The Reign of Mary Tudor


Mary's Accession

Mary's asccession was favoured by the English people, they wanted to preserve the legitimate succession.

Scale of Mary's popularity due to the devotion to the Catholic faith most people had.

Many parishes began the restoration of Catholicism against the laws of Edward VI, that remained after his death.

Parishes were happy to go to the expense of re-equipping Churches with Catholic items despite financial concerns.

Restoration of Catholicism not universally accepted, Kent, Essex and Norfolk saw trouble.

Hallmark of Marian regime: local enthusiasm produced a lot of money that could be spent on popular projects.

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England had many religious divisions, she was unlikely to calm tensions.

Mary wasn't brought up to rule and was kept away from the Court when she was young.

Many of her close advisors knew little about England or what it needed: Phillip and Renard (Charles V's ambassador) thought only of Spain, not England.

She often had to rely on Edward's supporters and council, who she disagreed with constantly.

Council was dominated by Gardiner, Winchester and Paget but Gardiner's death left a gap in government.

Mary was never at ease with councillors and lost confidence in Paget due to his position concerning the restoration of the Church to Rome.

Mary appointed 50 councillors, but seems to have viewed it as an honourary title.

To restore Catholicism, Mary would have to go against her very faith and acknowledge that the law had power of religion. 

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The Spanish Marriage and the Wyatt Rebellion

Mary was eager to get married ASAP so she could produce a Catholic heir.

Possible suitors: Earl of Devon or Phillip II of Spain. 

Devon was unsuitable and risked an increase in factional rivalries. The Privy Council didn't want to give a foreigner too much power. Gardiner knew public opinion would be hostile.

4 simultaneous uprisings were planned in November 1553: Devon, Hertfordshire, Leicestershire and Kent. Plans were leaked in January 1554 forcing rebels into action.

Only Kent saw a serious uprising. Thomas Wyatt raised 3000 men. 

Many of Wyatt's supporters were strong Protestants who wanted Elizabeth on the throne. 

Wyatt almost took the City of London but in a stirring speech, Mary inspired the people to stand in her defense. 

Mary was convinced Elizabeth knew of the plan. She had her interrogated by Gardiner and Paget, neither of whom wanted to upset the heir to the throne. 

Lady Jane Grey was executed as an innocent victim of her father and Northumberland's plots.

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Mary and Phillip

Married on 35th of July 1554

English people were unwelcoming of Phillip and his courtiers.

Phillip was 11 years younger than Mary.

Phillip only married Mary because of his duty to Charles V.

Phillip was given the title of 'King' but not given any power or right to the throne if Mary died.

Mary failed to get pregant, but faked pregancy 3 times, angering Phillip. 

When Phillip became King of Spain in 1556, he left England and never returned.

Phillip encouraged Mary to become involved in the Valois-Habsburg Dispute that ended with the loss of Calais, the last English property in Europe, in January 1558.

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Mary's Relationship with the Pope

Mary had a positive relationship with Pope Julius III. 

Cardinal Reginald Pole was sent to England in November 1554 as a Papal Legate and was made Archbishop of Canterbury.

Pope Julius III dies in April 1553 and is replaced by Pope Paul IV.

Pope Paul IV was anti-Spanish and pro-French. He disliked Phillip II and thought Pole was a heretic. 

In April 1557, Pope Paul IV withdrew Pole's papal legate and accused him of heresy. Mary refused to send Pole back to Rome to answer the charges.

She ignored Paul's papal legate, Peto.

Mary became involved with the Valois-Habsburg dispute, fighting on the opposite side of the Pope.

Mary was essentially at war with the Papacy and the relationship was similar to Henry VIII's relationship with Rome.

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The Restoration of Catholicism

Process of restoring Catholicism was more difficult than Mary thought. Protestantism had attracted many in London and most of the gentry owned ex-Church land.

Phillip and Charles knew returning the monastic land would be politicaly impossible. 80 MPs voted against returning the land.

Mary's first parliament in 1553 repealed Edwardian laws and restored the order of service from the last years of Henry VIII.

Mary deprived all married clergy of their livings, causing more manpower issues. 3/4 of clergy were deprived, but most gave up their wives.

Church status resolved in January 1555, the process delayed because land was given to private holders.

Time affected position of Church and confused the people.

Henrican Act of Attainder reversed during 3rd Parliament.

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Bloody Mary

289 Protestants (237 men and 52 women) were burnt at the stake.

Most victims were martyred due to their commener status.

Some were famous victims: Archbishop Cranmer, Bishop Hooper and Ridley, Hugh Latimer.

21 clergymen and 8 gentry were killed.

Mary broke the law (he confessed and should have been spared) to execute Cranmer because of her personal vendetta; he had proclaimed her mother's marriage to Henry void.

60 people were burnt in London alone.

No burnings in county Durham, Catholicism had always remained strong in the North. 

Public symapthy and demonstrations arose from the burnings of John Rodgers and Rowland Taylor.

Parliament banned the young and apprentices from attending executions but this did very little.

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The Role of Reginald Pole

Archbishop of Canterbury from 1556.

Saw his role as that of a teacher, someone to guide England back to Catholicism.

Pole's Legatine Synod 1556-1557

:called houses of English Church, York and Canterbury

: wanted a seminary college at the back of every Church to recruit more priests

: if given more time, could have worked but they weren't fast acting in the south.

English gentry disliked him and thought a foreigner shouldn't have a say in English politics.

Wanted to return all monastic land and was supported by Mary.

Pope Paul IV withdrew his papal legate in April 1557. Mary refused to let him go back to Rome and answer the charges.

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Financial Reforms

Progress in revenue administration

Northumberland laid plans for the reformation of financial administration.

Mary implemented some of Northumberland's changes, despite religious suspiscion of Walter Mildmay.

Court of Exchequer took over Court of First Fruits and Tenths aswell as the Court of Augmentation and adapted recent methods of financal management.

Crown finances were secured when Mary planned for recoingage in 1556, even if it wasn't implemented until Elizabeth's reign.

New Book of Rates in 1558 increased revenue raised by customs. 

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Naval and Militia Reforms

Reorganisation of the naval finance administration.

6 new ships made and £14,000 a year given to the navy.

System worked efficiently under Treasurer Benjamin Gonson.

Invented new ways of raising troops for army and navy.

Naval reforms laid the basis that Elizabeth needed to defeat the Spanish Armada.

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Social Reforms

"Urban outlook" for government. Reformed the old rights of towns and made new ones.

Town councils given a uniform structure.

Organisations for the poor taken over by boroughs.

More active poor relief.

Responded favourably to the problems of 1556-1558.

Huge mortality rate from influenza epidemic & failed harvests.

High tax rates needed to pay for wars with France.

Enforcement of laws against grain hoarders and encouraged people to converst pasture land to tillage.

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Historians' Views on Mary

A.F.Pollard: Mary's reign was "sterile" and saw no real positives.

Christopher Haigh: Mary saw a phased and realistic plan for Catholic restoration

Robert Tittler: Pole took England to be as he remembered, not as it was.

Anna Whitelock: : Mary was a trailblazer who established that a female ruler could be as                                          powerful as any man.

                          : Mary was conscientious and hardworking, determined to be involved in court.

Linda Porter: Mary was a complex woman who overcame the adversery of her past.

Eamon Duffy: the reign was mostly competent, determined and driven.

                    : Pole's reforms were more successful than previously thought.

                    : the spirit of the counter-reformation was alive and well in Marian England.

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