November 17, 1558 – Death of Mary I

Mary I, painted by Antonis Mor in 1554 (public domain via Wikimedia Commons)

November 17, 1558 marked the sad end of Mary I, first Queen Regnant of England (except for Matilda, whose reign was disputed and who was arguably the reason that Henry VIII was so terrified of leaving his kingdom to a daughter…).

Mary died at Saint James Palace. Sir Nicholas Throckmorton removed Mary’s betrothal ring from her finger and brought it to Elizabeth at Hatfield to prove that the succession had truly taken place. The legend is that Elizabeth was sitting under an old oak tree when Throckmorton found her. After he placed the ring in her hand, she sank to her knees and quoted from Psalm 118: “This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.”

Much of the country agreed. Mary was not a popular monarch. She had a vested interest in returning England to Catholicism – it was, after all, the creation of the Church of England that allowed her mother to be set aside. So, following in her father’s footsteps, she burned Protestants to persuade the people to return to Rome. She also married Philip II of Spain, allying England with a power that was actually then at war with France – and threatening the end that had so terrified Henry VIII: that England would become a province of one of the European powers.

But the truth was, Mary was more of a victim than almost anyone. She was only twelve when her father began the proceedings that would end with her bastardization, she had to watch a succession of stepmothers, some of which she loved and some of which she hated. She had to endure a younger brother threatening her religion and her very existence. And even after she acceded to the throne, she suffered two false pregnancies and the sinking feeling that the world secretly wanted her dead so her younger sister could inherit the throne. When you think of the misery endured by her mother, it’s hard not to sit and wonder whether she was subject to some kind of familial curse, like the Kennedys of today who have lost bright stars from several successive generations…

* * *

If you like my posts, you’ll love my book! Jane the Quene is now available in ebook and paperback on Amazon.Com (here are some easy links to  Amazon.Com, Amazon.Co.UK and Amazon.Com.Au)!

2 thoughts on “November 17, 1558 – Death of Mary I

  1. Pingback: Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #3 Women and versions | Belgian Biblestudents - Belgische Bijbelstudenten

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s