Wednesday, August 3, 2011

August 3, 1553: London and Victory!

On August 3, 1553 Mary Tudor, now Queen of England and Ireland, entered London in triumph. She had defeated the attempt by her deceased half-brother Edward VI and the president of his council, John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland to place Lady Jane Dudley (nee Gray) on the throne in contravention of Henry VIII's will. Her half-sister Elizabeth accompanied Mary on this triumphant day--the restoration of Mary's claim to the throne as willed by Henry VIII also meant that Elizabeth's claim was more secure. The Elizabeth Files blog provides detail about Mary's entry into London:

On this day in history, 3rd August 1553, Mary, who had just been proclaimed Queen, rode with her half-sister, Elizabeth, from Wanstead to Aldgate to be greeted by the city as its new Queen. Wriothesley’s Chronicle describes Mary’s appearance that day:-

“her gowne of purple velvet French fashion, with sleues of the same, hir kirtle purple satten all thicke sett with gouldsmithes work and great pearle, with her foresleues of the same set with rich stones, with a rich bowdricke of goulde, pearle, and stones about her necke, and a riche billement of stones and great pearle on her hoode, her pallfray that she rode on richly trapped with gould embrodred to the horse feete.”

Mary's anointing and coronation as Queen in October meant that Elizabeth could be anointed and crowned, because Mary set the precedent for a Queen Regnant to receive the same regalia and ritual a King Regnant received.

The "Nine Days Queen" was held in the Tower of London as was her spouse, Guildford Dudley. Mary demonstrated remarkable clemency in not having Jane executed immediately for treason--although Jane's father-in-law, John Dudley would soon be on the block!

Mary Tudor: Renaissance Queen provides a detailed review of a new book, long-awaited in the UK and USA: Susan Doran and Thomas Freeman (eds.), Mary Tudor: Old and New Perspectives (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011), 345pp, noting that it is "one of the most important studies on Mary in recent years."


  1. Queen Elizabeth 1 of sad memory was far more bloody than Blessed Queen Mary 1. That's all I have to say on this. Book is ordered!