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Lecture 42 – The Reign of Mary

Course Code
HIS 2405E
Barbara Murison

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Lecture The Reign of Mary
I) Accession
Accession a major problem to begin with; tried to cut her out of the
Northumberland tried to secure the crown for Lady Jane Grey
o Granddaughter of Henry VIII’s sister Mary and Charles Brandon, Duke
of Suffolk
o Married to the son of the Duke of Northumberland
o English people not interested in the accession of Jane Grey, no civil
o Reign lasted nine days
Mary triumphs quite easily, based on legitimism
o Also a triumph of the Tudor dynasty
o Bequeathed to the crown by parliamentary statute
o Will of Henry VIII gave the crown to Mary if Edward had no heirs
Rejoicing at the accession of Mary, showed she was brave enough to gallop to
London and take the throne
o Peace and popularity
o Bonfires, ringing of church bells, etc.
o Any doubts were et aside
o Doubted if she would be a queen regent (reigns on her own)
Queen Matilda a poor omen for a female ruler
o Staunch Catholic, religious change expected
o Calm, gentle, considerate by her supporters
o Bad press overall
o G.R. Elton
Anti- Mary
Arrogant, stubborn, suspicious, stupid
Early Life
o Unhappy time for her
o 11 when her father divorced her mother, declared illegitimate
o Health problems
o Father’s marital career unstable, several stepmothers
Many weren’t sympathetic to her
o Had to take the Oath of Supremacy which went against her Catholic
Felt she betrayed her religion and her mother
37 when she acceded to the throne
Set upon bringing the realm back into connection with the papacy by
undoing the Henrician and Edwardian reformations
Necessity of a husband to produce an heir
o Wanted a Catholic to produce a Catholic heir
II) Marriage Question
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Foreign or English husband?
o Spain/Holy Roman Empire
Mary is half Spanish
Has some feelings of dependency on her Hapsburg cousins
Especially her cousin, Charles V
Renard the ambassador to Spain, enforced the idea that a
Spanish marriage would be best for her
Relations with Spain/Holy Roman Empire was very important
throughout the Tudor period
Charles V put forward his son, Philip; she was very happy with
the match
Privy Council unhappy; marriage to a Hapsburg would cause
England to be sucked into the Hapsburg empire
Mary set on marrying Philip
o France
Henry II of France has many hostilies toward the marriage to
o England
No good matches within
o Mary calls her marriage a private affair
She would chose as God inspired her
o Preparations for Spanish match went ahead
III) Wyatt Rebellion
Sir Thomas Wyatt
o Member of the gentry, from Kent
Rebellion begins in January 1554
Never had an army more than 3000 men
Not well lead
Very localized
o Tried to get people from the Welsh marches and Devon
Showed quite a few people we worried about the Spanish match
Elizabeth, a protestant, was thought to be a good person to replace her half-
Motivation in part was religious, but is also political
Very difficult to separate politics and religion in early modern England
Mary remains in London to fight the rebels
Rebels executed for treason
Lady Jane Grey and her husband were in the Tower of London
o Had them executed so people could not try and bring her and her
husband to the throne
o Did not openly support the rebellion, but it was a rebellion that could
do her some good
o Sharpened her political sensitivities
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