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The Tudor Society
  • 19 July 1553 – Mary I is triumphant

    On 19th July 1553, thirteen days after the death of her half-brother, fifteen-year-old King Edward VI, thirty-seven-year-old Mary Tudor was proclaimed queen in place of her first cousin once removed, Lady Jane Grey, or Queen Jane.

    The Chronicle of the Grey Friars of London records:

    “Item the xix. day of the same monyth, [which] was sent Margarettes evyne, at iiij. of clocke at after-none was proclamyd lady Ma[ry to] be qwene of Ynglond at the crose in Cheppe with the erle of Shrewsbery, the earle [of Arundel], the erle of Pembroke, with the mayer of London, and dyvers other lordes, and many of the ald[dermen] and the kynges schrffe master Garrand, with dyvers haroldes and trompettes. And from thens cam to Powlles alle, and there the qwere sange Te Deum with the organs goynge, with the belles ryngynge, the most parte alle [London], and that same nyght had the [most] parte of London Te Deum, with bone-fyers in every strete in London, with good chere at every bone [fyer], the belles ryngynge in every parych cherch, and for the most parte alle nyght tyll the nexte daye to none.”

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  • 8 July 1553 – Mary I declares herself queen

    On this day in history, Saturday 8th July 1553, the day after she’d been informed of her half-brother Edward VI’s death, Mary Tudor, eldest daughter of King Henry VIII declared herself queen.

    Mary gathered together her loyal household at Kenninghall and informed them of Edward VI’s death, stating that “the right to the crown of England had therefore descended to her by divine and by human law”.

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  • Did Henry VIII ever intend that Mary should be queen?

    Thank you to Lisa for asking this question. Here is an answer from Conor Byrne…

    I think until 1527 Henry VIII may have tentatively regarded his daughter Mary as his heir. Obviously, it’s impossible for us to say, but he did appoint her with a council in Wales and she had the same authority and rights that the Prince of Wales traditionally enjoyed, although she was never formally appointed Princess of Wales.

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  • 30 March – The burning of Bishop Robert Ferrar and the will of Queen Mary I

    There are two important “on this day in history” events for today and they’re both from the reign of Mary I.

    On 30th March 1555, Robert Ferrar, Bishop of St David’s, was burnt at the stake at Carmarthen. It is not known when Ferrar was born but he came from Midgley, in Halifax, and had found a living at St Oswald’s Augustinian priory in Yorkshire by the early 1520s. He studied at Cambridge and Oxford, graduation from Oxford BTh in 1533 and it was while he was at Oxford that he became involved in selling Protestant books, something for which he was imprisoned twice.

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  • Mary I ebook now available

    The latest in our series of Tudor monarchs ebooks is now available to members and this one features articles from a wide variety of authors and historian on Mary I, along with resources such as links to primary sources and reading lists to find out more about this Tudor queen.

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  • 17 November 1558 – The death of Queen Mary I and accession of Queen Elizabeth I

    On the anniversary of Mary I’s death and her half-sister Elizabeth I’s accession, I’d like to share this piece with you from my book On this day in Tudor History.

    On 17th November 1558, Henry VIII’s eldest child, Queen Mary I, died. She was just forty-two-years-old.

    After Easter 1558, Mary I made her will because she believed that she was pregnant. The birth should have been imminent because Philip departed in July 1557, yet there is no mention in the records of preparations being made such as nursery staff being appointed, remarks on her changing body shape, preparations for confinement etc. The pregnancy was all in Mary’s mind.

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  • 5 October 1553 – Mary I’s first Parliament

    On 5th October 1553, the first Parliament of Mary I’s reign met. It repealed the “treason act” of Edward VI’s reign, passed an act declaring the legitimacy of Mary I, repealed the religious legislation of Edward’s reign, and reinstated the Mass in Latin, celibacy of the clergy and ritual worship. It was as if the reformation of Mary’s half-brother’s reign had never happened.

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  • The lead-up to Mary I’s Coronation in 1553

    As today is the anniversary of Mary I travelling by barge to the Tower of London in preparation for her coronation, I thought I’d highlight the articles I wrote last year counting down to her coronation.

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  • 15 July 1553 – Queen Jane’s ships swap their allegiance to Queen Mary

    Lady Jane Grey had been chosen by Edward VI as his heir and became queen on his death on 6th July 1553. However, Edward’s half-sister Mary believed herself to be Edward’s true heir and so declared herself queen at her home at Kenninghall following news of Edward’s death. On 12th July 1553, Mary moved from Kenninghall to Framlingham Castle, where she began to rally support and between 12th and 15th July Mary’s supporters and forces grew. She was supported by men such as Sir Edward Hastings; Henry Radclyffe, Earl of Sussex; Sir Thomas Cornwallis; Thomas, Lord Wentworth; Sir Henry Bedingfield; John de Vere, Earl of Oxford; and many prominent families of eastern England such as the Rochesters, the Jerninghams and Waldegraves. Mary was proclaimed Queen in various counties and towns.

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  • 15 March 1551 – The Lady Mary causes a stir in London

    On this day in 1551, the Lady Mary ( the future Mary I), half-sister of King Edward VI, rode through London causing a stir. Here is diarist Henry Machyn’s record of the event:

    “The xv day the Lady Mary rode through London unto St. John’s, her place, with fifty knights and gentlemen in velvet coats and chains of gold afore her, and after her iiij score gentlemen and ladies every one havyng a peyre of bedes of black. She rode through Chepe-syde and thrugh Smythfeld.”

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  • March 2016 Tudor Life Magazine

    Packed with a wide range of articles about Tudor personalities like the Dudleys, Elizabeth of York, Mary I, Isabella of Spain and Henry Howard. There is part one of an insider’s guide to the Tower of London, a detailed article about Greenwich Palace and Wroxhall Abbey, an article about some bizarre Tudor foods and lots more! It’s our best magazine yet!

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  • 1 February 1554 – Mary I rallies London against Wyatt’s Rebellion

    On this day in 1554, Queen Mary I gave a rousing speech at the Guildhall to rally Londoners to her cause and to oppose Wyatt’s rebellion. Contemporary John Proctor recorded that Mary “did wonderfullye inamour the heartes of the hearers as it was a world to heare with what shoutes they exalted the honour and magnanimitie of Quene Mary”.

    Mary denounced Thomas Wyatt the Youngerand his rebels, but said that she had sent two of her privy council to “the traitour Wyat, desirous rather to quiete thys tumulte by mercie, then by iustice [justice] of the sworde to vanquishe.” She defended her plan to marry Philip of Spain as being beneficial to England, and affirmed:

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  • 26 January 1554 – Mary I warns Elizabeth of the danger of Wyatt’s Rebellion

    ary I became queen in 1553 and although the English people had been happy for her to become queen, some noblemen became worried about her plans to marry Philip II of Spain and the religious changes her reign was bringing. A group of men including Thomas Wyatt the Younger, Henry Grey (Duke of Suffolk and father of Lady Jane Grey), Sir Peter Carew, Sir Edward Rogers, Sir Edward Warner, Sir William Pickering, Sir Nicholas Throckmorton, Sir James Croft, Sir George Harper, Nicholas Arnold, William Thomas and William Winter decided that a military coup might be the only way to prevent Mary’s marriage and planned a series of uprisings with the aim of deposing Mary I and replacing her with her half-sister Elizabeth, who would marry Edward Courtenay, Earl of Devon.

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  • 14 December 1558 – Burial of Queen Mary I

    On 14th December 1558, just under a month after her death, Queen Mary I was buried at Westminster Abbey. Although Mary had left instructions in her will for her mother Catherine of Aragon’s remains to be exhumed and brought to London so that mother and daughter could be buried together, her instructions were ignored and Mary was buried by herself at Westminster on 14th December 1558 with just stones marking her resting place.

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  • 16 October 1555 – The Burnings of Bishops Ridley and Latimer

    he burnings of two of the Oxford martyrs: Hugh Latimer, Bishop of Worcester, and Nicholas Ridley, Bishop of London took place on this day in 1555, in the reign of the Catholic Mary I. The two men, along with Thomas Cranmer, who was burnt at the stake on the 21st March 1556, are known as the Oxford Martyrs and their lives and deaths are commemorated in Oxford by Martyrs’ Memorial, a stone monument just outside Balliol College and near to the execution site, which was completed in 1843. A cross of stones set into the road in Broad Street marks the site of their burnings.

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  • Mary I’s Coronation Part 4 – The Coronation

    On Sunday 1st October 1553, Mary I was crowned queen at Westminster Abbey by Stephen Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester. She was the first crowned queen regnant of England.

    Here is a primary source account of the coronation ceremony from The chronicle of Queen Jane, and of two years of Queen Mary, and especially of the rebellion of Sir Thomas Wyat

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  • Mary I’s Coronation Part 3 – The Coronation Procession of Mary I

    On the afternoon of Saturday 30th September 1553, Queen Mary I left the Tower of London to process to Westminster, where she would spend the night at Whitehall preparing for her coronation at Westminster Abbey the following day.

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  • Mary I’s Coronation Part 2 – Knights of the Bath

    On 29th September 1553, Michaelmas or the Feast of St. Michael and All Angels, Mary I created fifteen1 Knights of the Bath as part of her coronation celebrations.

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  • Mary I’s Coronation Part 1 – Mary travels to the Tower

    On 27th or 28th September 1553 (sources differ regarding the date), Mary I travelled in a decorated barge to the Tower of London to prepare for her coronation. She was accompanied by her half-sister, Elizabeth, and as they pulled up to Tower Wharf, they were greeted by music and cannons firing. It was traditional for monarchs to go to the Tower before their coronations and process from there to Westminster.

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  • Letter from Princess Mary to her brother Edward VI – August 1551

    The following letter was written by Princess Mary, the future Mary I, to her brother Edward VI on 19th August 1551. Henry Ellis, editor of “Original Letters, Illustrative of English History…” explains:

    “The following Letter from the Princess Mary to her brother, is preserved upon the Books of the Privy Council. It is probably the best specimen which we have in our power to give of her talent at writing: and, with the singular Paper which follows it by way of comment, will show her to have been a woman of more intellect than the world has usually supposed. Queen Catherine Parr took great pains in the education both of Mary and Elizabeth.

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  • The Wedding of Mary I and Philip of Spain – A Primary Source Account

    On 25th July 1554, the feast day of St James, Mary I married Philip of Spain, son of Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor. The wedding took place at Winchester Cathedral and the ceremony was performed by Stephen Gardener, Bishop of Winchester and Mary’s chancellor.

    In the appendix of The Chronicle of Queen Jane and of Two Years of Queen Mary, and especially of the Rebellion of Sir Thomas Wyatt, written by a Resident in the Tower of London, edited by John Gough Nichols, there is an official account of the preparations for the wedding and the wedding itself by the English Heralds:

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  • Mary I proclaimed Queen – 19 July 1553

    On 19th July 1553, thirteen days after the death of her half-brother Edward VI, Mary, eldest daughter of Henry VIII, was proclaimed queen in London in place of Queen Jane, who had been proclaimed queen on 10th July.

    The Chronicle of the Grey Friars of London records:

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  • 9 July 1553 – Mary Tudor writes to the Privy Council

    After declaring herself queen the previous day, in front of her household at Kenninghall, Mary Tudor, daughter of Henry VIII and half-sister of the late King Edward VI, wrote the following letter to the privy council:

    “My lords, we greet you well and have received sure advertisement that our dearest brother the King and late sovereign lord is departed to God. Marry, which news, how they be woeful unto our hearts, He wholly knoweth to whose will and pleasure we must and do humbly submit us and our will.

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  • Mary I

    Mary was born on 18 February 1516 at Greenwich Palace and was the daughter of Henry VIII and his first wife Catherine of Aragon. She was an intelligent girl, was known as a linguist and loved music and dancing. Mary was made illegitimate and removed from the succession after the annulment of her father’s marriage to Catherine of Aragon in 1533 and the subsequent birth of her half-sister Elizabeth, daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. She and Elizabeth (who had been removed from the succession in 1536 after the fall of her mother) were restored to the line of succession, after their half-brother Edward, by Parliament in 1543 but Edward VI chose to remove his half-sisters from the succession as he lay dying in 1553 and chose Lady Jane Grey as his heir. Mary was forced to fight for the throne and was proclaimed queen on 19 July 1553.

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  • February 1516 – Birth and Christening of Mary I

    An article about Mary I’s birth and christening in February 1516.

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  • Cor Rotto: A Novel of Catherine Carey Book Tour Day 7 – Life in Exile

    An article by Adrienne Dillard on what life was like for Marian exiles like Catherine Carey and her husband Francis Knollys who fled to the Continent.

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  • Wyatt’s Rebellion 1554

    On 22nd January 1554, Thomas Wyatt the Younger met with fellow conspirators at his home of Allington Castle in Kent to make final plans for their uprising against Mary I and her decision to marry Philip of Spain. This rebellion would become known as Wyatt’s Rebellion.

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  • Chatroom Transcript from Linda Porter’s Expert Talk

    Here’s the transcript/screen capture from the live chat with Linda Porter last night. There’s lots to read on this transcript and we had a fantastic time, Our thanks goes to Linda Porter for her expert talk and the time she spent in the chatroom.

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  • Linda Porter Talk – 3 Tudor Queens

    Our December talk is by Linda Porter, author of “Crown of Thistles: The Fatal Inheritance of Mary, Queen of Scots”. In this talk, Linda looks at the lives of three queens of England – Katherine Parr, Mary I and Mary, Queen of Scots.

    The live chat will be on Monday 15th December at 7:30pm UK Time (That’s 2:30pm Eastern time/11:30am Pacific time/8:30pm Central European Time).

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  • Mary I Quiz

    A quiz on Mary I

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