Church & State - Mary

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  • Created on: 07-05-13 13:35

How sucessful was the Marian Counter Reformation

Failure of Lady Jane Grey - Mary had always opposed Edward and Henrys Protestant Reformations and remained a stern Catholic. In an attempt to save Protestant Reformatio n they attempted to change the succession and declared Lady Jane Grey , Protestant cousin of Edward was in fact the heir. Princess Mary defied the new setllement and brought off the first successful seizure since 1485. She avoided the capture of Northumberland and retreated from London up to Norfolk, and here she proclaimed herself Queen and many gentry rallied to he call .Northumberland set out to deal with her with troops , the rest of the Council however abandoned the plot, shortly after Northumberland army began to desert him and he soon surrendered . Mary had therfore taken power in a bloodless coup , in many places her accession was greeted with rejoicing - altars and images set up once again and latin service book re-appeared whith enthusiasim - showed opposition to Prayer Book and the little effect  of Protestant Doctrine during his reign.

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What were Marys religious aims?

England was about to experience more religious reforms but this time they were Catholic , after years of suffering both for herself and fellow Catholics, God had given her the chance to bring back the old Faith- her faithfullness to stick with her religion throughout the year was rewarded. Papal headship was Marys desire , Mary wanted to bring the old order back- after being imprisoned during Henry reign and in Edwards under house arrest , Mary was now given the chance to put things right

Overview of Marys successes.

Mary reign can be seen as a triumph she easily quashed an attempt to prevent her accession , and she easily restored Catholic rituals and beliefs to English churches and she even brought back papal headship of the English Church. Her reformation was geniunley popular and recieved little opposition - only 4 bishops including Cranmer were burnt at the steak as they refused to accept the new religion. It is true that there were increasing persecution of heretics especially in the south-east , however with more time these persecutions may have achieved its objective to get rid of heresy and heretical groups- Protestantism was fairly strong when Mary came to power so she was never going to be able to stamp it all out

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Repeal of Protestnat Laws

3 Key Features to the change back to Catholicism which explain the success of the Marian Reformation:

  • acted with great speed
  • she acted with the freely given consent of Parliament
  • in the first few years the regime was no vengeful or harsh towards its Protestant enemies

October 1553 Parliament repealed the Act of Uniformity and procliamed that all divine services and administrations of sacraments should be as they were in the last year of Henrys reign- underlines Catholic nature of the Church of England after the 6 articles - reforming bishops had been arrested before Parliamnet so law was easily passed- but penalties for those who did not go to church was defeated

How was England reunited with Rome  - this was successfully carried through by Mary. Cardinal Pole became was brought back as papal headship - he took the view that the way to destroy heresy wan to to have war and riots but not to deserve their criticism.Pole arrived in November 1554 a year after Marys accession and pronounced a solemn absolution upon the realm- th reacrion appears to have been enthusiastic- England had been brought back to papal obedience- Pole made it clear the task was to reconicliate and not have revenge. Pole demanded that all church land taken during the Edwardian and Henrician reforms must be returned-however this was politically impossible as as the new landowners were not prepared to give it back - Pope however refrained from this - it ahowed the Pope didnt want revenge

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Englands Erastian Church

Mary had given up her fathers royal supremacy, however she still remained powerful over the church-Pope remianed distant and essentially spiritual head of the church . In 1557 Pope Paul IV stripped Pole of his legateship and demanded he return to Rome to anwswer charges of heresy- however Pole ignored this and carries on working as Archbishop- Pope then sent a new legate to England but Mary refused to let him in the country. Pope accused Pole of heresy agian , but Mary replied saying that he was an Englishman and could not face charges in Rome. Mary had restored the old English Church , rather than creating a new one (papacy had little power over the church). Adding to this  bishops and clergy were still appointed by the crown. The Marian counter reformation was successful as the gentry and landowners represented in parliament approved of it.

Index of Prohibited Books - it was introduced in June 1555 and 3 years later the council proclaimed that the death penalty for those who possesed the forbidden books , but few people were prosecuted and many of those convicted were treated lenientley.

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Limited Persecution of Protestant Clergy

Existing Protestant clergy were not perscuted or pursured with undue vigour . Only 4 bishops suffered martyrdom for their faith (death) - but were not all executed at the same time - Cranmer executed in December 1556. The majority of Edwardian bishops (supported innovations of Edwards) were told to enforce all religious legislations of the last year of Henry VIII , they complied to the rules (sticked to the rules). This was not so true for clergy as 800 clergy were deprived of their livings , (25% in London) , however this was because the clergy concerned were married and not because they objected to return of old ways-some got livings back as put away their wives. Once again Mary moderatley handled the situation because a Catholic Priest , once married could not officially become a priest again 

Return of Catholic ornaments - in some parishes ornaments that had disappeared during Edward and Henry now reappeared (good catholics had decided to hide them away for better times , rather than lose them to reformers)- there were some Protestant who wanted to destroy the images but also many good Catholics who wanted to preserve their ornaments as well as their faith

How were successful were the reforms of Pole?- he wanted to improve quality of clergy and he did this buy setting up seminaries in every diocese to educate and train new clergy- greater numbers came forward to be educated compared to in Elizabeths reign when Protestantism returned. Pole held a national leganite synod to encourage clergy in the face of their great task of restoration(annual procession and thanksgiving Mass on St Andrews Day-every church a sermon to be preached to explain why the day was so important). The synod declared also that clregy should be resident so that they could carry out pastoral duties main job 'preaching of the divine word'. Many young men came forward to ordination and also a able and purposeful set of bishops (all but one resigned when Elizabeth introduced Protestant settlement). Pole and Mary ignored help from Jesuits showing they did not want to be associated with foreign brand of Catholicism. Pole made no attempt to take back English Bible (moderation) instead hoped to sponsor a new Catholic translation of the Word of God (however his leginate commission interrupted hopes). Pole encouraged preaching and sermons from clergy- he was not an inspiring leader of the church but he was extremely conscientious and genuinley concerned to reform the church- however success limited as he was a dying man- only Archbishop for less than 3 years 

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Why did opposition to Marys reforms fail to change

How serious was the persecution of Protestants? 

  • heresy laws were revived under Mary to track down and execute any protestants who openly refused to give up their faith and continued to preach and spread Protestant doctrine- 224 were burnt at the steak  marks most serious and un-English bout of religious persecution- Mary was driving force for persecution but also helped by a few bishops - England has been led into Protestantism , catholics believed for many centuries that those who were heretics should be burnt at  the stake in order to save the church from heresy 
  • Unfortunatley for Mary protestant heresy had been active in England for 20 years and had also recieved royal approval- so by 1555 there was bound to be some ********* Protestant opinion and opposition - London
  • Although serious and gruesome the persecution was it only amounted to 5 five burnings per month- most of country would have seen no burnings (London and Norwhich seen many)- regime only pursued lapsed heretics for persecution- those burnt were zealous preachers and heretics  and were dertermined to spread their ideas- regime definetley did not go out of its way to find heretics 
  • It is not clear if the burnings were counter productive - they did not lead to any form of open oppisiton or popular protest- at the time there was no indication the persecution would bring a protestant backlash- many that witnessed the burnings were not sympathetic to the heretics but hostile- many had pretty radical ideas
  • no. of burnings were decreasing in the last year of Marys reign- shown the policy was working or that the government was less convinced- leading protestants such as Foxe (authour) fled the country 
  • many of those burnt at the stake approved of method as execution for those who did not share their beliefs
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How Successful was the Spanish marriage?

Mary married Philip of II of Spain , a marriage treaty was signed . The marriage took place in July 1554, just a year after her accession  , Mary wanted to produce a Catholic heir which Mary needed as next was Elizabeth who was Protestant. Marys advisers made it clear that Philip would not excersize any power in England , and he had no executive powers or could remove the Queen - bonus was that any child concieved would inherit the Low Countries as well as England - secure and wealthy land empire. However the marriage porduced no heir , dream of Catholic heir was dashed , due to Mary health. To Marys credit she did not try to remove Elizabeth or kill her even though she knew she was Protestant- not try to replace even when she died. 

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How Serious a Threat was Wyatts Rebellion in 1554?

Spanish marriage did spark off the only rebellion in the reign , which was led by Sir Thomas Wyatt. The idea was to oppose Mary for her half-sister Elizabeth, and to increase support by marrying Elizabeth to Edward Courtenay son of Marquis of Exeter (however was mentally unstable). However it would ensure the English church to become Protestant once more. Wyatt did not claim he was trying to despose the Queen , instead he said he was trying to protect Mary , and that he was just rebelling against the Marriage - rumours spread that shiploads of spaniards ha arrived

Why did the Rebellion Fail?- - however the rumours against the spanish did not bring support. the Spanish had not yet become the enemy- in rebellions there was little supoort and little troops rallied . Wyatt however did manage to raise some troops in Kent and began threatening a march on London - Mary had little forces herself but with her persuasive speeches and lyal forces - led to Wyatts retreat and capture - rebeliion hardly worthy of the name , noth like the Pilgrimage of Grace - and showed that the Spanish marriage and catholicism were not widley unpopular - limited punishment for rebels but Wyatt and Lady Jane Grey were executed and Elizabeth imprisoned but soon released.

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