“Lágrimas Negras: La Plegaria de Mary Tudor, Reina de Inglaterra”, por Mercy Rivera

February 18, 2017 in Hall of Crowns (Mercy Rivera), Historical Fiction, Queens of World History, Spanish Language Diary Entries by Mercy Rivera

por Mercy Rivera

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Reina Maria Tudor

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Video producido por Mercy Rivera (piratesse4)

 Mercy no posee nada del contenido.

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Fui una vez la perla de este reino, la luz de los ojos del Rey mi padre, y la vida entera de la reina, mi madre. Heredera de sangre noble, de casta fuerte, con ancestros de linaje impecable, y legado precioso, mas aún, a pesar de todo eso, no soy amada por mi reino, ni por mi marido ni por los que me rodean. Yo, la nieta de Isabel y Fernando de Castilla, hija de la noble Catalina de Aragón, hija del león, Enrique VIII, estoy reducida a menos que nada, con una corona que me pesa, que me duele, que me da un inmenso poder pero al mismo tiempo me condena a una soledad extrema. ¿De que me sirve cargarla en mi cabeza si no me puede dar el amor de mi súbditos y de mi rey, de que me sirve si no me puede dar herederos, de que me sirve si solo inspira el miedo de los que pasan por delante de mi? ¿Para esto me esforcé tanto durante mi niñez, para esto es que me mantuve en pie ante todas las amarguras que viví?

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Me miro en el espejo, y no me reconozco. He perdido la lozanía de la juventud, más por causa de las penas que por el paso de los años, me he convertido en una mujer de piedra, fría e indomable. Le he dado mi alma, mi corazón y todo mi ser a Inglaterra como siempre fue mi deber, no me arrepiento, porque he vengado a mi madre, y a mí misma por las injurias del pasado. Desde el momento en que fui unjida y coronada, le devolví el honor a mi casta, recuperé lo que siempre fue mío por derecho, eliminé a mis enemigos y a los enemigos de la Santa Fe Católica, uno por uno cayeron ante las llamas del fuego puro de la justicia de Dios, misma que por mi mano recibieron, poco a poco he destruído la herejía que vino con La Bolena y su estirpe, Inglaterra es una vez más una con Dios y el Santo Padre. He cumplido con un deber sagrado, y aún así, no soy amada. El reino entero murmura, la gente me llama “Maria Sangrienta”, me temen y me odian, no se atreven a decirme de frente lo que gritan a mis espaldas. Soy la Reina, María Primera de Inglaterra, regente sin duda alguna, y no soy amada. Hablan de mi a escondidas. Susurran sobre como la reina envejece y aún no se escucha el llanto del heredero al trono de Inglaterra. ¡Dios, como me torturan, lo peor es que son palabras ciertas, es una verdad que me hiere profundamente! ¿Acaso estoy maldita, acaso Dios me castiga negándome lo que más he querido tener en el mundo? Un hijo, un hijo al cual amar, un hijo que limpie mi alma de tantas amarguras, de tantos pesares y que borre para siempre de mí, ese pasado que tanto me envenena. Un hijo me daría la paz que perdí hace muchos años, me devolvería la alegría de vivir, hasta la misma juventud perdida. Un hijo que sería mi legado más grande, un hijo que continuaría con lo que ya he iniciado. Un hijo, una bendición, una criatura a la que amaría y entregaría todo, sin importar su género, pues jamás cometería el cruel error de mi padre, de rechazar a una hija por el deseo de un heredero varón, yo no cometería nunca esa crueldad con quien sería sangre de mi sangre, carne de mi carne.

Pero estoy vacía, y me niego a creer que no hay oportunidad, ya tuve esa dulce sensación dentro de mí una vez, y fue como si algún maleficio le hubiera hecho desaparecer. Dios sabe cuanto le anhelaba, como pude sentir que florecía la vida misma en mi vientre, no fue engaño, yo se que estaba dentro de mí. Pero por voluntad divina o maligna, no pudo ser, perdí a ese pequeño ser que el amor creó dentro de mis entrañas y mi corazón, sin dolor físico, pero si en mi alma, que nunca pudo entender el por qué de tan cruel burla de este destino mío que se empeña en condenarme a la soledad.

Destino maldito! Destino que cambió mi vida en mis años de niña cuando permitió que Ana Bolena descargara su veneno en mi vida, arrebatándome todo, a mi padre, a mi madre, mi rango y todo lo que yo amaba. Cruel destino que me puso por delante madrastras que poco hicieron por mí, por miedo a enfurecer al tirano de mi padre, al que aveces perdono, y al que aveces odio con todo el corazón, cada vez que pienso en las lágrimas de mi amada madre, y en las mías, Como sufrí en aquellos días, lejos de quien me dio el ser y de todo lo que dulcemente me rodeaba, de la protección que el rango de princesa me otorgaba, como recuerdo el terror de pensar que al día siguiente vería ante mí la sentencia de mi muerte, por la mano de esa perra de Bolena, que me convirtió en bastarda bajo el embrujo que la hizo reina sobre la desgracia de mi madre. Y es por eso que no puedo amar sin dudas a mi hermana como lo manda la ley de Dios, no solo por ser el fruto de la unión que me separó de todo lo que una vez fue enteramente mío, también, porque siempre me sentí menos que ella, si esa es la verdad aunque me pese. Posee una belleza que opaca a la que yo una vez tuve, heredó lo mejor de su madre, tiene ese encanto hechizante que atrae a las masas, los embruja con solo una sonrisa, ¡es por eso que ella no debe ser mi sucesora, no lo puedo permitir! Isabel será lo que una vez fue su madre, una reina hereje, apartará al reino de la obediencia al Santo Padre, de el dulce consuelo de la Madre de Cristo, reinstalará el mal que yo ya he erradicado y no lo puedo permitir! Y aún con todo lo que ya se, no la puedo odiar, no la puedo matar, por sus venas corre la misma sangre que por las mías, admito que recuerdo con cariño los momentos que pasamos juntas cuando la soledad y el desprecio eran nuestra única compañía. Mas como creer ahora en sus palabras de afecto, si estoy segura que su corazón anhela tener sobre su cabeza la corona que yo poseo, estoy segura que su alma es tan ambiciosa como la de su estirpe materna, ella en los huesos también es una Bolena. Isabel, mi hermana y mi rival, mi ruina, y al mismo tiempo la salvación de este reino.

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Isabel, tan joven aún, en cambio yo, a mi me han consumido las penas de tal manera, que los años se pueden considerar inocentes, ante el deterioro tan evidente en mi apariencia. Isabel, la envidio y le temo, la quiero y la desprecio, nos unen y nos separan tantas cosas. Me pregunto, ¿ como ha podido superar los martirios de su soledad, como ha logrado mantenerse fresca y bella a pesar de los miedos que la torturan, por qué a ella le ha bendecido la vida con belleza espléndida a pesar de sus penas, mientras que a mí me ha emparejado con la misma decadencia? No tengo respuestas que me conforten, que me hagan comprender y conformarme, y es por eso que ese amor que le tuve cuando era una niña, denigrada a bastarda como yo, sin madre y sin rango, se ha desvanecido, la rivalidad ha tomado el lugar de ese sentimiento que una vez fue dulce, pero que ya no es más que solo amargura.

Lejos están de mi aquellos recuerdos que dulcemente me consolaban, todo cambió desde los días en que mis padres se mostraban amor a puertas abiertas, tanto que les vi besarse, romper protocolos para brindarse sonrisas, mi padre el Rey, que corría a recibirme en sus brazos y me llamaba “La Perla de su Mundo”. Y mi madre, la hermosa Reina Catalina de Aragón, que guiaba con ternura mis pasos, la que con fervor curaba mis fiebres y me cantaba nanas en la madrugada cuando las pesadillas me aterraban. Dios sabe cuanto extraño su dulce voz, sus consejos, y aquellos regaños, que inspiraban admiración y respeto, pero miedo, eso jamás. Mis padres fueron Reyes, mas yo nunca los vi de esa manera, fueron mis padres, y con ellos fui feliz. Por eso siempre prometía a mi madre que el día que fuera Reina de Inglaterra, haría honores a mi Casta de Castilla y Aragón, haría que la Rosa Tudor marcara por siempre la Corona. Pero Ana Bolena me arrebató todo, y no importa si dicen que mi padre tuvo mil amantes, y un bastardo al que puso por encima de mí, aún con todo aquello yo era la luz de sus ojos, yo lo se. Fue ella y la llegada de Isabel, quienes sellaron mi destino para mal, y todo lo que fui, todo lo que amé, ya nunca más fue mío, y aquella promesa que mil veces le hice a mi madre, ahora mismo se tambalea, se encuentra en peligro de perecer sin ser realmente cumplida.

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Isabel, siento que tristememente en un tiempo no tendré muchas fuerzas para enfrentarte, a veces quisiera olvidar todo, y tenerte conmigo, verte como la hermana que siempre quise a mi lado, más no puedo, ya sea por envidia, por miedo, por desprecio u orgullo, debo mantenerte lejos. Yo se, que los ojos de mi esposo el Rey se han deleitado con tus encantos, los mismos que heredaste de tu madre, bien que eres cuña de su mismo árbol. ¡Me duele y me indigna! Pero en el fondo quisiera ser como tú. Te veo tan llena de vida, mientras que yo me consumo como una llama en medio de la tormenta, sonríes con dulzura, y yo ya no puedo, eres delicada, como lo fui yo en mis años felices, eres ciertamente hija de nuestro padre, hija del león, igual que yo, pero más fuerte, has sobrevivido tus penas sin marchitarte, y es por eso que, aunque me cueste admitirlo, siento que en este reino no habrá reina más amada y recordada que tú. Pues ya no puedo seguir posponiendo lo inevitable, mis fuerzas no son las mismas, y siento que lo que llevo en mi vientre, no es el dulce latir de un hijo, aunque lo deseo con todas mis fuerzas, cada día que pasa me doy cuenta que lo que crece dentro de mi me absorbe la vida, se alimenta de mi de manera ponzoñosa, más no con la dulzura con la que un a criatura de Dios lo hace dentro del vientre materno. Permita Dios y me equivoque, pero si estas dudas se tornan ciertas, tendré que heredarte todo Isabel, pasar mi corona sobre tu cabeza, y al irme de este mundo ver una vez más la perversa sonrisa de tu madre, regocijada en tu triunfo sobre mí.

Lágrimas negras he llorado, lágrimas que encierran rabia, rencor, soledad, amargura y miedo. Lágrimas negras que comencé a derramar desde el día en que me separaron de mi madre, desde el momento en el que el Rey mi padre me lanzó a la sombras para llevar a la luz a su amante en todo su esplendor, mientras que su verdadera reina, se consumía en le verguenza y en la pena de su abandono. Lágrimas negras derramé cuando me degradaron a sirvienta, siguiendo los pasos de mi hermana recién nacida y bajando la cabeza ante aquellos que siempre debieron inclinarse ante mí. Lágrimas negras he llorado sin consuelo, a solas, con el único apoyo de mis recuerdos felices, de aquella niñez que fue cortada tan temprano. Siempre escuché de mis damas decir: que las lágrimas de una princesa, siempre deben ser de alegría, pues el alma de una princesa, siempre debe brillar de felicidad, como el oro con el que fue labrada su corona al nacer. Fácil forjar palabras bellas para alagar a una princesa cuando la gloria le favorece, más cuando ésta cae en desgracia, nadie forja palabras de igual belleza para consolar, y hacer que esas lágrimas negras, tan llenas de agonía, dejen de brotar.

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Lágrimas negras han secado mi alma, se han llevado la juventud de mi rostro, lavaron con su frialdad mi alegría de vivir, ya nunca pude ser de nuevo aquella joven de gran altivez, de presencia cálida que a todos agradaba. Lágrimas negras, lloré cuando al ver mi reflejo en los ojos de mi padre el rey, ya no veía el amor de un padre, si no la rigidez del tirano que solo buscaba mi obediencia y complacencia absoluta, en su mirada fría pude ver mi propio temor, pues me di cuenta que si me mantenía firme en mis convicciones, era claro que no se tocaría el corazón para ordenar mi muerte. A partir de ese momento mi alma se fue marchitando, y así mis sueños e ilusiones igual fueron pereciendo. Pasaba el tiempo y para mí no habia esperanzas, solo la muerte de mi hermano me devolvió lo que siempre debió ser mío en primer lugar, El Trono de Inglaterra.

La dulce victoria de mi llegada al trono fue cálida, yo tenía tanto por hacer, por primera vez me sentí segura, recompensada por tantos años de rechazo y amargura. Pero de nada sirvió, porque la soledad no me abandona, y tampoco la mala fortuna. En las noches siguen brotando lágrimas negras, caen por mi rostro tan frías como el invierno mas duro, porque no hay alegría a pesar de mis logros, no hay amor a pesar de mi deseo, no, no hay amor, pues no lo veo en los ojos de el hombre al que amo, en el que había puesto todas mis esperanzas de felicidad. Me mira con desprecio, y aveces creo que hasta con asco, y no le culpo, ya no soy hermosa, al menos no como una vez lo fuí, pero le amo, ¿acaso no es eso suficiente? No, creo que no lo es, tanto que mi madre amó a mi padre, y aún así fue abandonada. ¿Por qué, Por qué para una reina es tan dificil ser amada por lo que es, por quien es, es que acaso las reinas de Inglaterra tienen prohibido el placer de amar y ser correspondidas, con la misma libertad y pureza que ese sentimiento divino profesa.

Cruel destino el mío que solo ha hecho brotar de mis ojos lágrimas negras. Tan corta fue la dicha en mi vida, y tan larga mi pena. ¿Será que mi estirpe está maldita, a causa de pecados pasados, será este el precio a pagar? Dios sabe que mis actos fueron hechos con el fin de traer a Inglaterra de vuelta a la luz, a la Fe única y verdadera. No me arrepiento de nada, pues lo hice actuando con mi consciencia, hice lo que juré en silencio mi madre y a mí misma. Pero quizás sea mi negativa a perdonar, lo que realmente me esté envenenando por dentro. Puede que esa sea la raíz de todos mis males, pues Dios mismo ha ordenado en Su palabra perdonar, aún a nuestros más fuertes enemigos. Bien pues, tomando en cuenta que dentro de mí, siento un nuevo ardor de vida, elevo al cielo una plegaria, abro mi corazón al perdón, pues si es el precio a pagar por una esperanza de felicidad, de ser amada por mi pueblo como su reina, estoy dispuesta a tragame mi orgullo, y dar el perdón a quienes más daño me hicieron en esta vida.

De rodillas, suplico a Dios y a la dulce Virgen María que escuchen mi clamor, es mi deseo, dejar mi odio atrás, que me den la fuerza que necesito para tragarme mi orgullo, y perdonar a mi padre, a esa mujer, Ana Bolena, que con su lujuria y ambición destruyó mi vida, pido por el alma de ambos, para que reciban el perdón.Te perdono, padre mío, por darme el cruel látigo de tu desprecio después de tantos años de veneración y amor, jamás podrás imaginar el dolor tan inmenso que me hiciste padecer, y si está tu alma finalmente en el cielo, no lo se, aún me siento muy herida como para anhelar que así sea, aunque mi corazón te perdone en mi memoria están ardiendo aún los recuerdos de esos días negros, que tanto marcaron mi existencia. Y ella, Ana Bolena, espero que Dios le haya perdonado todo el mal que causó, tanto a mí como a tantos hombres buenos que sirvieron al Rey con fervor y lealtad. Mi confesor una vez me dijo que ella con la pérdida de su cabeza ya había pagado todas sus maldades, tal vez sea la verdad, y sea hora de olvidarla y dejar de pensar en ella con tanto odio. Pido también por el alma de mi madre, a la que nunca olvido, la que vive en mi corazón y en mis recuerdos, que esté en paz y me ayude desde el cielo a hallar la mía propia. Y más que todo, pido que esto que siento latiendo dentro de mí, sea la esperanza de este reino, y mi redención, mi recompensa a tantos años de miedo y sufrimientos. Que me equivoque en mis malos pensamientos, que sea vida y no desventura o enfermedad lo que dentro de mi viente siento crecer, que sea un heredero, creo merecer esa bendición, ¿verdad?

Deus, animam meam: dimittite me ut plangeret prohibere nigrum lacrimis. In nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti, Amen.

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English Translation:

Black Tears:  The Prayer of Mary Tudor, Queen of England

I once was the pearl of this kingdom, the light of the eyes of the King my father, and the whole life of the queen, my mother. Heir of noble blood, strong caste, with ancestry of impeccable lineage, and precious legacy, but still, in spite of all that, I am not loved by my kingdom, neither by my husband nor by those around me. I, the granddaughter of Isabel and Ferdinand of Castile, daughter of the noble Catherine of Aragon, daughter of the lion, Henry The VIII, I am reduced to nothing, with a crown that is too heavy for me to carry, it hurts me, a crown that gives me an immense power But at the same time condemns me to extreme solitude. What good is it to have it on my head if it can not give me the love of my subjects and my husband, what good is it to me if it can not give me heirs, what good is it if it inspires only the fear of those who cross my path? It is for this that I worked so hard in my early years, it is for this that I kept myself together during all my years of suffering?

I look in the mirror, and I do not recognize myself. I have lost the freshness of youth, more because of the pain than for nature of years, I have become a woman of stone, cold and indomitable. I have given my soul, my heart and my whole being to England as it was always my duty, I do not regret it, because I have avenged my mother, and myself for the insults of the past. From the moment I was anointed and crowned, I returned the honor to my caste, recovered what was always mine by right, I eliminated my enemies and the enemies of the Holy Catholic Faith, one by one fell before the flames of pure fire Of the justice of God, which by my hand they have received, I have gradually destroyed the heresy that came with The Boleyns, its lineage and all their allies, England is once again one with God and the Holy Father. I have fulfilled a sacred duty, and yet, I am not loved. The whole kingdom murmurs, people call me “Bloody Mary”, they fear me and they hate me, they do not dare to tell me on my face what they shout behind my back. I am the Queen, Mary First of England, regent without doubt, and I am not loved. They talk about me on the sly. They whisper about how the queen grows old and the cry of the heir to the throne of England is not yet heard. They torture me, the worst thing is that their words are true, it is a truth that deeply hurts me! Am I cursed?, perhaps God punishes me by denying me what I have wanted most in the world. A son, a son to love, a son who cleans my soul from so many sorrows, from that past that poisons me so much. A son would give me the peace I lost many years ago, would give me back the joy of living, even the lost youth. A son who would be my greatest legacy, a son who would continue with what I have already begun. A son, a blessing, a creature I will love and give everything, regardless of gender, for I would never commit the cruel error of my father, to reject a daughter for the will of a male heir, I would never commit that cruelty with who would be blood of my blood, flesh of my flesh.

But I am empty, and I refuse to believe that there is no chance, I already had that sweet sensation inside me once, and it was as if some curse had made it disappear. God knows how much I longed for a child, how I felt that life itself flourished in my womb, it was not deception, I knew it was inside me. But by divine will or dark evil, could not be, I lost that little being that love created inside my heart without physical pain, why so cruel mockery of This destiny of mine that insists on condemning me to solitude?

Damn destiny! Destiny that changed my life in my childhood when allowed Anne Boleyn to discharge her poison in my life, snatching everything, my father, my mother, my rank and everything I loved. Cruel destiny that put me before stepmothers who did little for me, for fear of infuriating the tyrant of my father, whom I sometimes forgive, and whom I sometimes hate with all my heart, whenever I think of the tears of my beloved mother , And in mine, As I suffered in those days, far from who gave me life and everything that sweetly surrounded me, the protection that the rank of princess granted me, as I remember the terror of thinking that the next day I would see Before me the sentence of my death, by the hand of that bitch of Boleyn, who made me a bastard under the spell that made her reign over my mother’s misfortune. And that is why I can not love my sister as God’s law commands, not only because she is the fruit of the union that separated me from everything that was once entirely mine. Also because I always felt less Than her, that is a fact I can not deny.

She has a beauty that overshadows the one I once had, she inherited the best of her mother, Elizabeth has that enchanting charm that attracts the masses, she bewitches them with just a smile, that is why she should not be my successor, no I can not allow it! Elizabeth will be what her mother once was, a heretic queen, she will remove this kingdom from obedience to the Holy Father, from the sweet consolation of the Mother of Christ, she will reinstall the evil that I have eradicated and I can not allow it! And even with all that I already know, I can not hate her, I can not kill her, her blood is also my blood, I admit that I remember with affection the moments we spent together when loneliness and contempt were our only company. But as I now believe in her words of affection, I am also sure that her heart yearns to have on her head the crown that I possess, I am certain that her soul is as ambitious as that of her maternal race, she in the bones is also a Boleyn . Elizabeth, my sister and my rival, my ruin, and at the same time the salvation of this kingdom.

Elizabeth, so young, yet I have been so consumed with such pains that the years can be considered innocent, in the face of the deterioration so evident in my appearance. Isabel, I envy her and I fear her, I love her, the sorrows unite us and separate us from so many things. I wonder, how she has overcome the martyrdoms of her solitude, how she has managed to keep herself fresh and beautiful despite the fears that torture her, why she has blessed her life with splendid beauty despite her sorrows, and I am in decay? I have no answers that comfort me, that makes me understand and conform, We both were denigrated, called bastards and we both lost all we loved and cared for, and yet, I was the most devastated by bitterness.

Far away are those memories that sweetly comforted me, everything changed from the days when my parents showed their love openly, many times I saw them kissing, breaking protocols to give themselves smiles, my father the King, who ran to receive me in his Arms and called me “The Pearl of his World”. And my mother, the beautiful Queen Catherine of Aragon, who tenderly guided my steps, who fervently cured my fevers and sang me nanas at dawn when the nightmares terrified me. God knows how much I miss her sweet voice, her advice, and those scoldings, which inspired admiration and respect, never fear. My parents were Kings, but I never saw them that way, they were my parents, and with them I was happy. That is why I always promised my mother that on the day that I was Queen of England, I would honor my Caste of Castile and Aragon, I would lead the Tudor Rose to mark forever the Crown. But Anne Boleyn took everything from me, and it does not matter if they say that my father had a thousand lovers, and a bastard whom he put above me, even with all that I was the light of his eyes, I know. It was her and the arrival of Elizabeth, who sealed my destiny, and everything I was, everything I loved, was never mine anymore, and that promise that I made to my mother a thousand times, is now tottering, Is in danger of perishing without actually being fulfilled.

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Elizabeth, I feel that sadly in a while I will not have much strength to face you, sometimes I want to forget everything, and to have you with me, to see you as the sister I always loved at my side, but I can not, either out of envy, out of fear, out of contempt Or pride, I must keep you away. I know that the eyes of my husband the King have delighted in your charms, the same ones you inherited from your mother, well, you are wedge of her own tree. It hurts and makes me angry! But deep down I would like to be like you. I see you so full of life, while I consume like a flame in the midst of the storm, you smile sweetly, and I can not, you are delicate, as I was in my happy years, you are certainly the daughter of our father, Daughter of the lion, just like me, but stronger, you have survived your sorrows without waning, and that is why, although I admit it, I feel that in this kingdom there will be no queen more loved and remembered than you. For I can no longer postpone the inevitable, my strength is not the same, and I feel that what I carry in my womb, is not the sweet touch of a child, although I want it with all my strength, every day that passes I realize That what grows within me absorbs my life, it feeds on me in a poisonous way, but not with the sweetness with which a creature of God does it within the womb. I pray God that I am wrong, but if these doubts become true, I will have to inherit all to Elizabeth, pass my crown on her head, and when I leave this world I will see once again the wicked smile of her mother, rejoicing in the triumph of her daughter over me .

Black tears I cried, tears that contain anger, rancor, loneliness, bitterness and fear. Black tears that I began to spill from the day they separated me from my mother, from the moment the King my father cast me into the shadows to bring to light his mistress in all her splendor, while his true queen , Was consumed in the shame and the pain of his abandonment. Black tears I shed when I was degraded to a servant, following in the footsteps of my newborn sister and lowering my head to those who always had to bow before me. Black tears I cried without consolation, alone, with the only support of my happy memories, of that childhood that was cut so early. I always heard of my ladies saying that the tears of a princess must always be of joy, for the soul of a princess must always shine with happiness, like the gold with which her crown was wrought at birth. It is easy to forge beautiful words to swell a princess when glory favors her, but when she falls in disgrace, no one forges words of equal beauty to comfort, and make those black tears, so full of agony, cease to spring.

Black tears have dried my soul, they have taken away the youth of my face, washed with coldness my joy of living, and I will never again be that young woman of great pride, with a warm presence that pleased everyone. Black tears, I cried when seeing my reflection in the eyes of my father the king, I no longer saw the love of a father, but the rigidity of the tyrant who only sought my obedience and absolute complacency, in his cold gaze I could see my own Fear, for I realized that if I held firm in my convictions, it was clear that he would not touch his heart to order my death. From that moment my soul wilted, and so my dreams and illusions alike were perishing. Time passed and for me there was no hope, only the death of my brother gave back to me what must have always been mine in the first place, The Throne of England.

The sweet victory of my arrival to the throne was warm, I had so much to do, for the first time I felt safe, rewarded by so many years of rejection and bitterness. But it did no good, because loneliness does not abandon me, nor does bad luck. In the nights, black tears continue to come, they fall on my face as cold as the hardest winter, because there is no joy despite my achievements, there is no love despite my desire, no, there is no love, for I do not see it in the Eyes of the man I love, in whom I had put all my hopes of happiness. He looks at me with contempt, and sometimes I think that even with disgust, and I do not blame him, I’m not beautiful anymore, at least not as I once was, but I love him, is not that enough? No, I do not think so, so much so that my mother loved my father, and yet she was abandoned. Why, why is it that for a queen it is so difficult to be loved for what she is, for who she is, is it that the queens of England are forbidden the pleasure of loving and being reciprocated with the same freedom and purity as that divine feeling Professes.

Cruel destiny of mine that only made black tears come out of my eyes. So brief was happiness in my life, and so long my grief. Shall my race be cursed, because of past sins, is this the price to pay? God knows that my actions were done in order to bring England back to the light, to the only true Faith. I do not regret anything, because I did it by acting with my conscience, I did what I swore in silence, for my mother and myself. But maybe it’s my refusal to forgive, which is really poisoning me inside. That may be the root of all my evils, for God himself has commanded in His word to forgive even our strongest enemies. Well, taking into account that within me, I feel a new ardor of life, I raise a prayer to heaven, I open my heart to forgiveness, for if it is the price to pay for a hope of happiness, to be loved by my people as His queen, I am ready to swallow my pride, and give the forgiveness to those who have done the most harm in my life.

On my knees, I beg God and the sweet Virgin Mary to listen to my prayer, it is my desire, to leave my hatred behind, to develop the strength I need to swallow my pride, and to forgive my father, that woman, Anne Boleyn, Who with her lust and ambition destroyed my life, I ask for the soul of both, so that they may receive forgiveness. I forgive you, my father, for giving me the cruel whip of your rejection after so many years of veneration and love, you can never imagine the Pain that you made me suffer, and if your soul is finally in heaven, I do not know, I still feel very hurt to yearn for it to be so, although my heart forgives you, in my memory are still burning the memories of those dark days, that marked so much my existence. And she, Anne Boleyn, I hope that God has forgiven all the evil she caused, both me and so many good men who served the King with fervor and loyalty. My confessor once told me that with the loss of her head she had already paid for all her evil action, perhaps it is the truth, and it is time to forget and stop thinking about her with so much hatred. I also ask for the soul of my mother, whom I never forget, who lives in my heart and in my memories, who is at peace and help me from heaven to find my own. And above all, I ask that what I feel beating within me, may be the hope of this kingdom, and my redemption, my reward for so many years of fear and suffering. I hope that I am wrong in my bad thoughts, that is life and not misfortune or disease what I feel growing, that he is an heir, I think I deserve that blessing, right?

Deus, animam meam: dimittite me ut plangeret prohibere nigrum lacrimis. In nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti, Amen

The True Heir

September 2, 2014 in Tudor Uk Court by ADMIN: Royal Squire

Eustace Chapuys, the Imperial Ambassador sits at his worn desk as he writes the emperor. He feels that he failed Katherine and her health has deteriorated. The Emperor did not follow his advice to invade England to stop Henry from breaking with Rome and replacing the rightful Queen Katherine with the putone Anne Boleyn. His heart was broken for Katherine but he had to devote all his attention to Mary, Henry’s rightful heir. If Anne succeeded in giving birth to a son Chapuys felt that Mary’s life could be in peril. He was not going to fail the Princess Mary. He gives his servant the letter to be dispatched and has his groom ready his steed to visit Princess Mary.

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Princess Mary UK Q

I walked around the estate calmer now that I had finally been freed from serving the concubine’s daughter Elizabeth. The stress and mistreatment has brought back back many of my ailments and they did not want Elizabeth to be in danger. I keep rubbing my hands together, unaware of my nervous habit. Even though my new home is damp it feels better to be out of the babe’s household. I walk swiftly to the chapel as my gown sweeps the old rushes and light the candles as I kneel to the alter. Dei, a me quod vis, quaeso ut me. It faciat judicium conplacui. God, I beseech you to show me what you wish from me. Guide me so that I make the right decisions. Bless my father for he is under the spell of a witch and knows not what he is doing. Great men such as Fisher and More have lost their life because of the puta, Ann Boleyn.”
I weep in despair, I have not seen my mother in years and now she has become weaker from an unknown sickness. I have heard whispers that she is being poisoned, will I be next? How do I obey my father and follow my conscious? I can not turn my back on my mother and God. The years have taken their toll on me. I have been stripped of my rightful title and have been declared a bastard by my father. I hold my head, the anguish of what has become my life weighs too heavy on me. I know not which way to turn.
As I become lost in my thoughts, one of my attendants whispers that I have a visitor. I slowly stand up and a glimmer of hope seeps into my heart, could it be my father? I gather my celadon gown and rush out to greet my visitor, I rarely have one. I try not to hide my disappointment when I see that it is the Imperial Ambassador and not my father but Chapuys. He is my one true friend and I greet him warmly. He bows and takes my hand as we walk the grounds. ” What news have you of my mother, father and court?”

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Eustace Chapuys Uk

I walk with Mary noticing how the years have hurt her and are beginning to show on her face. She was still a beauty with much of her mother in her but she did not have the strength of Katherine. Katherine is happy to die a martyr but I pray to God that the same fate does not befall Mary. I can not do any more to save Katherine, that battle is lost. But I will devote myself to saving Mary. She is alone with no one to guide or protect her.
” The puta grows heavy with the child yet the King’s eyes have turned elsewhere. There is a Mistress Seymour he has become enraptured with but none of that will matter if Madame Boleyn gives your father a son. Her place will be secure forever and you may be in great peril. Mary, you must listen to me. I have arranged with your cousin the Holy Emperor to secretly transport you to Spain if the puta bears a son. You are still the rightful heir to those who adhere to the true religion. We will ride at night where a ship will be waiting for us to take you to safety under the protection of the Emperor. I would not do this if there was any other way to keep you safe. You must think of your duty to the people of England. ” I study Mary’s face and try not to look at her gown that is frayed at the bottom and has been hastily patched up. What a disgrace for the granddaughter of the great Queen Isabella.

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Princess Mary UK Q

I sigh and think hard, a life without hiding and fear that my next meal could kill me. Spain Would bring me happiness, the Emperor may even make a good marriage for me. This could be the answer to my prayers. “It would not be easy to escape from this prison.  But I fear you may be right. I can barely eat my meals after they’ve been tasted. I fear poison everyday. My poor mother has already been poisoned and I know the concubine will want me out of the way  as soon as she gives my father a son. My life would be intolerable. How will the Emperor treat me? Do you think my mother will try to run as well.” I say hoping that this could bring us together again.

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Eustace Chapuys Uk

I smile happily that I have piqued Mary’s interest and she seems open to the idea. I will not fail Mary as I have her mother. “The Emperor will treat you according to your proper title as future heir to the throne of England and as his dearest cousin. He will also help you find a good match, a prince noble enough for his cousin. As for your mother I fear she is too ill.”
Though even if she was well, she would never run, she will die the martyr. “ I am sorry, but many of her doctors do not know how much time she has left. I would believe she was being poisoned but her food is all tasted before she eats any. The doctor’s are not sure from what malady the Queen suffers. I am sorry to give you such bad news your Highness.” I embrace this poor young woman whose life has been turned upside down and is living in poverty and seclusion. As God is my witness I will not fail her.

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Princess Mary UK Q

I will pray for my mother’s soul, sed in ipsa Dei ulnis.  May she be delivered into God’s loving arms. My heart shatters at the thought of not being able to be with her in the end, nor to say goodbye. I wipe my tears quickly.. Even though I knew it was a sin, I wished Mistress Boleyn would have a terrible death and suffer as she has caused my mother to suffer. I stay quiet knowing that I would have to go to confession for my wicked thoughts. But the Boleyn woman is evil and put a spell on my beloved father. He would never have treated us so badly if it was not for the witch’s spells. I cross myself quickly as I shudder with fear. A life without fear was what I craved, to be recognized as the true princess and heir to the throne of England. The thought of finding a husband brought me some comfort. I knew one day I would return to England and bring her back to the true faith. “ I will agree to your plans, please inform me as soon as you know the details. I must go pray for God’s safety and that one day I will return to England and my rightful place as queen.”

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Eustace Chapuys Uk

“ Listen to me Mary, never lose hope or faith. God will see you through these terrible times. I have you best interests at heart and I shall not fail you. “I bend a knee and kiss her hand. ” Be careful and keep yourself well.” I watch Mary walk slowly  back to the manor and shake my head of what has befallen mother and daughter. I will return to my home and swiftly send the Emperor a missive with this news.

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England’s Lonely Rose, The Story of Mary Tudor. Final Part

June 19, 2014 in Hall of Crowns (Mercy Rivera), News, Queens of World History by Mercy Rivera

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The citizens of London woke up one morning with terror in their eyes.  Troops carrying the banners of the Marian Crusade against Heretics and Enemies of the Catholic Faith surrounded the city.  By the Law of Her Majesty Queen Mary I,  for the crime of heresy, the penalty was to burn at the stake until death.  If you were noble, poor, woman, child, that would not matter. If the person was found guilty, he or she would be sentenced to death and with him or her, the rest of their families.   The Queen wanted results as soon as possible, but this was just in the beginning.  By her side was also a prominent and fervent Catholic. His name was Edmund Bonner, Bishop of London.   This man was thirsty for revenge towards the Protestants and like the Queen, he had a strong desire to return the Real back to the Holy Catholic Faith.   He was in charge of the hunt for heretics, and one of the firsts to fall under his wrath was John Rogers. He suffered a painful death on the stake on February 4th 1555.

Soon, the names of Rogers, Sanders, Taylor, Hooper, Ridley, Latimer and Cranmer were call for the hunt. Members of those families started to flee from England. Some were lucky, while others only found their way to the Tower of London.  Fear was the key in the initial success of there persecutions. Those who wanted to be spared from the burnings became informants for Gardiner and Bonner so, for those who wanted a path of freedom, sadly only found themselves trapped by traitors.

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But while terror was in command of the realm, the Queen was happy inside her Castle Walls, dreaming of the unborn child inside of her.  There was not an evidence of her pregnancy but… the Queen showed all the symptoms, and her physicians did not dare to speak against it.  To the surprise and joy of her ladies in waiting and servants, Her Majesty was slowly “showing” her delicate condition. Her belly was swollen, she had cravings, gaining of weight, a glow in her presence, and her breasts were producing milk.  Everyone was at this moment sure that the Queen was with child, and soon the realm would have a legitimate Catholic Heir to the throne.   For Mary this was a blessing, one that she would soon share with her husband.  In her mind, the birth of her baby was not only a miracle, but also a sign that her husband would grew to love her as much as she loved him.  But while the Queen was dreaming with a happy life, England was in the deep end of darkness.

The streets of England were contaminated with the stench of burnt flesh. It is said that the air was so thick with smoke and putrid odor, that it was almost difficult to breathe outside.  The screams of the victims of the fire chilled the blood, and this was just the start of all.  Now, it was the turn of two prominent men to face the fire of the Marian Persecutions, their names: Hugh Latimer and Nicholas Ridley. 

Hugh Latimer was a man of importance during the reign of Henry the VIII, and once he was Bishop of Worcester.  Soon the troops of Queen Mary reached him, and when he was arrested, his words towards the Captain of the Guard were:  “My friend, you are a welcome messenger to me; and in passing through Smithfield, where so many of the martyrs of Jesus had been burned alive… Smithfield, hath long groaned for me.”  This man suffered a long and cruel imprisonment in the Tower of London.  He was stripped from almost all his clothing, and the cold of the night was killing him. It was so unbearable, that he told to his jailors:  “I will certainly escape the hands of my enemies, because before I fall in thy hands, I will perish from cold and starvation”.

While this man suffered in his cold cell in the Tower, Queen Mary was ready for her confinement. All preparations were made and now, it was time to wait and see.  But time passed, and nothing happened. Her physicians started to think that the child inside the Queen’s belly was death but they wanted to wait, since there was still some days before the due time to be completed.  The time for the birth arrived, and nothing happened. The Queen however was willing to wait, and wait, but all came to nothing.  Rumors of the birth of a healthy son filled the city but, when no royal delegation came from Hampton Court to affirm it, it was clear that it was just a lie.  A few days later, the queen slowly recovered her tiny waist, and all her dreams were once again dead.

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She wept for a long time. She cursed the heretics and blamed them for her tragedy. In her sorrow, she accused them of poisoning her and her baby with their abominable practices and wishes to see her death.  Her phantom pregnancy became a national joke, and even in the corners of Hampton Court the courtiers mocked about it.   The Queen was alone, sad, angry, and very frustrated.  But once again, she used all that and concentrated it only in her goal to destroy the heretics.  It was now the turn of Nicholas Ridley to know her rage.

Ridley was locked in the Tower shortly after Mary was crowned. He was aware that poor Latimer was his neighbor, and this kept him in calm even with his difficult circumstances.  But suddenly he was removed from the Tower and transported to a common prison in Oxford.  There, he was interrogated and strongly bullied by the Queen’s delegates and some papists.  They wanted to force him to renounce to his Faith and Embrace the Catholic Faith.  But the promises of pardon and mercy did not make him change his mind.  This treatment was only a tactic from the Catholic Church and especially the Pope, to find an example for the heretics, someone willing to renounce to the Heresy and return to the Catholic Faith so other could follow this and make the conquer easier.  Sadly for the Pope and the Catholic Faction, with Nicholas Ridley, this was not working at all.

When he was insulted, he made strong remarks“The Lord being my helper, I will to maintain so long as is my tongue shall wag, and breath is within my body, and in confirmation thereof seal the same with my blood.”  When he was finally told that he would not receive the Queen’s mercy, he replied:  “Do therein as it shall please you. I am well contented with that, and more than that the servant is not above his Master. If they dealt so cruelly with our Saviour Christ, as the Scripture maketh mention, and he endured the same patently, how much more doth it become us, his servants?” 

His words reached the ears of Queen Mary. In her rage she ordered the total humiliation of Ridley.   He was forced to go to the Catholic Mass, and being among the priests wearing the official trinkets and clothes of a Catholic Man of God.  But he was a fervent Protestant, and was determined to go against this.  He vehemently spoke against the Bishop of Rome, calling him anti-Christ, and the apparel foolish and abominable.  Because of this, he was hold and forced to hear and witness the rest of the mass, his words while this was happening were:  “O Lord God, forgive them this their wickedness.”   This only increased the rage of the priests, papists and delegates of the Queen, and unfortunately, sealed his fate earlier than it was expect it.

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On the following day, October 16th, 1555, Hugh Latimer and Nicholas Ridley were brought to the stake, which was prepared in a hollow, near Baliol College, on the north side of the city of Oxford.  According to a witness, Latimer was the first to be tied, and here is a description of how he looked after all the time in prison:  “A remarkable change was observed in his appearance; for whereas he had hitherto seemed a withered, decrepit, and even a deformed old man, he now stood perfectly upright, a straight and comely person”. 

Then it was the turn of Ridley to be tied on the stake beside Latimer, once he was chained to it, he said:  “O heavenly Father, I give unto thee most hearty thanks, for that thou hast called me to be a professor of thee, even unto death: I beseech thee, Lord God, take mercy upon this realm of England, and deliver the same from all her enemies.” 

Finally, the executioner started the fire, as the flames rose, Ridley with great courage cried out loud:“Into thy hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit,” and often he repeated in English, “Lord, receive my spirit!” Latimer on the other cried: “O Father of heaven, receive my soul!”   Perhaps by vengeance, lack of care or simply the mere intention to show the English people the terrible consequences of being away from the Catholic flock and the domain of Queen Mary, the fire that was consuming the bodies of Ridley and Latimer was kept very low. This was increasing the agony of these poor souls in a very cruel and barbaric way.

These kind of actions started to make the people think about if their Queen was a woman of justice and Faith or if she was a twisted soul in seek of revenge and blood.  The commoners started to call her “Bloody Mary” and her right hand in all these persecutions shared her motto, because he was also called: “Bloody Bonner”.   Edmund Bonner had no pity, and under his command in the hunt of heretics, women, children, nobles and commoners were burnt with no possibilities of pardon or mercy from Her Majesty.  They were guilty as charge, with no defense.   For a long, long time, Latimer and Ridley suffered the painful touch of the ill flames, until a guard, mercifully increased the fire, ending their torture once and for all.

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The Queen never witnessed the executions, and the reports given to her were not always complete in details.  It is believed that she was not totally aware of the cruel ways of those in charge of the burnings in her name.  Even with this little lack of information given to her, Queen Mary was satisfied with the outcome.  She was sure that England was little by little be cleaned of enemies, and her faith would be secure forever.   Her Majesty continued with her task, but now she had more reasons to be content, her husband, the King, was back in England, and now it was time to join him and start again with her plans of motherhood.

Phillip showed great respect and kindness towards Mary, of course, she was expecting more than that from her husband but at least, she felt happy with his return.  She refused to believe in the rumors that he had mistresses, and that he had even set eyes upon many of her ladies in waiting. But that fact that she refused to believe that did not mean she was willing to allow him to take a mistress under her roof.   She changed all of her ladies wardrobes and ordered them to wear black. Their gowns were modest but proper to show their status as companions of the Queen.   But while the Queen was taking measures to preserve her marriage, the Marian Persecutions continued. Now it was the turn of one of the Queen’s highest enemy in England, Thomas Cranmer — the man in charge of dissolving the marriage of Mary’s parents, the one she always believed responsible for her downfall as Princess of England, (alongside Anne Boleyn of course), the man who helped to change all the once loved and cherished.

Between the end of January and mid February 1556, Thomas Cranmer made four recantations, submitting himself to the authority of Queen Mary and recognizing the Pope as the head of the church. On the 14th February his priesthood was taken from him and his execution was set for the 7th March because Edmund Bonner was not satisfied with Cranmer’s admissions. Cranmer then made a fifth recantation, fully accepting Catholic theology, repudiating Reformist theology, stating that there was no salvation outside of the Catholic Church and announcing that he was happy to return to the Catholic fold. He participated in the mass and asked for sacramental absolution, and he received it.   With this alone he was supposed to be absolved of all charges, but the Queen had an immense dark grudge against him, and she had no intention to let him live.

Mary has in her mouth the sweet taste of revenge, and she was enjoying it.  The Queen made clear to the Council Members that his execution would go ahead.   On the 18th March, he made his final recantation but his execution date was set for the 21st. On the date of his execution, he was given the opportunity to publicly recant at the University Church, Oxford.  But Thomas Cranmer decided to do something different of what was expected from him. Instead of recanting, Thomas Cranmer opened with the expected prayer and exhortation to obey the King and Queen, and then, to the surprise of everyone, he renounced his recantations, saying that the hand he had used to sign them would be the hand that would be punished first. 

Thomas Cranmer went even farther and said: “And as for the pope, I refuse him, as Christ’s enemy, and Antichrist with all his false doctrine,  and as for the Sacrament, I believe as I have taught in my book against the bishop of Winchester, the which my book teacheth so true a doctrine of the Sacrament, that it shall stand at the last day before the judgment of God, when the papistical doctrine, contrary thereto, shall be ashamed to show her face.”

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Thomas Cranmer had no chance to say anything else. He was taken away to suffer his painful execution.  Thomas Cranmer was quickly hurried to the stake, prepared on the spot where Latimer and Ridley had suffered five months before. After a short prayer,  he put off his clothes with a cheerful countenance and willing mind, and stood upright in his shirt, which came down to his feet. His feet were bare. His head, when both his caps were off, appeared perfectly bald, but his beard was long and thick, and his countenance so venerable, that it moved even his enemies to compassion. Two Spanish friars, who worked hard in obtaining his recantation, continued to exhort him; till, perceiving that their efforts were vain, one of them said, ‘Let us leave him, for the devil is with him!

It is said that Thomas Cranmer endured the painful touch of the flames with great determination and composure.  He blamed his right hand for the signing of something that it went against his beliefs and because of this feeling, as soon as the flame arose, he held his hand out to meet it, and retained it there steadfastly, so that all the people saw it sensibly burning before the fire reached any other part of his body, and often he repeated with a loud and firm voice, “This Hand Hath Offended! This Unworthy Right Hand.” Thomas Cranmer stood immoveable as the stake to which he was bound, and it is said that his heart was found intact and unburned among the ashes.

The Queen had her revenge on the man she hated for a long, long time.  It is expected that at this point, Queen Mary is a satisfied woman with her Crusade against the Protestants. Well, she was not.   There is still no heir, and her marriage and her lack of action towards the prosperity of the Kingdom was killing the trust and devotion of her subjects. Everyone now was seeing her as a cold, cruel and dark figure.  And while she was once again rejected and unloved, her half sister Elizabeth was gaining admiration and followers.   In 1554 Queen Mary sent her to the Tower of London on suspicion of treason. For Mary, this was a lesson of fear for her little sister, she wanted to experience the terror of being there, she wanted to make Elizabeth think about her mother’s bloody fate, more than a tactic of self protection against a powerful and potential claimer to her crown, Mary wanted to make Elizabeth feel terror and respect towards her.

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But now, things were different. She could not prove anything against her sister, and yet, she was still a silent shadow covering the light she shortly enjoyed as Queen.   Mary Tudor was many things, but she was not stupid and much less deaf.  She was well aware about the rumors about her sister, she knew she was strong, bright and wise.  Elizabeth inherited the charms of her mother, those charms that were powerful enough to capture a King and change the world under her command. Once again Mary felt diminished.  She needed an heir soon or all would be lost for her. If she died without an heir the Kingdom would fall in the hands of Elizabeth, the daughter of Anne Boleyn, the raven that destroyed her mother and her entire youth.  The Marian Persecutions continued, but the people of England started to show their disgust towards it and towards the Queen.  Hundreds of lives were lost on the stakes of fire. Here is a list of those who died during the Marian Persecutions, by the order of Queen Mary I:

*John Rogers –   preacher, biblical translator, lecturer at St. Paul’s Cathedral

*Lawrence Saunders preacher, rector of London church of All Hallows –

*John Hooper–  King Edward-era bishop of Gloucester and Worcester

*Rowland Taylorrector of Hadleigh in Suffolk –

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1555

William Hunter,  burnt 27 March, Brentwood

Robert Ferrar, burnt 30 March, Carmarthen

Rawlins White, burnt, Cardiff

George Marsh, burnt 24 April, Chester

John Schofield, burnt 24 April, Chester

William Flower, burnt 24 April, Westminster

John Cardmaker, burnt 30 May, Smithfield

John Warne, burnt 30 May, Smithfield

John Simpson, burnt 30 May, Rochford

John Ardeley, burnt 30 May, Rayleigh

Dirick Carver of Brighton, burnt 6 June, Lewes

Thomas Harland of Woodmancote, burnt 6 June, Lewes

John Oswald of Woodmancote, burnt 6 June, Lewes

Thomas Avington of Ardingly, burnt 6 June, Lewes

Thomas Reed of Ardingly, burnt 6 June, Lewes

Thomas Haukes, burnt 6 June, Lewes

Thomas Watts

Nicholas Chamberlain, burnt 14 June, Colchester

Thomas Ormond, burnt June 15, 1555Manningtree, Buried in St. Micheals & All Angels Marble placed in 1748

William Bamford, burnt 15 June, Harwich

Robert Samuel, burnt 31 August, Ipswich

John Newman, burnt August 31, Saffron Walden

James Abbes Shoemaker, of Stoke by Nayland burnt at Bury St Edmunds August 1555

William Allen, Labourer of Somerton burnt at Walsingham September 1555

Robert Glover, burnt 20 September at Coventry

Cornelius Bongey (or Bungey), burnt 20 September at Coventry

Nicholas Ridley, burnt 16 October outside Balliol College, Oxford

Hugh Latimer, burnt 16 October outside Balliol College, Oxford

John Philpot, burnt


1556

Agnes Potten, burnt 19 February, Ipswich, Cornhill

Joan Trunchfield, burnt 19 February, Ipswich, Cornhill

Thomas Cranmer, burnt 21 March, outside Balliol College, Oxford

Thomas Hood of Lewes, burnt about 20 June, Lewes

Thomas Miles of Hellingly, burnt about 20 June, Lewes

John Tudson of Ipswich, burnt at London

Thomas Spicer of Beccles, burnt there 21 May

John Deny of Beccles, burnt there 21 May

Edmund Poole of Beccles, burnt there 21 May

Joan Waste, 1 August, burnt at Derby


1557

William Morant, burnt at end of May, St. George’s Field, Southwark Blanchard (1844), p.272

Stephen Gratwick, burnt at end of May, St. George’s Field, Southwark

(unknown) King, burnt at end of May, St. George’s Field, Southwark

Richard Sharpe, burnt 7 May, Cotham, Bristol

William and Katherine Allin of Frittenden and five others, burnt 18 June at Maidstone

Richard Woodman of Warbleton, burnt 22 June, Lewes

George Stevens of Warbleton, burnt 22 June, Lewes

Alexander Hosman of Mayfield, burnt 22 June, Lewes

William Mainard of Mayfield, burnt 22 June, Lewes

Thomasina Wood of Mayfield, burnt 22 June, Lewes

Margery Morris of Heathfield, burnt 22 June, Lewes

James Morris, her son, of Heathfield, burnt 22 June, Lewes

Denis Burges of Buxted, burnt 22 June, Lewes

Ann Ashton of Rotherfield, burnt 22 June, Lewes

Mary Groves of Lewes, burnt 22 June, Lewes

John Noyes of LaxfieldSuffolk, burnt 22 September

Joyce Lewis of Mancetter, burnt at Lichfield on 18 DecemberRichings, R (1860) The Mancetter martyrs: the suffering and martyrdom of Mr Robert Glover and Mrs Joice sic Lewis (London: pp xiii/xiv).


1558

Roger Holland, burnt at Smithfield with seven others

William Pikes or Pickesse of Ipswich, burnt 14 July, Brentford with five others

Alexander Gooch of Melton, Suffolk, burnt 4 November, Ipswich Cornhill

Alice Driver of Grundisburgh burnt 4 November, Ipswich Cornhill

P Humphrey, burnt November, Bury St Edmunds

J. David, burnt November, Bury St Edmunds

H. David, burnt November, Bury St Edmunds

Colchester Martyrs, burnt 2 August, Colchester

 This list is incomplete. According to the accounts of John Foxe, almost 300 people were executed for their faith under the Rule of Queen Mary I.  But there is a fact that is not often showed about Queen Mary and her Marian Persecutions.  Indeed she did something before the full development of the persecutions, that for once could placed her as a figure of forgiveness when it was justified under her conscience.   Between February 22 and 23 1554, before the Marian Persecutions were totally planned and unleashed, Queen Mary pardoned 400 rebels that raised against her.  A large number of rebels, brought to Whitehall bound with nooses around their necks, were pardoned as they knelt before the Queen. This was an effort from her part to show that she could be lenient on this matter, and perhaps it was also an attempt to bring back the Catholic Faith by peaceful means.

For those closer to Mary during her youth and time before she became Queen, it was certain that she despised brutality and as it was presented in this article before. Most of the details of the executions never reached her eyes.  We can not know with certainty if she allowed the ill fires, slow burnings and long tortures at the stake or if these cruel acts were done behind her back, even when her signature approved them.   It is said that pregnant women were burnt at the stake, and they sometimes went in to labor while burning. Stories of how children were burnt beside their parents. These stories marked her as Bloody Mary. 

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Under all this carnage for the protection of her crown and her Faith in England, the Queen was losing precious moments and people she loved.  Her King abandoned her, and returned to Spain. Even when she was convinced once again that she was pregnant, this did not stopped him from leaving her.   Phillip was tired of Mary. He did not love her, and she became intolerable. By this point she was paranoid. Mary feared for her life, and everyone around her seemed a potential assassin in her eyes.  Besides, her rage, frustration and hysterics attacks were consuming her to the point she was less attractive to him more and more.

Mary’s fear towards Elizabeth became an obsession. Gardiner constantly reminded her of the dangers for the realm if Elizabeth became Queen.  But Mary was sure of her pregnancy, and she ordered that the news were spread in all England.  Every bell on every Church and Tower rang announcing the happy news.  The Queen genuinely believed she was pregnant, to the point that once again the symptoms appeared.  She was overjoyed, and everyone around her followed her lead but… to everyone it was clear that it was a false alarm again.  Her ladies in waiting knew every single detail of the Queen’s life and natural courses.  The King stopped visiting her bedchamber months before he left England, so to them, it was impossible for the Queen to be with child.

This happy news however, did not erase another failure in the records of Mary as Queen of England.  Just before the departure of her husband back to Spain, England lost the City of Calais, a trophy that shined in the hands of England since 1347. Here is the story of that huge loss:  In August 1556 Philip left England on business in the Netherlands, returning in March 1557. England declared war on France shortly after his return with Philip heading up forces into France and taking the town of St. Quentin and its surrounding lands. But in a turn around, France won the city of Calais, England’s last holding on the Continent.  In any case, the Queen filled the minds of everyone with her pregnancy, but as was expected, slowly the symptoms started to fade away, and the Queen found herself again with an empty womb and a lonely life.

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Mary stopped feeling as a Queen after this second failure in her extreme desire to become a mother.  For her Chancellors, her desire was in the name of the realm, but for Mary, motherhood was something she wished for herself, just as much as her mother wanted to fill the Kingdom’s nursery with many Princes and Princesses.  But like her mother, she failed on that.  But what really happened to Mary?  Why she was unable to have a child?  Well, from the start, Mary showed many menstrual problems.  She was very irregular, and her periods were sometimes heavy and very painful.  She was used to fast a lot, and that weakens the body of a woman in the beginning of puberty.  Besides, the Tudor line suffered from a lot of weaknesses in the ranks of fertility and the survival of children.  Some people dared to say that the Queen said she was pregnant only to keep the King with her and for political advancement but, to those who knew her on daily basis were clear:  “She really believed in her condition, neither deceit nor malice in the matter, but mere error.”  And this was true, because many of her ladies in waiting described openly of how they saw her sitting on the floor with her knees drawn up to her chin, weeping inconsolably.

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Some historians believe that Queen Mary suffered from Ovarian Cancer. Women with this condition sometimes present symptoms that are similar to a pregnancy, but it is highly improbable that this could be the reason for her phantom pregnancies, since is impossible that Mary would survive all those years with a condition as lethal as this, and more during that era. Another suggestion points towards ovarian dropsy, a condition that occurs when an ovary fills with fluids. It is very uncomfortable, but not generally fatal. Ovarian dropsy would account for Mary’s distended belly, but there is no way to explain why it vanished, leaving her as slim as ever.  It is rumored that Queen Mary miscarried her first child during the first weeks of the pregnancy, and that she wanted to conceal it and kept it as a secret.  Others created the rumor that the Queen gave birth to a full term stillborn child, and that she made it disappear.  But this is just impossible, since the Queen was surrounded by physicians, midwives and ladies that for sure would not keep that as a secret, and less hide it.

The most accepted theory in the tragedy of Mary’s imaginary pregnancies is the pseudocyesis, or phantom pregnancy. This condition occurs when a woman wants a child so badly, she actually creates the symptoms of pregnancy with her mind. Mary probably stopped her menses because she was at the onset of menopause. Unable to face this explanation, she convinced herself that she was pregnant.  But whatever the reasons, the result was only one:  Queen Mary was devastated.  She dreamed all her life with the crown, but she also wanted a life. She wanted love and children. She desired to recover the love of her people, the respect of her relatives in Spain, the land of the roots of her beloved mother.  She wished to restore England to the time when she was happy, beautiful and full of life — but all that was vanished. It died with her last chance of being a mother.  All the will she had to live and endure, was also fading away.

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Queen Mary became a reclusive, and she barely went out of her chamber.  A reduced number of her ladies in waiting stayed with her.  She spent hours praying, and hiding her tears from the eyes around her.  The Queen, rather than a figure of highness, became a symbol of sadness and weakness. But her pride was still alive, and she refused to receive comfort from her ladies. They knew that a mere look of pity towards her would for sure send them to their deaths. Her servants respected her pain, and just waited for her to ask for them.  Queen Mary’s health began to decline from that point on.  In August 1558, Mary contracted a fever, and although she was able to fight that off, she was reported to be suffering from“dropsy” at the end of September. At the end of October she made an addition to her will, and although she did not name Elizabeth, her half-sister, she did confirm that the throne would go to the next lawful heir, and that was Elizabeth. The Duke of Feria arrived at the English court on the 9th November and reported to his master, Mary’s husband Philip II of Spain, on the 14th November:

 “There is… no hope of her life, but on the contrary each hour I think that they will come to inform me of her death, so rapidly does her condition deteriorate from one day to the next.”

In the last days of her life, Queen Mary spoke of visions of angels, and the word Calais came out of her mouth many times.   This word was also found written in her chest, close to her heart after her death.  The Queen received the Viaticum, the special Holy Communion for the dying on November 17th. She was able to make the proper responses to the ceremony and after that, she fall unconscious and never opened her eyes again.  Her death was not even noticed, and the time was never recorded.  Her life was stormy, hard, sad and tragic, but death was kind to her, and took her in a peaceful sleep. She was only 42 years old.

Her husband was not there with her. In death she was also alone, no blood relatives were with her, and for sure only a few would cry for her with true sorrow.  Later the same day, Reginald Pole, maybe one of her few true friends, also died, probably from influenza. At her funeral service, John White (the Bishop of Winchester) praised Mary: “She was a king’s daughter; she was a king’s sister; she was a king’s wife. She was a queen, and by the same title, a king also.”

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Mary Tudor, the first Queen who ruled England in her own right, daughter of great Kings, with ancestors that created their own glory.  All this and she never had a chance to show how good she could have been as Queen.  She suffered much, especially in the years when affection, support and security are important in the life of a human being.  She was born to be a princess, and suddenly was reduced to a servant. The father she loved and admired neglected her, and she was separated from her mother, the only figure that always gave her strength.

This cruel treatment erased all her kindness, all her brightness. She enjoyed only small moments of happiness in her adulthood, and then again, the fear, the rejection and the jealousy took over her heart and twisted it. We must think before we call her Bloody Mary. Yes, she allowed many acts of cruelty against her own people. She sent them to their deaths because they had different believes and that is cruel and abominable.  But she acted according to her new nature, a cold nature that was built upon her by those who were supposed to love her and protect her.  Even Catherine of Aragon was to blame in her daughter’s sorrowful life.  Her pride and her stubbornness sent Mary to the darkness, because if she as mother would have placed her daughter’s interests and inheritance above her own pride as Queen and wife, for sure King Henry would have kept her as Princess, and maybe Anne Boleyn would have even treated her better.

John Knox attacked Queen Mary in The First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women, published in 1558, and she was prominently featured and vilified in Acts and Monuments, published by John Foxe in 1563, five years after her death. Subsequent editions of the book remained popular with Protestants throughout the following centuries and helped shape enduring perceptions of Mary as a bloodthirsty tyrant.

Personally, I think Mary Tudor was a woman shaped by sadness, and ruled by her beliefs.  She acted wrongly many times, but I think that she was not in control of her life and mind when the crown was placed upon her head.   Even with her failures, Mary Tudor is well remembered.  Sadly not for her triumphs as Queen of England but for her dark actions in the name of her own sorrows, bitterness and desires of personal retribution. Mary never learned from the mistakes of her parents. She made her own based on the devastation that those mistakes caused in her life.  All the glorious potential she carried inside of her was diminished and erased in those twisted phased of her life.  She was a tormented soul, and she ruled in the same way.

 

THE END

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SOURCES:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Protestant_martyrs_of_the_English_Reformation

http://theonemediator.com/Catholicism/Inquisitions%20Persecutions/Inquisition%20General/sufferings_protestans_under_qn_mary.htm

https://suite.io/debra-l-stang/3y5220r

http://newbiescience.wordpress.com/2014/03/09/bloody-mary-and-the-phantom-pregnancy/

http://info.olsonb.com/index.php?p=Marian%20Persecutions

http://ancile.se/english-monarchs/mary-tudor-philip-of-spain/?lang=en

http://timesoftudors.blogspot.com/2013/09/the-marian-persecutions.html

http://www.theanneboleynfiles.com/the-execution-of-thomas-cranmer/

http://mary-tudor.blogspot.com/2010/05/queen-marys-big-belly-phantom-pregnancy.html

http://blog.leandadelisle.com/post/77490520938/today-in-1554-mary-tudor-pardoned-400-of-the

http://www.historynet.com/mary-tudor-a-most-unhappy-queen.htm

http://tudor-family.tripod.com/id36.html

 

England’s Lonely Rose. The Story of Mary Tudor (Part III)

April 20, 2014 in Mercy Rivera: Memoirs of a Fading Rose, News, Queens of World History by Mercy Rivera

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Only nine years old, Edward Tudor became King of England.  He was far too young to rule on his own, so a special council was appointed to take the realm’s matters.  King Henry VIII instructed the council rule as a group, but instead after his death Edward Seymour was named Lord Protector. The idea that Edward was a weak boy was just a rumor. In fact, he was a healthy and vivacious child. Unlike his father, the sports and outdoor activities were not his style. He enjoyed studies, politics, religion and art.  When Edward became King and close in age to take his own decisions as England’s ruler, his relationship with his sisters changed dramatically.  When they dined with him, the sisters had to sit on low benches, not chairs and placed far down the table so that the cloth of state which hung above the king did not cover them. Protocol also dictated that they must kneel several times when entering his royal presence. Mary and Elizabeth must sit on cushions or benches and not arm chairs.  Edward clearly wanted to show his sisters who was in command.

Mary was on good terms with her brother the King and with his Lord Protector Edward Seymour, but soon the religious matters started to build, and a wall grew between the three.  The re-birth of the reforms slowly moved Mary away from court.  She decided to stay in her East County Estate, where she was free not only to be in peace, also to practice her Catholic Faith in private and without judgment.   King Edward resented this attitude from his eldest sister, and it was also becoming suspicious. He was learning that it was important to keep everyone as close as possible, especially those with blood and ranks that could eventually cause him problems.

King Edward asked Mary twice to return to court and she refused. She gave reasonable reasons, sometimes health, and sometimes lack of time, since she was taking charge of her houses, servants and profits.  But soon the eyes and ears of the King showed the real facts of her absence at court. Mary was once again determined to keep her faith, and she was performing private masses in the Catholic Ritual in her estate. This made the King and the Council unhappy.  The King ordered Mary to return to court so she could explain herself about her actions.

While she was in his presence, he reminded her that she was breaking his laws by holding private Catholic Masses. Her reply to her brother and the council was:   “When I perceive how the King, whom I love and honor above all other beings, as by nature and duty bound, had been counseled against me, I could not contain myself and exhibited my interior grief.”  Edward Seymour and the rest of the Council Members remained untouched by her words, but the young King could not contained his feelings of brother, and more when he saw his beloved older sister crying kneeled in his presence. He also started to cry and replied to her:  “I never thought that any harm would come from you”. This time, the Lady Mary was free of suspicion, but soon the tides would strike against her shores.

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Mary was true to her beliefs and like her mother, she had the courage to protect them.  But she was also aware that her brother was growing up, not only in age but also in knowledge and character. Mary felt threatened when she heard rumors about how the young King was developing a similar wild and explosive temper as her father used to have. Stories of how he shredded a falcon in four pieces with his own hands in a moment of rage also started to worry her.  Still, she tried to make the best of the situation, and go on with her life and her practices away from the King’s sight.  Sadly for her, the Emperor Charles V started to make threats against England.

The Spanish Ambassador came with warnings of embargoes and that raised the King’s suspicions against Mary.  The young King showed his anger towards his sister in a very painful way.  Edward started to openly show a huge favoritism towards Elizabeth.  He made sure that Mary witnessed the sudden preference of Elizabeth’s presence above hers at court.  King Edward doubled Elizabeth’s escort, and even the council was ordered to receive her with all the honors that a King’s sister should have.  The King made an open statement at court about this:  “In order to show the people how much glory belongs to her who has embraced the new religion and is become a very great lady.”

Mary was displeased and sad, but she knew the reasons for this cruel treatment.  Once, during a banquet, Mary and her brother the King had a small conversation about the politics of the realm that went out of hand when Mary mentioned the reforms of religion as one of the problems. The King became so angry with his sister’s public scolding, that his strong, cruel and bitter words against her, in front of everyone made her burst in to tears. Before leaving the table, his last words to Mary were:  “Truly, sister, I will see my laws strictly obeyed, and those who break them shall be watched and denounced.” These words were clearer than water for Mary. Now she knew she was playing a dangerous game. Mary was seeing her father in her little brother, and she feared that the past that kept her as an outcast for so long was coming back.  Yet, Mary was determined to continue her devotion to her faith.

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By 1551, three officials of Mary’s household were summoned to appear before the King’s Council and were ordered to prevent mass from being celebrated. They told the Council that The Lady Mary would not permit them to enforce this, and they and some of her Chaplains were arrested and sent to the Tower. A letter written by King Edward and drafted by William Cecil was delivered to Mary at Copthall on August 28, by Lord Rich and two other members of the Privy Council. Mary was stoic, defiant and not courteous.  She refused to invite them into the house and instead met them in the courtyard. She read the letter and said that she would obey the King in all things except on religion — because of his youth. Her reply to them was: “In these years, although he, good sweet King, have more knowledge than any other of his years, yet it is not possible that he that he can be a judge in these things.”

Mary’s servants remained in the Tower for a few months, but the King and Council grew tired of Mary’s stubbornness and refusal to return to court and with new issues to attend. They decide to look away for a while. After all, she was not a dangerous threat, at least not a crucial one at that moment.  Even with the truce, Mary continued under the watchful eyes of the Council.  She received letters from the Lord Protector asking her to submit to the King’s laws in religious matters.  Mary replied that she never read a Protestant book or Manifest and that she would never do so.  She made clear that her intention was to keep the faith she knew from her Mother and Father when she was a child.  This statement saved Mary from a direct attack from her brother. He saw this as an idealist feeling rather than the rants of a rebellion against him.

King Edward understood that Mary only wanted to believe in the “fantasy” that someday England could return as what it was when her mother was Queen.  But soon, fate would start to work on Mary’s favor, in a tragic way but surely a sign that “redemption” was finally on her path. The rebellions of 1549 and the failure to bring Mary Queen of Scots to England as Edward’s bride brought Edward Seymour to the Tower and his ultimate execution.  John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland, was placed as the King’s Chief Minister.  This was a man that Mary rightly feared. He had a full power over the King’s mind and judgment, and a very strong influence over the Council.  He could cause her a lot of harm if she dared to give even a little sign of disagreement against the King.   Mary decided to be extremely careful in all she say and do, until she was able to find a way to recover the King’s total trust.

Then in 1552, the health of Young King Edward started to decline. He suffered from smallpox, but recovered from it.  Soon after that, even when he was still weak, he started a tour around England, visiting some important nobles and making business alliances.  By 1553, King Edward showed the early signs of tuberculosis. The news reached the Lady Mary, who immediately went to see him in February.   The Council did not believe in Mary’s good intentions, and they kept her waiting for three days until they decide if it was safe for the King to be with her.  Finally she was allowed to visit him in his chamber, but she was closely watched by the King’s grooms and private guard.

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Mary was not only afraid for the King’s life, she was afraid for hers too.  Mary realized the severity of Edward’s illness, and she began to fear that if he died she would be killed quickly before a rising on her behalf could take place. Northumberland’s greatest fear was that Mary would become Queen and remove all of his Protestant reforms and more importantly remove him from power. He convinced King Edward to change his will with the threat that the country would revert back to Catholicism if he let Mary succeed.

King Edward’s new Device for the succession by passed both Mary and Elizabeth, on the condition that their legitimacy was never formally settled, and passed over the young Catholic Mary Queen of Scots, and settled the crown to the Brandon line descended from Henry VIII’s younger sister Mary. More to the fact, young Lady Jane Grey was named heir to the throne, followed by her male heir and then her sisters and their male heirs. Once again, things got complicated for Mary’s dream to become Queen and return England to the path of her Catholic forefathers, to the time when all was correct and beautiful for her.

Finally, after long agonizing and painful days, King Edward died, probably from tuberculosis and arsenic poisoning — the last one explains the almost total loss of his hair and nails, the swollen of his body like a balloon and the scabs on his skin.  The young King was only fifteen years old. Soon after his death, arrangements to place Jane Grey upon the throne of England were on the table.  But let’s see a little more about Jane Grey and her relationship with Mary Tudor before the death of the young King.

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Lady Jane Grey was born in October of 1537, the same month as Prince Edward. Her mother was Frances Brandon, the daughter of King Henry’s sister Mary. Her father was Henry Grey, Earl of Dorset, later Duke of Suffolk. From the first, her parent’s planned on Jane being a potential wife to the prince, and they groomed her for this purpose. She was given the education befitting of a future queen. John Aylmer, a young Cambridge scholar and strict Protestant, became her tutor and treated her kindly, something she never experienced from her parents. Later Dr. Harding taught her French, Greek, Spanish and Italian and she also learned music and dancing.

She was dressed as befitted a princess and was told she had a destiny more noble than her younger sisters. Lady Jane Grey is described as “very short and thin, but prettily shaped and graceful”. She had blond reddish hair and freckles. She was modest, virtuous, cultivated and was renowned in intellectual circles on her learning. Lady Jane was the polar opposite of the Lady Mary in religion, being as devout a Protestant as Mary a Catholic. Both were intolerant of those who held different beliefs from themselves.

When Lady Jane visited Mary in 1550, she was horrified at the regular Catholic masses celebrated in the chapel and denounced this as superstitious idolatry. Mary was not happy with these remarks, but continued to think kindly of her cousin and send her gifts. On the state visit of Mary of Guise, Regent of Scotland, Mary heard young Lady Jane was to attend court and sent her a dress of gold and velvet with parchment lace of gold. Jane, who was following an austere and simple form of dress code, asked what she to do with it was. Her parents made her wear it. Lady Jane Grey’s reply to this command was: “Nay that were a shame to follow my Lady Mary against God’s word, and leave my Lady Elizabeth, which followeth God’s word.” At  Christmas, while staying with Jane’s family, the Lady Mary presented Jane with a necklace of gold and pearls. We can only imagine Jane’s reaction. Their relationship changed abruptly and for the worst in 1553, the date of King Edward’s death.

Suddenly, unexpected and with the blessing of her parents, Jane was wed to Northumberland’s son Lord Guilford Dudley on May 25, 1553. On July 9th, she was taken by barge to Syon House. There she was surprised to see the whole council waiting and was even more astonished when they knelt before her. Northumberland informed her of the death of the King, and because of King Edward’s new devise for the succession she was now Queen Jane of England, Ireland and France. After a spell of faintness she announced “The crown is not my right, and pleaseth me not. The Lady Mary is the rightful heir.” Northumberland was angered and her parents reminded her of the duty she owed them. In this atmosphere of pressure and coercion Jane finally submitted saying “If what hath been given to me is lawfully mine, may Thy Divine Majesty grant me such spirit and grace that I may govern to Thy glory and service, and to the advantage of the realm.” The new and frightened Queen Jane was not yet sixteen years old when the crown was placed upon her head.

The citizens of London took the news silently, feeling Mary should be queen.  Queen Jane was settled in the Tower where the crown jewels were brought to her. She once again rebuked, but again was forced do Northumberland’s bidding by trying on the crown. That evening, though, she showed her Tudor colors by declaring to her husband that he would never be King, instead she would create him a duke, much to his distress.

A little farther away, the displeased and angry Lady Mary was conjuring her own plans. She grew tired of everything and everyone who stood against her lawful right to the throne of England. She had enough and she was ready to claim her crown once and for all.  Her followers and supporters were increasing her hopes and strengths, and she felt secure that this time, all would work on her favor.

By the 12th of July, it seemed inevitable that there would be an armed confrontation with the forces that Mary was quickly amassing. The Duke of Northumberland assembled troops and promised them a month’s pay in advance. He ordered war ships up the coast to prevent Mary from escaping. Silent crowds of Londoners watched the army and Northumberland leave the city. Almost as soon as he was gone, the counselors who were still undecided on the validity of Queen Jane’s claim to the crown quickly abandoned her and took up with Mary’s supporters. Even the war ships mutinied to join Mary.

Queen Jane had continued to hold audiences and began her plans to bring a rigid form of Protestantism to the Church of England, but by the 19th she heard the cheers of the city and the peeling of bells and could not have assumed they were for her. When her father arrived and told her she was no longer queen she was relieved. But the news was still far from being good for her.

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That same day, on July 19th 1553, the Lord Mayor of London proclaimed Mary as Queen of England. The crowds were so thick in the street that he had trouble making his way thorough. It seemed all of London was out of doors cheering. All the church bells started ringing and the fountains in the streets ran with wine. Dancing and singing went on into the night when bonfires were lit. An Italian visitor wrote that the whole city shone with lights.  To Mary there was no question that this victory against all odds was a miracle. In Mary’s mind, God had opened the way for her to bring back the people to the only true religion. And she felt that He was also giving her a chance to show her colors, her lineage and her capacity to rule.

The people of England supported her as the true and rightful heir, and Mary had fought for this right against those who had tried to alter the succession. Ironically in fighting for her succession rights, she was also preserving Elizabeth’s right to the throne as well. Now, it was time for Mary to shine as Queen, like her mother always wanted, like Mary always dreamed.  On Sunday 1st October 1553, Mary I was crowned Queen at Westminster Abbey by Stephen Gardiner, the Bishop of Winchester. Here is an account of the beginning of the event:  At 11 am, Mary processed into the Abbey, dressed traditionally, as a male monarch would be, in the usual state robes of crimson velvet.  In front of the Queen, processed the Bishop of Winchester, gentlemen, knights and councilors.  The Earl of Arundel carrying the ball and scepter, the Marquis of Winchester carrying the orb and the Duke of Norfolk carrying the crown. A canopy carried by the barons of the Cinque Ports was carried over the Queen as she processed along a raised walkway to the coronation chair.   Stephen Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester, started the ceremony:

“Sirs, Here present is Mary, rightful and undoubted inheritrix by the Laws of God and man to the Crown and Royal Dignity of this realm of England, France and Ireland, where upon you shall understand that this day is appointed by all the peers of this land for the consecration, injunction and coronation of the said most excellent Princess Mary; will you serve at the time and give your wills and assent to the same consecration, unction and coronation?”

The Congregation replied:  Yes, Yes, Yes!  God save Queen Mary!

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Mary was finally seeing the light she lost for a long time, there she was, radiant as ever, following the legacy of her mother, showing that she was the rightful heiress of her father, the King who once neglected her and almost threatened with execution.  You can only imagine how she was feeling inside; it was like to be whole again for sure.  Her coronation, continued with all the royal protocols:

She prostrated herself before the altar on a velvet cushion while prayers were said over her. Afterwards, the Bishop of Chichester, George Day, preached a sermon on the obedience owed to a monarch, and Mary made her oaths before lying prostrate once again in front of the high altar while the Abbey choir sang Veni Creator Spiritus. Accompanied by her ladies, Mary then went to change in preparation for her anointing. Dressed in a petticoat of purple velvet, she lay in front of the altar and was anointed with holy oil on her shoulders, breast, forehead and temples by Gardiner. Once again dressed in her robes of state, Queen Mary then received the sword, the scepter and orbs, and was crowned with the crown of Edward the Confessor, the Imperial Crown and then an especially custom-made crown. The ermine-furred crimson mantle was then put about her shoulders, and she sat in the coronation chair as nobles paid homage to their new queen.  Finally at 4 pm, Queen Mary walked out of Westminster Abbey, processing to Westminster Hall for the coronation banquet, where she was joined by her half-sister, Elizabeth, and her former step-mother, Anne of Cleves.

There was much to celebrate. Mary was now the recognized queen of the realm, the first crowned queen regnant of England.  She honored her mother, the waiting was worth it, she was the ruler, and she was the Queen.

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Soon the time for celebrations ended. There was still a matter to resolve, the fate of Jane Grey and her husband.  Queen Mary of England was determined to not execute Jane and her husband. Her Majesty saw Jane as a pawn of Northumberland, and her majesty knew that the girl was forced to accept the crown. Jane wrote to Mary a letter giving an account of her nine days as queen and made no excuses for herself only expressing regret that she had accepted the crown. Mary was impressed but still she feared that Jane could be the center of another Protestant uprising. She was hopeful that things would quiet down and she could release Jane back to her private life.  Besides, Queen Mary saw a lot of herself in the situation that Jane was dealing with.  When she had her age she was also forced to accept and do things against her wishes, in the name of fear and pressure.  She understood the feelings of Jane and was willing to give her a second chance.

Mary was overwhelmed by her victory. After years living in the shadows, she was now Mary Regina!  She wanted to be loved by her people as her mother was. She wanted to change things for the best, in they way she thought was the correct way.  After a few days, Queen Mary ordered that Jane’s imprisonment were reduced in guard, and Jane was allowed to walk in the inside yards of the Tower with her husband. She was told that she would face a trial, but that a royal pardon would be given to her too.

On November 14, 1553 Jane and her husband were tried in the Guildhall in London and all were condemned to death. They returned to the Tower and Queen Mary continued to say that she would not have the sentences commuted. The Queen was determined to keep her word. She felt pity for her young cousin and still thought she was used like an element to obtain power.  Unfortunately for Jane, a rebellion in where she never took part was rising in England against the Queen.   This rebellion got stronger when news that Queen Mary was considering a marriage with King Phillip of Spain. Immediately, the anti-Spanish crusade started to be planned, headed by Sir Thomas Wyatt. This rebellion indeed promised to be more than a simple headache to Queen Mary.

Jane’s father, the Duke of Suffolk, gave his support if Wyatt agreed to over throw Queen Mary and place Jane back on the throne. The rebellion was thwarted, and Wyatt was arrested. Queen Mary’s council urged her to be rid of all the people who could be a focus of future rebellions. Queen Mary reluctantly agreed, and signed the death warrant for Jane and her husband. In one last attempt to save Jane’s life, Mary sent the Abbott of Westminster to try to persuade Jane to convert to Catholicism, and therefore be offered a reprieve. Although he wrote to Mary to delay the execution a few days as Jane gave evidence of capitulating, in the end, Jane stood by her beliefs. Her father sent her letters of remorse of his treatment of her, and she told him that she remained his obedient daughter.

On the 12 of February 1554, Jane Dudley was led to the Tower Green, where the block was waiting for her. She said her prayers and seemed very composed until she was blindfolded and felt unsuccessfully for the block. She panicked and cried, “What shall I do, where is it?” A bystander helped her hands to the block, on which she laid down her head. She was buried under the altar of St Peter ad Vincula, in the Tower, next to Queens Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard.

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Queen Mary tried to save the life of Jane. This proofs that she was not cold  after all.  If we are going to judge her on this matter, we must remember that she was a Queen, loved by some, hate by others. She knew that for Kings and Princes the dangers of being overthrown are always present, they need to strike hard in order to survive, keep their crowns and rule in peace.  She was learning the hard way, and if she wanted to move England towards the path she once lived and loved, she needed to be strong, determined, to think with a cold head rather than a gentle heart. She could not do anything else, she needed to act and wait for the response of fate.

At the beginning of her reign, Queen Mary acted slowly on the subject of religion and appeared able to compromise. She allowed her brother Edward to be buried in Westminster Abbey with the Protestant service, while she attended a private mass in his memory.  The first act she presented to the Council was to repeal the divorce of Henry VIII and Katherine of Aragon, declaring the marriage lawful.

Mary was not a Queen who enjoyed to party every single day, but at the beginning of the reign, there was joy and merriment in her court.  Her sister Elizabeth was part of that joy, and that was causing distress in the Queen.  The relationship between these two sisters went from rough to soft many times. At first Elizabeth was a sign of darkness. Then they became close, and Mary was a great example for her little sister. They shared the same pain and abandonment.  Now, Mary was the Queen, but her youth and beauty were damaged by the years of sadness, hate, bitterness and frustration. In contrast, Elizabeth, she was young, full of life, with the charm of her mother, with the same eyes that once led her father towards the dark path that destroyed all she loved and cared for.  Elizabeth had a powerful light, while she was diminished in the shadows.

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Queen Mary noticed how the court loved the presence of Elizabeth above her own, and that raised the red flag.  She started to see Elizabeth as a potential threat in the future, so she took with relieved the desire of Elizabeth to leave court and live a less notorious life in Hatfield. Feeling totally secure with her sister away, Queen Mary continued with her tasks as Queen of England.

From the start, one of her major goals was to restore the Catholic Faith in England.  She began secret negotiations with the Pope soon after becoming Queen. The Pope appointed the Englishman, Cardinal Reginald Pole, to be his legate in England. Pole was a grandson of Edward IV’s brother the Duke of Clarence and a distant cousin of Queen Mary. His mother, the Countess of Salisbury, had been the Queen’s godmother and governess and had been executed by King Henry VIII in 1541. Reginald Pole had fled from England and began his career in Rome. Pole advised the Queen to move quickly in returning England to Rome, but she argued that this would take time. There were political problems and she suggested that it would be easier to persuade the Parliament and the people to accept papal supremacy if the Pope would agree to leave the confiscated monastic lands in the hands of the present owners.

Perhaps this slow movement in her desires of make England Catholic again was because she was pursuing a major goal, something that for her was very important, as much as religion was:  her dream to get married, and have a family.  To have love and companionship, heirs of her own flesh and blood.

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Soon after Mary’s coronation, Simon Renard, the Emperor Charles V’s ambassador, urged Mary to consider marriage to the Emperor’s son Prince Philip Hapsburg of Spain. She would not at first consider it arguing that she was too old, being 37 and he only 26. Even with that, the Ambassador urged her to consider the idea.   But Queen Mary needed to think fast, time was against her, and if she wanted a Catholic Heir  she needed to act now. Besides, she had less youth ( according to the standards of Tudor Times of course) her chances to be attractive and fertile were reducing, again, according to those standards.

At the same time, even when she wanted love and a family, she needed to think carefully in how things would be if the marriage became a fact.  Mary did not want to be controlled in her own dominion, and yet, she did not wanted to be a total tyrant over her future husband’s rights as Consort.  It was a complicated issue, but she started to like the idea of marrying the son of the King of Spain.  After all, in that marriage she was recovering her Spanish roots, something that would always keep her close to the memory of her beloved mother.

Finally, after think about the subject really well, The Queen accepted the marriage plan, and sent delegates to Spain, to set the terms of the marriage and the rights that Prince Phillip would have as King Consort.  The terms were clear:  None of Philip’s Spanish advisors should interfere in English affairs, only English born ministers alone would confer with Philip and Mary on matters relating to England. England would not declare war on France, whom the Emperor was at war with, or to break off diplomatic relations with France. Philip was forbidden to bring Spanish troops with him. He could not appoint officials and could not send English money abroad.  The Emperor and his son agreed with the terms, and as a symbol of concord, the Emperor sent to Queen Mary a very generous amount of gifts and money.  Her Majesty was rejoiced with her coming wedding, and was indeed very excited with the arrival of her future husband.

Phillip arrived to England on July 1554.  He was escorted to Winchester, where he would meet the Queen at exactly 10 pm.  Phillip did his best to please the members of the Council and the Courtiers. He was welcomed with all the honors and indeed he made a good impression. Mary sadly did not achieve the same.  She was feeling so secure that the marriage was already a fact, and saw no need to appear as a Venus in the presence of Phillip. That was a huge mistake on her part.

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When Phillip met her, he was very disappointed. He disguised his deception with extreme politeness and elegance, even when he seemed cold towards the Queen.  His advisors told him that the Queen was older than him, but when he saw her, he felt she was a lot older than he was told. She dressed badly. She barely had ornaments and had no eyebrows. He found her fragile in her complexion. Her hair had traces of grey color — something that made her looked a lot older than she really was, and she was just in her mid thirties by then!  In the Queen’s defense, she only proved later in the meeting that she was a better dancer than he was.

For Mary on the other hand, the meeting was magical.  The lonely Queen fell immediately in love with Phillip. He was the man of her dreams — slender, blue eyed, handsome features, and sandy hair color. She was taken by the light of greatness that covered him, the greatness of royal pride of every Spaniard. Mary was totally and madly in love with Phillip. She hoped that he would feel the same for her. She believed that her marriage would be a happy one, that her loneliness would end. Queen Mary was happy.

Phillip was already regretting the marriage idea. He would never love her the same way she loved him.  He felt neither emotion nor attraction towards her, which was clear for everyone, except for Mary.  In any case, everything was settled and his word was given. Like it or not, there was no turning back.  On Wednesday 25th July 1554, the feast day of St James, the 38 year-old Queen Mary married 27 year-old Philip of Spain at Winchester Cathedral.  The ceremony was performed by Bishop Gardiner, who was also at the time the Queen’s Lord Chancellor. Here is a description of how the wedding was:

“On wensday the 25th of July, being St. James’s day, the prince, richly apparelled in cloth of gold, embroidered, with a great company of the nobles of Spayne, in such sort as the like hath not been seen, proceded to the church, and entered in at the west door, and passed to his traverse, all the way on foot; and to the church he had no sword borne before him. Then came the queenes majesty, accompanied with a great number of the nobility of the realm, the sword being borne before her by the earl of Derby, and a great company of ladyes and gentlewomen very richly apparelled: her majesty’s train was borne up by the marquesse of Winchester, assisted by sir John Gage her lord chamberlayne: and so she proceeded to the church; the kinges and herauldes of arms in their coates going before her from her lodging on foot to the church, where entering at the west door she passed on till she came to her traverse. Then the bishop of Winchester, lord chancellor of England, which did the divine service, assisted by the bishops of London, Duresme, Chichester, Lyncoln, and Ely, all with their crosiers borne before them, came out of the quier to the mount.  Then the lord chamberlayn delivered openly for the solemnification of their highness’ marriage, how that the emperor had given unto his son the kingdom of Naples. So that it was thought the queen’s majesty should marry but with a prince, now it was manifested that she should marry with a king; and so proceeded to the espousals: and with a loud voice said that, if there be any man that knoweth any lawful impediment between these two parties, that they should not go together according to the contract concluded between both realmes, that then they should come forth, and they should be heard; or else to proceed to celebration of the said marriage, which was pronounced in English and Latin: and when-it came to the gift of the queen it was asked who should give her. Then the marquis of Winchester, the earls of Derby, Bedford, and Pembroke, gave her highness, in the name of the whole realm.  Then all the people gave a great shout, praying God to send them joy; and, the ring being laid upon the book to be hallowed, the prince laid also upon the said book hand-fulls of fine gold; which the lady Margaret seeing, opened the queen’s purse, and the queen smilingly put up in the same purse. And when they had inclosed their hands, immediately the sword was advanced before the king, by the earl of Pembroke.  This done, the trumpetes sounded ; and thus both returned hand in hand, the sword being borne before them, to their traverses in the quier, the queen going always on the right hand, and there remained until mass was done; at which time wine and sops were hallowed, and gave unto them; and immediately after, Garter king of arms, with the other kinges and herauldes, published and proclaimed their titles in Latin, French, and English; and so they returned to the bishop’s palace both under one canopy, bom by vij. knightes, the queen on the right hand, and their swordes borne before them; and so proceeded to the hall, where they both dined under one cloth of estate.

Once again, in the defense of Mary’s appearance, it seems that she wanted to please her husband during the wedding banquet, because she dressed totally in the opposite of her virtuous dress code.  It is recorded, that Queen Mary dressed on the French fashion style that night. She wore a dress with “rich tissue with a border and wide sleeves, embroidered upon purple satin, set with pearls of our store, lined with purple taffeta”, with a partlet and a high collar, a kirtle of white satin embroidered with silver, and a train.”

 

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For Queen Mary her wedding was as glorious as the day of her coronation.  In her heart, the loneliness was finally buried.  She had a chance to happy and prosperous in every sense.  Now, she just needed a son to fulfill her life and her rule over England.

The Royal Couple seemed to be happy few days later after their wedding.  When they arrived in triumph by barge to the city of Westminster on August 18, and then spent several days in London before heading off to Hampton Court for the remainder of the summer and their honeymoon. All were smiles and demonstrations of joy.  But soon, the pressures of royal duties would show the real face of their marriage.

England was not happy with her marriage. There were divisions among the council and in the people of England. To add more wood to the fire, Spain wanted more control and power over England. The Queen was not willing to provide it, so instead of using force, Spain started to work with the mind of Mary in the way they knew they could manage it better…in religion.  Now that she was a happy wife, it was time to bring England back to the Catholic path and punish the heretics.

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In January 1555, the Marian Persecutions Started. The Council and the Parliament were against the persecutions, and some of their members went into exile.  The persecutions were not even liked by Emperor Charles the V, despite the general thought that it was Queen Mary’s Spanish marriage the element that started the religious wrath.  Charles V had experienced himself how unpopular persecutions were and he was very worried that this would place the throne of Mary in danger.

Even with this, there were three powerful groups that worked side by side with Queen Mary in the development of these persecutions:  First, it was Reginald Pole, whose loyalty was firm to the extreme towards the Holy Father in Rome.  Then, there was the group of English Romanists: they never forgot the cruel treatment of the late King Henry the VIII towards the Catholics during the birth of the Reforms and this resentment created a great desire for revenge against all Protestants.  And finally, it was Phillip, Queen Mary’s King Consort and his Spanish delegation.They wanted to destroy as much as the reformist’s power as possible, so they could increase the authority of Phillip in the English Realm.

These groups were the base of the Marian Persecution’s development, but there were more architects on it.  Stephen Gardiner was one of the masterminds in this.  He was the one with the talent to create the fear in the people and in those close to the Queen that were against her desires.  Like Queen Mary, Gardiner was an ardent Catholic through the process of Reformation, and he was eager to return the “Only One and True Faith” back to England.   And finally, there was Queen Mary.  For her, these persecutions meant too much.   Her heart was Catholic. She wanted to recover what she was lost thanks to the reforms and somehow would be a tribute to the memory of her mother.  Besides, there was her husband, reminded her all the time that this acts were necessary to secure her throne and her power.  She wanted to please him, as a Catholic woman she knew that even when she was a Queen Regent, she was a wife too, and she owned obedience to her husband’s desires.

Her decision was firmed, the Marian Persecutions would go as planned, but the Queen said something to her Council that perhaps did not touched too profoundly the lines of her history:  “None may be burnt without some of the Council’s presence to witness and good sermons at the same”.   Certainly, there is a bit of compassion in those words towards her enemies, but considering the brutality of the coming executions, this for sure is not enough to see her as merciful on this matter.

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To many, even in the present times, the Marian Persecutions are different from others in the line of English History. This is because  the Marian Persecutions had no political backgrounds. They were just in the name of Religion, and of course by no means would give Mary strength as Queen of England.  The Marian Persecutions were marked with the terrible fact that the offenders would burn at the stake alive, something that was not used often in the past. Terror invaded the souls of everyone, especially those with the sign of Reformers in their foreheads.

While the Marian Persecutions were causing horror, Queen Mary had her own personal battle, not only as Queen, but also as a wife and woman.  She desperately wanted a child. This idea was consuming her mind, and her physicians were very aware of this.  Suddenly, the Queen started to complain about morning sickness and pains in her belly. Her breasts were swollen and she also swore that her period stopped.  After the approval of her doctors who entirely believed in her words and symptoms, the Queen announced that she was pregnant.  Phillip, the Council and the Realm were happy.

At the moment the terror of the persecutions were placed aside, and the bells in all the towers rang for the joyful occasion.  Because of Mary’s age, the fear that the Queen would not survive childbirth made the council to write an official document that in case of the Queen’s death, Phillip would rule during the minority of his child, only that he would not be declared King of England.  This provoked an immense disappointment in Phillip. He felt insulted and diminished.  He blamed Mary for this, and immediately he showed his deception towards her.

Phillip left Mary and went to the Wales with some members of his delegation.  He assured her that he would return for the birth of his child. but the Queen was devastated and heartbroken.  She loved Phillip, and with the storm that she was brewing over England, she wanted his presence by her side more than ever.  But she was also a proud woman, a Queen, and a “future mother”. Like she did in the past when pain, sorrow and bitterness invaded her soul, she kept her head high and swallowed all, and instead to show her tears of rage and sadness. She was determined to concentrate all her feelings in only one thing — the Destruction of all the enemies of the Catholic Faith.  The Queen opened the doors wide open, and the holy army carrying the banners of the Marian Persecutions were finally unleashed.

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END OF PART III

 

Sources: 

http://home.earthlink.net/~elisale/queenmary.html

https://suite.io/debra-l-stang/3y5220r

http://thetudorenthusiast.weebly.com/1/post/2012/07/the-marriage-of-queen-mary-i-and-philip-ii-of-spain.html

http://www.theanneboleynfiles.com/25-july-1554-mary-i-marries-philip-of-spain/

http://www.theanneboleynfiles.com/1-october-1553-coronation-mary/

http://timesoftudors.blogspot.com/2013/09/the-marian-persecutions.html

http://home.earthlink.net/~elisale/edward.html

https://www.royal.gov.uk/HistoryoftheMonarchy/KingsandQueensofEngland/TheTudors/EdwardVI.aspx

http://www.historytoday.com/judith-richards/edward-vi-and-mary-tudor-protestant-king-and-catholic-sister

http://www.elizabethfiles.com/info/life/edward-vi-and-mary-i/

http://internetshakespeare.uvic.ca/Library/SLT/ideas/religion/bloodymary.html

http://www.tudorplace.com.ar/aboutEdward.htm

http://home.earthlink.net/~elisale/janegrey.html

England’s Lonely Rose. The Story of Mary Tudor (Part I)

April 2, 2014 in Hall of Crowns (Mercy Rivera), News, Queens of World History by Mercy Rivera

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Mary Tudor, born to be queen, was a lady with ancestors that could have made her the Queen of Queens.  She was granddaughter of the fierce and wise Queen Isabella of Castile and the great King Ferdinand of Aragon, daughter of the most obedient, brave, pious and gentle Queen, Catherine of Aragon, first surviving royal seed of the most tyrant King of England, Henry the VIII.   All that power, all those elements of lineage mixed in her blood, strangely never played to her favor.  The sadness, the abandonment, pain, bitterness and desires of vengeance for the life she wanted to have and never reached to enjoy, turned her into a dark figure.

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She is called Bloody Mary for her cruel acts against the Protestants, but was Mary Tudor always the cold and bitter woman who lived only for the desire of revenge and her religious obsessions?  Is she the example of how cruelty can turn a gentle heart in to a mass of thorns?   Let’s look in the mirror of her life, but calling her in a different way, without mocking her existence in the name of an urban legend.

Mary Tudor was born in Greenwich Palace on February 18, 1516.  Her arrival was both a joy and a sign of hope for her parents, Queen Catherine of Aragon and King Henry VIII of England, since before her birth the Queen lost many children, including Henry, Duke of Cornwall and Prince of Wales, who lived only 56 days.  The King was happy but yet, he still wanted a son, but her mother the Queen, felt blessed enough to be content.  After three days of her birth, Princess Mary was baptized into the Catholic faith at the Church of the Observant Friars in Greenwich. The Princess’s godparents included her great-aunt the Countess of Devon, Lord Chancellor Thomas Wolsey, and the Duchess of Norfolk. Henry VIII’s cousin once removed,  Margaret Pole, 8th Countess of Salisbury, stood sponsor for Mary’s confirmation, which was held immediately after the baptism.  The following year, Princess Mary became a godmother herself when she was named as one of the sponsors of her cousin Frances Brandon.

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Princess Mary was a bright little girl and precocious in many ways. It is reported that in July 1520, when she was just four and a half years old, she performed gracefully with the virginals at court to the joy and admiration of the special visitors that day. When she was nine years old, Mary was addressed in a complimentary Latin oration by commissioners sent over from Flanders on commercial matters, and the Princess replied to them in the same language “with as much assurance and facility as if she had been twelve years old”.  Even when she was not the male heir he wanted, the King was fiercely proud of her.  Mary showed the high deference of her lineage in all the senses, and for that the King used to call her “The Pearl of his world”.

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Since the Princess was showing her immense capacity to capture the interest of ambassadors and business commissioners, the King decided to increase her level of learning by arranging her studies in Spanish, French and Italian.  Of course, behind the incredible success of Mary in her education was the hand of her mother.  Queen Catherine dedicated hours to Mary’s development at court.  She consulted Spanish scholars and tutors, but indeed it was the Queen herself who was the first Latin teacher in Mary’s life.  The Princess was also well instructed in music. She played the lute and the virginals with great skills.  She was also a great dancer, and her level and proper demeanor in her behavior at court was admirable. Mary was growing in a very healthy and loving environment.  According to David Starkey, the immense love, the King felt for his daughter was openly showed on 23 February 1518, when the Venetian ambassador, Giustiniani, had an audience at Windsor. The King ordered the Princess, who had just celebrated her second birthday, to be brought in. Solemnly, Wolsey, ambassador Giustiniani and the attendant lords kissed the child’s hand. Then Mary caught sight of Friar Dionysius Memo, the great Venetian organist, who was then resident keyboard virtuoso at Henry’s Court. ‘Priest! priest!’ she ‘commenced calling out in English’ and would not stop until Memo agreed to play for her. Henry was delighted at the display, which showed that Mary was in truth her father’s daughter: musical, precocious and imperious far beyond her years.”

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The Princess and her mother were also very close.  There was a special bond between them, something that was unusual among royal families.  Queen Catherine was a great mother to her, she dedicated time to her education, but she also spent time playing with her, and of course, Queen Catherine made sure that her daughter developed devotion for the religious life and the compromises that involved her future relationship with the people of the Realm.  Mary was a Princess, but the fact that she grew up at court with her parent gave her a personality that was uncommon for royal children. Mary was polite and kind with everyone around her. She played, laughed and ran through the halls and gardens of the palace like any other normal child.  Princess Mary was a happy girl. She had her parents beside her and a Kingdom that loved her and protected her. She knew no fear.  She had no worries. Indeed, the Princess had a wonderful childhood considering that in those times. Most royal children spent their days and nights among strangers who gave them all… but the essence of the warmth of a true home and family. Queen Catherine made a high standard raising her daughter. She worked hard to make her beloved princess a true heir of the throne of England, just like her parents did with her.  She gave Mary the best tutors:  Erasmus, Thomas More and Luis Vives, who she patronized personally. By 1523, Princess Mary of England was recognized by many institutions as one of the most well educated Princess in Europe.

Even when Princess Mary was giving steps and signs that she could be a great ruler in the future, the Kingdom under the Command of her Father, and with the intervention of Cardinal Wolsey, had other plans for her.   Sadly, like any other Royal Lady of her time, it was expected that she was used to climb and conquer in the lands of power outside the realm.  Earlier in time, when she was two years old, she was engaged with the French Dauphine. This marriage arrangement was dissolved when King Henry and King Francis became enemies. Later, when she was six years old she was engaged with the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles the V, who was 22.    Nobody at court believed that this arrangement would endure. On one side, the Princess was too young at the moment — and, everyone knew that Charles was a man of changeable character, incapable of keep his word and acting only when the opportunities were on his favor.  As was expected, Charles saw the tedious long waiting for Princess Mary to reach the lawful age of marriage (at the time it was 12) unbearable, so he decided to break his word. Instead, he married Princess Isabella of Portugal. Other arrangements for the Princess’s hand were made, she was also engaged for a time to King Francis’s youngest son, the Duke of Orleans, but this arrangement was also broken.  Many more marriage contracts were made in time, and like the others, almost broken in weeks or months. The King had hard times keeping good relationships with the main kingdoms around him, and that of course, affected the future of Mary’s life.  The nice part of all this messed up marriage contracts is that the princess was too young to understand these events properly.

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While she was growing, she was admired, respected and protected like the most precious jewel of the Kingdom.  She was bright, full of light. She danced at court. She amazed everyone with her formidable skills in speech, her innumerable talents and the charm she showed with every appearance at court.  Her mother the Queen was proud of her. The King her father was pleased, but sadly for him, that was not enough.

For the last time, Queen Catherine got pregnant, but delivered a stillborn girl. The hopes for a Prince were gone, and the King was devastated.  Dark ideas developed in his mind. Of course he had a bastard son with one of his mistresses, but he would never be loved or accepted as King. On the other hand, the King lost his once deep love for the Queen, he felt disappointed. He saw no more reasons to keep his marriage with her, not even the political power nor the reaction or peace of his realm made sense for him anymore.  He wanted a son, but he also wanted a new Queen.

As always, the Queen found refuge in the sweet company of her beloved child. Princess Mary gave her mother peace, and the Queen also found the perfect companion during her long hours of prayer, fasting and isolation.  Mary learned the deepness devotion and love for the Catholic Faith from her mother, the spiritual guidance that the Queen gave her was strong and profoundly based.  The Princess and her mother were attached by highly indissoluble ties: love, blood, lineage and religion.  Mother and daughter comforted each other behind the eyes of the courtiers, who always believed that the royal family was happy and content with their important lives.  Mary was growing up, and was starting to notice the distance between her parents. Like any other normal child would do, but as a princess, she had to stand above her feelings, endure them, and fight them as much as she could.

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One day, a new lady arrived to court. She was ordered to serve Queen Catherine as Maid of Honor — her name, Lady Anne Boleyn.  From day one, Anne Boleyn’s exotic looks and commanding presence rose above the other ladies at court, especially in the eyes of the still young and virile King Henry.   His majesty kept his deep desires for Anne to himself at first, avoiding even the senses of his Queen, but later in time, Her Majesty started to notice the interest of her husband in this new dark haired damsel.  The Queen noticed something else. Lady Anne was not the common lady. She was different. Her behavior at court was outstanding, an incredible artist, dancer, her virtues as lady in waiting were formidable, and the fact that she was all but docile among her other ladies, made her a difficult rival to defeat.

Queen Catherine kept Anne close to her at first, but later, she started to repulse her presence, and decided to keep her a little farther away. Queen Catherine’s closest ladies in waiting started to dislike Anne as well, and they spoke to their mistress about all the rumors at court about the King and Anne.  Rumors about secret encounters between them, the King constant visits to Hever Castle, the elevation in ranks of Anne’s father and brother, and the sudden change in Anne’s presence, wearing extreme expensive jewels, exquisite gowns in the French fashion rather than the English dress code.  Besides, the King also started to show his favoritism and devotion to Anne in public, which gave the proud lady the strength and freedom to even act boldly above the Queen and her dominion at court.

Slowly but surely, Lady Anne Boleyn would change the lives of Mary and her mother, in ways that they never even imagined in their worst nightmares.   After a time of romance play dates between Anne and the King, the terrible news arrived to the ears of the Queen. His Majesty wanted a divorce, based on the grounds that by marrying his brother’s wife, he broke God’s law, and by that, he was being condemned to be incapable of having male heirs.   The Queen was devastated. After years of love, loyalty, happiness, conquers and devotion to her King, she is asked for a divorce. But she was determined to keep her rank and her place in England.

A battle trying to debate the King’s Great Matter began, the King was moving all his pieces on his favor, and was willing to break with Rome only to marry Anne and have his wishes fulfilled.  On the other side of the battlefield, was the Queen, almost abandoned. Even when she won arguments and grounds along the way, she was indeed fading away.  She already lost the love of the King and that was her major disadvantage.  Her stubbornness in the end gave her a greater sorrow. Queen Catherine was separated from her daughter Mary, and forbidden to see her again.

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This was a cold blow for the Queen, and for Mary, something impossible to understand and deal with. Mary was close to her teen years, and at this time, wise enough to feel the pressure, the pain, the despair and the sadness of being separated from her mother and father, and from the life she knew and loved.  She still had her own court, her beautiful home in Ludlow, but the walls were cold, the air dense and the scenery turned gray without the light and joy she had before.  For the first time she was alone. Her health deteriorated sometimes. She suffered from pains in her stomach, and to add more damage to her health, she forced herself to fast and avoid eating sometimes for more than a day when she was deep in her prayers. Like her mother, Mary began to seek for answers and for comfort in her faith.

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Sadly for the young Princess Mary, things went from bad to worse.  After long years of bravery and determination, her mother, the Queen, lost the battle against Anne Boleyn.  The King banished his once Queen of Hearts from court, and from his life, and then placed the Crown upon the proud and beautiful Lady Anne.  This marked the end of all hopes for Catherine and her daughter.  Many times, the now Dowager Duchess of Wales asked to see her daughter, and her maternal wishes were denied cruelly over and over.  For Mary, the separation was unbearable. The only connection she had with her mother was the Spanish Ambassador, Eustace Chapuys, who visited her in Ludlow from time to time, and told her news about her.  It is believed by many historians, and is also my personal point of view, that Mary’s heart started to change at this point.  Being separated from her mother, and from the life she knew and cherished in such a hard way, is difficult to endure.  Mary developed a huge and immeasurable hate towards Anne Boleyn. For Mary, she was the only cause of all her misery and her mother’s.  This hate towards Anne and towards all related to her grew and grew every single day.  Mary never recognized Anne as Queen of England, and when she was forced to make the submission to that fact by the King’s invoices, her only reply was:  “I recognize no Queen of England, except my mother, and I will not accept a Queen of England, except my mother”.   The proud princess had no idea of the high cost of the stubbornness.

For a time, after the marriage of the King with Anne Boleyn, the royal status of Princess Mary remained untouched. She was still the King’s heir, even when Anne was already pregnant, and showing her condition. However, in September 7, 1533, all changed.  They were expecting a son, but Anne delivered a healthy baby girl. This was not too much of a bless for King Henry but indeed he was hopeful, happy and proud enough to give her the status of Princess of England, and take all the privileges of Mary and passed them on to her.  Elizabeth was now the only heir of Henry the VIII, and Mary… by default, was a bastard.

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With the birth of Elizabeth, the entire world of Mary crashed down.  Separated from her mother, unrecognized by the father that once called her the “Pearl of his world”, she was now reduced to a simple lady in waiting to her own sister.  Mary had to suffer in silence. She was forced to obey the King and forget that he was her father. She was forced to forget that she was a princess, and simply act like if her rank and the marriage of her parents never existed. Now she had to serve in the household of her half sister as a maid.  And to make things worst, her feelings towards Anne Boleyn were dark, and they grew bitter day after day.  But if only Anne and Mary met each other in good terms  and positive circumstances, they would had been great friends, and this is why:

anne_boleyn_and_mary_tudor_by_lucrecia_89

Mary Tudor and Anne Boleyn had many things in common, even if you can not believe this. Mary Tudor was a fan of fashion as well as Anne, not in the same levels but both adored expensive gowns, jewels and good taste in their wardrobes.  Both Anne and Mary were highly educated, and their passions for religious matters were detonators in their lives, perhaps not in the same dimensions, but religion was something deeply important for them.  Anne was determined, stubborn, gentle when it was needed, and strong as a wild hurricane when the occasion called for it. Well, Mary was the same. The difference is… that for Mary things were different, and the major part of her courage was diminished by threats, bad treatment and neglecting.  Anne Boleyn and Mary Tudor were both great examples of talent, charisma and dominion of the court. Anne was like that until her last day on earth, but Mary lost that charm early in her youth.  Physically, they stood on their own grounds.  Anne Boleyn was not the normal standard of the English girl type. She was not pale as was the rule of the time. Her skin was olive tanned, her eyes dark brown and her hair as black as raven’s wings. That attribute gave Wolsey the muse to call her the Dark Crow. (Of course he had his own personal reasons to compare her with that mysterious and sometimes treacherous black bird).  Anne Boleyn was not the most beautiful woman in England, but in fact, she had a charm, a talent of seduction and lovely exotic looks that made a King move the world just to be with her.  Mary Tudor on the other hand, was also different, perhaps not a seductress like Anne Boleyn, but beautiful in her own way.  There are many descriptions of Mary, mostly in her days as Queen of England. In her youth; she had a gentle, sweet, delicate and soft presence, not a total beauty but pretty to the eyes.  She was short of stature, with an oval face and light brown hair. She did not look like her mother and father, and she had her own features, related more to her ancestors in Spain rather than her English ancestors.   Too much in common between these two women, and yet, born to be enemies.

To Mary, Anne Boleyn was the personification of all that is evil an unholy.  In her eyes she was the cause of her mother’s downfall, and the main reason for her father’s neglecting towards her.  To Queen Anne, Mary was a burden difficult to bear. Even when she managed to keep the King’s feelings towards his eldest daughter cold, she knew she was a breathing threat to her safety as Queen of England.  Blood is blood, and she knew the King was a man of changeable character. She was between two options, make peace with her or in time… make her the most hated person for King Henry the VIII.   There were rumors, many of them created by Eustace Chapuys and other enemies of the Boleyn clan, that the Queen wanted Mary and her mother dead, and that she was already plotting against their lives.  There are not proofs of this. Even when in times when the Queen was under the influence of too much wine or bad moods, she made open declarations of her desires to get rid of them… and her plans to order their executions if the King went away long enough to make her regent in his absence.  Anne had only one scary prophecy on her mind, one she openly discussed with her closest allies: “Mary is my death, and I am hers”.   This was more an expression of fear, rather than hate in the side of Anne, the only thing she needed to take that fear away… was a son.

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Queen Anne disliked Mary beyond measure but, she tried to make peace with her.  She knew it was better to take this chance rather that keep the distance, this new state of mind came of course because she was not the mother of a Prince yet, and to keep the King pleased was of course a better way to conquer more grounds at court, earn allies and fix her status at court, she wanted to be loved by all…not by only some.  In March 1534, Anne sent for Lady Mary to come see her while she was visiting her daughter Princess Elizabeth. The Queen offered to invite her back to the English Court and also a reconciliation pact with her father King Henry VIII if she would just accept their marriage and acknowledge her as the Queen of England.  Lady Mary promptly responded with a cruel insult, “I know no Queen in England but my mother. But if you, Madam, as my father’s mistress, will intercede for me with him, I should be grateful.” Anne did not lose her temper with Lady Mary as she pointed out the absurdity of the request and repeated her offer to Lady Mary in a less gentle tone, but still soft enough to be taken in good will. But Mary refused to answer Anne, she just simply turned her back on her and leave, Queen Anne was in rage.

The Queen found the courage to forget the girl’s attitude, and once again tried to build a peaceful relationship with her.  There is another encounter recorded between the Queen and her stepdaughter, this time in Eltham Palace’s Chapel. An attendant told Anne that Lady Mary had acknowledged her as the Queen of England by curtsying to her. Anne had not been able to see it and she came to be embarrassed at not noticing that Lady Mary had acknowledged her as the Queen of England. She was deeply pleased that Lady Mary had acknowledged her as the Queen of England and ended up sending a message to her where she as the Queen greeted her warmly and to apologize for not seeing her curtsy towards her and that she desired that “this may be the entrance of friendly correspondence”. The Lady Mary replied that it was impossible for the queen to have been there for my mother was not; I kneeled yes, but for the altar”.  This was the last time Anne tried to make peace with Mary.  The Queen was so furious, that in private as well as in public, she started to make horrible remarks against the Lady Mary.  She called her names, and made fun of her strict fashion. She said that she would make Mary her lady in waiting, and then she would marry her to some varlet.  She threatened to curb “her proud Spanish blood”, but again, the Queen was just ranting to express her frustrations with Lady Mary and there is no evidence to suggest she carried out any of her threats against Lady Mary.  However, Queen Anne did tell her aunt Lady Anne Shelton who was in charge of Lady Mary’s care to starve her if she continued to eat a large breakfast in order to avoid having to eat dinner in the Great Hall and pleading illness to have supper brought to her chamber.  Queen Anne also proclaimed that she should box Lady Mary’s ears as “the cursed bastard she was” if she tried to use the banned title of princess for herself. Queen Anne ended up having Mary surrender her jewels to her, for she felt they must now adorn Princess Elizabeth for she was now the king’s lawful heiress to the throne of England, until the time that she had a brother.

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All this slowly twisted Mary’s soul. She felt abused and worst of all, alone.  And to add more bitterness, the Spanish Ambassador, Eustace Chapuys made sure that the hate that Mary felt for Anne were stronger every day. His own despise for Anne was greater than his conscience. He had no idea of the harm he was inflicting in the already torture heart of the young girl.  Chapuys, who openly did not accept Anne for who she was, cared nothing for her, and despised her and disgustedly ended up referring to her in his official communications as “the concubine” and that “whore” or with polite disdain “The Lady” and Princess Elizabeth as “the brat” or “the little bastard”, told Lady Mary that Anne was planning to have her murdered.  It was a terrible lie, but one that Lady Mary, in her hysterical state, was inclined to believe. She refused to go when word came that Princess Elizabeth’s household was moving from Hatfield to The More, as she believed that she would be taken and quietly murdered. This led to the royal guards have to actually seize and throw her into her litter. Her distress from this would have naturally made her ill.

This cruel treatment not only increased Lady Mary’s hate towards Queen Anne, but is also made her feel almost nothing for her half sister.  Mary barely paid attention to her, and was cold and behaved like a stone when she was around the little princess. So much despise towards an innocent child, was not a good sign at all.  Later in time, Catherine of Aragon died, to Mary’s sorrow, she had no chance to neither say goodbye to her mother nor lay eyes upon her.  This left a profound scar on Mary’s heart, one that would never disappear.

But where was King Henry the VIII while his daughter was suffering so terribly? Yes, he was making no action, he was doing nothing, no towards Anne, nor even to protect Mary against his wife’s “threats”. The King did not make efforts to ease Mary’s low life style either. He gave her no money and her health was not well watch as it was before.  Only once, the King made contact with Mary after his marriage with Anne. He sent the Duke of Norfolk to Hatfield House, with a message for Mary; the King wanted her to join her sister’s ladies in waiting during a visit at White Hall Palace.  Mary responded that “the title of princess belonged to herself and no other.” Norfolk made no answer, declaring he had not come to dispute titles but to accomplish the King’s will.” When Mary was told that she would be allowed to take very few servants with her, Margaret Pole, her longtime governess and godmother, who had been in Mary’s entourage since the princess was three years old asked if she might continue to serve Mary at her own expense and pay for the whole household. Her request was refused. King Henry wanted Mary, like Katherine, to be separated from those she trusted to encourage her submission.

The King was angry at Mary. He hated her Spanish pride because that was the reminder of the nightmare he had to endure while Catherine refused to let him go.  Thanks to all the power he had now, not only as King, but as Supreme Head of the Church of England, he thought that everyone, including his “loved ones” were supposed to obey him whatever the circumstances… even if those were to face death. After this incident, the King never spoke to Mary again during  the reign of Anne.

Then, like if faith were giving Mary a taste of sweetness, the days of Anne Boleyn as Queen of England finished.  Her failure to produce a male heir, her talent to make the King burst with rage and the  sudden love between the King and the young Lady Jane Seymour, send her to an unjust and cruel death.  To Mary, this bloody event was a deliverance from all the darkness she endured while Anne lived.  After Anne’s execution, The Lady Mary sent a letter to Thomas Cromwell:

I perceived that nobody durst speak for me as long as that woman lived, which is now gone. whom I pray to our Lord, of his great mercy to forgive.”

Mary never forgave Anne for all her miseries. The hate she felt for her would live on forever. The wounds she inflicted on her were too deep to heal.  Now, her fate was again in a limbo, she just could pray for hope.

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END OF PART I

 

SOURCES:

http://queenmarytudor.wordpress.com/2011/08/04/the-relationship-of-mary-and-her-parents-king-henry-viii-and-queen-catherine-of-aragon/

http://www.katelyncomments.com/2013/01/anne-boleyn-part-thirteen-relationship.html

http://queenmarytudor.wordpress.com/2011/08/13/the-relationship-between-queen-anne-boleyn-and-princess-mary/

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09766a.htm

http://www.luminarium.org/encyclopedia/queenmary.htm

http://tudors.wikia.com/wiki/Princess_Mary_Tudor

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_I_of_England

QAB Round Table Chat With Historical Fiction Writer Christy English

October 22, 2012 in News, QAB Guest Interviews and Chats by Beth von Staats

Historical Fiction Writer Christy English

Queen Anne Boleyn Historical Writers is pleased to host an internet round table discussion with historical fiction writer Christy English, author of  To Be a Queen; A Novel of the Early Life of Eleanor of Aquitaine, The Queen’s Pawn and How to Tame a Willful Wife. Christy is joining QAB’s court administrators to discuss the remarkable lives of some of England’s early queens, whose strength and determination helped pave the way to England’s future world dominance. Today’s discussion will focus on Holy Roman Empress Matilda; Eleanor of Aquitaine, Queen of France and England; Catalina de’ Aragon, Queen of England; and Anne Boleyn, Queen of England. Welcome to QAB, Christy.

Christy English: “I am very excited to talk with the group about these strong women. I am completely obsessed by Eleanor of Aquitaine, but I have been a fan of Matilda, Anne Boleyn and Queen Elizabeth I for years. I’ve even come to admire Queen Catherine of Aragon. So this is going to be an amazing time.”

Elizabeth, Gloriana: “Christy, it really is a shame, but Empress Matilda seems all but forgotten in English history, despite her huge impact. What would you like to share with QAB readers about this remarkable woman?”

Christy English: “Matilda, or Empress Maude, as she was also known, was the rightful heir to the English throne. When her father Henry I died, she was not in England but in her holdings in France. She did not rush to London to be crowned, and her usurping cousin, Stephen leaped in to fill the gap.”

Mary Rose Tudor Uk Z: “Even though he swore to uphold Matilda’s claim to the throne.”

Empress Matilda (Maude)

Christy English: “Can you tell I am no fan of Stephen’s? I love the historical novel about that time period by Sharon Kay Penman, When Christ and His Saints Slept. The war between Matilda and Stephen raged for decades, and the English peasants were caught between them like wheat between mill stones. Just bloody awful…literally. Ah yes, Stephen did take an oath, but as was mentioned in the BBC She Wolves documentary by historian Helen Canter, he probably didn’t think anyone would hold him to it. During Eleanor’s life, some churchmen suggested that an oath to a woman held no power. God would give you a do over, so to speak.”

Mary Rose Tudor Uk Z: “This was also shown beautifully is Pillars of the Earth.

Elizabeth, Gloriana: “Who would hold any man to an oath of a female monarch?”

Christy English: “Elizabeth and her sister Mary were the first women who really managed to hold men in their sway. I make it sound so nefarious. Elizabeth I just wanted to rule as a prince as she called it, and she pulled it off.”

Mary I (left), Elizabeth I (right)

Elizabeth, Gloriana: “Yes, she was the ultimate CEO, also surrounding herself with an excellent group of privy counselors whom she remained loyal to.”

Mary Rose Tudor Uk Z: “Why do you think the people accepted Mary?”

Christy English: “I think they were tired of the new religion and wanted their church back. An over simplification, no doubt. And she was the daughter of a queen and king, both from the Spanish line and the English. Though I wonder if a peasant or burgher would really care about that?”

Mary Rose Tudor Uk Z: “Are we off topic?” <laughs>

Elizabeth, Gloriana: “Yes we are.” <laughs> Back to King Stephen and Empress Matilda now. Did they jockey for power to gain control of the crown?”

Christy English: “They fought tooth and nail, killing a lot of people in the process. It took almost two decades of civil war before Stephen surrendered and accepted Matilda’s son, Henry, as his heir.”

Elizabeth, Gloriana: “There was only one Stephen for a reason. How did a woman manage to lead an army of supporters for nearly 20 years in 12th century England?”

Christy English: “She had right on her side, for one thing, and she was a powerful woman with a powerful husband. She had supporters as far away as Aquitaine. Eleanor of Aquitaine’s father, Duke William X, fought to help her hold onto Normandy for example. There were some men who chose not to break their oaths to her.”

Mary Rose Tudor Uk Z: “Christy, if Matilda was allowed to rule, what kind of queen would she have made?”

Christy English: “I suppose there is no way to know what kind of queen Matilda would have made. From her bid to the throne we can see that she was ruthless, that she would trample over villages and crops to fight a battle to win territory. This is no different from any man during her time, but I do wonder if she would have been so fond of establishing a rule of law, the king’s peace, as her son Henry II was.”

Elizabeth, Gloriana: “Remarkable, what was her influence if any on her daughter-in-law Eleanor of Aquitaine?”

Christy English: “Eleanor of Aquitaine, my hero, became Queen of England in 1154. I often wonder if anyone other than her father ever had influence over Eleanor. To me, she seems like a woman who lived by her own rules. That said I like to think that she and Matilda got along once Henry married her. No doubt they saw the world in much the same way, and shared the same goal: of keeping Henry II in power. As long as he stayed in power, so did they. Both women served as Regent for him in his holdings on the Continent from time to time when he had to be in England, but as far as I know, Eleanor was the only one to rule for him in England when he was dealing with his barons in Normandy and Anjou. Henry and Eleanor had a very strong political marriage for the first ten years at least.”

Eleanor of Aquitaine

Elizabeth, Gloriana: “Excellent point. He certainly had the support of two very strong and influential women.”

Mary Rose Tudor Uk Z: “Maude reminds me a bit of Margaret Beaufort. They both secured the throne for their sons.

Christy English: “So true! They were a lot alike. Two fabulous women!”

Elizabeth, Gloriana: “Margaret Beaufort… I would never mess with her. <laughs> Now back to Matilda, Henry and Eleanor…”

Margaret Beaufort

Mary Rose Tudor Uk Z: “What do you think Eleanor thought of Matilda?”

Christy English: “There is no way to know for certain, but I think the two women worked well together. They were a lot a like, but that is not always a bad thing. They both served as regent for Henry II on the continent at different times, though Eleanor was the only one to serve as Regent for him in England. But as Henry in my novel at least is fond of saying, there can be only one king. I think Matilda understood this, but Eleanor never truly accepted it. She always wanted power of her own even while they were married. She did not really gain that power until her favorite son left her as Regent when he went to the Holy Land on the Third Crusade.”

Mary Rose Tudor Uk Z: “I have a hard time seeing Eleanor let Maude dictate to her.”

Elizabeth, Gloriana: “Well fortunately Maude did not live forever, and Eleanor lived a long life. Do tell us Christy, was Eleanor effective as England’s regent? After all, she was basically queen in all but name for both her husband and her son at different times.”

Christy English: “I believe Eleanor was tired of England after spending 15 years under lock and key there for rebelling against her husband. She did find England useful when it came time to raise the ransom for Richard I’s release from a German prison. Richard got kidnapped by one of his ‘brother kings’ on his way back from the Third Crusade.”

Elizabeth, Gloriana: “Did she not rule while regent as Cataline De’Aragon did while Henry VIII left England to fight in battle? Or did she basically hold things in status while her son was out of the country?”

Christy English: “As far as I know, she was officially Regent while her son was away.”

Mary Rose Tudor Uk Z: <speaking of Eleanor’s first husband King Louis VII of France> “Christy, why do you feel Eleanor abhorred Louis so much?”

Christy English: “I don’t think Eleanor hated Louis. I think she wanted to love him in the beginning, or at least to have a working political marriage, But the problem was Louis really was more monk than man, and he did not want to go to bed with her. It took eight years and an alliance between Abbot Suger and Bernard de Clairvaux to get him into bed with her so that she could get pregnant with their first daughter. The second daughter did not come until the Pope himself put them to bed together when they were in Roam on their way back from the Second Crusade. Amazing! You really can’t make this stuff up… it’s just too wild. Truth really is stranger than fiction.”

King Louis VII of France

Elizabeth, Gloriana: “Amazing. In an age where heirs were everything, the man was a monk. Truth is always stranger than fiction, which makes historical fiction such a wonderful genre.”

Christy English: “Louis was raised to be a monk. Only when his older brother was killed was he brought out of the church school and made to be heir to the throne. I have always felt sorry for him. I have a theory that Louis VII was a good man, but as Henry II says in The Queen’s Pawn, a good man rarely makes a good king.”

King Henry II of England

Elizabeth, Gloriana: “True. George VI is the only one I can think of, and he was just a constitutional monarch with no real power.”

Mary Rose Tudor Uk Z: “T’is better to be feared than loved.”

Christy English: “Henry II would absolutely agree with that.”

Mary Rose Tudor Uk Z: “Machiavelli would have loved Henry II.”

Christy English: <laughs> “I tend to put words in Henry’s mouth, since I write fiction about him, but my sense is that he was politically savvy while also wanting to maintain a rule of law. He never wanted to return to the times of civil war thatEngland has seen when his mother was trying to take back the throne. If you’ll notice, Henry has hijacked this conversation that is supposed to be about Eleanor and Matilda. <laughs> I wonder if Eleanor and Anne Boleyn would have liked each other.”

Elizabeth, Gloriana: “I predict a cat fight. <laughs> Anne Boleyn did not shine a candle to Eleanor. I say that with every respect of Anne, but come on.”

Mary Rose Tudor Uk Z: “I agree. I think Catherine of Aragon was more like Eleanor and Matilda. Look how Catherine defeated King James VI.”

Christy English: “I suppose it is hard to include Anne Boleyn in a discussion of women born to rule. She just didn’t have the advantages of being raised in a royal court. She served in France as a courtier, but being a courtier is very different from a ruling queen. Of course with Henry VIII on the throne, a queen had trouble keeping her head, much less ruling.

Elizabeth, Gloriana: “Let’s turn to Catalina De’Aragon. She was an amazing queen consort. Princess Mary Rose and Christy, please share your thoughts.”

Catalina de’ Aragon

Christy English:  “Touching on the subject of Catherine of Aragon, I love the mention you <Mary Rose> make of her defeat of James VI in battle. Of course, she had fighting men to wage this war for her, but she was the ruler, the regent for Henry VIII at that time. Truly an amazing woman. ”

Elizabeth, Gloriana: “Oh yes, the daughter of Isabella she surely showed plain.”

Mary Rose Tudor Uk Z: “She was her mother’s daughter, no doubt. Catherine always fought for England to ally herself with Spain. She knew how to handle Henry back then.”

Elizabeth, Gloriana: “Catalina was a remarkable woman and a survivor.”

Christy English: “Catalina did handle Henry VIII well early on. And she had a lot of help from Wolsey, at least for most of her marriage. I love how Catalina held her ground and made it possible for Mary to take the throne one day. She never blinked and never backed down. Isabella would have been proud, though Isabella also might have said, “Why don’t you have someone poison that Anne Boleyn?” <laughs>

Mary Rose Tudor Uk Z: “How tragic that she never saw Mary again.”

Christy English: “That really breaks my heart. It amazes me how truly hard hearted Henry VIII could be. Self-centered I suppose.”

Elizabeth, Gloriana: “Well, a male heir was essential in the minds of the day. No one believed a woman could rule in her own right. Catalina was an outstanding queen consort, and her ability to survive under both Henry VII and Henry VIII was remarkable.”

Christy English: “She really did an amazing job of hanging on during the worst of circumstances. The way she survived Henry VII was truly impressive, and she was a young woman then – alone in a hostile country and friendless.”

Mary Rose Tudor Uk Z: “Can you imagine if Henry VII married her?”

Christy English: “It would have been interesting. She would have been taken off the table of history altogether, truly a dowager queen.”

Mary Rose Tudor Uk Z: “Yes, think of poor Mary Rose.”

Anne Boleyn

Elizabeth, Gloriana: “Well she won over Henry VIII, and had she born him a living son, Anne Boleyn would never have come to power.”

Mary Rose Tudor Uk Z: “Henry would have easily gotten his way if Charles V did not invade Rome.”

Elizabeth, Gloriana: “Maybe, maybe not. In my mind, Anne was the result of her father and Norfolk’s ambition.”

Mary Rose Tudor Uk Z: “Look at Louis XII and Joan. What man would in his right mind pursue Anne knowing the king wanted her? Did Anne have a choice at all?”

Elizabeth, Gloriana: “No she did not. Her success came in holding Henry off for seven years. That took some doing, no doubt.”

Christy English: “That is an interesting question. I guess we’ll never know the answer. Was Anne Boleyn a pawn? Or was she a political animal? Or a pawn who decided to get in the game and make her own plays?”

Elizabeth, Gloriana: “Great discussion point. I believe she was both pawn and political animal. She wanted the crown.”

Christy English: “I think so too. I think she made the best of a bad situation, but it got away from her.”

Elizabeth, Gloriana: “And she did hold influence over Henry, which helped the rise of both Cromwell and Cranmer. Cromwell may have rose without her. Cranmer clearly would not have.”

Mary Rose Tudor Uk Z: “Henry took her youth and the ability to marry another. Maybe she saw the crown as her right.”

Christy English: “Once more, her power depended on having a son, the same as Catherine of Aragon, the same as Eleanor of Aquitaine when she was in France. But you make a great point, Anne did a great deal for the Reformation in England.

Elizabeth, Gloriana: “Yes, agreed. The ability to have a son was everything. Regarding the reformation, her contribution was just enough to get into power those who did <a great deal>.”

Christy English: “Maybe we should end on that note?”

Elizabeth, Gloriana: “Christy, we both would like thank your for your generous time in discussing some of England’s remarkable early queens with us. Before you leave us, please do tell our members about your new novel How to Tame a Willful Wife which will be released in the United States on November 6th.”

Christy English: “Ah yes…what does the re-telling of a Shakespearean comedy have to do with Eleanor of Aquitaine? Like Katherine in The Taming of the Shrew and a bit like Eleanor herself, my heroine Caroline Montague is a woman to be reckoned with. She rides astride her war horse Hercules, fences, throws knives, and can best any man she has ever met with a bow and arrow. When she meets the handsome and domineering Anthony Carrington, the man her father has chosen for her to marry, she does not shirk her duty. She marries him, but she refuses to obey him. Anthony, a man of strength, is certain that he can tame her and make her a biddable, demure bride. They have a lively battle of wits and wills even as they indulge in their attraction for each other. The question that remains is: who is taming whom? Thank you for indulging me with mentioning the new book. I do love our discussion. Your review copy went in the mail yesterday so I hope you get it soon. I am so excited to be a part of your site.”

TO PRE-ORDER YOUR COPY OF HOW TO TAME A WILLFUL WIFE, CLICK ON THIS LINK. http://www.amazon.com/Tame-Willful-Wife-Christy-English/dp/1402270453/ref=la_B002RF8Q52_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1338555028&sr=1-3

WATCH FOR QAB’S REVIEW OF THE BOOK SOON!!

 

 

 

The Fifth Son

September 6, 2012 in Beth von Staats (REVELATION), Elizabethan Court, Historical Fiction by Beth von Staats

I pause to reflect before I scratch the worst of news to my father onto parchment. My father, yes he is a mad man. As I settle here in Lynn, my forces depleting with men deserting in favor of the Princess Mary, who now proclaims herself Queen of England, I resign myself to the inevitable. Jane Dudley, imposed wife of my drunkard brother Guilford, will lose the crown thrust so unwillingly upon her head, and the heretic will reign. I look out at my depleted forces, now scurrying to Farmlingham Castle where Mary presides, disgusted. With no backbone to dispute it, I did my power hungry father’s bidding, leading men to arrest the true heir to the throne. What was I thinking? Did I really believe Northumberland could reign as king through the puppets of Jane and Guilford? Yes, I suppose I did. My father, he is a force in his own right — a brave knight, a master of manipulation, a demigod, I do swear. I thought no one could upend him, especially the sickly virgin old maid daughter of a forsaken Spanish queen. Though my father and brothers do not yet know it, we are all dead men, following my grandfather to the block. Even Princess Elizabeth, also usurped in this folly, will be unable to save us. And even if she could, why should she? After all, we betrayed her – betrayed her birthright, her friendship, her trust.

Until this very day, I was a blessed man. Fifth son of a Duke, favor and prestige is not supposed to follow me, but God looked kindly upon me anyway. Raised among royalty, educated by the masters, friends with the boy king and his beautiful Protestant sister, I wanted for nothing. When not in study, falconing, hunting, and riding horse filled my days. With no heritance coming and right poor future prospects, I lived like a prince, the rightly proud son of a Duke that was soon Lord Protector and king in all but name. Then I was matched to Amy Robsart, daughter of a knight in Syderstone, with no brothers, heiress of his Norfolk lands and estate. Our wedding grand, even King Edward and Princess Elizabeth attended. Love matters not. The marriage match is envious, and I am glad to have it. At 20 years old, I am a member of the Privy Council, member of the House of Commons, and knight with lands in Norfolk, Northamptonshire and Leicestershire – a great fortune bestowed to a 5th son, a great fortune bestowed to any son.

With Princess Mary, or should I say Queen Mary, rallying support far and wide, disaster lies on the horizon. My father will fall hard, and like the deck of cards beneath him, we all will follow. Yet, he knows not. While I watch events unfold around me, the Duke of Northumberland is spinning his web, pushing his agenda, pressuring that poor girl Jane to do his bidding, to rule as he would if the crown were his. As my father struts with his chest puffed full of the power of the moment, along with Henry Grey and Thomas Cranmer who abet him, the petite virgin waif all discounted, all shunned, all mocked, all ignored, all disdained, all denied for these many years, prepares to be England’s first ruling Queen. Norfolk, that bastard, will rejoice as she reunites this blessed realm with the Bishop of Rome. Spain, that heathen land, will rejoice as she reunites with her blood relatives against all English pride. God, I pray you protect and hold this blessed land in your loving hands, and may You see your way to ultimately lay St. Edward’s crown on the woman most able and willing to reign true to you, my beloved Elizabeth.

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Sisters, Queens, Stars and Omens

August 26, 2012 in Elizabethan Court, Historical Fiction by ADMIN: Royal Squire

Three days ago, the St. Edward’s crown was traitorously placed on the head of Jane Dudley, and I remain here at the home of a pagan begot of my mother’s butcher, desperate for news of my sister, Queen Mary. As the crown was laid, my sister sent the privy council word of her rightful proclamation as Queen of England. Although Dudley and most of the privy council have tied their fate with my cousin, the people are rallying around my sister. As news trickles to me through messages from Dr. Dee and my Spirit, Cecil, I begin to become hopeful that against all odds my sister will prevail. T’is God’s will. T’is my father’s will. Only God knows why, so I do not question. His will be done.  As I read Greek mythology in the study while Blanche, Kat and their husbands take some respite outdoors, I hear voices from the dining room. My  heart lifts. My dearest of friends John Dee is here, along with a women by the sounds of it. Should I get up and enter? I decide to hold back until I am sure who this women is. I close my book, and crack to door open and listen.

Iris Sedena-Cromwell: My poor Bess. I am pleased that she has come out for a visit on such a lovely summer day, but she looks drawn, pale and disheartened, the repeated assault of losses wearing her down, draining all her energy. My poor Gregory would be upset so to see her this way. The journey from Laude is long, but I know why she so ventures. “Oh Bess… do come in. Awwwwww, well look at baby Thomas. He has grown so.” I look beyond and John Dee approaches behind her. “Well, look here. My tormentor has arrived. I supposed I should let you in, as well.” I say teasingly, “Bess, what this man has done to me… I shall never forgive.”

Elizabeth Seymour Cromwell: As sad as this last year has been, I can’t help but smile at Iris’ comments. Gregory always said, she is too free with her words. T’is true. As I hold baby Thomas with one arm, and hug Iris with the other and kiss her forehead. “It’s been too long since I’ve seen you Iris.  You need to come Laude and visit before heading to Europe. Everyone misses you. Anthea, Lilith and I could use the help. There are children running every where.”

Iris Sedena-Cromwell: Guilt ridden, I look at the woman who accepted us as family on a crown when the truth finally came to be known. How much more can Bess endure? In the last year, she has lost her brother, then her husband, then her last remaining blood family tie, the King. Raising five children of her own and three of her brother, Somerset’s, no time for mourning weighs heavy. I say knowing I will not go back there, “I will try and come out after my company leaves, Bess.” I look over at John, “Come, come, do sit down then. There’s much afoot. I’ll get us some soup and bread.”

John Dee: I sit gladly at the table after such a long journey. Bess insisted in coming, hoping her proximity to court will increase her chances of attending funeral services for the late boy king. The only Seymour blood relative close still living, she feels duty bound to her sister and to His Majesty. “So Iris, where is your company now?”

Iris Sedena-Cromwell: I begin serving the soup and bread, and bring out some goblets and a pitcher and ale. I say with a hint of hurt, and a hint of sarcasm,”The company to whom you most desire is my father’s study, sitting at my father’s desk, writing with my father’s quill on my father’s parchments, and reading my father’s books. The rest are out for a walk through the gardens.” I say to John pointedly, “If my omens did not foretell she will be a glorious queen, John, I would do this not. They call me the butcher’s daughter. I have kept my mouth shut, but just barely.”

Elizabeth Seymour-Cromwell: I look over at John, and his resolve does not falter. This must be done. As much as I loved my nephew, I fear he was unduly influenced by Northumberland and the Protestant Privy Council. The crown is Queen Mary’s, and if not heirs from her, then Princess Elizabeth. I learned over time from Gregory, Nicoleen and the girls that a Sedena begotten omen never lies. The daughter of Anne Boleyn will reign. I offer, “Iris, our prayers will be answered, and you will have your life back soon, dear. I think it most urgent that before this day is done, we lay the plans for your exile. We will need to get you, Lilith and Anthea out of England. I fear the queen will burn you.”

Elizabeth, Gloriana: I listen intently from the door. Lady Iris is a bitter one. She expects me to be gracious? I will settle for civil, and leave things lie there. Lady Elizabeth, I have not seen her in ages. A Lady-in-Waiting for my mother and  Queens Jane, Anne of Cleves, and Katherine Parr, I know her well enough. I forgot she was married to the butcher’s son, as you rarely saw him at court. A Baron, yes… but from afar. Smart man, as the sweat took him, not the ax. I decide to listen a little longer before entering. Yes, these women better swiftly head to exile. Mary will ruin them; I am certain of it.

John Dee: Iris finally sits down with us, and I look over at her and state, “Iris, you have precious cargo. All signs lead that Mary is building her forces from Farmlingham, and forces under Robert Dudley are dwindling the closer he comes to her. I have carefully looked at the stars and charts, and all goes her way. I give it days and Northumlerland’s cards will fall all around him, and Mary will reign. I have come to consult with the Princess to ready her to show support to her sister, perhaps ride in to London as one. The princess must be careful, as who is queen matters not. The days ahead will be fraught with danger for this Lion’s cub.”

Iris Sedena-Cromwell: I listen to John speak and see the truth in it, nodding. I look over at Bess. “Can I hold baby Thomas?” Bess nods, and passes him over to me. The babe lies sleeping, and I look down upon him. So bittersweet a child is he. Born after my Gregory’s death, the man both brother and father to me, will never be a father to him. Saddened as I think of this, I fight back tears. Oh how I miss Gregory. “Bess, he is a bonny looking lad. He looks of you, not Gregory, I’d say. You were brave to name him after my father. Thank you. The omens say  he will serve Her Majesty well, but from afar.”

Elizabeth Seymour Cromwell: I look over at my Thomas and Iris. Will the Lord bless this beautiful woman with a babe someday, I wonder? “Yes, he is a happy boy, and very…” As I speak, I look over and see Princess Elizabeth enter. We all stand up dutifully. Iris and I curtsey, while John bows.  I offer… “Princess, it has been too long since I have seen you.”

Elizabeth, Gloriana: As I listen to John Dee speak, my heart lifts. Queen Mary, yes I did not give her the credit due. She is rallying the people, who see her as rightful queen. Thank you, God. Although I question the omens of the butcher’s daughter, I believe John’s gifts to be real. I must speak to him alone. I must. As they continue talking, I head back to the bed chamber I’ve been sleeping in and get a shawl. I then scurry into the dining room. I look over, and lift my hand that they all rise, and respond… “Yes, it has been, Lady Elizabeth.” I say sincerely to this kindly woman, always like her sister the Queen a support to me, “Please accept my condolences at this difficult time. It pains me that the King lays still with no service or burial. I trust that Queen Mary will attend to it, and that we both will be there.” I then look over at John Dee. “We must speak alone John.” He nods, and without another word, he graciously holds me by the arm and we leave the house. John guides me through a path within the woods that he obviously has traveled before, and we walk along briskly until we arrive upon a secluded hidden treasure, a lush and beautiful lily pond in full bloom. “John, this place is absolutely delightful. How did you find it?” He looks at me, and smiles, “Never you mind, let’s talk about the days ahead. You must be prepared to meet Queen Mary just outside of London as she makes her triumphant entry into London. The stars foretell we are only short days ahead. You must show every support of her and live humbly and quietly as you wait her out.” My astrologist never lies, and he never falters. As he continues to speak, I hush him for just a minute, stand in the soft grass looking out to the lily pond and raise my arms, “God I thank you most abundantly. Give me strength to endure the dangerous days ahead.” I then turn around, and sit upon a nearby rock. I take off my slippers, and dip my feet in the water. Such a peaceful and spiritual place this spot is. I feel relaxed and energized, all in one. I turn to John and say, “I will be careful, John, but I must also be true to myself. Have courage. We all must.” I then ask, the curiosity lingering in my mind now for days. “I know you are with one of the butcher’s daughters. Is she the one?” He slowly waves his head, no. The mystery continues. I think for a moment and add, “For you and for the risks that young woman took, if the stars and her omens are correct and someday I reign, they may return safe to England on the condition you keep them far away from me and mine.” On beloved mother, please forgive me.

~~The Cruel Plot~~

August 17, 2012 in Elizabethan Court by ADMIN: Royal Squire

I have presently been warned of a plot to seize me and keep me as a captive. My blood boils at the thought. I have been dishonoured yet again. I will no longer speak of the shame that my own father brought on my mother. I will not speak anymore of that mistreatment. I have grown and have cast it aside. I no longer wish to dwell on my cruel past. My time of reckoning shall occur and I shall get it. It seems as my heavenly father did not seem to want me to be Queen yet. However, I know I shall prevail. My fool brother did not want me in the line of succession and had sworn to write me out of it. He wanted to keep Elizabeth and not me. His eyes and thoughts are ruled by Satan. He knows not right from wrong. I should be Queen and I should rule as God would want me to.  Elizabeth is a darling sister and I do feel for her cruel shame as well. Her mother, a witch and harlot, should never have been her mother. I hope, in her heart, Elizabeth has disowned the concubine, but I do feel her pain. We two sisters mean nothing in this world. We only mean something when we have power and I believe I should have the power. I believe that I should rule in the rightful place. I was summoned to visit my poor brother. He was very young and dying, but I was warned. The heretics want Lady Jane Grey to rule in my stead. This sickens me. She is a young girl and knows nothing of ruling. She will fail and I will built support.  I have fled to an area far away, where I own many estates. I shall hide here until I have enough support. Mark my words there are already whispers of my great support. England is still loyal, deep in their hearts, to my mother and I. They are also fiercely loyal to my father and I am my father’s daughter. I am a Tudor. Tudors must rule the throne and our heirs must rule the throne. I must inform the council that I intend to be Queen. I must inform them that I shall not go away forever. This faux Queen shall not rule and I shall take my rightful place. Mark my words. With God’s help, it will be achieved!!!

 

~The Forgotten Princess to the Queen Mary I~

April 15, 2012 in Tudor Y Writer's Group by ADMIN: Royal Squire

 

Mary Tudor was born on February 18th 1516 at Greenwich. She was the only surviving child of King Henry VIII and Queen Catherine of Aragon. As a young child, she received much love and attention. She was to be an esteemed Princess and she would be well taken care of. Mary was an intelligent and gifted child. In 1520, she performed for a French delegation group on the virginals.  Her music skills were very developed and by the time she was nine she was able to read and write in Latin, studied in Greek and learned dance.  Her early childhood was generally happy, but things started to change. In 1525, she was given her own household at Ludlow Castle. This began the separation of between Catherine of Aragon and her daughter, Mary Tudor.

 

Mary Tudor had many marriage arrangements, but none of them went through. When she was two years old, she was promised to the son of Francis I, but that contract was broken three years later. Then when she was six, she was supposed to marry her cousin Holy Roman Emperor Charles, but the marriage was broken off with Henry’s agreement. England tried to negotiate with France again and Henry was willing to sign off on Mary to be married to Francis I or his second son. However, the treaty and alliance was created without securing a marriage.

 

As Mary entered her teenage years, her parent’s marriage was deeply troubled. Little arrangements were to be made for her and her father was most upset to be without a male heir. Her father started to fall in love with one of her mother’s ladies, Anne Boleyn.  Mary had no respect for this woman and hated her deeply.  In spring of 1533, Archbishop Thomas Cranmer annulled Catherine and Henry’s marriage. He named the marriage invalid and that Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn’s marriage was officially valid. Catherine was formally given the title of the Dowager Princess of Wales and Mary became illegitimate. As a result, she was given the name “The Lady Mary.” She would no longer be referred to as a Princess and she was removed from the succession.  Mary refused to name Anne Queen and always referred to her mother as the True Queen. This angered her father and their relationship was strained and they did not speak to each for three years. When Elizabeth was born, she was put ahead in the line of succession.  Mary had no part of it, but was recalled to be a lady for her half-sister. To say this was difficult would be an understatement. At the same time, Mary became very ill regularly and frequently. Her doctor said that it was because of her mistreatment, but no one truly knows what ailments she suffered and why. Both Mary and Catherine were not allowed to see each other.  Could you even fathom how difficult this would be for them both?  Mary never saw her Mother again and Catherine of Aragon died in January of 1536.

 

Things slowly started to improve with Mary. When Anne Boleyn was executed in May of 1536, Jane Seymour, the new wife of Henry VIII, urged him to make amends with his daughter, Mary. At the same time, Elizabeth was no longer referred to as a princess and was also called “The Lady Elizabeth.” The terms for reconciling with her Father were that she had to recognize that he was the head of the church, the marriage between her Mother and Father was invalid, and that she was illegitimate.  She tried to gain favour again with his father by saying that she would submit to his authority as far as God and her conscience would allow, but she was forced to agree to all of his terms. This would have humiliated her more and make her feel such great sorrow. She had to deny everything she knew she was. She would have to desecrate her Mother’s memory.  One could be bold enough to say that her true internal feelings never changed. However, submitting to the claims of her father helped her.  Her living conditions did improve.  She was allowed to have fine gowns and clothes once more. She was also permitted to live in royal palaces and had her expenses covered. When Jane Seymour died giving birth to her half-brother, Edward, Mary became his god-mother and acted as chief mourner for the Queen’s funeral. Mary Tudor truly did respect Jane Seymour. She was a true and loving Catholic. She was pleased to call Jane her step-mother.

 

Through the next few marriages, Mary had little involvement. In 1539, Thomas Cromwell arranged for Anne of Cleves to be the wife of Henry VIII. This match was not favoured by Henry for he found her unattractive. However, she settled for an annulment and was pleased to be called the King’s sister. As a result, this brought about Thomas Cromwell’s downfall. He was executed himself for treason and one of his charges was that he plotted to marry Mary. This strange charge was not likely at all.

 

Throughout the years, Mary remained faithful in the Catholic religion. She lived a quiet life and did not associate much with the other Queens. In 1541, her old governess, Margaret Pole, was executed for her involvement in a Catholic plot and basically to get back at her son Reginald Pole, who was not in England at the time. One might guess that this probably hurt Mary deeply. Margaret was a strong Catholic and a great support for Mary in her younger years. As well, Margaret was quite old at this time.

 

When Katherine Howard came to the throne, there is little said of what Mary thought of it. It is obvious that it would be silly and embarrassing for her father was old and obese and Katherine was so young and pretty. When Katherine was executed, Mary was asked to oversee the Royal Christmas activities for there was no Queen to do it then. Finally, her father married again for the last time. He married Catherine Parr, who managed to be loving, kind, and merciful. She brought the family back together and encouraged Henry to put his daughters back in the line of succession. The Act of Succession 1544 put both of the women, Mary and Elizabeth, although still illegitimate, back in the line after Edward.

In 1547, her father died and left her young brother, Edward to assume the throne. She inherited the estates of Norfolk, Suffolk, and Essex and was granted two other places for her own. She did not visit the court much and stayed faithful to her Catholic religion. Her brother was truly Protestant, so she wanted little to do with him. In 1550, she reunited with her brother and sister at Christmas. Edward embarrassed her by reproving her for disobeying his worship laws. She refused his demands to get rid of her beliefs and Edward refused to no longer demand her. The two of them never did see eye-to-eye.

 

In July of 1553, Edward died at 15 of a lung infection. He did not want his sister, Mary to come to the throne. He did not want England to reverted back to Catholicism or have Mary undo all of his and his father’s reforms. He was told that he could not disinherit one sister and allow another to claim the throne. Elizabeth embraced the Church of England, but because of these technicalities, she could not reign next.  Edward, with his advisers, namely John Dudley, devised a plan to remove his sisters from the line of succession and put Lady Jane Grey, Dudley’s daughter-in-law on the throne after him. She was the granddaughter of Mary Tudor, sister of Henry VIII.

 

Mary was summoned to visit her dying brother, but was soon warned of a plot. There was a plan in place to capture her to ensure that Lady Jane would take the throne. Mary fled to East Angelia, where she owned many estates. This was the time she began to develop her own supporters. On July 10th 1553, Lady Jane Grey was proclaimed Queen. There are accounts that state she did not desire to rule England, but was forced to do this. The day before this, Mary wrote a letter to the Privy Council claiming that she is Queen and this letter was received on the same day as Jane’s coronation. By July 12th, Mary Tudor and her supporters developed a military force and her own support began to grow. Jane was disposed on July 19th and imprisoned in the Tower of London with her husband and John Dudley, her father-in-law.

 

On August 3rd 1553, Mary rode into London with strong public support. Mary realized that Lady Jane was simply a pawn and in the aftermath. As a result, John Dudley was the only person that was executed for High Treason right after. She released the Duke of Norfolk and Stephen Gardiner from prison. Lady Jane and her husband were found guilty of treason, but stayed in the tower instead of being executed right away. No one truly knows what Mary’s plans would have been for Jane and her husband. Regardless, they were simply prisoners and had no claims or titles. Gardiner was made the Bishop of Winchester and Lord Chancellor until his death in 1555. Queen Mary was in a difficult position and she had to decide how she should proceed. Many of the councils, if not all, had been implicated in the plot to put Jane on the throne. Mary was formally crowned Mary I on October 1st 1553.

 

One of her next major plans was to find herself a husband. This princess, now queen, had been neglected too long in the marriage search. She wanted to be married and produce an heir after her. Her sister, Elizabeth, would still be queen after her under the 1544 succession document. Mary did not want this to happen. She had a couple of prospective suitors, such as Reginald Pole or Edward Courtenay. However, her cousin, Charles V, suggested she marry his only son, Prince Phillip of Spain. She was petitioned by Gardiner and the House of Commons to marry an Englishman. There was fear that the Hapsburgs would gain more power in England, but this petition did not go through.

 

All of England was not pleased with this new development and a rebellion broke out let by Thomas Wyatt, the younger (son of Poet Thomas Wyatt, alleged lover of Anne Boleyn). His plot wanted to put Elizabeth on the throne. The plot also included the Duke of Suffolk which was also Lady Jane’s father. At this time, she was still imprisoned in the Tower of London. The Queen declared publically that she would refrain from marrying Prince Philip if Parliament thought that it would not help the Kingdom. Soon after, Thomas Wyatt was captured and his rebellion was put down. This involved the execution of Thomas Wyatt, the Duke of Suffolk, Guildford Dudley (husband of Jane) and sadly Lady Jane Grey. Elizabeth protested her involvement in the plot, but was still imprisoned in the Tower of London for two months and then was taken to Woodstock Palace and placed under house arrest.

 

With the treasonous rebels out of the way, Mary and Philip could marry. There were some terms that England would not be obliged to provide military support to Philip’s father in any war, and Philip could not act without his wife’s consent or appoint foreigners to office in England. For Mary’s life only, Philip would be called King of England for her sake. Philip was not the most pleased with the terms and held no loving feelings for Mary I. Their marriage was a political alliance. They married on July 25th 1554, two days after officially meeting.

 

In September 1554, it was believed that Mary I may have been pregnant.  She started to exhibit some symptoms of marriage, including gaining weight and being nauseous. In April of 1555, Elizabeth was released from house arrest to witness the birth. Yet, nothing happened. Mary continued to exhibit symptoms until July of 1555, but then her abdomen receded. She had no baby, she was not expecting. This was most likely a “phantom pregnancy”, which may have occurred because Mary desired a baby so deeply. Prince Philip was upset and disgraced at these lies and left for France to command his army in Flanders. Mary I was heartbroken for she was obsessively in love with her husband. Although, Philip cared very little for Mary.

 

The focus will shift to how Mary’s religious and economic policies were developed. Mary stated that she would not force anyone to follow her faith, but she soon imprisoned many reformation leaders like, Thomas Cranmer, Hugh Latimer, and John Rogers. Like many politicians, Mary gave out lies to assure her place. She wanted her people to support her.  In October of 1553, she declared the marriage between Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon valid and abolished Edward’s religious laws. In 1554, the Heresy Acts started once more.  This raised fear in England and one could only imagine what was next. In February of 1555, the first executions for heresy were done. Thomas Cranmer was forced to watch Bishop Ridley and Latimer burned at the stake. As a result, he recanted his beliefs. However, Mary did not forgive him and he was to be executed by burning at the stake. On the day of his burning, he withdrew his recantation. Two hundred and eighty three people were executed for heresy during her reign. In the 17th century, Protestants cruelly gave her the name of Bloody Mary. However, her father killed many more people in a shorter period of time.  It was another cruel injustice that cannot be changed now.   After the death of Cranmer, Reginald Pole because the Archbishop of Canterbury in March of 1556.

 

In 1557, her husband, Philip returned to England. He tried to urge his wife to support Spain in a renewed war against France. She was in favour of doing this, but her advisors were opposed. The French trade would be in trouble. The war was only declared when Thomas Stafford invaded English with France to dispose Mary. The war was a burden and started to take away favour from Mary. The conditions were not the best for her subjects. There were famines because there was so much rain causing floods. Mary did not benefit from the “New World” trade. The Spanish held their resources tightly and she could not condone piracy. There was medieval taxing and tried to engage in currency reform, but this was not successful.

 

In 1557, after Philip’s visit, Mary thought she was with child once more. Yet, there was no child. She was forced to realize that Elizabeth would be her lawful successor.  Mary became very weak and ill. She died on November 17th 1558 at the age of 42.  Mary stated that she wanted to be buried by her Mother, but this wish was not granted.  Mary Tudor was buried at Westminster Abbey. She would later share this tomb with her half-sister, Elizabeth. Inscribed on the tomb in Latin is: “Regno consortes & urna, hic obdormimus Elizabetha et Maria sorores, in spe resurrectionis,” which translates to “Consorts in realm and tomb, here we sleep, Elizabeth and Mary, sisters, in hope of resurrection”. From Forgotten Princess, to Queen Mary, Mary Tudor was originally a strong and beautiful woman.  She was the first real and true female monarch of England. She was strong in her faith, but her cruel situations tainted her. She became obsessive, fanatical,  and desperate.  One cannot forget how wonderful , but mistreated she really was. Everyone should always honour her and remember Mary I.

Resources:

http://www.elizabethan-era.org.uk/mary-tudor-bloody-mary.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_I_of_England

 

 

 

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