COMPLETE NOTES on the reigns of Edward and Mary, taken from AQA textbook.

This is a document containing complete, detailed notes on the reigns of Edward VI and Mary.

The notes cover government, religion, foreign policy, economic policy, social issues, succession and of course, the three rebellions. A section dedicated to the "Mid-Tudor Crisis" is added, repeating some of the previous notes but with the addition of information from outside of the AQA textbook.

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  • Created on: 08-06-12 14:06
Preview of COMPLETE NOTES on the reigns of Edward and Mary, taken from AQA textbook.

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Complete notes from AQA textbook: A2 History, The Triumph of
Elizabeth: Britain 1547-1603.
Edward, Mary and the Mid-Tudor Crisis.
I apologise for the inconsistency in punctuation and format, and hope these notes may be of some
use to you. Good luck with your exams! :)
Edward VI under Somerset (1547-1549) and Northumberland (1550-1553).
Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset.
A Regency Council was set up in accordance with Henry VIII's will. The body was set up to
exercise power during Edward's minority, and to prevent power falling into a single source.
Somerset overthrew the Regency Council within weeks of Henry's death and creates himself
the King's Protector.
Somerset governs the Protectorate with members of his own household, only one was a
member of the privy council.
Privy council begin to resent Somerset and the Protectorate.
Widespread fear of breakdown of law and order, Cramner's Homily on Obedience
published, stressed importance of obeying law.
Factional Rivalry
Factional rivalry quickly occurs, Somerset's brother: Thomas Seymour, angry at being left out
of the Regency Council. Somerset makes Seymour a member and a Lord.
Seymour not satisfied. Catherine Parr, his wife, dies, Seymour requests to marry Princess
Seymour seeks to turn Edward VI against Somerset.
Attempts to plot with Southampton against Somerset.
Aided by Southampton, Somerset brings treason charges against Seymour - wasn't left with
much choice after Seymour's behaviour.
Foreign Policy
Somerset wanted to defeat Scotland and reassert Edward's feudal suzerainty over the
He wanted Edward to marry the baby Mary Queen of Scots - he had a vision of unity
between England and Scotland.
His invasion of Scotland was disastrous: the forts were difficult to capture and hard to
maintain and defend.
French aided Scotland - Somerset underestimated this.
Somerset had to debase the coinage to pay for this expensive unaffordable foreign policy-
adding to social distress.
Deteriorating relationship with France meant a threat of war.
All of this made the Pricy Council resent him even more.

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Somerset appears to be a genuine convert to Protestantism.
This, along with the King's Protestantism, heavily influenced the religious changes.
Somerset welcomed Protestant radicals such as Harper and Bacon.
A series of acts were passed:
1547: denunciation of images in London. This reflected radical attitudes and was supported
within government and by Protestant activists who engaged in iconoclasm (destruction of
1547: Injunctions of 1538 reissued, attacked many features of popular Catholicism.…read more

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Not 100% religious, distrust between peasants and landowners was a contributing factor.
Somerset placed a tax on sheep - London seemed uncaring and ignorant.
Insensitive local officials worsened the situation.
Kett's Rebellion
Not religiously motivated: little evidence of conservative beliefs among leaders, and many
rebels attended services which used the Book of Common Prayer.
Mainly motivated by social conflict and class differences.…read more

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Warwick joined up with Southampton, Arundel and other conservatives. They decided that
Somerset's control must end.
The coup asked Princess Mary for her support but she didn't want to get involved.
By October, most of the council including Cramner were part of the conspiracy against
Somerset realised his position was at risk and retreated with the King.
Eventually, it was promised that no treason charges would be brought against Somerset, and
he surrendered.…read more

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Two parts to Northumberland's religious strategy: wanted to continue Protestant reforms
that Somerset began, and also wanted to extract wealth from the church.
Influence of Cramner, Ridley and Hooper made changes towards Protestantism a bit more
The radicalism also reflected the increasing influence of Edward, who took his position
Duffy describes a "flood tide of radicalism."
Widespread removal of alters, they were replaced with communion tables. Those who
refused were put in the Tower.
Conservative bishops were removed and replaced with Protestants.…read more

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Troops withdrawn from Scotland, no issues at the borders.
Succession Crisis of 1553
Henry VIII stated in his will: Edward first, then Mary if Edward has no heir.
Nobody expected Edward to die so soon, rapid decline of his health in 1553 panicked
everybody because nothing was planned.
Northumberland feared Mary - his Protestant work would be undone and his life in danger.
Edward wanted to preserve English protestantism after his death, needed to cut Mary out.…read more

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Much evidence for massive popular rejoicing and celebrations in many parts of the country.
Mary's ascension and the establishment of the Marian regime:
Mary's ascension was undoubtedly well received by English people, on the whole.
- traditional view: English people waned the legitimate succession.
- revised view: scale of popularity due to devotion to Catholic faith held by most people.
Restoration of "old religion" was anticipated in many parts of the country, despite
Edwardian laws still in place.…read more

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Never fully trusted Gardiner, who had failed to support her mother during the break from
Rome. But she did value his political skill, his death left a hole in government.
- Consequently Mary mainly had the advice of two foreigners, Philip and Renard, the
ambassador of Charles V.
Spanish Marriage 1554
Once she came to the throne, Mary thought it essential to get married and create a Catholic
heir to secure the succession.
She was 37! Needed the marriage as soon as possible.…read more

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Paget had interest in avoiding the truth - Gardiner had links with Devon and Paget knew
Elizabeth would one day be Queen. Didn't want to upset her.
- Wyatt became close to success. He had raised and kept a large following, outmanoeuvred
the Duke of Norfolk and came close to securing the City of London.
- If he'd taken the city, Mary's reign may have been cut short, but Mary behaved bravely and
her council kept calm too.
The Marriage, continued...…read more

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Legislative attack on Protestants began with the meeting of Mary's first parliament in 1553.
- it repealed the ecclesiastical laws that had been passed during Edward's reign and restored
order of service as it had been at Henry's death
Reversing the Edwardian legislation did not alter the legal status of the Church of England
(Henry's doing).…read more


Morag Mcpherson

Thank you so much! This is SO useful.

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