Advertisement

Power Sharing: The Co-monarchy of Philip and Mary

  • Alexander Samson
Part of the Queenship and Power book series (QAP)

Abstract

Writing on Philip and Mary’s power-sharing arrangements has been overshadowed by the negative reputations enjoyed by both monarchs: the Habsburg prince’s image rooted in the Black Legend and that of the first English queen regnant unfavorably compared to her successor’s and embodied in her epithets of bloody and tragic.1 Women’s exercise of royal authority and involvement in a number of different forms of governance were predictable and co-monarchy less uncommon than might first appear. Early modern European governance needs to be understood not only through documentary remains but also in terms of material culture. The historiographical tendency to view the marriage of Philip and Mary negatively needs to be offset by consideration of factors such as the display of courtly magnificence, an area where their marriage enjoyed considerable success. Their entries, entertainments, luxurious clothing, priceless jewels, gifts as well as conjoined arms and style were disseminated globally, from a church dedicated to the pair in Argentina in 1555, to the 1557 stained glass window of them in Gouda commemorating San Quentin. Their joint arms are also found above the Via Maggiore in Milan, symbol of an offensive alliance holding back the French tide in Italy.2 Indirect forms of influence and favor can help us understand in a more nuanced way how royal government translated into political action.

Keywords

Marriage Contract Stain Glass Window Royal Authority Imprimerie Royale Offensive Alliance 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Notes

  1. 1.
    The continuities between the reigns of Mary and Elizabeth, the language and conceptualization of Elizabeth’s authority and government owes more to the example of Mary than has previously been acknowledged. See Paulina Kewes, “Two Queens, One Inventory: The Lives of Mary and Elizabeth Tudor” in Writing Lives: Biography and Textuality, Identity and Representation in Early Modern England, ed. Kevin Sharpe and Steven Zwicker (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008), 187–207.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    See Corinna Streckfuss, “‘Our Greatest Hope?’ European Propaganda and the Spanish Match” in this volume. The window is alluded to in Judith Richards, Mary Tudor (Abingdon: Routledge, 2008), 239.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    J. B. Owens, “By My Absolute Royal Authority”: Justice and the Castilian Commonwealth at the Beginning of the First Global Age (Rochester: University of Rochester Press, 2005), 215.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Patrick Williams, The Great Favourite: The Duke of Lerma and the Court and Government of Philip III of Spain (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2006). He leapt from 57th in the list of aristocratic incomes before 1598 to double the next closest grandee, the duke of Medina Sidonia.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Ernst Kantorowicz, The King’s Two Bodies: A Study in Medieval Political Theology (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1957), 381.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Queenship and Political Power in Medieval and Early Modern Spain, ed. Theresa Earenfight (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2005), Editor’s Preface, xiii–xiv. For interesting Spanish views of queenship in the pre-modern period, see the proscriptive ideas found in Alfonso X’s Siete partidas and Espe’culo, and the descriptive one in Jaume II of Amgon’s Llibre dels Feyts. Google Scholar
  7. 8.
    See Theresa Earenfight, “Absent Kings: Queens as Political Partners in the Medieval Crown of Aragon” and Ana Echevarria-Asuaga, “The Queen and the Master: Catalina of Lancaster and the Military Orders,” in Queenship and Power, ed. Earenfight, 34, 96. A number of these precedents were cited by the chronicler Hernando de Pulgar in the context of Fernando and Isabella’s marriage. See Peggy Liss, Isabel the Queen: Life and Times, 2nd edn. (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004), 114.Google Scholar
  8. 12.
    For more on the symbolism of this see Judith Richards, “Renaissance Queen” in “High and Mighty Queens” of Early Modern England: Realities and Representations, ed. Carole Levin, Jo Carney and Debra Barrett-Graves (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003), 35.Google Scholar
  9. 13.
    H. F. M. Prescott, Mary Tudor (London: Eyre & Spottiswoode, repr. 1953), 225; CSPD, XI: 2, No. 2.Google Scholar
  10. 17.
    The unfortunate story of Juana is brilliantly recounted, separating myth from what survives in the documentary record, by Bethany Aram in her Juana the Mad: Sovereignty and Dynasty in Renaissance Europe (Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2005).Google Scholar
  11. 20.
    Papiers ďe’tat du Cardinal de Granvelle, ed. M. Weiss, 9 vols. (Paris: Imprimerie Royale, 1843), IV: 78, 144 and 149–51. There is interesting information about the power struggle between Renard and Eraso for control of the English mission in a letter dated September 3, 1554, 298–300.Google Scholar
  12. 21.
    Chronicle of the Grey Friars of London, ed. J. G. Nichols, Camden Society 53, 1st ser. (London: J. B. Nichols and Son, 1851), 86.Google Scholar
  13. 22.
    He is mentioned in The Accession, Coronation and Marriage of Mary Tudor as Related in Four Manuscripts of the Escorial, ed. Cesare Malfatti (Barcelona: Sociedad Alianza de Artes Graficas y Ricardo Fontá, 1956), 145: “On the 5 August their majesties left here and ordered Diego de Azevedo to stay on in Windsor to gather together the horses and Spanish courtiers because in the castles where they were going, there were not sufficient number of lodgings for all the courtiers.”Google Scholar
  14. 23.
    Phrase coined by David Starkey, “Intimacy and Innovation: The Rise of the Privy Chamber, 1485–1547” in The English Court: From the Wars of the Roses to the Civil War, ed. David Starkey et al. (London: Longman, 1987), 87.Google Scholar
  15. 33.
    The most comprehensive discussion of the act is in J. D. Alsop, “The Act for the Queen’s Regal Power, 1554,” Parliamentary History 13 (1994): 261–76.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 35.
    Viaje de Felipe Segundo, “Tercera Carta,” 118. See also David Loades, The Tudor Court (Oxford: Davenant Press, 2003), 26.Google Scholar
  17. 39.
    Constance Jordan, “Woman’s Rule in Sixteenth-Century British Political Thought,” RQ 40 (1987): 426–9.Google Scholar
  18. 40.
    David Loades, “Philip II and the Government of England” in Law and Government under the Tudors, ed. Claire Cross, David Loades and J. J. Scarisbrick (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988), 194. This judgement seems to have softened, although not altogether changed, recognizing that “some of them sought to return to firm conceptual ground by accepting Philip as a real king rather than a consort.”Google Scholar
  19. Nevertheless, Mary refused to “give him … a realistic share in the government” and so Philip, while “king of England in name, had no sovereignty in his own realm”: David Loades, Mary Tudor: The Tragical History of the first Queen of England (Bath: National Archives, 2006), 10–11.Google Scholar
  20. 41.
    Anne McLaren, Political Culture in the Reign of Elizabeth I: Queen and Commonwealth, 1558–1585 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999), 16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 42.
    CSPSp, XI: 288. A comment rightly cited twice by Judith Richards in her new biography: Mary Tudor (London: Routledge, 2008), 145, 157.Google Scholar
  22. 47.
    See the excellent monograph by Rory Rapple, Martial Power and Elizabethan Political Culture: Military Men in England and Ireland, 1558–1594 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 51.
    Luis de Cabrera y Córdoba, Felipe Segundo, Rey de Espafia (Madrid, 1619; in modern ed. Aribau, 1876–7), 19.Google Scholar
  24. 57.
    Willobie his Auisa, 3v. See Patricia Shaw, “Philip II and Seduction a la española in an Elizabethan roman a clef” in Actas del II Congreso de la Sociedad Española de Estudios Renacentistas Ingleses, ed. S. G. Fernández-Corugedo (Oviedo: Universidad de Oviedo, 1992), 292–3. Agrippa’s De Vanitate Scientarum had been published in Latin in 1530 and translated into English in 1575.Google Scholar
  25. 58.
    See Sandra Clark, “Spanish Characters and English Nationalism in English Drama of the Early Seventeenth Century,” Bulletin of Hispanic Studies 84 (2007): 131–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 63.
    See Herbert Grabes, “England or the Queen?: Public Conflict of Opinion and National Identity under Mary Tudor” in his Writing the Early Modern English Nation: The Transformation of National Identity in Sixteenth- and Seventeenth-Century England (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2001), 47–87.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Anna Whitelock and Alice Hunt 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alexander Samson

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations