Theme 1: Monarchy and Government - Succession

  • Created by: f_grant
  • Created on: 18-05-19 12:03


  • Mary: accepted full regalia of male monarch and assumed sacral role in coronation. Showed office of crowned monarch not limited by gender
  • 2 bodies: Physical and royal: body politic. Only a man could inhibit both. Body politic passed onto next monarch on monarch's death
  • Female ruler a risk - primogeniture. Sons guarantee safety of dynasty
  • Feared female ruler would be dominated by husband
    • The Act Concerning the Regal Power passed 1554 - female monarchs held power 'fully, wholly and absolutely'
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  • Could declare royal child a ******* by proclamation and act of parl
  • Monarch had to be born from wedlock or monarch and consort
    • Henry Fitzroy 1519 - son of Elizabeth Blount and Henry so illegitimate
    • Made Earl of Richmond and Somerset and given imp roles
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  • Not a main factor - issue in terms of historians see the Tudors
  • More serious after break with Rome.
    • Edward changed law to give throne to Protestant Jane Grey
    • Mary tried to bar Elizabeth
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  • Edward's reign dominated by factions - in place before Henry's death due to religious changes
  • Minority to be avoided if possible (Richard II and Henry VI)
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Henry VIII


  • Mary until 1534, Elizabeth until 1537
  • Edward - Mary - Elizabeth: Third Succession Act 1543 
  • Henry's will recognised 1543 Act and created regency councils for Edward
  • Smooth - changed with Henry's marriages - he did illegitimise Mary and Elizabeth. Parliament used to change laws as needed
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Edward VI


  • Legally Mary as per 1543. 
  • Bastardised Mary and Elizabeth - left throne to Jane Grey's male heirs and then to Jane herself.
  • How smooth?: smooth despite coup attempt. 'My devise for the succession' never approved by parl. Jane Grey ruled for 9 days until coup defeated. Jane was executed as well as Northumberland. 
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  • Elizabeth as per 1543 - failed to remover her from the line. Did not produce an heir

How smooth?

  • Unsuccessful attempt to remove Elizabeth - blocked by parl. Smooth transition Nov 1558
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Elizabeth I


  • Mary Queen of Scots - executed for treason 1587

How smooth?

  • Did not allow parl to discuss the issue (Peter Wentworth imprisoned). Councillors favoured James VI of Scotland. Smooth transition 1603
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