Elizabeth I (7 September 1533 – 24 March 1603) was Queen of England and Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death. Sometimes called The Virgin Queen, Gloriana or Good Queen Bess, the childless Elizabeth was the fifth and last monarch of the Tudor dynasty. 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, Elizabeth and the Roman Catholic Mary, 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, 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, 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 to continue the Tudor line. She never did, despite numerous courtships. As she grew older, Elizabeth became famous for her virginity. A cult grew around her which was celebrated in the portraits, pageants, and literature of the day.
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Edward Spencer Beesly;1831–1915) was an English positivist and historian. In supporting the struggle of the workers in the building trades for shorter hours. He also attacked the economic theories used by critics of the 'new model' trade unions of the 1860s. The notoriety he gained culminated in 1867, when he declared in the aftermath of the 'Sheffield outrages' that a trade union murder was no worse than any other: he almost lost his post at University Hall and Punch dubbed him Dr Beastly. His radical agenda included promoting international solidarity among working-class leaders. He helped organize the most important pro-Union demonstration in England during the American Civil War, and he chaired the historic meeting (28 September 1864) advocating co-operation between English and French workers in support of Polish nationalism, which led to the formation of the International Working Men's Association (the First International), soon dominated by his friend Karl Marx. Foreign affairs were always a passion of Beesly's. For International Policy, a positivist volume published in 1866, he wrote on British sea power, asserting a connection between Protestantism and commercial immorality. A critic of imperialism, he was a member of the committee founded in 1866 to prosecute Edward Eyre, Governor of Jamaica. Beesly and other positivists incurred hostility for advocating intervention on the side of France in the Franco-Prussian War, and for defending the Paris commune. Their republican views found expression not only in the press but also at the positivist centre in Chapel Street (now Rugby Street) that they opened in 1870 under Congreve's direction. There they introduced sacraments of the Religion of Humanity and published a co-operative translation of Comte's Positive Polity. When Congreve repudiated their Paris co-religionists in 1878, Beesly, Harrison, Bridges, and others formed their own positivist society, with Beesly as president, and opened a rival centre, Newton Hall, in a courtyard off Fleet Street. Beesly headed its political discussion group, which produced occasional papers. Retirement from University College in 1893 (he had left Bedford College in 1889) enabled him to found and edit the Positivist Review.
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