Religious Reform

  • Parliament met October 1553 and passed the First Act of Repeal. This reversed all religious changed during Edwards reign back to the doctrine at the end of Henry VIII's reign.
  • After Cardinal pole returned from exile in November 1554, Mary passed the Second Act of Repeal in January 1555. This involved returning all religious changes to before 1529 reversing the act of supremacy. However, church lands were not returned as it was too complicated.
  • The government policy was to re-educate and prosecute Protestants. A new bible and prayer book was issued to set national standards (low) included bishops and priests being trained.
  • After a year senior protestants lost their jobs and replaced with committed Catholics. Priests who married had to either give up their family or job. 
  • Parliament reversed the Heresy laws allowing protestant who did not renounce their faith to be burned at the stake. Approximately 300 were killed from February 1555-1558 including high profile people like Cranmer and Latimer.
  • Mary saw the executions as necessary to cleanse the country and save them from hell.
  • Killing the Protestants turned them into public heroes and made people question why people were willing to die for it. However, there is little evidence of opposition outside of London.
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The Spanish Marriage

  • Mary married Philip II without consulting the privy council which is a problem because she didn't consider the reactions. 
  • Any believed that Phillip would use England to further his ambitions in America rather than serve the interests of England.
  • Mary made an alliance to limit Phillips power in England, he had the title of king but couldn't make any decisions without Mary's permission and couldn't bring foreigners into the government and had no claim to the throne once mary died. Philip only visited England twice this was to convince Mary to join a war with France.
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Wyatts Rebellion

  • Sir Thomas Wyatt was a member of the gentry in kent. During early 1554 he led a protestant rebellion against Mary once he had heard about the marriage with Phillip II.
  • The plan was to make Courtenay ( the great-grandson of the Yorkist king Edward IV) king and marry him to Elizabeth to strengthen his claim
  • After the rebellion, the government labelled the cause to be due to religious discontent to avoid bringing attention to the marriage being unpopular.
  • The rebellion was supposed to happen in March of 1554 with 4 different areas (Devon, Leicestershire, Welsh Border led by Lady Jane Grey's father and in kent led by Wyatt) However plans of the plot were leaked so had to be bought forward to February which led 3/4 groups to not gain enough support.
  • Wyatts managed to get 3000 men to march on London however did gain support from the Londoners and the rebellion was shut down within a weak. This could be seen as serious because it directly threatened the capital.
  • Lady Jane Grey and her family were executed. Elizabeth went to the tower of London as there was not enough evidence of her involvement for execution.
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Mary's Foreign Policy

  • Mary was convinced by Phillip to support him in was against France even though it was unpopular in England.
  • The battle of Saint Quentin was won but the Spanish finances could not keep up. Within a year France had taken back Calais from English control which was embarrassing for England as it represented that England had little control over European affairs.
  • This weakened Mary's reputation as it was clear her marriage was more convenient for Spain than England.
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Mary's Reputation

  • Mary's government had to deal with a bad harvest which led to malnutrition and starvation amongst the poor leading the outbreaks of the plague.
  • Mary had the biggest privy council and specialised communities used to focus on certain issues making her government more effective.
  • she attempted to make revenue collection more efficient by setting responsibility to the exchequer which Northumberland originally started.
  • Income trebled for the crown from customs duties as mary introduced the new book of rates in May 1558.
  • she did plan a 'great Debasement' and revalue to currency but she died before this was put into action.
  • After Edwards reign, there were only 3 working warships but Mary had managed to increase this back to the end of Henry VIII.
  • In 1558 the Militia Act and the Arms Act were passed were every town had to provide trained men for the military and better weapons were supplied to the army.
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