Or else the lady's mad. Yet if 'twere so
She could not sway her house,
command her followers,
Take and give back affairs and their dispatch
With such a smooth, discreet, and stable bearing
As I perceive she does.
—William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night, 4.3

1This chapter examines further the connection between property and status. First, it considers the grant of lands to Mary, made in May 1553, and suggests this was directly linked to the Edwardian succession plan, which intended to disinherit her in favor of Jane Grey. This leads naturally into a review of Mary's defeat of the Grey regime; close attention is paid to the role played in this by the princess' household and affinity, and to the lessons Elizabeth subsequently drew from it in preparing for any similar challenge to her own accession. Each of the princesses, in her turn, drew on all three of the household's primary resources—display, corporate identity, and property—to help accomplish the female succession.

2Henry VIII's death unsettled the political climate, causing a period of turbulence sufficient to result in the breaking of his will; this was to prove minor, however, in comparison with the stormy weather of Edward VI's last two months, during which he devised a plan to divert the succession away from both Mary and Elizabeth, with the aim that it should pass instead to Jane Grey. It has been assumed that the Tudor princesses had no knowledge of these plans, and took no part in their formulation. Historians have found no evidence of either half-sister having any involvement until directly approached by the Edwardian/Grey government to resign their claims to the crown. No correspondence on the issue survives, either from the princesses or from government officials; and no state documents or official chronicles from the period indicate any negotiation between either princess and the Edwardian government regarding the succession, before Edward's death in July 1553. Not surprisingly, therefore, it is now widely accepted that Mary in particular was deliberately kept in the dark about the details of Edward's scheme for depriving her of her right to the English throne.1

3In fact, the political situation may have been considerably more complicated than this accepted narrative supposes, as suggested by property transactions between the princesses and the crown. Two grants, discussed in detail below, provide hints that both Mary and Elizabeth were better informed about the new succession plan than scholars have previously supposed. Sherlock Holmes' famous maxim reminds us that once the impossible has been eliminated, then whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth; it is useful to keep this in mind, while examining the grants for indirect evidence that the princesses not only knew of the new succession plan, but, at least initially, consented to it.


Mary's Framlingham/Hertford Grant, Nov.–Dec. 1552, and the Succession Crisis of 1553

4In May 1553, Mary took ownership of Framlingham Castle, the ducal seat of the Howard family, along with several other important royal holdings such as Hertford Castle.2 The period during which the crown made this grant was one of rapidly shifting political currents, initiated and intensified by a series of significant events: Somerset fell from power and was executed in 1552; Edward suddenly fell ill, in Spring 1553; and in the Summer of that same year, the young king died. This grant to Mary forms the basis of the argument that she initially consented to her disinheritance in the spring of 1553, and this calls for a detailed discussion of its origins and context. Its significance becomes apparent only when interpreted within the highly unusual political conditions that prevailed throughout the year of 1552 and through to the spring of 1553.

5In January 1552, the duke of Somerset was executed. He was charged, among other offences, with the embezzlement of royal revenues and the general mismanagement of crown finances, which were now in a ruinous state. It fell to Warwick, now Duke of Northumberland, to become the spearhead of a movement to increase royal revenues.3 In the spring of 1552, a royal commission was appointed to determine how best to the streamline the collection of existing sources of revenue from crown lands. By December, the council decided to appoint a second commission, this time to identify new sources of revenue.4 This second commission recommended a judicious combination of sales and exchanges of crown lands as the best means to raise more revenue. Accordingly, the king requested that Mary, who had received a number of desirable properties in her "assignment" of 1547, return some of those holdings to the crown. Apparently, Edward promised to grant her new lands in exchange that generated the same revenue as those she would give up.5 On December 3, 1552, Mary wrote to the king in reply to his letter (which does not survive), giving her reluctant consent to exchange her Essex properties of St. Osyth, Clacton, and Weeley. To sweeten the deal, the king offered to reimburse her for the repairs she had recently undertaken on these manors, in recognition that they were about to come into his possession.6


6David Loades, who stands alone among Mary's biographers in discussing her properties in detail, acknowledges that her letter indicated, at best, a grudging acquiescence. According to Loades the proposed exchange "seems to have been forced upon her."7 He goes on to suggest that the motivation for the exchange was to restrict Mary's access to the sea, in case she should attempt another flight from England as she had in the summer of 1550. This is indeed plausible, in light of past events and their setting: Mary had attempted to flee the country from Woodham Water, a manor held by a tenant of her estate at Malden, which had traditionally been the seat of the Darcy family; under the projected exchange, that estate would pass out of her possession, to be returned to the Darcy family.8 This may well have guided the crown's thinking in specifying the set of estates that Mary was asked to surrender, all of them being on the Essex coast.

7There may, however, have been additional motives for the crown's request. The financial difficulties noted earlier had given the crown ample reason to reclaim leased properties, such as those now in the possession of Mary and Elizabeth, with the aim of selling them off to raise badly needed revenue. At that time, as in the present day, the most important factor in any sale of real estate often proved to be its location; a coastal property near a major urban center was highly desirable. The general practice in any sale of a crown estate was to set the asking price at twenty times the annual revenue. For example, a parcel which brought in £500 p.a. in revenue would be put on sale by the king at £10,000.9

8Mary's Essex properties offered the very advantages noted above, being close to the coast yet not too far from London. Moreover, the crown was already aware of an eager prospective buyer in the person of Sir Thomas Darcy, who had obtained a reversionary interest in them as far back as 1551.10 As Loades has already noted, these lands, along with others in Essex that formed part of Mary's "assignment," were part of the traditional endowment of the Darcy lordship of Chiche; this title had passed to Sir Thomas in April 1551.11 Within the context of the royal commission's recommendation for raising much-needed revenue, the plan was probably to force Mary to surrender these Essex lands so that the king could sell them to Darcy as a speedy way to bring in cash. Viewed within this same context, it is reasonable that Mary would receive in return other crown lands which generated approximately the same revenue, but could not be sold by the king so quickly or profitably.

9In the end, however, Mary received estates worth far more than those she surrendered, an outcome which ran directly against the crown's original intent in selling off some of its desirable properties to raise cash. In May 1553, Darcy received his grant of Mary's manors at Chiche in Essex, in return for an undisclosed sum.12 In return, Mary obtained the lordships of Eye, Bungay, the manor castle of Framlingham, and the royal residence of Hertford Castle.13 Far from diminishing Mary's holdings, these lands and manors actually increased them, to the detriment of the crown. In return for for fourteen of her remotest and smallest Essex manors along with five parks, Mary received twelve substantial manors—two of which were castles—and twenty-eight parcels of prime real estate in Suffolk, Norfolk, and Essex.

10Map 1: Mary’s LandsThese lands and manors substantially increased the density of her holdings in these areas, making her the greatest magnate in East Anglia (see Map 1). Hertford and Hartingfordbury were near Hunsdon, making it easy for Mary could to travel these properties. Her two new Hertfordshire manors endowed her with a substantial landed presence in the western half of the county, forming a dense cluster with Hunsdon and Stanstead. The manors and lordships of Eye, Framlingham, and Bungay provided her with a line of manors running across Suffolk, from the southwest to the north. These increased Mary's already dense concentration of lands along the Suffolk and Norfolk border. The grant also included Hethersett, Ellingham, and Dychingham in Norfolk, filling in some small gaps in this cluster. She now had a manor in northeast Essex, at Clavering. The manors near to London that she already held, at Eppying and Coppidhall in Essex, were now supplemented by the addition of Lucton and Chingford (Waltham Forest in modern London). Furthermore, she received all the advowsons of these estates, with explicit authority to present her clients to all the livings now vacant. The combined revenues from these estates totaled over £600. This grant greatly increased Mary's revenues and standing within East Anglia.

11This was extraordinarily generous, especially considering that Mary had recently been in conflict with the king and council over her religious nonconformity. By increasing her status and control over a significant portion of East Anglia, it would seem the crown must itself have defeated any hopes it may have entertained of limiting her political and religious leadership opportunities. Granting Mary these manors also deprived the crown of highly desirable properties that would have fetched a pretty penny on the open market. Even assuming that Mary's new possessions generated no more in revenues than those she had given up, the scale and splendor of Framlingham and Hertford castles still vastly exceeded those of the manor at Chiche and the Essex estates.

12Framlingham had been the principal seat of Thomas Howard, duke of Norfolk, the preeminent peer of the realm until his arrest in 1546. It was an ancient, massive castle which had recently been remodeled "with an eye for introducing comfort without destroying its feudal magnificence."14 When Howard was arrested in late 1546 on charges of treason, his estates became forfeit to the crown. Their disposition had been a matter of particular concern to Henry VIII, who considered them so valuable as to make their alienation from the crown highly undesirable.15 Henry's intention had been to make them a gift to Prince Edward. Although some Howard properties had already been awarded to Mary in 1547 (e.g. Kenninghall), the Privy Council had evidently considered the castle fortress of Framlingham too valuable to permit its departure from crown hands from 1547 to 1553.

13Curiously, the properties granted by the crown to Mary (in exchange for her Essex lands) would have fetched a good price on the open market. Her new estates of Loughton and Chingford, near London, would certainly have attracted a buyer, being conveniently accessible to the capital. Mary's new lands and manors, especially the castles at Framlingham and Hertford, could—if sold—have brought in substantial funds that the crown so urgently needed. As Henry VIII had recognized, Framlingham in particular was a valuable property which the crown would do well to retain. Even under the new financial strategy formulated in 1552, it would have made more sense to sell Framlingham for a tidy windfall of cash, rather than grant it freely to Mary. The crown certainly owned other manors that it could have granted to the princess in compensation for her surrender of the Chiche properties.

14The explanation could be that the crown wished to repossess and sell Mary's Essex lands, knowing there to be an eager buyer for them, while retaining her goodwill; therefore, it made the exchange attractive to her by granting new lands and manors of greater status.

15To accept this explanation, however, would be to separate the grant from its context—in particular, the political and economic situation then prevailing, and the recent tensions between the crown and Mary over religion. In light of that recent confrontation regarding the forms of observance practiced in her household, the crown had no reason to feel well-disposed toward the princess, and would hardly have been inclined to complete the property exchange on terms that sacrificed important opportunities to restore some degree of financial solvency. Loades is probably correct, therefore, in suggesting that the crown in fact coerced rather than induced Mary to surrender the Chiche manors. She had embarrassed the Edwardian government with her refusal to institute the Protestant service in her household; it had been further humiliated by the refusal of her senior household officers to obey direct orders from the king and his Privy Council, by Mary's personal reprimands to both king and council via her letters, and by her appeal to her maternal cousin, the Emperor Charles V for support.

16In the political and economic situation outlined above, it would surely have been in the best interest of the crown to obtain the Chiche manors from Mary, and then punish the princess for her recalcitrance by granting her in exchange manors that generated approximately the same annual revenues, but were of lesser prestige. In fact, there is reason to suspect that this was the original intention. If Mary had understood she was to receive Framlingham in December 1552, her aforementioned letter of consent would likely have been a good deal more enthusiastic.

17The relative timing of this property exchange on one hand, and the death of Edward VI in July in 1553 on the other, suggests a ready explanation. Traditionally, scholars have depicted Edward as a chronically unhealthy boy, forever on the brink of dying from tuberculosis. In December 1552, when Mary surrendered the Chiche estates, it is plausible under this traditional scenario to argue that Edward was inevitably entering the final stages of the illness that would take his life in July 1553. Government ministers, realizing that they would soon be working for Mary and nervous that she already considered them hostile, therefore used the property exchange—originally intended to be unfavorable to the princess—as a means of persuading the soon-to-be queen to look more kindly upon them, modifying the grant so that it would clearly be to her advantage.

18The problem with this explanation is that the traditional view of Edward as a perennial invalid has been convincingly overturned. Jennifer Loach has made a compelling case that the cause of the king's death was not a long, wasting illness like tuberculosis, and that he did not endure chronic ill-health. Rather, he was a reasonably healthy adolescent who died suddenly from a suppurating pulmonary infection that deteriorated into general septicemia.16 He probably developed the infection in mid-February 1553. The illness was nasty and intense, immediately causing alarm among contemporaries. By the middle of March, the king himself was sufficiently concerned to draft his scheme for the altered succession, completing it by the end of the month. On June 12, 1553, Edward VI publicly unveiled his plan to divert the succession away from Mary, bypassing Elizabeth entirely, to Jane Grey; he died on July 6, 1553.

19Loach's persuasive diagnosis and chronology of Edward's illness and death has particular bearing on the context in which Framlingham was granted to Mary in May 1553. If Loach's interpretation is correct, Edward would as yet have displayed no discernible signs of illness at the time he originally requested Mary to surrender her Chiche manors in December 1552. Edward's ministers therefore had no reason at that time to suspect that the king was dying. The Privy Council, still smarting from their recent confrontations with Mary and her household over religion, would certainly have felt no inclination to treat her favorably when drawing up the terms of the property exchange. These circumstances—Edward's sound health as of December 1552, Mary's recent defiance of the government (in the summer of 1551), and the pressing need to increase royal cash reserves—viewed in combination with Mary's palpable lack of enthusiasm in agreeing the surrender of her Chiche manors, all suggest the government originally intended she should emerge from the property exchange with her revenues at best undiminished, and probably with the general prestige of her land holdings clearly reduced. Yet by the time the exchange actually took place in April 1553, Mary received the imposing and highly desirable properties of Framlingham and Hertford (among others), in exchange for relatively minor lands in Chiche, Essex (important as these were to Thomas Darcy, their recipient).

20If Mary's Framlingham grant is to be understood within the context of the contemporary political situation, rather than an analytical vacuum, then it becomes important to assess both the differences and similarities between the political situation as it stood in December 1552, and that which came to prevail by April 1553. The most significant development during these months for the country, and for Mary in particular, was the king's contraction of a pulmonary infection. In December 1552, when Mary was first asked to surrender her Chiche estates, the king was in good health, and the political elite had no reason to think other than that Edward had a long life ahead of him. Everyone probably thought the king would soon be old enough to marry, beget children, and secure a Protestant succession to the crown through an heir of his own body. By the time Mary received Framlingham and Hertford in May 1553, the king was seriously ill. He had drafted a "deuise" diverting the succession away from Mary to Jane Grey, cousin to both Edward and Mary, and a Protestant. Within a couple of months after granting Framlingham to Mary, Edward would publicly reveal his plan to disinherit both her and Elizabeth.

21Perhaps the king did indeed start out with the intention of foisting of an unfavorable land exchange on Mary, changing his mind when he became ill and deciding instead to favor her with prestigious manors and estates; but there is another explanation that appears plausible at first sight. While the king was working to engineer the exclusion of Mary (and Elizabeth) from the succession, the royal officials, judges, and privy councilors hedged their bets—publicly supporting Edward in his new plan for the succession, but at the same time giving Mary good reason to feel well-disposed toward them by awarding her Framlingham and Hertford. Perhaps many among the political elite reasoned that Mary might prevail in the coming succession crisis.

22There are several problems with this interpretation; it fails adequately to comprehend both the functioning of the Edwardian regime, and also the legal technicalities involved in the alienation of crown lands. These matters appear abstruse to the modern reader, but they were the subject of intense public concern and discussion in sixteenth-century England. The most obvious problem with the notion that government ministers attempted to mollify Mary with the Framlingham grant, while at the same time Edward demanded their support for his new succession plan, was that they could not have behaved in this way without the king's knowledge. Crown lands were inherited as family holdings by the monarch. These estates were the personal holdings of the previous king's heir. This meant that government ministers had no legal power to award Framlingham and Hertford to Mary without Edward's explicit knowledge and permission.

23Edward's approval of such an award would have worked directly against the plans he was already drawing up to deprive Mary of the crown. The king was adamant about disinheriting his half-sister. Her gender, her illegitimacy, and most importantly her Catholicism, all offended him. Having spent his formative years at the center of power, he had a precocious grasp of political affairs.17 If his councilors had advised him to bestow ducal estates on the heir he hoped to bypass, the young king would not have been blind to their intentions. He may have been sick at the time, but there is no evidence that he had lost his wits. As his death came to appear imminent, the pressure to adopt the altered succession came in fact from Edward, urging his councilors to give their consent.18 Circumstances, and the trajectory of events, combine to argue against the possibility that the councilors had any ability to act unilaterally in ensuring that Mary received the Framlingham/Hertford grant. Given the prestige of these properties, it seems highly unlikely that the king would consent to them passing into Mary's possession; he would have been well aware such estates would serve to increase her political and economic standing as a regional magnate in East Anglia. As such, she would (and, eventually, did) pose a real threat to Edward's preferred successor, Jane Grey.

24Clearly, however, Edward must have given his consent, since Mary did indeed obtain these manors. Presuming the king's consent, as we must, the timing of the Framlingham grant comes to assume great importance. In February 1553, Edward contracted the infection that would prove fatal; in March he drafted his will disinheriting Mary in favor of Jane Grey; in early May, the princess obtained the Framlingham grant; on May 21, Jane Grey married Northumberland's son, Guilford, thereby strengthening the cohesion of their faction, and possibly solidifying the resolve of the king's ministers to support his new succession plan; in mid-June, Edward publicly canvassed support for the new succession; in late June, patent letters were drawn up vesting the succession in Grey; on July 6, Edward died; Grey was proclaimed sovereign on July 10; on July 19, Mary was proclaimed sovereign, and Grey was arrested. Mary's property grant appears at a particularly interesting point in the above chronology: the princess was awarded Framlingham and Hertford just before Edward and Northumberland took several very public steps to consolidate the putative successor regime around Jane Grey.

25The timing of the Framlingham grant suggests that the Edwardian regime first informed Mary of their plans to deprive her of the crown in late March or early April of 1553. The Framlingham/Hertford grant was intended to compensate Mary for resigning herself to her disinheritance. Having secured Mary's acquiescence—as they thought—Edward and Northumberland proceeded publicly to canvass and consolidate support for the new Grey succession. Grey married Northumberland's son in late May, soon after Mary obtained Framlingham; the king solicited the support of jurists for the Grey succession in mid-June after Mary obtained Framlingham; and the patent letters implementing the new succession were drawn and signed in late June after Mary obtained Framlingham.

26The notion that Mary could be compensated for loss of the crown with a couple of manors—no matter how grand—will strike many as far-fetched, perhaps even bizarre. In fact, two of her female royal progenitors, Margaret Beaufort and Elizabeth of York, had each resigned their claims to the throne in return for titles and lands; even so, scholars have hesitated to credit Mary with the ability to make pragmatic calculations based on a realistic assessment of the current political situation. In the traditional view, which has now been in place for some time, Edward spent most of his short life wasting away from illness; the oily Northumberland was thus able to exploit both the ailing king's frailty, and Mary's political ignorance, to press for the succession of his daughter-in-law (Grey), all the while keeping the princess in the dark as to his intentions.19 This scenario posits Mary as an ill-informed country bumpkin, spending what was to be the last year of Edward's reign "retired and obdurate in her Suffolk and Hertfordshire manors."20 Neither Edward nor Northumberland need have anticipated much trouble from such a sad figure. Against this backdrop, Mary's eventual victory has therefore usually been presented as astonishing event, totally unforeseen by contemporaries.

27This persistent depiction is attributable largely to the contemporary testimony of the Imperial ambassadors and envoys. Although they were in the employ of Mary's ally and cousin, Charles V, their assessment of the her often lacked subtlety, and showed no deep understanding either of the princess herself, or of the English political situation. Mary often represented herself to Imperial envoys as a defenseless maiden, in desperate need of Charles's protection.21 Imperial officials usually took this at face value. Mary's self-portrayal as a politically unsophisticated victim of the Machiavellian Edwardian regime has continued to beguile subsequent generations.

28Mary's ability to cast herself in this role was so convincing that many scholars have dutifully noted opposing evidence, yet striven to shoehorn those findings into the preexisting construct created largely by Mary herself. Prescott conscientiously highlighted the point that Mary in fact had been kept informed of Edward's illness by no less a person than Northumberland himself, but argues that Northumberland must have done this with the aim of lulling "her into a false sense of security."22

29If we refuse to let this notion of Mary's political ignorance dictate our interpretation of evidence and events, then other conclusions can be entertained that have previously been rejected out of hand as implausible. In late February/early March 1553, the Edwardian regime was forced to formulate some response to the young king's contraction of an infection that was already serious, and might even prove fatal. He was unmarried and childless. According to the Act of Succession of 1544, which was still in effect, the next to take the throne as monarch would be the formidable—and Catholic—Princess Mary. Both Edward and his Privy Council had every reason to believe that Mary would take great pleasure in reversing the Protestant religious policy to which the king was sincerely committed.23 Moreover, the privy councilors had special reason to fear the possibility of Mary's accession: it was entirely believable that she might hold a grudge against them because of her recent confrontation with them over religion, during which her senior household officers had been arrested and imprisoned in the Tower. The idea of preventing her accession must, in all likelihood, have found wide support among the leading officials of the Edwardian regime.

30The idea that Mary was deliberately kept in the dark by Northumberland is not credible. For some time now, scholars such as Prescott have acknowledged that Northumberland sent her regular bulletins on the state of the king's health in early 1553. In fact, most of London including the political elite had known that the king was seriously ill since March 1553, when he was too sick to open Parliament in the usual setting at Westminster, and had instead to do so in a scaled-down ceremony in Whitehall.24 Moreover, Jehan Scheve, the Imperial ambassador, was sending regular and detailed reports to his master Charles V describing Edward's decline from February 1553 onward. By early May, the ambassador believed Edward's death to be imminent.25 Mary's eventual accession was an important aspect of the Imperial agenda in England; therefore, given that the Imperial ambassador was clearly in possession of up-to-date and accurate information, it is hard to credit that he would have failed to keep the princess fully briefed as to Edward's condition. Through Scheve and Northumberland, Mary certainly had good reason to anticipate Edward's death.

31Clearly, Mary was well informed as to Edward's condition; furthermore, she could hardly have remained ignorant of the new succession plan. Only the most spectacular naivety could have prevented her from grasping fully the significance of the marriages between the Grey family and those of other Protestant nobility in late May. Patent letters were issued in late June outlining the revised succession; from this point onward, Mary could hardly have avoided knowledge of it even if she had wanted to.

32Setting aside this oddly persistent notion that both princesses were somehow deceived, regarding both the seriousness of Edward's illness in early 1553 and the plans to transfer the succession to Jane Grey, further questions arise. If Mary knew about Edward's "deuise" by June (at the very latest), then why did she not make any public protest? Similarly, scholars have long puzzled over another riddle: why did Northumberland fail to order that be Mary detained on some pretext, so that she would not be free to mount a challenge to Jane Grey during the critical period?26

33The Framlingham/Hertford grant provides a possible answer to both questions. The grant allows us, in Barbara Harris's phrase, "to look behind the official record"27, and opens up the possibility not only that Mary knew of the Grey succession plan, but also that she gave her consent to it (sincerely or otherwise), obtaining Framlingham and the other new properties in recognition of her apparent acquiescence. Although she probably gained knowledge of the plan almost as soon as Edward began drafting it in March and April 1553, the reason she made no public protest on learning of it could thus have been that she had already given assurances to the king and to Northumberland that she would raise no objection. In gratitude (and probably out of sincere relief), the crown awarded her the plum manors of Framlingham and Hertford.

34If indeed Mary privately agreed to accept her disinheritance, then her ability to threaten the Grey succession—apparently enhanced by the grant of these important manors and their resources—would instead have been neutralized; there would therefore be no need for Northumberland to arrange that she be detained. All the elements of the Grey succession plan could move forward unimpeded: Northumberland could proceed with the marriage of his son to Jane Grey; the other Protestant nobility could openly align themselves to Northumberland; the jurists could support Edward's "deuise"; and the patent letters confirming the new succession could be issued within the context of the king's deteriorating condition— all because it was known to the members of political elite involved in these steps (though not to the Imperial envoys) that Mary had undertaken to mount no challenge to the Grey succession. Similarly, Edward need have no worries during his last days that by naming Jane Grey his successor he might also have made civil war his legacy. Northumberland and the other supporters the Grey succession were not blinded to the possible consequences of their actions by an unthinking devotion to Protestantism; rather, they would proceed only on the clear understanding that Mary had pledged essentially to go along with the scheme.

35There is precedent in existing scholarship for the interpretation of property grants within the context of high-stakes political power-plays. As historians have long recognized, Northumberland and the king strengthened the resolve of the Grey succession's supporters with awards of lands, for example to such important peers as the earls of Huntingdon (whose son married Jane Grey's sister, Catherine in May), Bedford, Pembroke (whose son was betrothed to another Grey sister in May), Shrewsbury, and Clinton.28 All except Clinton were regional magnates, whose support was vital to maintaining order across the country during a time when the country would be called on to support Jane Grey, a relative unknown, as the next sovereign. Clinton was the Admiral of the Navy and, as such, might be called on to repel any foreign invasion intended to destabilize the Grey regime. Most of these bribes in the form of lands were completed in the spring and summer of 1553, and so were contemporaneous with the grant of Framlingham to Mary in May. There is thus no reason to exclude the grant to the princess from similar consideration. Arguably, the smooth implementation of the new succession order depended crucially on her support.

36The timing of the Framlingham grant, understood within the context of the shifting political situation of the spring of 1553, suggests the following chronology. In November 1552, Edward VI wrote to Mary asking her to surrender her Chiche manors, on the spurious excuse that they were not large enough for her. In reality, as the activities of the Privy Council reveal, this was part of an overall strategy to increase royal cash reserves through a systematic program of property exchanges and resales that were favorable to the crown. In December, Mary replied, reluctantly giving her consent. In late January or early February, Mary visited the court, and probably discussed with the king and the council the manors she should receive in exchange for those she was to give up.29 During the course of this visit, the king caught a cold which intensified into a pulmonary infection. As his illness worsened, proving stubbornly resistant to all available treatments, Edward began drafting plans to alter the succession in March. In early March, the gravity of the king's condition became clear to the public at large, when it prevented him from attending the opening of Parliament.30 At some point in March, Edward and Northumberland approached Mary with the request that she resign her succession claims in favor of Jane Grey, presumably in return for some compensation to be mutually agreed in further discussion. Having little room for maneuver, Mary gave her agreement in principle. In due course, Edward compensated the princess by altering the terms of the property exchange proposed some time previously, in December 1552, now making it much more favorable to Mary. In May 1553, Mary duly received the Framlingham/Hertford grant. Believing Mary to be acquiescent, Northumberland, in late May, moved forward with plans to wed his son to Jane Grey, and with other marriages that consolidated the leadership of the proposed Grey regime. In early June, Edward revealed the new succession order to other important political figures and jurists. In late June, patent letters were drawn vesting the succession in Jane Grey. Throughout June and early July, important regional magnates and political figures received land grants that scholars have identified as incentives offered by Edward and Northumberland specifically to garner support for the Grey succession. In early July, the king died. Jane Grey was duly proclaimed Queen. To Northumberland's dismay, and to the consternation of other signatories of the succession patent letters, Mary then reneged on the agreement she had given: she mounted a successful challenge to Grey's succession, and proclaimed herself Queen. To add insult to injury, the estate she designated as her headquarters during the succession crisis of July 1553 was none other than Framlingham.

37The Framlingham/Hertford grant also helps to clarify the context for the generally shocked reaction occasioned by Mary's eventual challenge to the Grey succession.31 The Edwardian/Grey regime was clearly unprepared for Mary's challenge. Even those who had known her for many years—for example, Frances Brandon Grey and Jane Dudley—were profoundly shocked, and burst into angry tears when they heard the news that Mary had proclaimed herself queen.32 Leading political figures, including those who had long acquaintanceships with the princess, did not anticipate that she would challenge Grey for the throne. If we discount as impossible the idea that the major figures of the day suddenly fell prey to a collective insanity, then what remains is the alternative explanation that no one foresaw Mary's bid for the crown in July 1553 because, only a few months earlier, she had given assurances that she would mount no such challenge, instead accepting the Framlingham/Hertford grant with its grand manors and increased standing in East Anglia as her consolation prize.

38An important point must be kept in mind here: an essential goal of the plan for the Grey succession was a smooth transition of power. Edward VI reportedly laid great emphasis on the succession order as a means of preserving civil order: "I desire this all the more ardently to prevent my death from our providing our beloved country with an occasion or proffered opportunity for civil war." According to this same report, Edward was certainly aware of the need to neutralize any threat posed by Mary well before his death, if the Grey succession plan was to be successfully implemented; the king is said to have observed that Mary "would leave no stone unturned, as the proverb says, to gain control of this isle."33 The obvious danger of civil war argues that, in order for the new succession plan to succeed, Mary had either to be placated or neutralized. Existing studies of the crisis have excluded the former possibility, and have deliberated on the failure of Northumberland to effect the latter. The only credible reason that she was not subjected to capture or house arrest is a certain belief on the part of those at the highest level of the government that Mary would comply. The possibility that Mary might prove resistant to Grey's succession could have led to a crisis, but Edward VI and the Privy Council felt sure they had averted this outcome by making the Framlingham/Hertford grant to her. The ease of her later victory can thus be ascribed not so much to ineptitude on the part of Northumberland and the Privy Council, but rather to a change of heart—perhaps even outright duplicity—by Mary.

39It would not be terribly surprising if Mary felt the need to temporize or, at least, to keep her options open in early 1553 by agreeing to the Grey succession plan. She was not in a strong position to bargain; although she had mounted a determined defense of her household's freedom of worship in 1551, she had not prevailed. Neither she nor members of her household could publicly attend any Catholic mass in England. Hindsight tends to oversimplify what was in fact an enormously complex political situation. When the privy councilors approached Mary about the new succession around March/April 1553, she had already lost her household's right to freedom of worship. She must have expected that if she refused to give the assurances required of her, she would in probability face immediate imprisonment on the pretext of her religious nonconformity. Despite the drama of her recent confrontation with the Privy Council and Edward on the issue of religious freedom, Mary had in the end won only one or two minor victories. On the two most significant points, she had ultimately found herself forced to back down in the summer 1551: she had not been able to prevent the arrest of her senior household officers, and she had not been allowed to continue the open celebration of the Latin mass in her manors. It might be supposed that in early 1553 as Edward's serious illness suddenly placed the possibility of a succession crisis at the top of the political agenda, Mary's status as heir to the throne would be an asset to her, strengthening her negotiating position; in practice, it turned out to be a liability, being precisely the reason she found the king and privy council ranged against her.

40It is also important to keep in mind is that at the time Mary was asked to agree to the government's terms, she could not predict with any certainty the duration of the king's illness. If he were to survive until the projected session of Parliament in September 1553—which had already been ordered specifically to ratify the new succession order—then her disinheritance would be formalized into law, and Mary powerless to oppose it.34 No doubt she recalled all too clearly her efforts to resist earlier plans for her disinheritance, that had been of little avail: in 1533, the first Henrician Act of Succession had reaffirmed the ruling of the Church of England that she was illegitimate. In that same year, Henry VIII deprived her of her independent household. The 1544 Act of Succession restored Mary to the succession, but did not restore her legitimacy nor her independent household. These past experiences, combined with her recent defeat on a matter of religion at the hands of the Edwardian government, can only have persuaded Mary that her chances of resisting the new succession plan were slim indeed. On the contrary: she had every reason to suppose that Edward and his government would succeed in persuading Parliament to repeal the 1544 Act of Succession, and pass a new statute vesting the succession in Jane Grey.

41 In early 1553, Mary could not hope to gain much by holding fast to her claim on the succession. In the 1530s, her own father Henry VIII had eliminated her independent household, and imprisoned (and in some cases executed) those who publicly supported her succession rights. Twenty years on, she may likely have considered herself fortunate that her brother was offering terms more favorable than those her father had imposed: he would allow her to maintain the independence of her household, even enhancing her regional standing in East Anglia. In a nutshell, Edward and his ministers made Mary an offer she could hardly refuse. She stood to lose little enough if she were to accept their terms; on the other hand, if she refused, her freedom —perhaps even her life—were at risk.

42Mary would have understood that such a refusal might not only endanger her own life; it might even precipitate a civil war. This was the great political bogeyman of the Tudor period and no one, least of all a princess of royal blood, would undertake lightly any course of action that could lead to such an outcome. It cannot be decided here whether Mary deliberately deceived the king and Privy Council, or decided merely to bide her time watchfully as subsequent events unfolded. The Framlingham/Hertford grant provides further demonstration, in either case, that high-stakes politics usually contained a propertied dimension, as scholars have long recognized. The essential argument of the foregoing discussion is that the grants to Princess Mary should be placed and understood in the same political context as those made contemporaneously to other major political figures.


Northumberland's Reversionary Interest in Elizabeth's Lands, June 1553

43The observations made above apply equally to Princess Elizabeth's property transactions. Since the Edwardian regime's new succession plan excluded both Tudor princesses from the succession, it is not surprising to find evidence that Elizabeth, too, colluded in the new succession plan; this emerges from an examination of her property transactions during the summer of 1553. King Edward revealed his scheme in mid-June; very shortly afterward, on June 26, Northumberland obtained a reversionary interest in a significant portion of Elizabeth's estates, including Estlethorpe and Blakesley in Northamptonshire as well as the largest of her holdings, at Missenden in Buckhinghamshire.35

44As in the case of Mary's Framlingham/Hertford grant, the timing of this reversionary grant to Northumberland is highly suggestive. Shortly after Jane Grey had married into Northumberland's family, just as the king and his ministers introduced the new succession plan to crown jurists and began the preparation of patent letters to implement it, Northumberland obtained a reversionary interest in the bulk of Elizabeth's estate. This gave him first right of refusal in the event the property should become available, either through the death of its current owner, or through a proposed change in ownership. In this case, Northumberland had anticipated that Elizabeth's lands would shortly revert to the crown in the wake of Jane Grey's accession, so he ensured that he would be first in line for Elizabeth's estate by obtaining this reversionary interest. A grant of this kind affecting part of her patrimony could be accomplished only with Elizabeth's knowledge and consent; therefore, its timing argues that Elizabeth, like Mary, gave the government whatever assurances it required of her regarding her acceptance of the revised succession plan, in return for a property exchange (the details of which have not survived) involving Elizabeth's lands at Missenden and elsewhere.

45As indicated earlier, under the normal practice of the time, any application for a grant of reversionary interest in lands was sponsored by the current owner of the properties under consideration. Northumberland was in a position to stake his claim without Elizabeth's knowledge, but this would have been a dangerous move: she would likely have learned about a grant involving such a significant portion of her lands. Also, about six months earlier, in January of the same year, she had already expressed some annoyance toward Northumberland about his acquisition of Durham Place "without first knowing her mind." This demonstrates both the difficulty in keeping such information from her, and her likely reaction on receiving it. Significantly in this instance, Northumberland protested that he had never campaigned for Durham Place, and went on to claim that he would never willingly offend her.36 His inclination to this view should if anything have been even stronger by June 1553, when Elizabeth's acquiescence to the new succession plan would have been very helpful.

46It is reasonable to assume that once Mary had given her assurances that she would accept the new order of succession, and obtained her Framlingham grant in May, there was little reason for Elizabeth to withhold similar assurances of her own acceptance. This would make it unremarkable that she sponsored Northumberland's application for a reversionary interest, completed in June, on the probable understanding that she would shortly receive more desirable property by way of compensation. She was, evidently, dissatisfied with the geographic distribution of her estates, and in chronic debt.37 The Missenden grant to Northumberland, like the Framlingham grant to Mary, thus suggests Elizabeth's complicity in the attempt to establish Jane Grey on the throne. Its timing argues that it was linked to the rapidly developing political situation precipitated by King Edward's deteriorating health.

47The notion that Edwardian ministers would approach either princess with the request that she resign her claim to the crown is based on a reading of a near-contemporary source. William Camden, Elizabeth's first biographer, claimed early in the seventeenth century that Elizabeth had indeed received an offer of "a certaine summe of money and great possessions in Land" from Northumberland, in return for her assurance that she would not oppose the accession of Jane Grey.38 Camden was close to Elizabeth's chief minister, William Cecil, who was himself prominent in the Edwardian government in the early 1550s. Camden dates the offer to Elizabeth to July 1553, after Edward's death; the most important point, though, is that the idea of offering property to the princesses as an inducement for resigning claims to the crown had indeed been implemented by Northumberland.

48As in the case of Mary's Framlingham/Hertford grant, there is surely no credible argument for separating the Missenden reversionary grant from the contemporary political context. The political careers—and indeed the lives— of both Northumberland and Elizabeth depended on the outcome of the maneuvering to determine Edward's successor. Evidence that these two important figures had dealings with each other, in the politically charged matter of property ownership, must be of interest to those studying the political and religious events of these years.

49The Framlingham and Missenden grants demonstrate the inextricable linkage of politics and property during this period. Power plays found expression largely, though not exclusively, in land grants. When the members of the Edwardian Privy Council sought to consolidate their power immediately after Henry VIII's death, they did so by exploiting the unfulfilled gifts clause to grant crown estates. Edward VI and Northumberland laid the groundwork for what they hoped would be a smooth transition of power to Jane Grey, by awarding property to important magnates such as Shrewsbury and Pembroke. Viewed against the backdrop of the mid-Tudor interweaving of property and politics, it would be astonishing if the Edwardian regime had not sought to secure the support of Mary and Elizabeth by offering them some compensation in the form of land in return for their agreement to resign their claims to the crown.

50This study of the Tudor princesses' property dealings in the early summer of 1553 reveals the central importance of their roles as landowners in the inception of the succession crisis. By including Mary and Elizabeth among the larger group of land holders and politicians whose support was enlisted via property grants, it becomes possible to arrive at a fuller understanding of the way the Edwardian government planned to implement the Grey succession.


Accomplishing the Female Succession: The Succession Crisis of 1553

51Mary left Hunsdon on July 4, 1553, on hearing that the king was dying, traveling to her Norfolk manor at Kenninghall. Edward VI died two days later, on July 6, formally announced by the Privy Council on July 8. On July 10, the Council received Mary's instructions, sent from Kenninghall, to proclaim her queen. The princess and her growing household army moved to Framlingham on July 12. From the 12th to the 14th, important magnates such as Henry Ratcliffe, Earl of Sussex and John Bourchier, Earl of Bath joined her at Framlingham, along with regional gentry leaders such as Thomas, Lord Wentworth and Sir Thomas Cornwallis. Five royal ships defected to side with Mary during this time. On the 14th, Northumberland left London at the head of an army sent to engage Mary's forces and arrest her as a traitor to "Queen Jane." By the time he reached Cambridge on July 19, the Privy Council had proclaimed Mary as queen in London. Northumberland was arrested two days later, and Jane Grey and her husband were moved from their royal apartments in the Tower of London to accommodations reserved for state prisoners. The crisis was over; Mary was queen.

52Mary's ability to enforce her claim derived exclusively from her roles as head of household and landowner. The themes on which this study has focussed—display, corporate identity, and property—figured largely in Mary's victory in the summer of 1553. Various sources, ranging from eyewitness accounts to ambassadorial dispatches, indicate that as the owner of fine manors, extensive lands, and material wealth, Mary was able to impress those who rallied to her cause with her status and resources. Because she ruled a large household of loyal servants, she was able to exploit the household's military potential, using it both as an administrative center and military headquarters. This, in turn, allowed her to organize her tenants, neighbors, and retainers into an armed force sufficiently credible to intimidate the Privy Council, despite that body's control over all the the crown's military resources.

53There are indications that hospitality and material display played a central role in Mary's strategy for consolidating support, both among her local affinity and among those who joined her forces from outside her estates during the two weeks of her struggle for the throne. On July 12, Mary decided to relocate her headquarters from Kenninghall in Norfolk to her newly acquired manor at Framlingham in Suffolk. Robert Wingfield, an eyewitness, claimed that Mary made this move on the strategic advice of her household officers that Kenninghall was too small and less defensible than Framlingham.39 Scholars have had little reason to doubt Wingfield's assertion.40 There may be yet another reason for Mary's relocation: Framlingham was materially a more impressive setting in which to stake her claim to the throne. Wingfield's explanation is worth quoting in full to comprehend all the factors which he lists:

Now that men from all ranks of life were joining her every day, the queen's forces were wonderfully strengthened and augmented, and on their sovereign's instructions her personal council discussed how they could best move their headquarters; for with consummate judgment the queen recognized that her house was utterly inadequate to withstand an enemy attack or fitly to accommodate her much increased forces and household. Therefore after suitable consideration they very wisely chose Framlingham, the strongest castle in Suffolk, and the ancient capital seat of the famous dukes of Norfolk, where they might await further reinforcements and, if necessity demanded, fight a determined enemy.41

54Framlingham was indeed larger than Kenninghall. It was, in fact, a castle-stronghold, although it had not been used for defensive purposes since well before the end of the fifteenth century. Its position in east-central Suffolk allowed Mary to establish her headquarters in a location from which she could easily call to arms her tenants and neighbors of her estates in the north-eastern portion of the county.

55In some ways, however, the move to Framlingham was strategically counterproductive. It was much nearer to London than Kenninghall, meaning that Northumberland's opposing forces could reach it much sooner. It lay in fact at the outskirts of Mary's patrimony; while she resided there, Northumberland could reach her without having to circumnavigate or neutralize any of her other estates, simply proceeding directly to Framlingham from London. If Mary had remained at Kenninghall, the duke would have had to take into account her many estates lying between London and Norfolk; this would have been a longer and more difficult journey for Northumberland and his army to undertake. The relocation to Framlingham meant that Mary risked direct attack by Northumberland's experienced troops (many of whom had fought in the 1549 rebellions) before her own ad hoc army was even fully organized. Unlike Kenninghall, Framlingham was not surrounded by any protective zone of her own estates that might have impeded Northumberland's approaching forces. Indeed, Kenninghall's remote location in the midst of her most densely clustered estates was probably the reason she had initially retreated there.

56According to the quotation above, the move from Kenninghall to Framlingham was not simply to provide a larger camp for Mary's forces, but also to "fitly accommodate her much increased . . . household." By the time Mary decided to relocate, important magnates such as the earls of Sussex and Bath, Lord Wentworth, and other significant local gentry had joined her cause. They were placed in command of her army and, naturally, lodged within Mary's manor at Kenninghall. Although it was a large, very fine, manor house, it was not on the scale of Framlingham.42

57Mary was no longer just a royal landlord making a regular tour of inspection, a circumstance in which Kenninghall could have provided perfectly suitable accommodations. In the summer of 1553, she was a candidate for the throne, rallying her subjects. Men like Sussex and Wentworth came to her with obvious reluctance, since the Grey regime appeared to hold all the cards: the treasury, royal navy, the support of the political elite of the Edwardian regime (including the clergy of the national church), and the authority to raise troops on a national scale. Being lodged in crowded accommodations at Kenninghall would have done little to relieve the minds of important figures such as Sussex and Wentworth as to their decision to join Mary. The move to Framlingham—increasing both her proximity and exposure to Northumberland's London forces—makes sense only if Mary was exploiting the scale and recent remodeling of Framlingham to bolster the confidence of her understandably nervous supporters. Local gentry, like Wingfield, certainly appreciated the estate's scale and history, as this quotation evidences. As the principal seat of the duke of Norfolk, it very likely contained his most expensive and richly decorated tapestries and furniture. The size and splendor of the castle would help to reassure Mary's worried supporters that she held impressive and substantial resources. It would remind them of her recent role as one of the preeminent magnates of the realm, of the political and religious agenda she shared with the Howard family, and her landed inheritance after Henry VIII's death as one of his heirs. In short, it was a more "fit" setting for her to stake her claim to the throne.

58Offering appropriate accommodation and hospitality emerges as something of theme in Wingfield's account. It was not simply Mary whom he presented as a political hostess, but also those who sheltered Mary on her way to Kenninghall and, later, on her triumphal progress to London after Northumberland conceded defeat on July 20. Wingfield carefully noted the names of those who received Mary on her way to Kenninghall, such an action amounting in itself to a declaration of allegiance. Sir John Huddleston welcomed Mary at Sawston Hall although it was "at the dead of night" on July 4, the same date on which she had left Hunsdon for Kenninghall. The next day, she found shelter at the house of Lady Burgh at Euston, whom Wingfield praised "for her ready and courteous services to her sovereign."43 Mary undertook these visits not because she lacked manors of her own in the area; in she held a number of estates, especially near Euston. Rather, she was using the journey to Kenninghall—forced upon her by circumstance—to ascertain the level of support she could expect from her neighbors, by "dropping in" unannounced to see how she would be received. The "courteous" reception offered by her neighbors and tenants was a form of political hospitality that carried the highest significance, and did not go unnoticed by Mary's enemies. On his way to engage Mary's forces at Framlingham, Northumberland paused to burn down Sawston Hall, the estate held by Sir John Huddleston, the first place Mary had visited after beginning her travels on hearing of Edward's death.44

59Even after Northumberland admitted defeat on July 19, the politics of hospitality continued to figure in Wingfield's narrative. Although the Privy Council had proclaimed Mary queen, the situation was still tense, since some supporters of the Grey regime had not yet been secured: the duke of Suffolk and Northumberland's sons were still on the loose. It was still plausible at this point that the privy councilors might change their minds, and send another army to intercept Mary. Even after July 19, receiving Mary still posed some risk (though arguably, there was now equal if not greater risk in refusing her shelter). When she arrived at Colchester a day or so after July 19, she stayed in the house of her mother's former privy chamber lady, Muriel Christmas, whom Wingfield praised as "scarcely without equal in birth and modest conditions."45 Henry, Lord Abergavenny, declared his support for her by hosting her and her household between Colchester and Ipswich.

60When Mary came to her old manor of Newhall, she remained there for several days. Its location near London made it serviceable as a place from which to begin taking the reins of power into her hands. Doubtless she was exhausted from the events of the last two weeks. As in the case of Framlingham, however, there is a hint in Wingfield's narrative that Mary was also displaying another of her impressive residences for the admiration of her relieved supporters. Wingfield, no stranger to domestic magnificence, referred to Newhall as "the lovely house" and praised Henry VIII for building it as another of his "admirable monuments."46 It was here that Mary held her first court as queen. Appearing before a backdrop of her extremely expensive and elaborate tapestries, sitting beneath her sumptuous cloth of estate and on richly appointed chairs, she publicly rebuked and imprisoned Henry Manners, earl of Rutland for his support of Northumberland. Afterwards, her supporters joined their queen at prayer in a chapel decorated with a window proclaiming her lineage with its depiction of her parents.47

61At Newhall, Mary received her old friend Frances Brandon, duchess of Suffolk, and granted her suit for a pardon for her husband; it was hinted that Brandon's daughter, Jane Grey, might also receive a pardon in due time.48 The Imperial ambassadors arrived there on the 29th for their first audience with the new queen. The crush of suitors became so great that the nearby towns and villages could no longer bear the strain of supplying food and supplies. Mary broke up the court on July 31 and made her way quickly to London, stopping for overnight stays at Sir William Petre's house, and at the crown manor of Havering. On August 3, after much deliberation with her Privy Council, she entered London for the first time.49

62Mary's entry as sovereign into the capital—where Jane Grey had so recently been proclaimed queen—was a ceremonial event laden with political importance, signified primarily through household display and urban hospitality. It was an opportunity for Mary to impress her royal status on her rebellious capital. She did this through a display of her household wealth. London residents, familiar with royal splendor, were, nevertheless, struck by the scale of Mary's magnificent display. The London undertaker, Henry Machyn, claimed that Mary's household retinue contained one thousand footmen in velvet coats and three thousand knights mounted on horses.50 The Tower chronicler, in the Chronicle of Queen Jane and Queen Mary, had more conservative estimates, but was still clearly impressed.51

63For their part, the people of London attempted through decoration to erase memories of having accepted the accession of Queen Jane. The gates, roads, storefronts and houses were all festooned with decorations. Crowds pressed Mary on all sides expressing their relief at her accession. Wingfield praised the "magnificent preparations" of the city and the later "magnificent pomp" of her entry to the Tower on August 10.52 To some extent, of course, this had been orchestrated by the government, so it should not be taken entirely at face value as a spontaneous expression of urban loyalty to the queen. Yet there is little reason to doubt Wingfield in his descriptions of the high level of tension throughout the capital, and of the way the people of the city treated the queen's entry as an opportunity to display their loyalty. London was evidently determined to welcome her as its sovereign, and indicated this by participating eagerly in the "magnificent preparations" for her entry. In return, Mary was equally determined to overawe her subjects with her household wealth, declaring her undoubted right to the throne by displaying for all to see the vast numbers of her richly attired domestic staff.

64In Mary's last days as a princely head of household, prior to her accession as queen, she continued to exploit her household's potential for material display. At a crucial moment in the succession crisis, Mary was able to reassure and consolidate her supporters by lodging them at Framlingham, a setting lavish enough to lend substance to her claim to throne. The move from Kenninghall to this more impressive estate arguably created the conditions in which material display played a determinative role in her eventual victory over the Grey regime. At Framlingham, Mary could present herself amid the architectural and material trappings of power. She continued this strategy when she held her first court at Newhall. Newhall was not only imposing as a property; it had also belonged to her as princess. Mary's residence there after Northumberland's concession of defeat established a link between her recent past as a princess and her present as queen; she was the rightful heir to the throne because she had lived in the style of one for the last seven years. Mary persisted in reinforcing this link when she entered London with a household retinue of footmen and knights, augmented by new recruits among the gentry and aristocracy. This display of her household staff served to underscore that Mary had already assumed a position of authority well before her successful claiming of the throne.


Princess Mary's Household Campaign for the Throne

65Mary's success in claiming the throne resulted from her ability to exploit her authority as a householder. According to Wingfield, Mary immediately enlisted the help of her household staff when she decided to assert her claim:

Having first taken counsel with her [household] advisers, she caused her whole household to be summoned, and told them all of the death of her brother Edward VI; the right to the Crown of England had therefore descended to her by divine and by human law after her brother's death, through God's high providence, and she was most anxious to inaugurate her reign with the aid of her most faithful servants, as partners in her fortunes. Roused by their mistress's words, everyone, both the gently-born and the humbler servants, cheered her to the rafters and hailed and proclaimed their dearest princess Mary as queen of England.53

66Wingfield stated that Mary asked not only for their aid, but that they risk even the ultimate sacrifice. She "passionately" exhorted "her followers at Kenninghall to try the hazard of death if need be." This was no exaggeration of the dangers. Thomas Hungate, one of her servants, "eagerly offered" to deliver her letter of defiance to the Privy Council. "Killing the messenger" was common practice in this period, so Hungate was literally risking his life by undertaking the commission. On his delivery of the letter, the Privy Council ordered that Hungate be taken to the Tower. According to Wingfield, Northumberland hinted darkly to the servant that he would not leave the Tower alive: "Hungate, I am truly sorry that it was your lot to be so immature and thus rashly to throw yourself away in this embassy."54

67While Hungate counted his days in the Tower, Mary sent out "swift messengers in all directions" to rouse her affinity and to proclaim her accession.55 Like Hungate, these messengers were undertaking dangerous missions. Those dispatched to towns and villages carried with them copies of Mary's proclamation of her accession. One of the messengers found himself obliged to flee for his life after he delivered Mary's proclamation in Ipswich, the local elite having already sided with Jane.56 Norwich officials refused to allow Mary's messengers entry into the city, claiming they had not received confirmation of the king's death. Sir Francis Englefield, one of Mary's senior officers, suffered imprisonment for his efforts on her behalf during this period.57

68Perhaps even greater risks were run by those charged with fulfilling Mary's command to recruit support from outside her affinity. In approaching those who had already declared themselves in support of the Grey regime, Mary's agents revealed themselves to the enemy, and declared an allegiance that would jeopardize their fortunes—perhaps even their lives—if Mary should lose or withdraw her claim. These risks were not merely conjectural. When Thomas Wharton, one of her servants, tried to persuade the Earl of Sussex to switch his support to her cause, he narrowly avoided an ambush laid for him by Robert Dudley, Northumberland's son, who had evidently been tipped off by Sussex.58 Despite these risks, Mary's servants carried out her orders with a remarkable degree of success. Wingfield's narrative—which conveys a whiff of the heady atmosphere at Mary's headquarters as news of successes reached Framlingham—dwells at length on the ways in which Mary's servants were able to turn such important magnates as the Earls of Sussex and Oxford, and to entice seven crown ships to defect to her cause.

69The first prize won by Mary's agents was the support of the Earl of Sussex. The circumstances of his switch from Northumberland to Mary reveal the stakes involved, and the means that she and her agents were prepared to employ to achieve their ends. According to Wingfield, Sir John Huddleston happened "by a lucky chance" to meet up with Henry Ratcliffe, the second son and namesake of the Earl of Sussex.59 Young Henry was on his way to London with letters from his father to the Privy Council, outlining suggestions for ways in which the government could secure Mary's arrest. Huddleston brought Henry before Mary, whom Wingfield claimed was "delighted with his arrival, just as much at the return of Huddleston, whom she greatly valued." The princess and her advisors promptly inspected the letters, gaining valuable intelligence in the process as to the Privy Council's plans. Wingfield hints, obliquely at first, that Henry was detained against his will at Kenninghall in order to secure the allegiance of his father: "she hoped to be able to win over the elder Henry to her cause through his son."

70Whether Huddleston had been sent to intercept young Henry specifically, or just to bring in anyone who might be useful, Wingfield's narrative suggests that Ratcliffe was forcibly apprehended by Huddleston. Evidently the letters were discovered in the course of searching young Henry and his possessions. Mary then held him hostage until his father, the earl, withdrew his support from the Grey regime. Mary may have felt compelled to resort to such tactics because Sussex had already refused to answer her summons sent via Thomas Wharton. Her detention of Sussex's son changed the earl's mind. At this point in his narrative, Wingfield does not bother to disguise the true nature of the hostage situation: "When the earl was told of his son's capture, he made haste to come to the queen."60 The account goes on to note that the earl himself was "finally sent off to return on an appointed day with a large military force" only after swearing fealty to Mary. Tellingly, Wingfield does not mention whether young Henry left with his father; it is highly probable that he remained with Mary, still a hostage, until his father returned with the promised troops. Fortunately for the young Ratcliffe, his father fulfilled his promise a couple of days later.

71Mary and her household were clearly prepared to play hardball. Sussex had been a prominent supporter of the Privy Council; it may have been in retaliation for the kidnapping of his son that the Privy Council instructed three prisoners in the Tower to prepare for death; all three were either supporters of Mary, or related to families associated with her. This group was composed of Thomas Howard, duke of Norfolk; Stephen Gardiner, bishop of Winchester; and Edward Courtenay, earl of Devon.61 Northumberland's decision to burn Sawston Hall may also have been in retaliation not only for Sir John Huddlestone's sheltering of the princess on her way to Kenninghall, but also for his role in the kidnapping of Henry Ratcliffe.

72Another important recruit who was subjected at least to severe pressure—and perhaps outright coercion—was Sir Thomas Cornwallis. He was a member of a distinguished gentry family in Suffolk, and currently served as sheriff of Norfolk and Suffolk. Along with other important local men such as Thomas, Lord Wentworth, he had complied with the Edwardian edict to proclaim Jane as queen at Ipswich, and helped to chase away Mary's messenger. Had this situation persisted, it would have been a serious setback for the princess, since Ipswich was close to her estates. If she could not win Ipswich, a part of her affinity, there would be faint hope indeed of swaying the country as a whole to her cause. Noting a general lack of enthusiasm for Queen Jane, Cornwallis hastened to London to confer with the Privy Council. On the way he ran into John Colby, a Marian agent, "quite by chance."62 Colby claimed that he had just returned from London, having observed at first hand that public opinion was not in support the Grey succession. He managed to convince Cornwallis that he should return to Ipswich and proclaim Mary. As the princess journeyed to Framlingham, Colby brought Cornwallis before her to do homage. Her reception of Cornwallis suggests the importance of securing Ipswich for her cause, and perhaps hints furthermore that Cornwallis did not switch to her side voluntarily. According to Wingfield, Mary "seemed to berate the man for being somewhat slow and stubborn and less mindful of his duty than he ought to have been despite the repeated requests of her letters."63 Wingfield claims that only the intervention of Sir Henry Jerningham, one of Mary's most trusted household officers, spared Cornwallis further unspecified embarrassment—possibly even imprisonment—at Mary's hands.

73Wingfield's narrative does not give any overt indication of the means by which Mary's cause enlisted the support of Thomas, Lord Wentworth, one of the leading magnates of East Anglia and head of Wingfield's own regional affinity.64 It does concede that Mary dispatched two of her servants, John Tyrrell and Edward Glemham, with specific orders "to draw into her party Thomas Wentworth." Later, Wingfield admitted that Tyrrell and Glemham had given Wentworth "the queen's command." Given Wentworth's known Protestant sympathies and his insistence on proclaiming Jane as Queen in Ipswich, it is worth considering what possible means of persuasion Tyrrell and Glemham might have used to induce Wentworth to desert the Grey regime. Wingfield, as one of Wentworth's clients, was at pains to exonerate his patron, claiming that Wentworth was only following orders when he proclaimed Jane at Ipswich but that "his inner conscience constantly proclaimed that Mary had a greater right to the throne."65 Perhaps.

74Another ready inducement was available to Tyrrell and Glemham, in the form of the proximity of Mary's forces to Wentworth's Suffolk estates. Mary had waited until she was established in Framlingham, near the very center of the county, before she sent her agents to Wentworth. From Framlingham, Mary could threaten almost any estate in the county. By the time her agents met with Wentworth on July 13, he had far more to fear from Mary than from Northumberland, who had not yet left London (doing so only the next day). Mary's forces were in a position to raid Wentworth's estates long before Northumberland could come to his protection. Wentworth likely made the calculation that, even if he were to find that he had switched his support to the losing side in the event that Northumberland ultimately prevailed, he could legitimately claim that he had been obliged to surrender to Mary under duress, in order to preserve his estates.

75The princess had selected Tyrrell and Glemham to deliver her "command" because they were among Wentworth's closest associates.66 Perhaps she hoped that Wentworth would believe their testimony as to the strength at her forces, and of her resolve. She subsequently dispatched Sir Henry Jerningham, one of her senior household officers, to check on the progress of the efforts to gain Wentworth's support.67 This indicates the complexity and delicacy of the situation; Tyrrell and Glemham were close to Wentworth, so there was a risk that they themselves would be persuaded by Wentworth to switch allegiances rather than the other way around. Mary evidently sent Jerningham to ascertain the situation and, probably, to issue more dire threats against Wentworth if Tyrrell and Glemham had failed in their commission or gone over to the other side. Mary's proximity and the growing numbers of her forces could certainly help to explain the quick success of Tyrrell and Glemham's commission.

76Not only were Mary's agents prepared to resort to heavy-handed tactics to secure the support of magnates for their mistress; they were also on the alert for exploitable opportunities. On their way back from their meeting with Wentworth, Tyrrell and Glemham met Sir Henry Jerningham on July 14.68 Jerningham informed them that he had conferred along the way with another of the princess' agents, Philip Williams, and learned that there were approximately half a dozen ships lying off the nearby harbor of Orwell. According to Williams, the crews of these ships were on the point of mutiny. Wingfield claims that the crews' discontent arose over the Grey succession, but scholarship suggests that the crews were more concerned over poor conditions and lack of pay.69 The end result was that Jerningham persuaded the crews to mutiny and declare for Mary. He had secured for his mistress royal ships "laden with soldiers and weaponry."70 This was such a stroke of good fortune that Jerningham insisted the squadron leader accompany him back to Framlingham in order to inform Mary personally "of this happy and unexpected arrival to the queen."71 Thus, Mary not only received an unexpected windfall in the form of naval support, but more importantly managed to weaken (mainly on a symbolic level) the Privy Council's war effort.

77As if these considerable activities were not enough, Mary's agents also engaged in spreading rumors useful to her cause, and in opening up a second military front. I am persuaded by David Loades's speculation that when Mary's messengers proclaimed their mistress Queen, they did not hesitate to exaggerate the size of her forces or the level of support she enjoyed amongst the populace.72 The rumor mill was particularly active during the crisis, and logic suggests that the princess' servants were behind damaging false reports such as the claim that she had already defeated and captured Northumberland's son and lieutenant, Lord Robert Dudley. The Imperial ambassadors, who reported that the Privy Council was shaken by the rumor concerning Dudley, also sent dispatches to Charles V indicating the general mood at court was feeding on (Marian?) disinformation exaggerating the size of her army.73 The ambassadors themselves were duped by these rumors. Initially, Mary had attempted to keep them informed, but the speed of events and her own movements to Kenninghall and then Framlingham meant that she was unable to send word to them until later, and then only to ask for Imperial troops.74

78Around July 17, Sir Edward Hastings and Sir Edmund Peckham, two of her servants, even organized an armed uprising on her behalf in Northamptonshire and Buckinghamshire, hoping to force Northumberland to split his forces as he made his way to Framlingham via Cambridgeshire.75 Hastings' connection to Mary's household, if any, is unclear; he certainly acted as if he were one of her retainers, in that his support of Mary placed him at odds with his brother, Francis Hastings, earl of Huntingdon, ardent supporter of the Grey regime and an ally of Jane's family by marriage. Wingfield identified Peckham as one of Mary's servants, and reported that Northumberland began to despair when he heard of the Peckham/Hastings uprising. In place of what he had initially considered a minor household insurrection, Northumberland now found himself faced with two simultaneous uprisings on either side of his advancing army. Within a couple of days of this new Marian uprising, Northumberland conceded defeat; he himself proclaimed Mary queen at Cambridge.

79Mary's exploitation of her elite household and regional standing was in line with a long-standing tradition of medieval lordship and regional affinity that remained current in sixteenth-century England. As recently as 1549, the earl of Arundel had suppressed rebellions against royal authority in Sussex, the location of his estates. Arundel performed his commission largely by mobilizing his household and affinity.76 In Mary's cause, her household culture of reverence foreshadowed this display of deep commitment and unswerving loyalty on the part of her household officers and non-resident affinity. Mary's household—both its resident staff and nonresident retainers—obeyed her in this as it had done so often before. Her staff risked their lives, their possessions, and their freedom, to help Mary make good her claim to the throne. If she had lost, Mary's agents and officers would not only have had to answer to Northumberland and the Privy Council, but also to the earl of Sussex, Sir Thomas Cornwallis, and Thomas, Lord Wentworth. Kidnapping an earl's son and threatening a local magnate were hardly the most likely means of prolonging one's life in mid-Tudor England. Unlike the Privy Council, Mary did not have the authority to muster national troops; she did not have a navy, nor access to the royal treasury. She did not have the support of the nobility, judges, and government ministers. What she did have—apparently in striking contrast to Queen Jane—were servants and agents prepared to risk everything on her behalf. As Wingfield put it: "they did not hesitate to face an untimely death for their queen."77 Another important asset possessed by Mary and lacked by her rival was an affinity.

80The most important of the commissions that Mary's household servants fulfilled were her orders to raise her affinity—her neighbors, tenants, leaseholders. Her gentry neighbors, in particular, functioned as informal household retainers, judging from their behavior during the succession crisis. Their support was arguably instrumental in Mary's eventual victory, in that the commitment of her affinity to her cause bestowed on the princess the appearance of a popular mandate to assume sovereign authority.

81Wingfield's narrative placed great emphasis on Mary's support among the East Anglian gentry. This is not surprising, since Wingfield was himself a member of an established gentry family in Suffolk. To my knowledge, there is no evidence that contradicts Wingfield's assertions; scholars generally accept that the strength of Mary's following came from the areas in which where her estates were located.78 As her visits to Huddlestone and Burgh indicate, Mary's first impulse was to raise her affinity. She quickly dispatched messengers "to draw all the gentlemen of the surrounding countryside to do fealty to their sovereign."79

82The list of those who first joined her at Kenninghall consists almost exclusively of magnates and gentry whose estates were near hers. Gentry from Norfolk and Suffolk, such as Sir Henry Bedingfield, Sir Richard Southwell, and Sir John Mordaunt were with Mary by July 12. Other gentry from these counties who responded quickly to Mary's call included Sir William Drury, Sir John Shelton, Clement Heigham, John Sulyard, Sir Edmund Peckham, and Sir John Huddleston. They all possessed estates in the counties in which Mary's lands were most densely clustered—Norfolk, Suffolk, and Essex. In fact, there was a sizable contingent of gentry supporters from the vicinity of Mary's holdings on the east Suffolk/south Norfolk border. Among these were Sir Edward Rous; Owen Hopton; the aforementioned John Tyrrell; Thomas Steynings, formerly steward of the Howard estates centered on Framlingham; Francis Jermy; Alexander Newton; the aforementioned Edward Glemham; and Edward Mone.80

83These local gentlemen did not simply present themselves as individuals in Mary's service. When Mary arrived at Framlingham on the evening of July 12, Wingfield reported that there were "as many as possible of the local gentry and justices, together with a crowd of country folk" who had answered her summons. Edward Mone came to Mary "laden with the money that he had collected" as part of his duties as King Edward's tax collector, which he now offered to the princess. Many brought other family members: Bedingfield brought his brothers; Drury his son; John Brewse brought his brother. More importantly, men like Bedingfield and Southwell came to the princess "amply provided with money, provisions and armed men."81 They brought their own retainers, tenants, and clients—their own affinities.

84Mary was gathering together a gentry power base centered on her estates in east Suffolk and south Norfolk. It is in this context that her determination "to draw" Thomas, Lord Wentworth "into her party" should be viewed. Wentworth's influence had been primarily responsible for Cornwallis's decision initially to proclaim Jane in Ipswich, despite Mary's repeated orders to the contrary. Wentworth's extensive estates in Suffolk gave him the potential, already fulfilled in the course of this crisis, to become a dangerous counterweight to Mary's sphere of influence in the county. Her goal therefore must be not simply to neutralize Wentworth, but actually to win him over. When he finally made the decision to support Mary (or perhaps gave way in the face of her threats), he brought with him "a not inconsiderable military force."82 This consisted of over a dozen representatives of leading county gentry families, all with their own retainers. Wingfield's narrative lingers over the list of Wentworth's followers: Sir Richard Cavendish, Sir Henry Doyle, Lionel Tollemache, Edward Withipoll, John Southwell, Francis Nunn, and John Colby. These men would never sit on the Privy Council nor hold government office of national import, but they, along with other regional gentry, formed the foundation of Mary's army. The harsh recruitment of Sussex was undertaken with similar hopes of a windfall in the form of gentry support. Holding his son as hostage, Mary was able to force Sussex not only to refrain from lending his considerable backing to the putative Grey regime, but to swell Mary's forces with his "cohort of both horsemen and foot-soldiers."83

85Mary's support was, of necessity, drawn mainly from her gentry affinity. Other regional magnates had all signed Edward VI's "Device." Of the three leading magnates which she did eventually recruit to her standard—the earls of Bath and Sussex, and Lord Wentworth—only Bath joined her voluntarily. Significantly, John Bourchier, earl of Bath, held estates which were near Mary's manor of Hunsdon. By right of his wife, Margaret Kitson, Bath held the impressive manor of Hengrave Hall, which he made into his principal seat after his marriage.84 Wingfield records that as Mary journeyed from Hunsdon to Kenninghall, stopping off at Thetford, the earl of Bath met her and pledged his support. His knowledge of her whereabouts suggests that she summoned him to her on her way from Hunsdon to Thetford.85 Bath was the one magnate whose proximity and behavior suggests that he served in an informal capacity as her retainer. Like Sussex and Wentworth, Bath brought with him "a large band of soldiers."

86David Loades has argued persuasively that Mary thwarted the Edwardian succession "because her affinity was strong enough to throw down an initial challenge."86 He identified her gentry support among her affinity as the element that tipped the balance in Mary's favor. Loades also pinpointed the efforts of her household officers as the fundamental basis for the success of the whole enterprise. My investigations into the ways in which Mary's household functioned, its agenda and culture, the extent of her properties, and the still-important feudal role of landlord/overlord, support Loades's argument. They also support his suggestion that the suspiciously swift response in readying their household retinues by many of Mary's neighbors such as Sir Henry Bedingfield and Sir Richard Southwell was evidence that they had previously been alerted that this might be asked of them—most likely by Mary's servants. Also, Mary was able to provide all of her many messengers with proclamations, suggesting these had been drafted beforehand in preparation. As Loades observed: "It takes very careful organization to create such effective spontaneity."87 The king's illness was well known, and the new succession an open secret. The Framlingham grant suggests that Mary knew of the Edwardian succession plan from mid-April onward, and therefore had plenty of time to galvanize her household into making the preparations that would be needed, should she decide to indulge in one of her favorite pastimes—gambling—by reneging on her deal with the Privy Council and challenging the Grey succession. In this instance, she was literally going "all in", staking her life, her properties, her status and those of her dependents and supporters.

87Jennifer Loach has pointed out that those who initially supported Mary's bid were overwhelmingly Catholic. Protestant families within Mary's Norfolk affinity, such as the Heydons and the L'Stranges, did not answer her summons.88 Loach has emphasized that the propaganda issued by the Grey regime—proclamations, speeches, and letters—all emphasized Mary's traditionalist beliefs. Loach concludes that Mary herself was "not making the fatal error of which historians usually accuse her when she assumed that her triumph had proved that Catholicism was still a political force."89

88The Protestantism of both Sussex and Wentworth accounted for their reluctance to join Mary's standard, and helps to explain why she and her household/affinity felt it necessary to resort to force and threats of violence. As Loades argued, it was the quick response of Mary's affinity which ensured her victory; as Loach asserted, however, it was her Catholic affinity that initially answered her summons, whereas the more important Protestant holdouts, such as Wentworth and Sussex, had to be "persuaded." I would further argue that it was not just the Privy Council who stressed Mary's Catholicism, but also her household propaganda machine. As Loach noted, Mary's traditional beliefs were shared by the majority of her subjects. It seems quite likely that along with exaggerating the size of Mary's forces, her "scouts," as Wingfield called her staff, also emphasized her Catholicism to those favorable to it, while downplaying it to those who were not.90

89Wingfield made a point of listing all the senior officers and other members of the household who had been especially active during the crisis because "it is unfitting to relegate to the obscurity of an unthankful silent the names of those to whom their country and their most gentle sovereign owe so much."91 He is surely correct in his declaration that Mary owed her household a profound debt. When she asked them to risk all in her cause at Kenninghall, they complied. They drafted proclamations, alerted her affinity, kidnapped nobles, posted her proclamations in hostile towns, spread rumors, encouraged mutiny on royal warships, carried her defiance to the Privy Council itself and, through it all, risked and endured imprisonment and depredations to their goods. Thus, Mary was elevated to the throne not just by right of blood, parliamentary legislation, or general support among the populace, but through the activities of her household staff on behalf of "their dearest princess."


Elizabeth's Shadow Court: July 1553–November 1558

90It is unfortunate for this study that I cannot devote equal space to the ways in which Elizabeth was able to utilize her household to effect her accession. Historical events contrived to limit Elizabeth's ability fully to exploit her position as head of a princely household. No sooner had she left her teens—turning twenty in September 1553—by now beyond doubt mature enough to rule her household and stabilize her estates, than she found herself deprived of her household. Queen Mary suspected her sister's complicity in the Wyatt rebellion of January-February 1554, and imprisoned the princess throughout 1554, firstly in the Tower and later under strict house arrest. Thereafter, Elizabeth was kept under less strict conditions, but was not officially in command of her household until the end of Mary's reign in November 1558. Although Elizabeth's freedom of movement was more constricted than Mary's had been when she was Edward VI's heir, I argue that she was still able to exploit the same household assets—display, corporate identity, and affinity—that Mary employed so successfully in the summer of 1553. Like her sister before her, and despite her not being technically in command of her household, Elizabeth was able to draw on her household resources to ensure that there was a smooth transition of power from one queen to another—to continue the female succession.

91As noted earlier, Elizabeth's actions during the succession crisis are difficult to pinpoint concretely. Her reversionary grants to Northumberland present good evidence that she, like Mary, initially colluded with the Grey succession plan. Mary's victory over the Grey regime was also a win for Elizabeth; as a consequence, the younger princess was now incontestably the heir to the throne. More than ever before, she was now a figure of national significance. The princess wasted no time in demonstrating her grasp of her new status, and her determination to exploit it, through a display of household force. As Mary progressed toward London from Newhall in July 1553, Elizabeth entered London in anticipation of greeting the new Queen at the city gates. She entered London on July 29, a couple of days before the queen's expected arrival. As the princess rode through the city streets on her way to her manor of Somerset Place, her household made quite an impression on the populace—doubtless the whole point of the exercise—as recorded by the diarist, Henry Machyn:

The sam day cam rydyng thrugh London my lade Elysabeths grace, and thrugh Fletstreet, and so to my [lord of] Somersett('s) place that was, and yt ys my lade grasys [place; attended] with ij M horse, with speres and bowes and gunes, and odur [weapons and the cloth according to their qualities]. . .and spesyall sir John Wylliam, sir John Brygys, master Chamb[urlain] all in gren gardyd with whytt welvett saten taffaty.92

Two days later, Machyn reported that "rod thrugh London my lade Elysabeth to Algatt, and so to the qwens grace her sester, with a M1. hors with a C. velvett cotes."93

92The significance of this household display of military force becomes apparent in Camden's biography of Elizabeth. He estimates the number of Elizabeth's household retainers at less than half of the figure quoted by Machyn. Camden also justifies the display, and thereby highlights its controversial aspect: "MARY proclaimed Queene through all parts of England, who comming toward the Citie of London with an Armie, ELIZABETH (not to bee wanting, her Sisters cause and hers being yet disquieted) went accompanied with fiue hundred Horse to meet her vpon the way."94 In actuality, the "cause" had been decided for almost two weeks. Thus, Camden's declaration that Elizabeth's forces were there to aid Mary's bid for the throne was either the result of his confusion over the progress of the crisis, or else an attempt to gloss over some of the more aggressive implications of Elizabeth's household retinue.

93If Elizabeth's armed household was not strictly necessary from a military viewpoint, then the logical conclusion is that she was making an unsubtle and highly public statement about her new status as heir to the throne. Elizabeth was flexing her household muscle to impress upon onlookers that she was a person of consequence second only to the Queen. Just like her sister, Elizabeth was prepared to take the throne by force should anyone challenge her claims.

94It is unlikely that Elizabeth intended to upstage or embarrass her half-sister, but Mary appears to have been concerned about Elizabeth's household display. Although, as Queen, she greeted Elizabeth's senior household officers with overt affection (probably paying special attention to those who had served in the combined household she had shared with Elizabeth in 1530s), she nevertheless issued a spate of proclamations the very next day ordering a general disarmament.95 She commanded that all soldiers, "other than such as arre by specyall commandemente appoyntede to attende uppon the Quenes Highnes' person," were to return home.96 She ordered furthermore that certain noblemen now gathered in London were to disperse their household forces. Elizabeth was not named in any of these proclamations, but neither were her forces exempted from the designation of "specyall commandemente". Under the terms of the proclamations, she would have to disband her household retinue. Queen Mary had, in fact, already issued a similar proclamation on July 21.97 There should have been no need to issue a second such proclamation, fewer than ten days after the first. It is hard to avoid the conclusion that Mary's decision to do so, the very day after she was confronted with her heir's impressive household army, was aimed specifically at Elizabeth.

95Whatever Elizabeth's intentions, it was a risky undertaking to display her household forces to a monarch who had just succeeded in taking the throne through her own exhibition of household might. From this time, Queen Mary would demonstrate an acute sensitivity regarding Princess Elizabeth's household. Before the year was out, around the end of November, the Queen admitted to the Imperial ambassador that she did not like to think of Elizabeth succeeding her because the princess' household was staffed by Protestants.98 This was an ominous statement that presaged a campaign of government harassment of Elizabeth and her household, variable in its intensity, that ran from February 1554 until the end of Mary's reign in November 1558. Throughout, Elizabeth's role as head of household and landowner came under the hostile scrutiny of the crown.

96An instance of Mary's keen interest in the activities of Elizabeth and her household occurred in the wake of the Wyatt rebellion. In January 1554, Sir Thomas Wyatt led this uprising against Queen Mary in response to her announcement that she would marry Prince Philip of Spain. In February, after Wyatt narrowly failed in a bid to take London, he was arrested. The government suspected that Elizabeth not only had prior knowledge of the plot but might even have been among the conspirators, since Wyatt confessed that the aim of the rebellion was to replace Queen Mary with the princess. Among the charges leveled against Elizabeth was that she had placed her residences on alert on Wyatt's warning. Specifically, the government interrogators focused on reports that Elizabeth had fortified her manor at Donnington. During an interrogation in the Tower, the princess had an exchange with Stephen Gardiner, bishop of Winchester (Queen Mary's chief minister) which has become famous through its dissemination in popular biographies of Elizabeth. The original source of the story is Foxe, who probably derived it from the testimony of one of Elizabeth's servants. Significantly for this study, Gardiner's investigation hinged on the state of Elizabeth's manors and her rights as a property owner:

[Gardiner and the Privy Council] examined her of the talke that was at Ashridge, betwyxte her and Syr James Acroft [one of the rebels], concerning her remouing from thence to Donnington castel, requiring her to declare what shee ment thereby. At the fyrste, she beyng so sodaynlye asked, dyd not well remember any such house but within a whyle, wel aduisiyng her self, she sayd: In dede (quoth she) I do nowe remember that I haue suche a place. But I neuer laye in it in all my lyfe. And as for any that hath moued me therunto I do not remember . . . [Gardiner brings in Croft and Elizabeth says she has nothing to say to him] And as concerning my going vnto Donnington Castel, I do remember that mayster Hoby and mine officers, and you, Syr James Acrofte had such talke: but is that to the purpose, my Lordes, but that I may go to my owne houses at al times.99

97Elizabeth's biographers have included this episode as a demonstration of the princess' quick thinking. Having temporarily dropped the ball with the patently unconvincing statement that she did not remember owning a place called Donnington, she then recovered and asserted that as a property owner, there was nothing sinister in and of itself in scheduling a visit to any of her manors. What is especially important for this study is that Elizabeth's position as head of household and landowner provided her with exploitable opportunities, but at the same time furnished evidence against her. Although her fortifications of Donnington invited the suspicion that she was in league with Wyatt, her role as head of household helped preserve her status whilst she answered government interrogators in the Tower.

98Foxe again is the source of another interesting episode that has rarely found its way into the narratives of the legion of Elizabeth's biographers. Perhaps its mundane focus on the correct manner of serving food to a princess has been thought unlikely to arouse the interest of modern readers. For the purposes of this study, it is Foxe's concern with the efforts of Elizabeth's servants to see that their mistress received service appropriate to an heir to the throne that makes it worth quoting at length here:

. . . that daye or there aboutes, diuers of her own officers . . . [requested the Lord Lieutenant of the Tower] to geue such order that her viands [food] might at al tymes be brought in by them which were appointed therunto. Yea syrs, sayd he, who appointed you this office? They answered, her graces Cou[n]sel. Counsel (quoth he), there is none of the[m] which hath to do, either in that case, or any thing else with in this place: and I assure you, for that shee is a prisoner, she shal be serued with the Lieutenauntes men as other the prisoners are. Wherat the gentlemen [of Elizabeth's household] sayd that they trused for more fauour at hys handes, considering her personage . . .100

99According to Foxe, Elizabeth's servants succeeded in maintaining awareness of her status as heir to the throne even during a period when she was, officially, a prisoner of the state on suspicion of treason. By preventing Tower officials from employing their own "common" servants from waiting on Elizabeth, her staff ensured that the princess literally received special treatment. Moreover, her staff insisted that their authority derived from their position as members of her household Privy Council, which the Tower constable properly claimed had little authority within the Tower itself. Foxe asserted nevertheless that the crown upheld the authority of Elizabeth's servants to regulate her environment.

100In essence, two parallel authority structures existed within the Tower, thanks to the efforts of Elizabeth's household staff. The traditional establishment of the lieutenant of the Tower and his staff continued to exist; alongside it, however, was that of the Princess Elizabeth and her staff. This was unusual. Even noble prisoners generally had to petition the Privy Council for permission to have just one of their household servants attend them in the Tower, or to have the Tower officials prepare special meals because of health considerations.101 In a striking departure, Elizabeth's staff had so established their authority (according to Foxe) that they were able to defy the Lieutenant himself and refuse his order that his cook serve Elizabeth's food. Only "her own sworne men" were worthy to serve the heir to the throne.   

101There is some corroboration of Foxe's depiction in the correspondence of the princess' subsequent jailer, Sir Henry Bedingfield. He escorted Elizabeth from the Tower in April 1554 to the manor of Woodstock. Shortly after her arrival, the princess' staff immediately began agitating to have the house outfitted properly to reflect her position as heiress presumptive. On May 27, Bedingfield complained to the Privy Council that: "Cornwallys, the gentleman usher, dydde move me to assente that the cloth off estate sholde by hanged upp for hyr grace, wherunto I directlye sayde naye tyll yor lordeshipps plesures were known therin."102 Elizabeth's servants considered that she was entitled to the cloth of estate as a material expression of her place in the succession. The crown's response to this request has not survived.

102According to Bedingfield, Elizabeth's servants exerted themselves to maintain the princess' status, not only as heir, but also as head of household and property owner. As already noted, her household refused to disband during the the period of her incarceration. It not only remained intact as a body, installing itself menacingly nearby, but also continued to function as the administrative headquarters for the management of her properties. On May 28, the Privy Council authorized a Mr. Smith to visit Elizabeth to discuss one of her properties, because it "doth moche importe hym to speke wth the ladye Elizabeth."103 The biggest thorn in Bedingfield's side was Thomas Parry. As Elizabeth's cofferer, Bedingfield despaired that he was unable to "avoyde by enye possible mene, butte that daylye & howerlye the sayde Parye maye have & gyve intelligence" on nefarious "enterprises" both to and from Elizabeth by virtue of his necessary daily contact with his mistress. Parry's anomalous status as Elizabeth's senior household officer meant that his own freedom of movement was essentially unrestricted, even though the princess was herself under house arrest. This rendered him, according to Bedingfield, "wonderouselye fytte to dooe theys enterp[ri]ses yff he be disposed thereto."104

103Not only were Elizabeth's servants exploiting the situation to the advantage of themselves and of the princess, keeping her informed of events and smuggling in forbidden items such as books; the princess herself agitated to gain and retain recognition as mistress of princely household.105 Through Thomas Parry, she claimed that she needed authority to issue her own warrants in order to see her household adequately supplied with venison. Parry supported her in this by asserting that the keeper of Enfield Park refused to recognize an order that did not come from Elizabeth herself. The Privy Council denied this request to issue warrants in her own name; she was after all a state prisoner whose legal standing was, at best, unclear.106 Elizabeth campaigned, again unsuccessfully, to choose her own servants as replacements for the queen's agents who initially formed the staff at Woodstock.107 When Bedingfield pointed out that he was, officially, the governor of her household and thus "appointed there to be one of her officers," the princess snapped: "From such officers good lord deliuer me."108

104Foxe related an episode involving one of Elizabeth's many attempts to assert her household authority, and its collision with Bedingfield's stiff resistance. Again, it is worth quoting at some length, as it illustrates the convergence of status and household authority, and Elizabeth's feeling that she was humiliated by the inability to send her own servants on even mundane errands:

. . . and standinge by her while she wrote (whiche he [Bedingfield] straightly obserued) all wayes she being wery, would carry away her letters, and bring them agayn when shee called for them. In the finishing therof, he wold haue bene messenger to the quene of the same whose request her grace denied saying, one of her owne men should cary them, and that she would neither truste him, nor none of his therabouts. Then he answering againe said: none of them durst be so bolde he trowed to cary her letters being in that case. Yes quod she, I am assured, I haue none so dishonest, that would deny my request in that behalfe, but will be as willing to serue me now as before. Well, sayd he, my commission is to the contrary, and may not so suffer it . . .109

105This quotation contains an interesting instance of the correlation between household authority and political standing. When Bedingfield claimed that none of Elizabeth's servants would dare to carry her letters to the queen, he was seeking to imply that the princess' political disgrace was so complete that her servants were reluctant to be identified, especially in London, as members of her household. This prompted a hot denial from Elizabeth that her servants were not distancing themselves from their positions as members of her staff; they were not "so dishonest." Bedingfield's accusation also elicited another angry rejection of his services as her officer.

106Given the ceaseless efforts of her household and of the princess herself to have her status as heir to the throne and householder recognized and maintained, Bedingfield found his assignment practically impossible to fulfill. Within a few months, in August, he wrote to the council begging to be relieved of duty.110 It was extremely difficult to keep Elizabeth under strict house arrest, while also allowing her to remain a property owner with an attendant household so that she could pay the costs of her household and that of her jailer as well. The princess and her officers clearly exploited the situation in every way available.

107Although the queen was unhappy at the prospect of Elizabeth succeeding her, she does not appear to have had any interest in reducing the princess' status as a landowner and householder. Mary could have certainly deprived her half-sister of some of her lands, or made proposals of unequal exchanges similar to those she herself had initially received from Edward VI in late 1552. In fact, the queen seems to have colluded with Elizabeth's servants in maintaining her status. Among her initial instructions to Bedingfield was the warning that he was to carry out his duties as jailer "in suche goode & honorable sorte as maye be agreable to or honor and hir [Elizabeth's] estate & degree."111 Evidently, the queen's policy was to deprive Elizabeth of the opportunity fully to exploit the resources of her princely household—no more household armies, fortified castles, or devoted servants sharing her residence—while preserving her administrative headquarters as a means of collecting revenues and supplying the household.

108The motivations for this policy were mostly financial and, to a lesser degree, political and personal. Elizabeth was paying for her imprisonment in currency not just political but literal. Since Bedingfield and his brothers and their personal servants were now technically members of her household, Elizabeth was obliged to pay for their room and board, much to Thomas Parry's disgust.112 Of course, Elizabeth was still responsible for her own servants, who had set up headquarters at the nearby inn. Allowing Elizabeth to keep her lands provided her with the means to bankroll her own imprisonment.

109The political situation provided further incentive to refrain from depriving Elizabeth entirely of her household and property. Mary's continued childlessness, combined with the 1544 Act of Succession, meant that Elizabeth was heir to the throne. Having fought on her own behalf to uphold the Act, Mary was unwilling to sponsor any serious public moves that would undermine it.113 She was even willing to allow Elizabeth to retain something of her princely estate through her household, even if it was ostensibly shorn of much of its military and political power.

110Finally, it is important not to lose sight of the cordial relations that Mary and Elizabeth had enjoyed until the older half-sister's accession. Mary's reluctance to condone extreme action against her younger half-sister, her concern that Elizabeth be well treated, and her unwillingness to deprive the princess of her estates are not too surprising, considering their blood ties and formerly good relationship. The evidence suggests that Mary wished to contain and neutralize Elizabeth's destabilizing potential as the legal heir, rather than to remove her permanently from the succession by any means other than the birth of an heir of her own body.

111Whatever the motivation, the crown's decision not to deprive Elizabeth of her estates, and the actions of both the princess and her servants to exploit this meant, that she was practically unimprisonable. As a landowner, she had to maintain some form of household to serve as an administrative center, even while she herself was under house arrest. This, in turn, necessitated that she consult regularly with her treasurer. It also provided an excuse for her household to remain constituted even if separated from her physically. This allowed her servants to agitate on her behalf, to bring her contraband books and correspondence, and to ensure simply by wearing her livery while engaged on errands that the public did not forget her status as heir. Those few servants allowed to reside with Elizabeth took full advantage of the situation to insist that the princess receive preferential treatment, and the material trappings of royalty. Like her sister, Elizabeth benefitted from the corporate household which, in part, derived its identity from her. This corporate identity motivated her servants to take such actions as they could to maintain her public image as heir apparent and head of a princely household. Without her household and estates, Elizabeth would likely have faced a stricter imprisonment and a much more complete political eclipse. Her household ensured that Mary's policy of containment would enjoy, at best, only limited success.

112Bedingfield's warning that Thomas Parry could convey "intelligence" to the princess is an indication that Elizabeth's servants were performing yet another important function for their mistress: maintaining her political network. As detailed later, the princess continued to reach out to leading politicians during Mary's reign as she had done in Edward's. Again, her household provided the safe context in which to do this. The difference now was that Elizabeth was doing more than acquiring useful political contacts: she was gathering recruits for her own future administration. As Queen Mary's childlessness continued and her health deteriorated, it became increasingly clear that a new succession was imminent. The succession crisis of 1553, however, meant that it was unwise for the princess or her servants to assume that her accession would receive no challenge. Accordingly, Elizabeth's princely household performed one last but vital service for her: they alerted her affinity to be ready to defend the princess' accession by military force.

113As Mary lay dying in November 1558, her husband, Philip II of Spain, dispatched Gómez Suárez de Figueroa, Count de Feria as a special envoy to protect Spanish interests during the forthcoming transfer of power, and to remain thereafter as a resident ambassador. He arrived on November 9 and quickly concluded that there was no hope of Mary's recovery.114 On his initial arrival, Feria noted that the privy councilors were extremely nervous about the way that Elizabeth would treat them once she became queen. Nevertheless, Feria already understood that at least one among them, Sir John Mason, was a "gran fauorido de Madama Ysabel" who was known to keep the princess informed on Privy Council deliberations.115 The next day, November 10, Feria visited Elizabeth and quickly learned that the princess had suborned others besides Sir John Mason; in fact, she had a transition team already in place, preparing for her imminent accession.

114Feria found Elizabeth staying at Brockett's Hall, the home of her tenant, Sir John Brockett. Feria immediately noted the presence in the house of Elizabeth Fitzgerald Fiennes, Lady Clinton, the wife of Admiral Clinton. She was apparently visiting, and was invited, along with Feria, to dine with the princess. The political hospitality on offer was successful, as Feria confessed that he thoroughly enjoyed himself.116 During what Feria considered to be an unsettling interview afterward, Elizabeth readily admitted that she had been in contact with most of the important noble and political figures of the day, and that they had all sent assurances of their loyalty. Evidently, Feria could see for himself that all the Protestant nobility and gentry had already flocked to Elizabeth.117 Among them, according to his account, were Francis Russell, Earl of Bedford; Lord Robert Dudley; Sir Nicholas Throckmorton; Sir Peter Carew; and John Harrington (who had married one of Elizabeth's privy chamber women, Isabella Markham). As far as Feria was concerned, they were all either heretics or traitors. They were certainly all Protestants, and had all been involved in either the Grey succession, or in the Wyatt and Dudley rebellions during Mary's reign.

115It was clear to Feria that Elizabeth's support was drawn not merely from those who opposed the Marian regime. He observed that the princess knew everyone of importance in the kingdom.118 He went on to name specific ministers who were already in Elizabeth's pocket; the list is impressive indeed. They included the chancellor, Nicholas Heath, bishop of Worcester; William Paget, Lord Privy Seal; Sir William Petre, Secretary; Dr. Nicholas Wotton, former ambassador to France and now one of the commissioners at Cercamp negotiating for a peace with France; Edward Fiennes, Lord Admiral Clinton, who was keeping Elizabeth informed of events in Germany; William Lord Howard of Effingham, former Lord Admiral and currently a privy councilor; William, Lord Grey de Wilton, captain of Guisnes; and [although at the time of the Feria visit, he was currently a prisoner of war] Thomas Ratcliffe, Earl of Sussex (older brother of the lord whom Mary had kidnapped), lord deputy of Ireland.119 In fact, she had even more allies than Feria realized. Two—the earls of Arundel and Pembroke—whom Feria specifically claimed were not part of Elizabeth's circle would, in fact, receive appointments to her Privy Council within weeks of her accession, suggesting that unbeknown to Feria, they had been in contact with the princess before Queen Mary's death. These two earls were well worth cultivating. Henry FitzAlan, Earl of Arundel, was, at the time of the Feria interview, Lord Steward, privy councilor, and commissioner at Cercamp. William Herbert, Earl of Pembroke, was currently serving as a privy councilor, captain-general of English contingent at St. Quentin, and lord president of the council in the Marches of Wales.120

116Those whom Feria named as hostile to Elizabeth indicate in fact just how far the princess had spread her net. These men were Thomas Thirlby, Edward Hastings, Sir Thomas Cornwallis and Cardinal Pole. There is a hint in the Feria dispatch that their exclusion from Elizabeth's network was more by their choice rather than hers. When Feria questioned her about Pole, Elizabeth claimed that her hostility toward the Cardinal had been prompted by his refusal to take the first step in entering into negotiations with her by sending an envoy: "Díxome que nunca el cardenal la auía embiado a visitar ni a dezir ninguna cosa hast aora."121 The door had been closed not by Elizabeth, but Pole; possibly, a similar story applied in the cases of Thirlby, Hastings, and Cornwallis. These men—Cardinal Pole especially—were particularly devoted to Mary; and Hastings and Cornwallis had escorted Elizabeth to London in February 1554 to face years of imprisonment. Despite this, Elizabeth's comment about Pole being the one who was unwilling to come to terms suggests that she was reaching out to anyone, no matter her past relations with them, in order to ensure her smooth accession.

117The "point man" for this remarkable network was one of Elizabeth's non-resident household officers, Sir William Cecil, her surveyor. He was also currently a government secretary, if no longer principal secretary as he had been under Edward VI. Cecil was in a position to contact the aforementioned privy councilors on Elizabeth's behalf, just as he had done for her during Edward's reign. He was also connected to the Protestant nobility, serving as the earl of Bedford's steward in 1557 while the earl fought in France. In the days leading up to Elizabeth's accession, he was in negotiations with Chancellor Heath as to the role the latter would play in the new regime.122 Feria already understood by November 10, well before Queen Mary's death, that Cecil would assume the post of principal secretary on Elizabeth's accession.123 It would have been easy for Cecil to solicit support discreetly for Elizabeth's accession in early November, at the muted court of the dying queen. Envoys, such as the one that the princess had expected from Pole, would have been directed by Cecil to Elizabeth's current residence to deliver the verbal allegiance of their masters and mistresses.

118If Cecil had primary charge of securing political support for Elizabeth's accession, then it fell to her cofferer Thomas Parry to ensure that the princess would receive military support should her accession be challenged. Brockett's Hall, the setting of Feria's interview, provides the clue. J. E. Neale uncovered evidence that Thomas Parry was coordinating projected military operations from this manor.124 Because confirmation of military support often came in writing, Elizabeth's residency there would ensure that whatever incriminating documents arrived would remain there, rather than at one of her own residences, in the increasingly unlikely event that Mary recovered. From late October through early November, Parry solicited support from regional gentry such as Sir John Thynne. Neale argued that Thynne's correspondence during these weeks, while not specifically mentioning military forces, indicated all the same that Thynne was alerting his Wiltshire retainers to stand by in case military action should become necessary. This is supported by a 1592 letter from Thomas Markham to Cecil, referring back to those weeks in late 1558 when Markham led a band of three hundred footmen at Berwick. Markham claimed that he had been instructed by Parry to "leave his own band with such other captains as he could trust to be in readiness with their bands likewise to serve the maintenance of her [Elizabeth's] royal estate and dignity."125 Markham claimed that he arrived at Brockett Hall in late 1558 with signed undertakings promising the aid of ten thousand men. It is likely that Parry had secured for Princess Elizabeth a much broader base of support than Princess Mary had enjoyed in 1553. He was not merely utilizing Elizabeth's household affinity, but rather was preparing to muster troops throughout the land, even as far away as Berwick on the Scottish border, to support the princess' accession. In the event, Parry did not need to call out these troops. Cecil's groundwork was sound enough to guarantee Elizabeth's easy accession. Within hours of Mary's death on November 17, Chancellor Heath announced Elizabeth's accession to Parliament.126

119The actions of Princess Elizabeth's household during Queen Mary's reign were perhaps less dramatic than those of Princess Mary's during the Edwardian succession crisis, but they were just as crucial in accomplishing the second half of the female succession. Elizabeth's household was instrumental in maintaining her political profile during her imprisonment. Her servants insisted that government officials acknowledge her status as heir to the throne through matters as seemingly prosaic as food service and household decor. As a landowner, Elizabeth was allowed to retain her household in order to administer her lands.

120The result was that the Marian policy of isolating and containing Elizabeth was thwarted. Bedingfield was powerless to prevent Parry from conveying information to or from Princess Elizabeth during their daily consultations. Because he could not forbid contact between the princess and her senior officers without jeopardizing the efficient management of a household on which he himself was dependent, Bedingfield could not completely isolate Elizabeth from the friends and allies who could contact her through Parry and her other household staff. It was also Parry who delivered the cue to prepare for military action in the days immediately prior to her accession. Cecil, associated with Elizabeth's household since 1548, practically guaranteed that she would be able to take the throne smoothly, by soliciting preemptively the allegiance of the leading magnates and politicians of the realm.

121Although Mary and Elizabeth used their preaccession households in very different ways, the result—the female succession—was the same. Princess Mary probably deceived the Privy Council in her initial acquiescence to the Grey succession, then relied on her household and affinity actively to oppose the plan to crown Jane Grey as queen. Princess Elizabeth's strategy was quite different; during the reign of her older half-sister she continued the policy of securing allies on the Privy Council that she had pursued since Edward's reign. She used her household contacts not to oppose the Privy Council, but rather to bring them around to supporting her accession. Elizabeth's household prepared for the possibility of military action, but had already obtained sufficient political support to guarantee her accession. The princess was able, through her household, to recruit many of the leading figures of her future regime. Thanks to her household, when Elizabeth assumed sovereign authority, she could count on a ready supply of friends and allies to help her govern. In the final days of Mary's reign, Elizabeth's household had functioned as a shadow court which converted easily into a royal court on her accession.

122These different strategies were successful in accomplishing the female succession because of their reliance on the three main assets of an elite household: display, corporate identity, and property. Princess Mary's decision to remove to Framlingham placing herself and her army within closer proximity to enemy troops, and Princess Elizabeth's armed household retinue that greeted Queen Mary outside the gates of London, were architectural and military expressions of household display which, in both cases, was intended to make manifest the princesses' royal status and sovereign potential. The devotion of their household servants was instrumental in Mary's case, in completing the often risky and sometimes unpleasant tasks necessary to win a throne from a regime in command of all the crown resources. Elizabeth's staff so strongly identified with their mistress and with the household they had created that they remained constituted, well beyond what was strictly necessary, as Bedingfield pointed out, during her incarceration. Elizabeth's role as a landowner helped to provide some justification for her household continuing existence as a body. Princess Mary's role as overlord and neighbor enabled her to call out an affinity sufficiently large enough to turn the tide in her favor during the succession crisis of 1553.

123Both princesses needed different resources to accomplish their accessions: Mary required a military power base to challenge the Grey succession, and a reverential following willing to risk their lives and possessions in her cause. Elizabeth needed a household independent enough to agitate on her behalf even without the benefit of her leadership, and thus prevent her complete political eclipse during Queen Mary's reign. Moreover, Elizabeth was able to exploit her household's reputation for Protestantism to solicit the allegiance of leading politicians and nobles who were her co-religionists. This helped to ensure a smooth transfer of power from the Marian regime to hers. Both found the necessary resources to accomplish the female succession in their preaccession households.


Note 1: Loades, Tragicall History, p. 97 back

Note 2: CPR, V, pp. 176–177 back

Note 3: CSP Edward VI, 590; Elton, Reform and Reformation, p. 356 back

Note 4: Elton, Reform and Reformation, p. 357 back

Note 5: CSP, Edward VI, Domestic, 778 back

Note 6: CSP Edward VI, 777. See also, APC, IV, 188 back

Note 7: Loades, p. 139 back

Note 8: Harris, English Aristocratic Women . . . , p. 203 back

Note 9: Palliser, The Age of Elizabeth, p. 89 back

Note 10: CPR, IV, p. 134 back

Note 11: Loades, Mary Tudor, p. 139 back

Note 12: CPR, V, 1553, pp. 97–99 back

Note 13: CPR, V, pp. 176–177 back

Note 14: D. MacCulloch, "'Vain, Proud, Foolish Boy': The Earl of Surrey and the Fall of the Howards," from Rivals in Power, ed. D. Starkey [London, 1990], p. 111 back

Note 15: APC, II, p. 17 as quoted and cited in E. W. Ives, "Henry VIII's Will: The Protectorate Provisions of 1546–7," The Historical Journal, 37/4 (1994), p. 903 back

Note 16: The following chronology and reaction to Edward's illness is from Loach, Edward VI, pp. 162–169 back

Note 17: Jordan, Edward VI: The Threshold of Power, pp. 200–256 back

Note 18: Loach, Edward VI, p. 164 back

Note 19: Elton, Reform and Reformation, p. 374; Prescott, Mary Tudor, pp. 163,165; Starkey, Elizabeth, p. 116. back

Note 20: Prescott, p. 160 back

Note 21: CSP, Spanish, X, pp. 124–135 back

Note 22: Prescott, pp. 163, 165 back

Note 23: D. MacCulloch, Thomas Cranmer [Yale UP, 1996], p. 538 back

Note 24: As noted in the diary of a London undertaker, Henry Machyn. The Diary of Henry Machyn, Citizen and Merchant-Taylor of London, From A.D. 1550 to A.D. 1563, ed. J. G. Nichols [London, 1847] , p. 32; hereafter cited as "Machyn" back

Note 25: As noted by Loach, Edward VI, p. 161 back

Note 26: Bindoff, "A Kingdom at Stake 1553," p. 648; Elton, Reform, p. 375; Loach, Edward VI, p. 170 back

Note 27: Harris, English Aristocratic Women . . . , p. 141 back

Note 28: Loach, Edward VI, p. 165 back

Note 29: For Mary's visit (though not the reason for it, nor possible topics for discussions), see Machyn, p. xlii, as noted in Loach, Edward VI, p. 159, fn. 1 back

Note 30: Machyn, p. 32 back

Note 31: R.Wingfield, Vita Mariae Reginae ed. D. MacCulloch, from Camden Miscellany, XXVIII, 4th ser. [London, 1984], p. 261 back

Note 32: Prescott, p. 168 back

Note 33: Vita, p. 247 back

Note 34: Vita, p. 249 back

Note 35: CPR, V, p. 171 back

Note 36: CSP, Edward VI , Domestic, 804 back

Note 37: On the eve of her accession, Elizabeth claimed that her landed revenues had never been adequate to her expenses; M. J. Rodgríguez-Salgado and S. Adams, "The Count of Feria's Dispatch to Philip II of 14 November 1558," Camden Miscellany, 4th ser., vol. 28 [London, 1984]. Hereafter "FD" for Feria Dispatch back

Note 38: W. Camden, Annales the true and royall history of the famous empresse Elizabeth, Queene of England . . . [London, 1625], p. 28; accessible at http://gateway.proquest.com/openurl

Note 39: Pictures of Framlingham can be accessed at http://www.framlingham.com/visit/framlinghamcastle/framlinghamcastle.html back

Note 40: Loades, p. 177; Loach, p. 171 back

Note 41: Vita, p. 255 back

Note 42: Kenninghall, like Framlingham, had recently been remodeled by the Duke of Norfolk before his imprisonment in 1546. Macculloch, "Vain," p. 111 back

Note 43: Vita, p. 251 back

Note 44: Vita, p. 262 back

Note 45: Vita, p. 270 back

Note 46: Ibid. back

Note 47: See discussion in ch.3 back

Note 48: Vita, p. 271 back

Note 49: Loades, pp. 184–188 back

Note 50: Machyn, p. 38 back

Note 51: Chronicle, p. 14. The chronicler estimated that Mary's household retinue of footmen numbered no more than 740 back

Note 52: Vita, p. 271 back

Note 53: Vita, p. 252 back

Note 54: Vita, p. 253 back

Note 55: Ibid. back

Note 56: Vita, pp. 255–256 back

Note 57: Vita, p. 269 back

Note 58: Vita, p. 254 back

Note 59: Vita, p. 254 back

Note 60: Vita, p. 254. My italics back

Note 61: CSP Spanish XI, p. 80 back

Note 62: Vita, p. 256. Colby does not appear on any household lists or accounts. He probably was not a resident member of Mary's household. His efforts on Mary's behalf as detailed in this incident suggest that he was, like Bedingfield and Southwell for example, an informal household retainer back

Note 63: Vita, p. 256 back

Note 64: For Wingfield's status as one of Wentworth's followers, see the Introduction to Vita, p. 186 back

Note 65: Vita, pp. 257–259 back

Note 66: Vita, p. 297, fn.37 back

Note 67: Vita, p. 258 back

Note 68: Ibid. back

Note 69: J. D. Alsop, "A Regime at Sea: the Navy and the 1553 Succession Crisis," Albion, XXIV (1992): 577–590 back

Note 70: Vita, pp. 258–259 back

Note 71: Vita, pp. 258–259 back

Note 72: Loades, p. 180, fn. 1 back

Note 73: CSP Spanish, XI, 86 back

Note 74: Prescott, p. 165, 170 back

Note 75: Vita, pp. 252, 260 back

Note 76: Lawrence Stone, "Patriarchy and Paternalism in Tudor England: The Earl of Arundel and the Peasants Revolt of 1549," Journal of British Studies 13/2 (May, 1974), pp. 19–23 back

Note 77: Vita, p. 253 back

Note 78: Loades, pp. 176–179; Loach, Edward VI, pp. 172–178; A. Whitelock and D. MacCulloch, "Princess Mary's Household and the Succession Crisis, July 1553," The Historical Journal, 50/2 (2007), pp. 265–287 back

Note 79: Vita, p. 253 back

Note 80: Vita, p. 257 and p. 296, fns. 33, 34 back

Note 81: Vita, p. 254 back

Note 82: Vita, p. 259 back

Note 83: Vita, p. 257 back

Note 84: J. Gage, The History and Antiquities of Hengrave in Suffolk [London, 1822], p. 124. back

Note 85: Vita, p. 257 and p .296, fn. 35 back

Note 86: Loades, p. 183 back

Note 87: Loades, pp. 176–177 back

Note 88: Loach, Edward VI, p. 176 back

Note 89: Loach, Edward VI, p. 179 back

Note 90: Vita, p. 260 back

Note 91: Vita, p. 252 back

Note 92: Machyn, p. 37 back

Note 93: Machyn, p. 38 back

Note 94: Italics original; Camden, Annales, [1625], p. 28; accessed at http://eebo.chadwyck.com.proxy.lib.utk.edu:90/search/fulltext?ACTION=ByID&ID=

Note 95: Machyn, p. 38 back

Note 96: APC, vol. IV, p. 306; July 30, 1553;"other that" in the original back

Note 97: APC, IV, pp. 300–301 back

Note 98: CSP, Spanish, XI, 395 back

Note 99: Foxe, 1563, sig.1712r–v back

Note 100: Foxe, [1563], sig.1712v back

Note 101: E.g. APC, IV, pp. 331, .332, 344, 346; CSP, Mary, 756 back

Note 102: BP, p. 163 back

Note 103: BP, p. 167 back

Note 104: BP, p. 176 back

Note 105: BP, 161 back

Note 106: BP, pp. 184, 188 back

Note 107: BP, pp. 169, 184, 189, 205 back

Note 108: Foxe, [1563], sig.1714r, 1729; available at http://www.hrionline.ac.uk/johnfoxe/main/12_1563_1729.jsp. back

Note 109: Foxe, [1563], sig.1714r; p. 1729; available at http://www.hrionline.ac.uk/johnfoxe/main/12_1563_1729.jsp back

Note 110: BP, p. 206 back

Note 111: BP, p. 158, dated May 31, 1554 back

Note 112: BP, pp. 176, 180 back

Note 113: The Spanish ambassador reported that Gardiner tendered a bill with the effect of excluding Elizabeth from the succession, but there is no corroborating evidence to support this, and no indication in the parliamentary registers or minutes; CSP, Spanish, XIII, 131 back

Note 114: FD back

Note 115: FD, pp. 319, 329 back

Note 116: FD, p. 330 back

Note 117: FD, pp. 320–321 back

Note 118: FD, p. 322 back

Note 119: FD, pp. 331–332 back

Note 120: FD, p. 340 back

Note 121: FD, p. 322; "She told me that the Cardinal had never sent an envoy to visit her." back

Note 122: BL Cotton Vespasian F. XIII, f. 287 as cited in FD, p. 339, fn. 12 back

Note 123: FD, p. 323 back

Note 124: J. E. Neale, "The Accession of Queen Elizabeth I," first published in History Today (Coronation Issue), May 1953 and subsequently reprinted in The Age of Catherine de Medici and Essays in Elizabethan History [London, 1958; 1963], pp. 131–144. Citations from this article refer to the reprinted version in The Age . . . back

Note 125: As quoted in Neale, "Accession," p. 135 back

Note 126: Neale, "Accession," pp. 138–142 back