Can We Give Mary Tudor a Break? (Guest Post)



Guest post by Juliana Cummings

She is known as one of the most evil women in history and is responsible for burning more protestants at stake than any other English Monarch.  There are alcoholic drinks and children’s sleepover games named after her, but in all fairness was Mary Tudor, the first Queen regnant, evil?

Born on February 18, 1516, Princess Mary would be the only surviving child of Henry VIII and his first wife, Katherine of Aragon. By the time Mary was born, Katherine and Henry had already lost several children, either through miscarriage or stillbirth.  And while Mary was a healthy baby, she was still a girl, not the long-awaited prince of Greenwich Palace.

Mary was brought up Catholic, and like her mother, Mary’s  faith would become unshakable during the hardest days of her life.  Mary was instructed by her mother to attend mass several times a day and also to be sure she knew her prayers.  Mary was not only spoiled by her mother but she was the apple of her father’s eye. Despite the fact that she was not a boy, she was the most loved little girl in all of England.

However the ruby cheeked, red-haired Mary was often used as a pawn by her father in securing the English throne. At only two years of age,  she was betrothed to the young son of King Francis l of France. But the marriage contract was broken after three years. At six years of age, she was betrothed to her 22-year-old cousin, Charles V of Spain, with the promise of a large dowry.  This too fell through and it was even suggested that she marry King Francis l himself. Happily for Mary, this did not happen either.



In 1525 Mary was sent to live at Ludlow Castle of the age of nine under the tutelage of Lady Margaret Bryan. It was common practice for royal children to be brought up away from court.  It was also around this time that Henry VIII was becoming increasingly frustrated with the fact that he still did not have a male heir. Queen Katherine was six years older than The King and it seemed that her child-bearing days were coming to an end.  

When The  Lady Anne Boleyn walked into King Henry’s court in 1526, it would ultimately mean the end of the royal marriage. Anne, a lady in waiting to The Queen, was young and beautiful and attracted the eyes of not only several men of the court but The King himself. Anne gave Henry even more reason to end his marriage with Katherine. She would deliver him a son once she became Queen.  

Henry was a very religious man and he  turned to The Bible for guidance. A chapter in the book of Leviticus 20:21 stated that if a man married his brother’s wife, “it was unclean and they shall be childless”.  Before becoming Henry’s Queen, Katherine had been the bride of Henry’s older brother Arthur for only four months when he passed away. This was enough to convince Henry that his  marriage to Katherine had been no marriage at all and he that he should have the right to divorce her. It also convinced him that his daughter Princess Mary, was now a bastard.



Over the next several years, Henry and Anne continued to have an open and lucid affair directly under the nose of Queen Katherine.  And in June of 1527 Henry told Katherine he was ending the marriage and demanded his advisers petition the Pope for a divorce.

There was no love lost between Mary Tudor and Anne Boleyn. Mary saw Lady Boleyn as the great whore who was determined to ruin her mother.  Over the next year Henry’s advisers carried forth their attempts to persuade The Catholic Church to give him his divorce. When Anne Boleyn became ruthless in her attempts to dethrone Queen Katherine, Mary’s feelings turned to pure hatred.

Queen Katherine’s attempts at trying to save her marriage, even with The Catholic Church on her side, were in vain.  In the summer of 1529, a frustrated Henry VIII sent Queen Katherine away for good. And Princess Mary never saw her mother again.  After four years of fruitless attempts at convincing Rome to give him a divorce, Henry VIII broke with the Roman Catholic Church and declared himself head of the new Church of England. He then married Anne Boleyn, who was already pregnant with his child, in a small ceremony.  Queen Katherine was demoted to Dowager Princess of Wales while Princess Mary was stripped of her titles. And Anne Boleyn now reigned as Queen of England.

In September of 1533, Queen Anne gave birth to a daughter;  Mary’s half sister, Elizabeth. Despite the treatment she received by her father and her new step-mother,  Mary could not bring herself to hate the Princess Elizabeth. She found herself looking after her and enjoying the child’s curiosity and obvious intelligence.  But she could not and would never refer to Anne Boleyn as Queen. The only Queen in Mary’s eyes, was her mother Katherine. Anne was an avid supporter of the Protestant Reformation and in Mary’s eyes, this was absolute heresy.  Her refusal to call Anne Queen enraged Henry and he and Mary didn’t speak for over three years as a result. To make matters worse, the quick-tempered Anne saw Mary as a threat and would continue to criticize her in front of The King.



When her beloved mother fell ill, Henry refused to let Mary see her.  Katherine died in January of 1536 and Mary’s world fell apart. Her mother had been her strength and their love for each other had only deepened while separated . Now Mary was utterly alone with only her devotion to Catholicism to comfort her.

After three short years of marriage, Anne Boleyn had not given The King a son as promised. She quickly fell from The King’s favor and was accused of adultery, incest, conspiring against The King, and being a witch.  She was charged with high treason and executed on May 19, 1536.

We can imagine that Mary Tudor was probably not losing sleep over the fact the her step mother was dead. It’s been said that she simply stated “Is it done?” and nodded with approval when told that the execution had been carried out.  But perhaps she had some sympathy for her half-sister Elizabeth, who was also then declared a bastard and stripped of her title in the same way Mary had been.

Henry VIII would go on to marry four more times in his life.  Jane Seymour, his Queen just days after Anne Boleyn’s execution, played an important role in trying to repair Henry’s relationship with his daughters. After Mary begrudgingly signed a document, agreeing to recognize  her father as head of the The Church of England and to adhere to all his wishes, The King welcomed her back to court. This was done in large part to Jane’s gentle persistence. Queen Jane would also deliver Henry the one thing he had longed for; a son. In October of 1537, Prince Edward was born. Henry was elated. But sadly, Queen Jane fell ill from infection and died only 12 days after the birth. Mary was made Godmother to her half-brother and also served as the head of the family at the Queen’s funeral.



Henry’s fourth and fifth marriages were short-lived and Mary often acted as the royal hostess at court.  But it was Henry’s sixth wife, Catherine Parr, who was responsible for bringing the family even closer together. Catherine also convinced The King to rewrite the line of succession, which would now include Mary and Elizabeth should Edward die without a son.

Henry VIII died in 1547, leaving his kingdom to nine-year old Edward VI. Edward was too young to rule alone and his uncle Edward Seymour, The Duke of Somerset, acted as regent.  Like Edward, The Duke was intensely devoted to Protestantism. Protestantism was quickly being established all over England.

But Mary remained passionately faithful to Catholicism and during her brother’s reign she spent most of her time away from court where she was free to practice Mass in her private chapels.  The religious differences between Mary and Edward continued and she refused to bow to The King’s demands that she abandon her faith.

Edward had not been a healthy child  and suffered from frequent lung infections and coughing fits. When he fell seriously ill in July of 1553, he turned his father’s rules for the succession upside down.  He knew he was dying and he feared that his sister Mary, who was to inherit the crown, would restore England to Catholicism. Edward rewrote the succession, and instead of Mary and Elizabeth, he placed his very protestant cousin Lady Jane Grey as his successor.  Mary was summoned to London to see her dying brother but feared this was a trap to capture her. She fled to East Anglia where she had a strong Catholic following.

When King Edward died on July 6th, 1553, Lady Jane, a scared and self-conscious girl, took the crown.  At this time a letter had arrived for the privy council from Mary, claiming her right to the throne. Support for Lady Jane dwindled as support for Mary grew. Jane Grey was charged with being a traitor and imprisoned in the Tower of London.

On August 3rd, 1553, Mary paraded through the streets of London with almost 1000 nobleman.  The streets were filled with the English people who wanted their rightful Queen. Mary had Henry Tudor’s bloodline and the support of the Catholics.  She was crowned Queen of England on October 1st, 1553. As Queen, Mary was faced with a difficult decision. Did she really want to sign the execution warrant of an innocent girl? Jane Grey was just a child and in Mary’s eyes, didn’t deserve to die for being used politically.  But unfortunately after deliberating with Parliament, Mary saw no choice but to have Lady Jane and her husband executed.

When Mary Tudor took the throne she was 37 years old and not very attractive.  She had not inherited her father’s height but was short with a bulky stature. She was considered an old maid instead of a young, virtuous bride. But Mary knew that in order to be an effective Queen, she needed a Catholic husband.   In July of 1554, Mary married Prince Philip of Spain. Mary was quite smitten with Philip, however, he didn’t share the same affections. He noted that Mary was very plain-looking and was not arousing to the pleasure’s of the flesh.

Mary was also determined to set right the wrongs that her brother had caused.  She carried much of this out by way of execution. Several leaders of the Protestant church, including Thomas Cranmer,  who was the moving factor in Henry’s divorce from Katherine, were imprisoned and executed. Mary also declared the marriage of her parents valid and abolished all of her brother’s religious laws.  Mary also had the Heresy Acts, which were repealed by her father and brother, revived. Under these laws, Queen Mary l would execute almost 300 protestants by burning them at the stake.

Being burned at the stake was considered one of the most gruesome deaths one could endure.  If you were lucky you would die from inhaling carbon monoxide before actually burning to death.   The people of England did not look upon their Queen favorably for her choice of revenge on protestants.  The burnings were so unpopular that even Mary’s husband and his advisers condemned them.

In September of 1554, Mary’s menstrual cycles stopped. She was also plagued with nausea and had started to gain weight. Despite Mary’s history of irregular cycles, her court doctors confirmed that she must be pregnant.  Mary’s abdomen continued to swell as she awaited the birth of her child but spring of 1555 came and went without any signs of The Queen going into labor. By July of that year, rumors started to spread that Queen had never been pregnant. The swelling in her stomach started to recede and Mary was convinced that God was punishing her.  Her husband Philip left England to join his army in fighting the French and Mary was heartbroken.

Philips returned in 1557 and Mary soon believed she was pregnant again.  However no baby was born this time either and Mary’s health was declining.  She suffered migraines, fatigue and stomach pain and passed away at age 42 in November of 1558. Because she had no heir, her sister Elizabeth inherited the throne.

As we look back on Mary Tudor’s life, it’s hard not to have some sympathy for her.  As a child, she was cast aside by her father and stripped of her titles after watching a bitter struggle between her parents.  She was filled with such hatred for her step mother that it all but consumed her. And Mary suffered the pain of knowing that her mother would die alone. The migraines that plague Mary as  a young woman would continue into adulthood and leave her in bed for days. After seeing her father denounce her beloved Catholic Church, she was ousted by her own brother and forced to leave England for safety. When Mary did take the crown, perhaps she was already filled with such bitterness over the cards she had been dealt. And although being burned at the stake was horrific, it was still the choice of execution for heretics over much of Europe.  And as a woman who desperately wanted to marry, her own husband made it clear that he wasn’t at all physically attracted to her. This must have been so hard for Mary because Philip would be the second major male figure in her life to mistreat her. And after two false pregnancies, it’s not hard to imagine how Mary turned into the bitter, miserable person she did. For someone who was born having everything, she quickly learned that things could change in the blink of an eye.

So, what if Mary had a life filled with the love of both her parents, free from illness and abandonment?  Could she have possibly been a different kind of ruler? However to this day, she still remains the infamous “Bloody Mary”.

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Movie Review: Mary, Queen of Scots

When it was announced that there would be a film about Mary, Queen of Scots and Queen Elizabeth I was over the moon. My hope was that it would do both women the justice they deserve. If you have not seen the trailer, here it is:

How exciting does that look, right!? Since I am not sure how long it will be before I am able to see the film myself I had two wonderful friends who offered to write reviews for the blog. A special thanks to Sari Graham and Karen L. Largent for taking the time to write their reviews to share with all of you.

So…without further ado……

Movie Review #1:

Review by Sari Graham

This was a film that I was eagerly anticipating this year. Despite having some reservations after seeing the official trailer-Mary being portrayed as having a natural Scots accent, as well as an apparent face-to-face meeting between Elizabeth and Mary-I was excited to see if this film would bring more truth to the story of Mary and her turbulent rule (read: life) in Scotland.

I recently read Alison Weir’s Mary, Queen of Scots and the Murder of Lord Darnley, which cleared up a lot of the misconceptions that I personally (and regrettably,) had believed about Mary. The book was a refreshing and human insight into the woman, and much that we think we know about her is grossly misrepresented or untrue. Similar to Anne Boleyn, Mary Stuart’s reputation across history was purposely tainted and manipulated on the basis of making her appear far worse than she actually was. Both women had their faults and were by no means perfect, but also, both women were victims of the machinations of the men around them, and they both ultimately paid for it with their heads.

The accent notwithstanding, Saoirse Ronan portrayed Mary Stuart very well. Her representation of the young queen lined up very much with what I read about and was expecting from Weir’s book; the Tudor stubbornness, the headstrong attitude, the self confidence that bordered and crossed into arrogance, as well as the emotional decision making process that often lead to disastrous results. You begin to feel frustrated for Mary, because it’s clear she’s fighting a losing fight for that which she believes is rightfully hers, but also frustrated at her for how she behaves when things don’t work out in her favour, and her inability to own up to the messes she frequently contributes to. Her desperation turned her into acrimonious brat; crying and lashing out with threats that she couldn’t possibly follow through on.

Margot Robbie stepped into the role of Queen Elizabeth I. Though they often referred to each other as “sister” in the film, Elizabeth was Mary’s paternal first cousin once removed (Elizabeth’s paternal aunt, Margaret Tudor, was Mary’s paternal grandmother.) Margot brought more emotion but less intensity to the role of Elizabeth that I’m used to seeing, but perhaps that is because this was a version of Elizabeth that her court and people wouldn’t have seen; it was a “behind the scenes” look at the queen, and how she really felt and responded to the events happening north of her border. This was very much a view of Elizabeth the woman, and not the powerful Tudor queen exterior. You see her emotional struggles, her high highs and her low lows, and her heartbreak and grief for the things she does not and will not have.

The costumes and cinematography were amazing. There were beautiful landscapes captured for the setting, and the outfits were regal and charming. Director Josie Rourke’s decision to blindly cast supporting characters-such as the English Ambassador to Scotland, Thomas Randolph, as well as Elizabeth’s lady, the later formidable Bess of Hardwick-added depth and diversity to the film which was refreshing.

All in all, it was an enjoyable film. No historical film will ever be perfect, but aside from a few aforementioned reservations I had plus a few details I was hoping to see but didn’t, I left the theatre with little to criticize. I would recommend this film to any Tudor history lover, though my recommendation does comes with a suggestion; familiarize yourself with some of the major events in Mary’s rule, and some of the main players. Many people in the theatre were confused, as the events do sometimes jump around a bit, and time skips forward on occasion. Going in with a general sense of the times will help keep things clear for you.

Movie Review #2:

Review by Karen L. Largent

With much anticipation I recently saw the latest film about Tudor England, Queen Elizabeth I and her rival for the throne Mary, Queen of Scots.
Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie were perfect in the respective roles and both were portrayed a bit differently than other films.

Mary, the Scottish Queen, raised in France, has a slight Scottish lilt to her voice which would not have been true as she was more French than Scottish. She did speak French in the film with subtitles for those of us who are not bilingual.

Elizabeth was portrayed as an emotional, frightened woman who was at the mercy of the men of her Privy Council, her advisors and her people.
Mary was portrayed as stubborn, strong and a threat to the Scots rather than their Queen.

Men wanted to rule and did not want to be led by mere women.

The meeting between Mary and Elizabeth, which probably never happened, was the most compelling scene in the film, showing the true selves of both Elizabeth and Mary.
As for the history, it was spot on for the most part, following their lives and the events that unfolded during their reigns.
The costuming and cinematography were outstanding in their beauty.

For any Tudor lover who is not a stickler for perfection, this is a grand film portraying the lives of two Queens whose lives were hard, sad, and amazing in what they achieved.

I heartily recommend this film.


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Binge Drinking During the Tudor Dynasty (Guest Post)

Guest post written by Patrick Bailey 

The royal lineage of Tudor dynasty started with Henry VII in 1485 and ended with Elizabeth I in 1603. Lasting for 118 years. This dynasty was one of the most influential and greatest in Britain. But like all other historical stories surrounding the royal throne, not everything is all tea and biscuits. Speaking of tea and biscuits, you would be amazed by what the commoners, as well as royalties, drank during those times.

Living in England during the period of Tudor was not easy. With a high infant mortality rate of about 14%, reaching adulthood was already a high achievement, and with a life expectancy of only 35 years, reaching the age of 40 makes one considered as an old man or woman.

Life in England was also chaotic and violent. Due to poverty, crime rates were high. Some of the crimes they considered before were too ridiculous and preposterous. Being homeless and gossiping was considered an unlawful act. Although there were no police forces in the Tudor period, crimes were not left unpunished, and punishment was very severe.

The overall living condition was very harsh. Physical hygiene in the past was not the same as with our standards today. This mostly involved just wearing clean clothes and less of physically cleaning oneself especially when illnesses linked to sweating and open pores were on high alert. With their growing population, waste disposal was a problem. Manure of humans and animals alike were sitting in open sewers on their streets.

During the period of Tudor, water both provided life to humans and takes them away. Getting a fresh and clean supply of water was hard. Water sourced from wells, streams, or village pumps were so polluted that you could get an illness from drinking it.

Due to this, the residents of England often chose to drink alcohol instead of water. When you think about this now, it is a bit funny to think that alcohol is healthier than water, but unfortunately, it was the truth for that period. Drinking alcohol was so common that it became the new water in England. Milk was not an option since it was mostly used to make cheese and butter. Whether it’s the early morning and during breakfast, lunch, or dinner, alcoholic beverages were the only way to quench their thirst.

Alcoholic Beverages: An Alternative to Water

Drinking alcoholic beverages was more common than drinking water during the Tudor dynasty. Everyone was drinking alcohol, whether you were a royalty or a commoner. Even the Queen Consort of Henry VII, Elizabeth of York, advised Isabelle of Castile to let her daughter, Catherine of Aragon, get used to drinking wine before going to England.

Drinking also had its social segregation. Depending on their class and financial status, alcoholic beverages enjoyed by residents in England during the Tudor dynasty were an ale, beer, strong beer, wine, cider, or perry.

Ale was the traditional drink of the 15th century and half of the 16th century in England and Scotland. This commoner’s drink was produced from malted barley as well as water. The problem with ale is that it spoils easily. After fermenting ale, it is recommended to drink it as soon as possible to avoid it from spoiling.

After the end of the 16th century, ale was becoming to be replaced by a new alcoholic drink imported to the continent. Beer, much to the dismay of older people, replaced the traditional drink of Tudor period. Similar to ale, beer is produced from malted barley. However, hops were added to the beer. The addition of this extremely bitter and strong substance paved the way for alcohol preservation. Instead of lasting for just a few days, the people during the Tudor period could now enjoy and keep beer for a few weeks.

Strong beers also become popular in the Tudor period. Also known as dagger ale, mad dog, or dragon’s milk, when consumed, this beverage gives the user a quicker onset of alcohol effect.

Much like the culture today, the wine was generally consumed by those with who could afford it. The wines available in England at that time was of low quality, so members of the higher social classes that could afford wine imported them from countries such as Germany and France, where the temperature was right enough for grapes to grow. There were also instances where wine was imported from Spain and Portugal. The Eastern Mediterranean also brought sweet wine to England. These wines were often consumed warm or flavored with spices to disguise the spoilt taste.

Cider, which was produced from fermented apples, and perry, from fermented pear juice, were a popular beverage in the West Country and normally consumed by the poorer residents of England.

Alcohol Abuse in Tudor

If you think the high rates of alcohol use and abuse as well as the common scenery of drunkards on the streets of England is a modern event, then you are wrong. The prevalence of alcohol abuse in England dates back as early as the Tudor dynasty.

The problems with alcohol abuse were so bad that even Elizabeth I had to intervene and forbid the distribution and consumption of double-double beer, a very strong alcohol. This intervention, however, did not hinder her subjects. Despite social controls on alcohol consumption, her courtiers still consumed about 600,000 gallons of ale in 1593.

Drinking alcohol was a normal event during the Tudor dynasty. People would consume about an average of 17 pints per week. But as normal as it was, drinking was considered a crime during that period. Officials were always on alert for drunkards and kept an eye out for any signs of alcohol overindulgent. Those who were found to be walking around town drunk were forced to go through embarrassing punishment. There were even instances when people who wet their bed and thought to be guilty of alcohol abuse were punished. It was not only the poor that were punished. Even royalties and higher ranked social classes were given punishments. Drunkards were required to wear a hollowed-out beer barrel or sit and spend time in the stocks as punishments.

Why The Tudors?

I was having a difficult time coming up with a topic for this week’s podcast. I reached out to my followers on Facebook and a couple of them mentioned that they would be interested in finding out what got me interested in The Tudor dynasty in the first place. I thought it was a fantastic idea and so I ran with it.

This episode begins talking about Henry VII and the Battle of Bosworth as well as Elizabeth of York and leads up to the birth of Prince Arthur.

I discuss my genealogy, my DNA, favorite programs and so much more. If you really want to get a feel for who I am and what drives me then you’ll love this episode.

*side note – I discovered later that I am NOT related to the person I mentioned. It was a bad hint. (You’ll know what this means after you listen)

As always, I say thank you to all my patrons and to those of you who have supported over the years. Thanks again!

A very special thank you to Nathen Amin for allowing me to share the quote from his social media account.

Written by: Rebecca Larson
Voiced by: Rebecca Larson
Produced by: Rebecca Larson
Music Credits:
Suonatore di Liuto Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/



Early Letter from Princess Elizabeth to Lady Knollys

Catherine Carey, Lady Knollys was the daughter of Mary Boleyn and William Carey. When Catherine’s cousin Queen Mary came to the throne they fled the country for fear they would be persecuted for their Protestant beliefs. This letter was written in 1553 making Elizabeth twenty years old. Elizabeth and Catherine always had a close relationship – is it possible because Elizabeth had a feeling they were sisters instead of cousins? We’ll never know for certain.

“Relieve your sorrow for your far journey with joy of your short return, and think this pilgrimage rather a proof of your friends, than a leaving of your country. The length of time, and distance of place, separates not the love of friends, nor deprives not the show of goodwill. An old saying, when bale is lowest boot is nearest: when your need shall be most you shall find my friendship greatest. Let others promise, and I will do, in words not more, in deeds as much. My power but small, my love as great as them whose gifts may tell their friendship’s tale, let will supply all other want, and oft sending take the lieus of often sights. Your messengers shall not return empty, nor yet your desires unaccomplished. Lethe’s flood hath here no course, good memory liath greatest stream. And, to conclude, a word that hardly I can say, I am driven by need to write farewell, it is which in the sense one way I wish, the other way I grieve.”

Your loving cousin and ready friend, COR ROTTO

Catherine came back to England in 1558 and served Queen Elizabeth as Chief Lady of the Bedchamber until her death in 1569.


 

To Prevent Us From Over-Running With Strangers

Sir Thomas Wyatt is usually best known as the son of Sir Thomas Wyatt, the Elder and Poet. Today, we look at the event that caused his death – Wyatt’s Rebellion. You see, Wyatt thought having the Protestant Lady Jane Grey on the throne was best for England, but when that didn’t last more than a week, his next battle was stopping Queen Mary from wedding Philip of Spain. Wyatt, along with others, worried that having the Queen wed a foreign prince would in turn make that prince their ruling sovereign. They were also very concerned (and rightfully so) that Queen Mary would return England to Rome and Catholicism.

The rebels themselves explained that they were rebelling in order “to prevent us from over-running by strangers.

“This was a rebellion led by nobles – principally Sir Thomas Wyatt from Kent, Sir Peter Carew from Devon, Sir James Croft from Herefordshire and the Duke of Suffolk from Leicestershire. However, it had one major weakness – it did not have the popular support of the people across the land and was doomed to failure.”



Their plan was to coordinate a series of uprising that would occur in the south, southwest, the Welsh Marches and the Midlands – from there the men would march on London. Once in London their mission was to remove Queen Mary and replace her with her Protestant sister, Elizabeth. The plan then was to have Elizabeth marry Edward Courteney.

Unfortunately for Wyatt and his men, Simon Renard, the Imperial Ambassador, heard rumors that such a plot existed and immediately informed the Lord Chancellor, Stephen Gardner. Gardiner hauled in Edward Courteney for questioning.

Meanwhile, word of Wyatt’s Rebellion spread to the Queen. Mary attempted to reason with Wyatt – she asked him what he wanted in return for ceasing the uprising. Wyatt stated that he should have the Tower of London handed over to him and that she should be in his charge. Clearly this was not something that Mary was willing to do.

On the 1st of February 1554, Queen Mary made an inspiring speech to Londoners and won over their support:

I am your Queen, to whom at my coronation, when I was wedded to the realm and laws of the same (the spousal ring whereof I have on my finger, which never hitherto was, not hereafter shall be, left off), you promised your allegiance and obedience to me…. And I say to you, on the word of a Prince, I cannot tell how naturally the mother loveth the child, for I was never the mother of any; but certainly, if a Prince and Governor may as naturally and earnestly love her subjects as the mother doth love the child, then assure yourselves that I, being your lady and mistress, do as earnestly and tenderly love and favour you. And I, thus loving you, cannot but think that ye as heartily and faithfully love me; and then I doubt not but we shall give these rebels a short and speedy overthrow’.

Because of the Queen’s speech she had won over her people, and they in turn jumped into action to protect the Queen from this uprising.

The rebellion failed miserably after Edward Courteney spilled the beans on all the plans to Stephen Gardiner during questioning. When Wyatt’s men had a difficult time getting into London they found another way across the Thames through the southwest end of the city. Unfortunately they would not succeed. Wyatt surrendered. So many men were arrested from this uprising that the they had to house the overflow in area churches.

In total about 90 rebels were executed, including Wyatt and Henry Grey, Duke of Suffolk. Wyatt was severely tortured (in the hope of extracting a confession implicating Elizabeth) and on the 11th of April 1554, was beheaded at Tower Hill and his body then quartered. This event was also the nail in the coffin for Lady Jane Grey and her husband, Guildford Dudley. Their fates had been undetermined until this uprising occurred, and then it was obvious to the Council and the Queen that she would never be safe as long as Jane lived.


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