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  • Created on: 20-05-15 18:18

Mary's accession and establishment

  • Haigh: "Mary was swept to power by a revolution"
  • In East Anglia, it was the lay people that first joined her cause:
    • The Earl of Oxford was intimidated by house servants into proclaiming Mary
    • Proclaimed Queen in Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Northamptonshire and the North
    • Northumberland's squadron mutinied
    • Te Deum was sung at St Paul's, rejoicing at the return of Catholic values
  • Haigh: "religion may now be recognised as one of the elements of Mary's appeal"
  • At Melton Mowbray, the altar was immediately rebuilt and masses said; in Yorkshire there were masses from the beginning of August 1553; even in London some parished rushed to restore Catholicism
  • Parkyn: "all this came to pass without compulsion of any act, statute, proclamation or law"
  • Evidence from Churchwardens' accounts suggests that parishes were wuite happy to go to the expense of re-equipping their churches, despite its drain on scarce financial resources
  • Haigh: almost everywhere "there were phased and realistic programmes of restoration"; "the real hallmark of the Marian Church ... was local enthusiasm"
  • Not universally accepted: trouble in Lincolnshire, Dorset, Kent and various parts of London


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Mary's accession and establishment (cont.)

  • Mary faced problems: inherited a Kingdom that had fundamental religious divisions; she hadn't been brought up to rule; most of her trusted supporters (Rochester, Waldegrave, Jerningham) were not politically from the front rank and had no serious experience of government -> bound to rely on her half-brother's servants.
  • Bishop Gardiner served her father and was conservative - his imprisonment under Edward put him in a good position
  • Mary appointed 50 councillors during her reign leading some historians to assert this led to an inefficent government
    • Supported by the fact that Mary's most important decision - to marry Philip - was never discussed in Council
    • However, Mary saw it as an honorary title - working council much smaller (Gardiner, Winchester and Paget)
      • Also from Cardinal Pole; lost faith with Paget over her restoration of the English Church to Rome
      • Never fully trusted Gardiner, who had failed to support her mother at the time of the break with Rome
      • As a result, Mary relied on Philip and Simon Renard, the Spanish ambassador of her cousin Charles V
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The Spanish marriage

  • Mary, ascending the throne at 37, was keen to marry and produce a Catholic heir
  • Possible marriage to Edward Courtenay, Earl of Devon:
    • Marriage to an Englishman brought the threat of factionalism
    • Courtenay lacked courtly skills and was therefore seen as unsuitable by Mary and others
    • The backing of Courtenay came from Bishop GArdiner, who felt a Spanish marriage would offend public opinion
  • Mary's preference was Philip II of Spain, whose candidacy was supported on Renard's bias
    • Philip was a Catholic, Spanish and politically experienced
    • His father, Charles V, had always proved himself worthy of her trust as he offered guidance through Mary's years of unhappiness - Charles more keen than his son
  • English public opinion proved as hostile as Gardiner had predicted
    • A Parliamentary delegation had attempted unsuccessfully to dissuade Mary from the marriage
    • In an attempt to allay fears of Spanish domination in England, the treaty outlined that Philip would hold the title of King but none of the power that came with it
      • No foreigners were permitted to hold English offices
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Wyatt's Rebellion, January 1554

  • A rebellion had been planned for November 1553, with simultaneous uprisings in Devon (led by Courtenay), Hertforshire, Leicestershire and Kent
  • These plans leaked in January 1554, forcing the rebels to take action: only Kent experienced a serious rising of 3,000 men led by Sir Thomas Wyatt
  • Their motives: some of them were motivated by religion, with many rebels originating from Maidstone, a Protestant stronghold
    • Xenophobia - aimed to dissuade Mary from marrying Philip. If that failed, stage a coup and replace her with E
    • The decline in Kent's cloth industry gave poorer rebels a chance to voice socio-economic grievances 
    • Attracted some gentry who had lost office within the country
  • Significance: showed that, although in a minority, the Protestants' religious opinions could not be ignored
    • Demonstrated the extent of popular suspicion against the Spanish marriage
    • Lady Jane Grey was executed, an innocent victim of her father's support for the rebellion
    • Elizabeth was arrested and confined to the tower
      • Mary convinced she knew of the rebels' intentions; Wyatt did not implicate her
      • Gardiner and Paget, her interrogators, had a vested interest not to find out the truth
  • Wyatt had come close to success: raised and kept a large following; outmanoeuvred the aged Duke of Norfolk and come close to securing London.  However, Mary behaved bravely remaining in London, with no major defections
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Wyatt's Rebellion, January 1554 (cont.)

  • The marriage as a result did not take place until 25 July, with Philip putting off travelling for several months
    • When he arrived on 20 July, the political situation had altered: Paget and Renard had fallen out of favour
    • Philip's initial experience confirmed his prejudices: foul weather and unwelcoming English court
    • He found himself marrying a woman 11 years his elder who seemed prematurely middle aged
    • He resolved to spend as little time in his new Kingdom as possible
  • At a political level, the marriage failed:
    • Mary failed to get pregnant, despite rumours to the contrary
    • England was drawn into a dynastic dispute between the Hapsburgs (Spain) and the Valois (France)
      • Problem of war made worse by the election of the fiercely anti-Spanish Cardinal Carafa as Pope Paul IV in 1555
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The restoration of Catholicism

  • October 1553: repeal of Edward's religious laws; restoration Henry's orders of religious services
  • Autumn 1553: deprivation of married clergy
  • November 1554: Arrival of Cardinal Pole as Archbishop of Canterbury and papal legate
  • January 1555: restoration of heresy laws; February 1555: burning of heretics begins
  • The operation of a reformed Church of England had been enshrined in statute law
  • Many members of the politcal elites had benefited financially from the acquisition of monastic lands
    • About 80 MPs went as far as to vote against the repeal of Edward's religious laws
    • About 800 persons went into exile in centres of European Protestantism (Strasbourg, Geneva, Frankfurt)
  • Initially, Mary acted cautiously, asking foreign Protestants to leave the country
    • However, some of the most prominent Protestant clergy, including 7 bishops, had been deprived or imprisoned
  • The legislative attack began in October 1553, repealing Edwardian ecclesiastical laws. Did not alter status of the CofE
    • To rely on parliamentary legislation to reverse royal supremacy would require Mary to acknowledge the superiority of statute law over divine law
    • Over a quarter of parish clergy in London and Norwich were deprived- some reinstated after giving up their wives
      • This exacerbated the existing man power shortage during Edward's reign
  • The Third Parliament resolved the issue of Church lands now in private hands
    • Renard had told Charles more land belonged to Catholics than Protestants
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The restoration of Catholicism (cont.)

  • Gardiner insisted that on arrival, Pole must bring confirmation of the continued ownership of secular lands
    • Both were aware the failure to do so might result in parliamentary blocking of the return to Catholics
  • It also reversed Henry's Act of Attainder passed against Pole - he argued with councillors over Church lands, who felt a foreigner should have no influence over English policy
  • Mary sympathised with Pole, threatening to abdicate - bluffing due to the fact a Protestant would succeed her
  • In the end a compromise was reached: absolution granted from the Pope, giving the statute of repeal greater legal force.  Parliament's request for absolution of conscience for monastic property owners was rejected
    • The Act of Repeal passed in January 1555, along with the restoration of the heresy laws
  • Mary had to acknowledge the jurisdiction of statute law in matters involving religion
  • In 1555, Pope Julius died and was succeeded by the anti-Spanish Pope Paul IV
    • Hostile towards Mary and Philip as well as Pole, who he regarded as a heretic
    • When war broke out the same year, Mary, too, was at war with the papacy
    • In 1557, Pope Paul withdrew Pole's legatine commission- blow to Pole's prestige; no longer acted on Pope's behalf
    • In June, the Pope formally named Pole as a heresy suspect - Mary refused to let him travel to Rome
    • Paul named a new legate, William Peto, but Mary remained with Pole, refusing to acknowledge the Papal authority that placed Peto in a higher position than the Archbishop of Canterbury
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The treatment of heretics

  • Foxe's 'Book of Martyrs', first published in 1563, extensively documented the burning and treatment of heretics
    • 289 Protestants burned at stake: included Cranmer, Hooper, Ridley, Latimer & the Bishop of Winchester
    • There were 60 burnings in London, reflective of the extent of Protestantism there - also Kent, Sussex and Essex
    • No burnings in the diocese of Durham
  • Tittler: "the popular sympathy evoked by those early burnings, marked by frequent popular demonstrations"; "The effect of the martyrdoms ... undermined the government's efforts at uniformity"
    • The result of burning John Rogers and Rowland Taylor - both misfired rather than bringing "uniformity"
  • The bulk of the sufferers were humble lay people, strengthening the impact of their martyrdom
    • The extent of this led to the COuncil banning servants, apprentices and the young from attending burnings
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Other religious policies

  • Mary's religious policy was not purely repressive:
    • Pole saw his role in pastoral terms, restoring the Church that had been eroded for the past 20 years
    • Both the quality and quantity of priests needed to be improved
      • Most of the new bishops appointed took their pastoral responsibilities seriously and in a Catholic manner
  • Pole's legatine synod of 1556-57 outlined his expectations:
    • Bishops were to reside in their dioceses, to preach there and oversee the religious life of their parishes
    • There was a proposal, not implemented, that each cathedral should have a seminary attached for the training of new recruits to the priesthood
  • However, there was a wide variation on the extent of implementation: strong in north, weaker in London
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The extent to which Mary had transformed the relig

  • Given time and more resources, Pole and Mary might have properly reinstated Catholicism
  • Nevertheless, more could have been achieved:
    • The delay in restoring the Church's institutional structure and the divisions between Crown and papacy did not help
    • Shortcomings of Philip:
      • Had no first-hand experience of English sentiment before his marriage in 1554
      • Tittler:"took England to be as he remembered it rather than how it was"
    • Shortcomings of the Marian Church:
      • Tittler:"appeared not to capitalise in the strength of the native English spiritual or intellectual traditions"
      • Too dependent on a repressive approach derived from the Counter-Reformation
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Mary and Parliament

  • About 80 MPs opposed the reversal of Edwardian religious legislation, a subsatntial minority that also opposed other Crown policies
  • Dominated by self-interest in the defense of ex-monastic lands led to MAry not pressing the point
  • A bill in 1555 to allow the seizure of property of Protestant exiles was defeated
  • In 1554, parliament rejected a bill that would have involved Philip in the protective clauses of a proposed new law on treason
  • Refused Philip's coronation as King
  • It refused to exclude Elizabeth from the succession following Wyatt's rebellion
  • Whilst these represented defeats for Mary, she was sufficiently politically astute not to press her opinions on parliament
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Reforms under Mary

  • A.F. Pollard: "sterile" nature of Mary's reign
    • Writing within a Protestant historical framework
    • Revisionists find this inaccurate as Mary did see some successes, but the chief beneficiary was Elizabeth

Financial reforms

  • Progress made in revenue administration:
    • Northumberland sought to improve administration of Crown finances by setting up a commission to investigate its shortcomings - his fall from power prevented any implementation
    • Some changes implemented under Mildmay in 1554, despite sisupicion over his religious grounds
      • The Court of Exchequer took over the Court of First Fruits and Tenths and the Court of Augmentation
  • Mary made a mistake in remitting the final part of Edward's last subsidy, which only bought cheap popularity
  • The level of royal indebtedness rose:
    • Didn't do so dramatically considering the war with France; Penry Williams:"at least adequate"
  • Long term security of Crown finances boosted by plans of recoinage but were only implemented under Elizabeth
    • It was the thoroughness of preparation under Mary that enabled effective implementation by E
    • Reaped the benefit of a new Book of Rates in 1558, which raised customs revenue dramatically
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Reforms under Mary (cont.)

Naval and militia reforms

  • Complete reorganisation of administration and finance of the navy
    • Six new ships were built, many others repaired; allocated an annual peacetime allocation of £14,000 to the navy
    • The system worked effectively with the highly efficient Treasurer of the Navy now directly answerable to Lord Treasurer Wincheste. All laid the basis for E's victory over the Armada
  • Also reformed the methods for raising troops - important as, unlike Spain, it lacked a standing army
  • John Guy:"a landmark in English military organisation"

Reforms for towns

  • Tittler: the "conscious support" offered to corporate towns; "a relatively urban outlook"
  • Issued Charters of incorporation confirming existing rights or conferring new rights
    • Included a move towards a more uniform standard for the structure and powers of town councils
  • Poor relief: from 1556-58, the country faced an influenza outbreak, harvest failures and increaed taxation for war
  • Particular emphasis was placed on the enforcement of laws against grain hoarders
  • Strong encouragement  to convert pasture land to tillage
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Was there a nid-Tudor crisis?

  • In the comparison between the 'little' Tudors and the 'big' Tudors, Edward and Mary have been seen as unproductive
    • A.F. Pollard and S.T. Bindoff hold this view; concept made explicit through W.R.D. Jones' Book 'The Mid-Tudor Crisis'.  Loades: historians have become "rather too fond of inventing crises"
  • Henry and Elizabeth's reigns appealed to historians writing within Protestant and Anglican traditions
  • Edward and Mary seen as the reigns of a sickly child manipulated by protectors and the sterile reign of a simple woman
  • Dale Hoak, in 'Rehabilitating the DoN', gave much force to the importance of his period of dominance
  • Similarly, Tittler and Loades' work suggests that the reign of Mary contained much worthy of credit
  • Duffy and Haigh have gone further, demonstrating the extent to which Mary was working with the grain of public opinion
  • Even the religious policy at the start of Edward's reign - castigated by Guy - has been rehabilitated by MacCullloch who argued it made perfect sense given the Crown's religious priorities
  • Even the less favorable periods of rebellion, challenges to religious policy and social dislocation were all as apparent in Henry and E's reign
  • Loades sees this view as "unhelpful", although it does sell books.
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