Marriage Tudor Queens Essay

2332 words - 10 pages

This quote from Judith M. Richards aptly sums up the role of women in the sixteenth century as they were seen as possessions of their fathers as they were used to further their families ambitious. It was unimaginable that women would rule a country by herself, as before the accession of Queen Mary in 1553, England had never crowned a regent queen. This was the despite the strong claims of Empress Matilda who was not allowed to rule in her own right but instead her rights were passed onto her son who would become king after her cousin Stephen died. Another example is Elizabeth of York who was seen as her father’s heir and was married to Henry Tudor to ensure that England had a male ruler.
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This can be clearly seen when she rode triumphantly into London on 3 August 1553 on a wave of popular support. She was accompanied by her half-sister Elizabeth, and a procession of over 800 nobles and gentlemen.
CSL Davies calls the accession of Mary Tudor the only successful rebellion in Tudor England as Mary became Queen despite being barred from the throne by Edward VI's devices, the fact that council had consented to Jane Grey as Queen, Northumberland's march on Suffolk where she was staying and an earlier kidnap attempt. However, there were a number of challenges that surfaced when she became queen. A prime example would be the published pamphlet of John Knox’s The First Blast of the Trumpet against the Monstruous Regiment of Women. Though it was published in 1558 and Mary ascended the throne in 1553, it still had a profound effect on the English population as throughout the long history of the isle of England, they never had a reigning queen.
John Knox, a protestant reformer wrote in famous pamphlet The First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstruous Regiment of Women that “To promote a woman to bear rule, superiority, dominion, or empire above any realm, nation, or city, is repugnant to nature; contumely to God, a thing most contrary to his revealed will and approved ordinance; and finally, it is the subversion of good order, of all equity and justice.” Knox used his study of scripture in the bible to oppose any woman’s exercise of authority over a nation as in his mind there were two fundamental reasons why a woman should not rule. The first was that she was subservient to a man due to eve’s punishment from God and that God had made it a virtue for a woman to serve men. He goes on to say that, such rule of men and the acceptance by men of that rule had no legitimacy or justice other than as divine punishment for human sin.? The first blast was primarily intended aimed at the Catholic rulers of England and Scotland.
The English understood the word ‘queen’ denoted a queen consort, the king’s wife, they had been chosen for their birth, their political alliances and the potential for territorial expansion they brought with them. Yet Mary’s subject could console themselves that there would be plenty of males to be her advisers and there was the subject of her marriage. Charles V, the holy roman emperor spoke for many both English and foreigners when he said she must marry because “it is important that she have heirs and still more important that someone may be at her side to assist her in the conduct of her affairs” It is clear from this quote of Charles V that it was imperative that Mary marry soon as she became the queen of England when she was 37 years old, she had refrained from marrying earlier as she feared that her marriage would stand in her way of claiming the throne of England. The choice of Mary’s husband was critical as the story of Adam and Eve made clear, husbands had a god given authority rule over their wives and in...

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