Engraving of Elizabeth I

Elizabeth I

YouTube link to Dress to Power When King Henry VIII died in 1547 he was succeeded by his children – first young Edward VI, then Queen Mary I and finally Queen Elizabeth I, who came to the throne in 1558, aged 25. Her reign has been regarded one of the most glorious in English history.

The Queen gathered around her at court all the most powerful and ambitious characters of the age. She played on her subjects’ chivalry to ensure their loyalty and devotion and the greatest men in the kingdom competed for her attention and favour.


Although the Queen did not compete in tournaments herself, they remained popular events held in her honour. Elizabeth’s knights took part in a special tournament to celebrate her accession on the 17 November each year. These Accession Day tournaments grew ever more elaborate reaching spectacular proportions. The tournaments took place at Whitehall Palace and included not only tournament games but also poems, speeches and plays praising the Queen. Thousands of people attended to cheer on the champions and to get a glimpse of the Queen herself.


Enjoy the thrills and spills of authentic medieval jousting in the heart of Leeds.

03 April 2015


Get more information about this event

Did you know?

Stainless Steel

Harry Brearley, chief metallurgist, of Thomas Firth & Sons of Sheffield, England, discovers martensitic chromium stainless steel in 1913 while seeking a corrosion-resistant alloy for gun barrels for the British Government.

Specialist enquiries

Got Excalibur in the loft or "that arrow" from the Battle of Hastings above the fireplace?

Contact our experts to find out if you've got a historical gem or a car boot sale classic.