Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A Day of Triumph for Mary Tudor

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. 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!


  1. Combine priggishness with ego, such as Tudor-sized ego, and you can come up with a most diabolical personality (just think of Mao!) What a blessing for Britannia that Edward died young. There wasn't much to like about the royal lil' twit - but I don't think he could be convicted of breaking his father's will. From everything I've read, he was in a dying stupor when his hand was held to sign the throne over to Jane. What is your take on him?
    P.S. Thanks for the comparison, in the last post, of the French-vs-English religious wars.

  2. tubbs, thanks for the comment about my comparison of England and France--I know a lot less about France in that era than I do about England, but I think there's some interesting theories to be developed there!
    I'll blog about Edward VI sometime, but briefly, I think he--and Queen Jane--would have instituted very similar heresy campaigns to the one Mary's Parliament passed, reviving her father's and grandfather's efforts. Edward's focus just would have been different, of course--against Catholics. What about you?

  3. Had Edward or Jane lived/reigned? ...a nightmarish program of Zwinglian iconoclasm inflicted thru a whole generation of the English people. (Towards the end of his life little Edward wanted to strike off the St. Georges on the Garter regalia!) But who knows; the eventual attempt to dissolve the epicopacy would have met with such resistance in the power establishment that, combined with populist resentment of the new religion, it could have meant the end of Protestantism in England.
    On another subject - it seems the Crown wasted no time in assuring conformity at 'Oxbridge' during these turbulent times.
    It seems like political correctness in academia is nothing new.

    P.S. I'll stop procrastinating and order Supremacy/Survival as soon as I post this.

  4. Thanks again, tubbs, for the post and now for the promise! I hope you enjoy my book.