1. Hans van Felius

    Courtenay seems to be the uncertain factor. She seems to have liked his mother, most probably because of the old connection with her mother. It has been too long ago since I read on Mary and I can’t recall if anyone commented on how she felt about him (if she ever hinted on that). Sadly for this question, my research was not on Courtenay, but on one of Mary’s ladies, Jane Russell. So, I have a lot of notes concerning her, and on the Spanish marriage, because Jane was in the faction favoring that match.
    I have no idea what kind of person Courtenay was, and if he could have been the right person to influence Mary’s tactics. People paint her black (and yes, she did provide some of the black paint herself), and her sister is gilded. The ogre versus Gloriana. The interesting question is how Mary would have done, had she become queen in 1547….

    • I think she felt Courtenay was beneath her. He was at least 10 years younger, like Philip, but had been in the Tower since his father’s execution as part of the Exeter Conspiracy in 1538. Therefore, he was also immature, having spent his formative years imprisoned. By blood he was a good candidate for either Tudor princess, but they both quickly dismissed him, which raises questions about his personality in my mind. He had been in the Tower with Gardiner, so his faith would have been acceptable to Mary, but clearly something else wasn’t.

  2. Hans van Felius

    Although Pole would have been a more acceptable candidate than Philip ever was, I am not too certain if the result would have been better. Pole was too much a ‘popish’ person. By the time Mary came to the throne religion had found too much of a new form and it would have been just as difficult to return to the pre 1533 period. Pole does not strike me as the right man to succeed. Besides, the support for Mary was partly because she was the rightful heir, King Henry’s daughter, not because she was a Roman Catholic. So I cannot agree that we would not have seen Wyatt’s rebellion of any rebellion of the same kind. To my mind, by 1553 it was too late to turn back the clock.

    • You certainly could be right, though I don’t think as many people of Mary’s day were as opposed to Catholicism as we like to think. But it was fun to look at some of the what-ifs surrounding Queen Mary.

      • Hans van Felius

        Hm… I can agree with that, people often over estimate protestant movements during the 16th century. But being religious on a day to day basis does not necessarily mean being a Roman Catholic all the way. I think that by 1553 Pole was so much out of touch with English reality, that he would not have been a good choice. Besides that, he was too much a ‘popish man’. Mary had too much of a blind spot for her Habsburg cousin Charles. Which ultimately meant she was not that good a choice either. Which is sad in many ways, because she was much better than people think. We have a tendency to judge her too harsh. If someone asks which Mary I talk about, I may say: the one that is known as Bloody Mary. But actually, I hate saying that. She is Mary Tudor, Mary I, but naming her Bloody is a shame. She never deserved that…

        • Samantha

          I completely agree! I hate having to resort to that nickname in order to make someone understand who I’m referring to!

          Soooo….what if she had married Edward Courtenay?

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