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A Culture of Reverence: Princess Mary’s Household 1525–27

  • Jeri L. McIntosh
Part of the Queenship and Power book series (QAP)

Abstract

In the winter of 1536, Robert Aske, one of the ringleaders of a grassroots rebellion against the Henrician Reformation, found himself subjected to an intense interrogation by government officials. The rebellion, known as the “Pilgrimage of Grace,” had seriously alarmed king and government.1 Officials questioning Aske in the aftermath of the rebellion’s suppression and Aske’s capture focused on his constitutional views on crown power and the royal succession.2 One of the demands of the “Pilgrimage” rebels was the restoration of the recently disinherited Princess Mary to the royal succession. When questioned about this rebel demand, Aske claimed that Henry VIII had placed the sovereignty of the English nation at risk by successfully pushing through Parliamentary legislation that disinherited his eldest daughter, Mary—recognized widely within England and Europe as the most credible claimant to the crown by right of blood.3 For Aske, the issue hinged on Henry VIII’s right to declare the next successor to the crown. As Aske pointed out, no other monarch ever had such prerogative and no other person in the realm had the power to overturn common law when it came to the inheritance of real property4 If Mary was disinherited and the king’s younger daughter, Elizabeth, was derided by many in Catholic Europe as illegitimate, then the way was open for the Scottish king (the “alien,” as Aske called him), the nephew of Henry VIII, to make a credible claim to the English throne.5

Keywords

Dialogue Form Privy Council Henry VIII Royal Court Nominal Head 
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.

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Notes

  1. 1.
    For large-scale studies that focus on the rebellion, see M. Bush, The Pilgrimage of Grace: A Study of the Rebel Armies of October 1536 (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1996)Google Scholar
  2. R. W. Hoyle, The Pilgrimage of Grace and the Politics of the 1530s (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003).Google Scholar
  3. 2.
    M. Bateson, “Aske’s Examination,” EHR 5 (1890): 550–73.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 7.
    For fuller consideration of the historical situation prompting Henry to send Mary to the Welsh Marches, see Jeri L. Mcintosh, From Heads of Household to Heads of State … (New York: Columbia University Press, 2009), 30–1, also available online via the Gutenberg-e website at: http://www.gutenberg-e.org/mcintosh/chapter1.html#s1.4.Google Scholar
  5. 9.
    S. J. Gunn, “The Regime of Charles, Duke of Suffolk, in North Wales and the Reform of the Welsh Government, 1509–1525,” The Welsh History Review, 12 (1985): 461–95Google Scholar
  6. R. A. Griffiths, Sir Rhys ap Thomas and his Family: A Study in the Wars of the Roses and Early Tudor Politics (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1993).Google Scholar
  7. 14.
    BL Cleopatra, E. VI, fols. 325r-328r for privy council orders to establish Elizabeth’s household and regulate Mary’s. Insight into the infant Elizabeth’s material existence can be glimpsed in Anne Boleyn’s accounts, see E. W Ives, Life and Death of Anne Boleyn: The Most Happy (Oxford: Blackwell, 2004), 253–4.Google Scholar
  8. 21.
    F. Jones, The Princes of Wales and Principality of Wales (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1969), 93–7Google Scholar
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  10. 22.
    S. Gunn, “The Regime of Charles, duke of Suffolk, in North Wales,” Welsh History, 12 (1985): 486.Google Scholar
  11. 23.
    S. Adams, Leicester and the Court: Essays on Elizabethan Politics (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2002): 294.Google Scholar
  12. 29.
    Giles Du Wes, An Introductory for to Learn to Read, to Pronounce, and to Speak French {1532?} ed. R. C. Alston, Facsimile (Menston, U.K.: Scolar Press, 1972). In this useful facsimile edition, Alston assigns a highly speculative date of 1532. The Revised Short-Title Catalogue assigns a date of 1533. The confusion probably arises from the book containing two sections clearly composed at different times with separate dedications; the first half, dedicated to “Mary of England,” suggests a pre-Boleyn marriage period whereas the second half of the book is dedicated to Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn, and Princess Elizabeth suggesting a date of 1533 or later {see S4v-Tir}. This internal evidence suggest to me a publication date after Elizabeth’s birth in September 1533 but before Duwes’ death in 1535, hence the 1534 date used here. Hereafter, cited as “Duwes.”.Google Scholar
  13. 34.
    Although The Courtier did not appear in an English printed edition until 1561 (tr. Thomas Hoby), there is evidence to suggest that educated people in England were reading it in Italian, see D. Starkey, Reign of Henry VIII (London: George Philip, 1985), 33 and, by the same author, “The Court: Castiglione’s Ideal and Tudor Reality; Being a Discussion of Sir Thomas Wyatt’s Satire Addressed to Sir Francis Bryan,” Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, 45 (1982): 232–9.Google Scholar
  14. 35.
    Castiglione’s concepts of grace (grazia) as a gift from God and the deliberate human cultivation and consequent (seemingly) artless display of it (sprezzatura) were subtle distinctions not always appreciated by his contemporary readers. Duwes’ manual concentrates on erudition as the path towards understanding and virtue rather than the ontology of virtue. For extended discussions of Castiglione’s philosophy, see L. V. Ryan, “Book Four of Castiglione’s Courtier: Climax or Afterthought?” Studies in the Renaissance, 19 (1972): 156–79;CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    For a detailed discussion of the mid-Tudor iteration of this genre, see S. C. Lucas, “A Mirror for Magistrates” and the Politics of the English Reformation (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2009).Google Scholar
  18. 39.
    For more information on Duwes (who was also a lutenist), see Andrew Ashbee, “Groomed for Service: Musicians in the Privy Chamber at the English Court, c. 1495–1558,” Early Music, 25 (1997): 185–97; 188–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 48.
    For extended discussion on contemporary views on female sovereignty and marriage, see J. M. Richards, “Mary Tudor as ‘Sole Quene’?: Gendering Tudor Monarchy,” HJ, 40 (1997): 895–924. Glyn Redworth argues that Philip was able to exercise considerable political influence in “ ‘Matters Impertinent to Women’: Male and Female Monarchy under Philip and Mary,” EHR, 112 (1997): 597–613.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 58.
    LP, V, no. 99; quoted in Tudor Wales, ed. T Herbert and G. E. Jones (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1988), 147.Google Scholar
  21. 59.
    BL Stowe 141, fol. 13r; D. M. Loades, Mary Tudor: A Life (Oxford: Blackwell, 1989), 46–7.Google Scholar
  22. 62.
    W Forrest, The History of Grisild the Second: A Narrative, in verse, of the Divorce of Queen Katharine of Aragon (1558), ed. W. D. Macray (London, 1875), 86.Google Scholar
  23. 63.
    An example of this interpretation is C. S. L. Davies, “The Pilgrimage of Grace Reconsidered,” Past & Present 41 (December 1968): 54–76; p. 64.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Anna Whitelock and Alice Hunt 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeri L. McIntosh

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