Church by Henry VIII and accidentally added an additional 100.

I was also aware that she was older than she appeared to be in Blackadder 2 which I believe was set 1551-1556.

Better than today's Osney Island newsletter that referred to a cowboy builder active in 20008.
I tried a related approach based on the chartering of my old school by Elizabeth 1.0 herself. I remembered that has being in 1530-something, but it was 1584, so i was about fifty years too early.
Oo, I was close! I know the year she died, so I subtracted guessing her age.
22 years late, which is pretty poor given the interminable time we spent on the Tudors in history.

You can go back quite some way listing the monarchs (I can go back to Richard III, though I might get some regnal numbers wrong - I'm impressed that you remember all those Plantaganets), since they come in groups (eg. lots of Georges) and a reign usually lasts quite a long time.

But as a republican (small r), I somehow think it's more important to know the Prime Ministers. They usually come much more quickly, so was embarrassed recently (when listening to This Sceptred Isle, 20th Century) to have forgotten some even in the last century. I could go a little further back with US Presidents, but its still poor.
I think you mean Henrys and Edwards - Georges only arrived with the Hanoverians...

Still I'm impressed you can do PMs - I could probably do all of them but only if you accept that the first PM was in about 1904 (as QI claimed).
I clicked educated in the UK by mistake. Definitely educated elsewhere, but guessing randomly :)
I am admittedly an early modern Britain and Elizabeth I nut, so I may be skewing the data. :p
Yeah, I figured you would know :)
Hot damn! I'm glad I was right!
my education is very very sad. (but i can add and subtract and given twodates i could tell you how far apart they were...)

I'm pretty sure about those dates

but I've just been reading "The Queen's Fool" which is set in the reign of Mary I and features Elizabeth as a character.

I could still easily have done the century and had no doubt about that; the decade would have been a little trickier but I would have got fairly close.

My history knowledge is from reading non-fiction subsequent to school and university, and more than that, from reading historical fiction.

[ETA - Except! I mis-remembered the date when remembering it from the book above - instead of 1558 I remembered 1588. D'oh.]

Edited at 2009-11-26 08:04 am (UTC)
I would expect it to vary enormously depending on what periods were studied at school, personal interest and a memory for dates. We started at the Stuarts so I had her death pegged and guestimated based on the belief that she had one of the longest reigns (less than Vicki and possible George III and since - I now realise - overtaken by Liz II), and was out be a decade. I could probably do the monarchs in order after a bit of thought - mostly because of personal interest as we did nothing much between William I and James I at any of my schools - but spot dates before the tudors would be much vaguer.
Yeah, see I don't remember studying it at school much, but I have a very strong memory for dates.
The Tudors were one of the two or three historical subjects covered in my Integrated Humanities GCSE. Consequently I knew 1485 was an important date, and I suspected it wasn't Elizabeth's, but more than that I could not say.
I listened to the Daughter of Time ad infinitum and can therefore tell you that one is the Battle of Bosworth
I was a year out for her death (a poor showing considering my college was Jesus), and a few years (less than a decade) out for the start of her reign. However, for a bonus point I can tell you when the Mary Rose sank.

My school year seemed to repeatedly learn the same topics (Elizabethan England being one of them) when the newish national curriculum changed its mind over what age things should be studied a few times so I have a very oddly patchy knowledge of history eg we never studied the civil war which seems rather important and I can instead discuss the Rebecca riots. Now I've picked up a Shakepearean interpretation of the Wars of the Roses and a Neal Stephenson interpretation of the restoration etc to further confuse matters :-)

I used to have an illustrated wallchart inside my wardrobe which later hung in my Granny's loo with all the kings and queens on but I would be hard-pressed to get them right and would be even worse on PMs.

I'm pretty good on naming them in order (I used to have them all memorised in a little jingle for quiz purposes, but I can now only remember it up to John - after Richard III I can work my way through them from actual knowledge but I need thinking time). Dates on the other hand I have to extrapolate from a few fixed points. I knew Elizabeth was on the throne at 1600, and the 1580s rang a little bell, which I've now remembered was the Spanish Armada (1588).

None of this comes from school though (except insofar as that's where I caught the quiz bug)- I didn't do History O Level, and we did the Stuarts not the Tudors.
Himself however was 100% sure on her dates - again not from anything he learnt at school - he's also a keen quizzer and just better at dates than I am (though he's still not totally reliable on the distinction (if any) between Mary Queen of Scots and Mary Tudor).
I have pretty much a photographic memory for numbers and dates. So this is something I could recall fairly easily. However if you'd asked me this 10 years ago, I wouldn't have known. It's only something I learnt because my dad said learning the dates of the various kings and queens could be important some day.

I'm guessing answering an LJ poll isn't what he had in mind though :D
How odd! I can't think of many situations that info would be useful in for non-professional historians :)
Wow, I got it! I wasn't sure when I tried to remember about her specifically - I was only thinking some time in the 16th or 17th centuries. A few years ago I went on a major kick for books - fact or fiction - about European monarchs of that period. It included a biography of Catherine of Aragon, a fictional autobiography of Henry VIII, and The Queen's Fool. and... that didn't help me a whole lot with years :P

I was drawing a blank until I remembered that Catherine of Aragon was the daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain, and of course my American education has left me with the year 1492 to associate with them. So I knew Elizabeth must have taken the throne some time in the 16th century. The decade was a lucky estimate based on a vague memory from the books that Henry and Catherine were married in the first decade of the 16th century.
It's interesting because that's one of the things I can't do at all - trace back my knowledge of this stuff. It's just under the category of "cultural knowledge, always been there" in my head. Like I assume you guys would be able to tell me who was president during the Civil War and so on.