Mary Tudor: England's First Queen
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An engrossing, unadulterated biography of “Bloody Mary”—elder daughter of Henry VIII, Catholic zealot, and England’s first reigning Queen
Mary Tudor was the first woman to inherit the throne of England. Reigning through one of Britain’s stormiest eras, she earned the nickname “Bloody Mary” for her violent religious persecutions. She was born a princess, the daughter of Henry VIII and the Spanish Katherine of Aragon. Yet in the wake of Henry’s break with Rome, Mary, a devout Catholic, was declared illegitimate and was disinherited. She refused to accept her new status or to recognize Henry’s new wife, Anne Boleyn, as queen. She faced imprisonment and even death.
Mary successfully fought to reclaim her rightful place in the Tudor line, but her coronation would not end her struggles. She flouted fierce opposition in marrying Philip of Spain, sought to restore England to the Catholic faith, and burned hundreds of dissenters at the stake. But beneath her hard exterior was a woman whose private traumas of phantom pregnancies, debilitating illnesses, and unrequited love played out in the public glare of the fickle court. Though often overshadowed by her long-reigning sister, Elizabeth I, Mary Tudor was a complex figure of immense courage, determination, and humanity—and a political pioneer who proved that a woman could rule with all the power of her male predecessors.
522. 4 CSPS IX, p. 449. 5 CSPS X, pp. 5–6. 6 CSPS IX, p. 446. 7 Hughes and Larkin (ed.), Tudor Royal Proclamations, I, p. 352. 8 CSPS X, p. 6. 9 CSPS X, pp. 5–6. 10 PRO SP 10/9 no.57 [CSPD Edw. 428 p. 158.] 11 CSPS X, p. 5. 12 CSPS X, p. 5. 13 CSPS X, pp. 56–7. 14 CSPS IX, p. 489. Chapter 30. What say you, Mr Ambassador? 1 CSPS X, p. 82. 2 CSPS X, pp.127–8. 3 CSPS IX, p. 450. 4 CSPS IX, pp. 449–51. 5 CSPS X, p. 117. 6 CSPS X, pp. 94–6. 7 CSPS X, pp. 124–35. Chapter 31. An
Marian England’, in Duffy and Loades (eds), The Church of Mary Tudor (Aldershot, 2005), pp. 201–27 Edwards, J. and Truman, R. (eds), Reforming Catholicism in the England of Mary Tudor: the Achievement of Friar Bartolomé Carranza (Aldershot, 2005) Ellis, T. P., The First Extent of Bromfield and Yale, Lordships A.D. 1315 (London, 1924) Elston, T. G., ‘Transformation or continuity? Sixteenth-century education and the legacy of Catherine of Aragon, Mary I, and Juan Luis Vives’, in C. Levin et al.
challenged the Emperor’s claims to the disputed territories in Italy and to lands along the Pyrenees. From the eve of Mary’s birth to shortly after her death, the Habsburg and Valois kings would be engaged in bitter conflict. For much of her life Mary would represent the prize of an English alliance. Mary was born on the eve of another great struggle that divided Europe, the Reformation. In October 1517, Martin Luther ignited a battle of faith that shattered the unity of Christendom. His attack
and wife to the noble and excellent Prince Arthur, brother to our Sovereign Lord, Henry the 8th.2 On the day of Katherine’s burial, Anne Boleyn was delivered of a stillborn son. Four days earlier, Henry had fallen badly from his horse during a joust and Anne claimed the shock had brought on the miscarriage. As Chapuys reported, much to Henry’s ‘great distress’ the foetus ‘seemed to be a male child which she had not borne three and a half months’.3 Gertrude Blount, Marchioness of Exeter and
Rogation week, bells and ropes, a bier for the dead, a vessel to carry holy water about, a candlestick for the paschal taper, a font to christen children with covering and lock and key, and generally all other things, which after the custom of the country or place, the parishioners are bound to find, maintain and keep?11 Bonner’s investigation was minute in its detail, from issues of dress to clerical residence and morality. But it also focused specifically on seeking out heresy. He wanted to