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“Bloody Mary” condemned over 300 people to be burned alive. She had been Queen of England for five years following the reign of her father, Henry VIII. Upon her death, this day, Nov. 17, 1558, her half-sister Elizabeth became Queen and ruled 45 years, during which time Sir Francis Drake destroyed the Spanish Armada, Shakespeare wrote theater and Sir Walter Raleigh sailed to America in an attempt to settle an area he named “Virginia” after Elizabeth, the “Virgin Queen.” Regarding her epitaph, Queen Elizabeth stated: “I am no lover of pompous title, but only desire … a line or two, which shall express my name, my virginity, the years of my reign, [and] the reformation of religion under it.”

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