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In Elizabethan England there was one center of power—the royal court.A royal court is difficult to define because it changed constantly, but it was generally made up of the queen and all of the people who clustered around her, taking care of her household and personal needs and helping her to govern the country. Elizabeth I's (1533–1603; reigned 1558–1603) retinue, or group of attendants, ranged from one thousand to fifteen hundred people.[top] The period of time characterised by an increase in iron working, and the appearance of monuments such as hillforts.The Iron Age of England covers the period 800BC-AD43, ending on the arrival of the Roman armies.

At court one would usually also find many visiting dignitaries (people of high rank or importance), both foreign and English, and their attendants.Elizabeth's court was concerned with more than governmental or domestic issues.The queen also attracted the greatest scholars, artists, explorers, scientists, and performers from England and abroad.She was enthusiastic about music, dance, literature, and drama, and she was fascinated by the tales of explorers and the mysteries being uncovered by scientists and scholars.Though she never traveled beyond southern England, she spoke six languages fluently and conversed easily with foreign dignitaries.Interest in Renaissance features was largely confined to the educated and wealthy elite.


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