Mary I Historiography


Traditionalist's = dislike Mary.

  • Her Government
    • AJ Pollard says "her council was too large and faction-ridden to be able to function properly".
      • Evidence to support this: Her first council had 44 members - ALTHOUGH only 19 of them were actively involved in governing. Bishop Gardiner, who was involved in a viscious rivalry with Paget, the keeper of the Privy Seal eg they clashed during discussions of the royal marriage in 1554, when Gardiner proposed she marry Edward Courtenay, whilst Paget argued for Phillip of Spain.
    • ST Bindoff says her government was "politically bankrupt" i.e.lacking in good quality. 
      • Evidence to support this: By July 1553, Mary had 21 loyal and devoutly Catholic men in her council but Penry Williams says they lacked the political experience or social weight to rule the council. This changed with the appointment of more experienced men such as Paget, Gardiner and Renard
  • Spanish Marriage
    • David Starkey boldly claims that "the Spanish marriage tore her kingdom apart". Roger Turvey agrees claiming that the Wyatt's Rebellion "came as close as any to overthrowing the monarchy".
      • Evidence to support this: Wyatt succeeded in raising an army in Kent of about 4,000 men and his proximity to London greatly worried the government.
    • Nigel Heard argued that "Mary's stubbornness and her almost total reliance on her Spanish advisers made England's military debacle between 1557 and 1558 almost inevitable". - she was a weak monarch, who relied more on foreign advisers than her own ministers and councillors.
    • Robert Tittler also says it was a hindrance to her Catholic reformation, as the Protestant cause was ""spurred on by apparant affront to national pride of the Spanish match".
  • Foreign Policy 
    • GR Elton described her foreign policy "as the most disastorous of the century", even worst than the troubled policies of


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