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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 1, Issue 9 (February 25, 1927)

Elizabeth. — 1558–1603


The pages recording the events of the Tudor Period are among the brightest in our history. The reign of Henry VII., the first of the Tudors, marks the birth of modern policy and the foundation of our still enduring system. It was an age of discovery and of intellectual development. Columbus and Cabot crossed the Atlantic to North America. Americus Vespuccius explored the coast of South America and gave his name to the new continent. Vasco de Gama sailed round the Cape of Good Hope, thus finding a sea route to India. Commerce greatly extended. True English literature was in its dawn. Modern scientific development dates from this time and old theories never previously queried were disproved. During the period the Reformation—one of the greatest events in modern page 13 history—was carried out, and the English sovereign became head of the English Church.

William III.

William III.

Elizabeth was the last of the Tudor Monarchs. Probably the most important event in her reign was the defeat of the so-called “Invincible Armada,” a great fleet sent by Philip II. of Spain to conquer England.

William Shakespeare, the Prince of Dramatists; Francis Bacon, the founder of modern philosophy; and others, wrote works of such breadth and eloquence as had never before been known. Nor have they since been excelled.

Among the sovereigns of England, Elizabeth, resolute, watchful and self-controlled, has had few equals. She encouraged her admirals in voyages of discovery, she inspired the dramatic art for which her reign is particularly noted, and aided all schemes designed for the consolidation of her Kingdom.