15 June 1536 – The King’s council bullies Mary

Posted By on June 15, 2015

Mary I On 15th June 1536, Henry VIII sent members of his council, led by Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk, to visit his daughter Mary at her home at Hunsdon. Their mission was to persuade her, or rather bully her, into accepting her father as supreme head of the Church in England, and acknowledging that she was not the legitimate heir to the throne.

Click here to read all about their visit and their threats.

Also on this day in history…

  • 1519 – Date traditionally given for the birth of Henry Fitzroy, 1st Duke of Richmond and Somerset, at the priory of St Lawrence in Blackmore, Essex. Fitzroy was the illegitimate son of King Henry VIII by his mistress, Elizabeth (Bessie Blount). Click here to read more about Fitzroy’s life.
  • 1559 – Death of William Somer (Sommers), court fool to Henry VIII, Edward VI and Mary I. Click here to read more about him.

27 thoughts on “15 June 1536 – The King’s council bullies Mary”

  1. Leslie says:

    Poor Mary, to be told that her head should be slammed into a wall until it was made as “soft as a boiled apple”. She could see from this visit that all the cruelty she endured in earlier years was not entirely due to Anne Boleyn.

  2. Christine says:

    Iv always had sympathy for Mary because of the break up of her parents marriage but she openly flouted Henry and anyone else would have been dealt with much more harshly, it must have been hard to accept that she had no claim to the throne but why did she want to rule anyway, maybe it was in her blood but she still would have had a good life, her own servants plenty houses and more freedom than all the stuffy etiquette and stress that came with being the sovereign, I think it was the issue of religion here as well the break with Rome and the injury done to her mother but as for not being in the line of succession, I think I’d have been relieved if that had been me.

    1. Hannele says:

      I think it was self-evident why Mary wanted to rule. She had been raised to the task from her childhood and she never could imagine another kind of life. It was simply her duty ordered by God that she never questioned it.

      Would you also ask why Henry Tudor wanted to rule? Or Margaret of Anjou’s son? Or Bonnie Prince Charlie? It was not nice to live in exile, but at least it was safer that fight for the crown.

      Why would Mary thought otherwise simply because she was a woman?

      1. Christine says:

        Mary hadn’t been raised to rule, Henry always hoped he’d have plenty of sons it was only when he realised Katherine couldn’t have any more children he began quite possibly thinking of legitimising Richmond, so Mary would have only been heir apparent anyway, it was more than likely Katherine who made her believe she would be Henrys successor to the throne and of course she was made Princess Of Wales, none of them realised that Henry was thinking of putting Katherine aside and taking another wife.

        1. Hannele says:

          Mary was never given the title of the Princess of Wales, but because she was sent to Ludlow where Athur had lived as Prince of Wales, the message was clear enough.

        2. Christine says:

          She wasn’t invested as Princess Of Wales but she was certainly called it.

  3. Mrsfiennes says:

    It’s awful that Mary was put through such a situation but of course Henry couldn’t take the chance of leaving his daughters legitimate so others could rise in their names and possibly take the throne from his as yet to be born son.It is astonishing however that he would threaten her life if she didn’t do as he wished.I can’t seriously imagine he would have gone so far.I think if she had not he probably would have put her into exile or imprisoned her.

  4. Selina says:

    Poor Mary. When Anne was alive and at her father’s side, she had someone to blame for her treatment. It must have been a shock to her that after Anne’s death, nothing changed.

  5. Hannele says:

    It is misleading to see this incident only as a family tragedy. The crux of the matter was politics.

    Henry could no more let Mary be obstinate. If he was not able to get his own daughter to admit his authority, how could he be a credible ruler?

    Also, after Anne’s execution he had to show that he did not give an inch in to the Catholics but his authority was absolute.

    Mary was an adult and she had read the political situation wrongly, She lacked flexibility that Elisabeth later showed towards her.

  6. Christine says:

    Mary was as stubborn as her mother but whearas Katherine had the Emperor Charles behind her and was Henrys equal, Mary was his daughter and had to be obedient, she was on her own now so she had no choice but to give in, I think the treatment she suffered in her early life eventually led her to becoming the woman she later became, but had she just kept out of her parents feuding Henry would not have been so harsh towards her, Katherine was wrong to encourage her to flout him, she should have remembered one of the Ten Commandments, ‘Thou shalt honour they father and mother’.

  7. Esther says:

    I think that this reveals the falsity of Henry’s professed concern about the succession. After all, at this time, Elizabeth has been bastardized, and Fitzroy is dying …rather than leave Mary alone, Henry decided to deprive England of anyone with a legitimate claim to the throne. Henry didn’t have to insist that Mary own herself a bastard … there was a “good faith” exception that would protect her legitimacy even while admitting that the marriage between Henry and Katherine was invalid, and, it wasn’t even necessary to claim that the marriage was invalid to attack the Papacy (Martin Luther and William Tyndale both thought the marriage was valid)

    1. Hannele says:

      In history you cannot prove something that happened earlier with something that happens later. What Henry did in 1536 does not mean that he did not worry about the succession in 1527. He could not know what would happen in the future.

      Nobody would know what would have happened if Henry had chosen to marry Mary off. What if Mary had died in childbirth and there would be no heir?

      The only matter we can say for sure that by divorcing Katherine without Pop’s consent and marrying Anne Henry chose the more dangerous course as it divided the country and caused a threat from outside.

      Also, Henry’s weakness was that he had no B-plan until he put Mary and Elizabeth back in the succession.

      However, the Tudors had a general problem that, unlike in France , the king had no brothers, nephews and cousins who would succeed him if he had no son.

      1. Leslie says:

        Henry did have a nephew to succeed him. His older sister’s son, James V of Scotland. Henry would later choose to leave him out of the line of succession. Although after the death of Elizabeth, James V’s grandson, James VI. would take the throne of England.

        1. Hannele says:

          Yes, but the French king’s relatives were not by female line and they were French.

          When Edward VI wanted to change the succession, he named only the descendants of Mary duchess of Suffolk, although she was the younger daughter.

          So evidently being a foreigner was a problem before James VI.

      2. Esther says:

        That Henry could not know what would happen in the future is whole reason why endangering Mary’s legitimacy casts doubts on Henry’s claim of concern about the succession. After all, he had no way of knowing that any subsequent wife would give him a legitimate son. Protecting Mary’s legitimacy and having her marry (to one of the Pole boys, perhaps, would not have insured anything, but it would have doubled the odds of a legitimate male heir. Also, protecting Mary’s legitimacy under the “good faith exception” is something Henry could have done, on his own, from the outset — it would not have cost him anything, since a son by any subsequent wife would have come before her anyway.

        1. Hannele says:

          You say what Henry had done if he were a modern and rational man. But he was not such. But he was not like other kings on his time, either.

          I do not think that there is no reason to doubt that in *his own mind* Henry’s main motive to discard Katherine and marry Anne was to have a legitimate son to succeed him. What it unusual is that he believed so firmly that he would have a son.

          Partly, it was a question that only a son could continue the Tudor line. By marrying Mary off to a Pole boy would have been that the York family would have won in the end.

          Partly, the reason was personal. By asking Chapuys three times whether he was not like other men, Henry gave away a deep inner security that if he had no legitimate son, he was a “lesser man” than other men (it did not matter to him that not other men had a son or even a child).

          Henry was religious but, unlike Katherine; he he did not accept that there are misfortunes in the world and a man must accept them as God’s will. Instead of asking what God’s will was and following it, he demanded that God will give him what he wanted.

          Considering that the first Succession act was passed after Elizabeth’s birth, it may also be that Anne refused to accept that Elizabeth was put after Mary and she influenced on Henry.

          It may also be that because Henry believed that his marriage with Katherine was cursed, he believed that Mary was in some way “cursed” too. Or maybe he revenged to Katherine who had not accepted the annulment. In any case, Henry acted in the same way towards Elizabeth in 1536.

  8. Christine says:

    Not exactly father of the year!

  9. judithRex says:

    Henry threatened Mary with the execution of her friends. I doubt he would ever have killed Mary herself, though he could have boarded her up for life.They say Mary never got over betraying her Mother’s memory. After all Katherine endured, Mary crumbled pretty quickly, which, while understandable and perhaps even wise, must have created a deep depression and anxiety that perhaps was the cause of her later serious illness. Sad.

    1. Christine says:

      Henry would never have killed any of his children, but yes I believe he would have had her sent to the Tower, he wouldn’t condone any disobedience from any of his children he banished Elizabeth from the court when she was older and it’s never been known why but she must have had a disagreement with him, Mary was never robust and yes you are right about depression , it can have an effect on illness in that it can make it worse, Mary’s life was perfect when she was a child but then it all went downhill after Henry decided to get rid of her mother then when her brother died she had to fight for the crown, had to deal with rebellious plots against her, she married for love and hoped to have children but her husband didn’t want her, and left her for long periods, poor Mary and yet she was said to have been a kindly woman who loved children and who visited the poor and gave them baskets of food, she deserved to have a husband who loved her and I think she would have made an excellent mother but it wasn’t to be.

      1. JudithRex says:

        Hello Christine,

        But going to the tower wasn’t all that bad for everyone; some people lived there is pretty nice comfort until released. And yes, I agree he could have sent her there, but the execution of any of her friends by her own refusal to swear would have killed her, I think. The Church actually had to come up with a way to save people’s lives when in such a terrible predicament.

        I have great pity for Mary; she is described as having been a cheerful and very, very warm giving person of great generosity as was to be very evident in the early years of her reign. Anne Boleyn made a great many enemies by treating this sweet person badly.

        Mary made a very bad mistake marrying Philip and her reputation never recovered. All the people who bought stolen Church land cheap were petrified they would have to give back the property and no matter what Mary or Philip or the Church said, their greed made them paranoid and rebellious…and often murderous. I

        Elizabeth learned a great deal from Mary’s courage and speech writing, as well as her dismal failures and badly placed trust. Elizabeth killed more Christians than Mary did, but she was smart enough to choose Catholics, and thus keep her reputation.

  10. BanditQueen says:

    Mary had tried to show great resolve through all the abuse coming from Anne and her servants in her household; through the seperation from her mother, from being ignored and abandoned by her father, whom she adored, and now all she wanted was to reconcile and come to court to serve queen Jane. Mary had blamed Anne as the main cause of her ill treatment and now it seems Henry was the real cause of it all. The council, some of whom on visits with Anne to Elizabeth had gone to pay her court, now bullied her and her friends were threatened for supporting her. The only person really standing up for her was Jane, plus Cromwell tried to support her as much as he could. But now she had no choice; she had to agree to the terms demanded by Henry as King and father. Signing away her birth right and her mothers marriage must have really hurt her; she asked for absolution via a protest aside and appeal to the Pope for signing this paper; but she really did not have a choice as her life was threatened. Poor Mary; she was really the most noble and bravest woman in history.

  11. JudithRex says:

    “Mary had blamed Anne as the main cause of her ill treatment and now it seems Henry was the real cause of it all. ”

    No, that doesn’t necessarily follow. I see people try to get Anne off the hook all the time with this. How do we know Henry didn’t learn from his experience with Anne that even someone you love can be a traitor? That is a legitimate reading as well. He trusted Anne, she betrayed him, and he didn’t want to continue to look like a fool so he came down really hard on Mary and. more importantly, Mary’s friends who cheered at Anne’s death. He needed to show all of them he was in control, not the woman who made him a fool. Additionally, there was no going back to old ways just because Anne was gone.

    So no, I don’t think the assumption that it was Henry calling the shots on Annes behavior works. I think Anne was perfectly capable of being a ruthless operator all by herself.

    Re

    1. Banditqueen says:

      Mary did blame Anne, fact, the historical sources witneds to it. Anne at first made an effort to accept Mary if she acknowledged her as Queen, but Mary, recently forced to move to serve Elizabeth, reeling from the shock of her mother being cast aside, rightly said that she would never know any queen but her mother, but if the King’s mistress would help her that was fine. After this Anne ordered the ladies to abuse Mary, insulted her, continually harassing her, even made threats, Mary would not give in, the ill treatment is well documented. Mary blamed Anne and would not believe her father was now behind her continuous ill treatment until she was caced with the reality of it, total submission or Henry would have nothing to do with her.

      1. JudithRex says:

        Of couse I know Mary blamed Anne. Not sure where you got the idea I thought otherwise.

        1. JudithRex says:

          …unless of course you were not replying to my post. In which case, never mind. 🙂

    2. JudithRex says:

      ah, I think I see what confused you – I was replying to this

      …and now it seems Henry was the real cause of it all. ”

      with my reply below. I was not disagreeing with the first part re Anne as that was obvious, but that it did not necessarily follow that just because Henry took an extremely tough line AFTER Anne’s death, that he was also behind all the ill treatment PRIOR to Anne’s death.

      Please reread if you care to::

      “No, that doesn’t necessarily follow. I see people try to get Anne off the hook all the time with this. How do we know Henry didn’t learn from his experience with Anne that even someone you love can be a traitor? That is a legitimate reading as well. He trusted Anne, she betrayed him, and he didn’t want to continue to look like a fool so he came down really hard on Mary and. more importantly, Mary’s friends who cheered at Anne’s death. He needed to show all of them he was in control, not the woman who made him a fool. Additionally, there was no going back to old ways just because Anne was gone.
      So no, I don’t think the assumption that it was Henry calling the shots on Annes behavior works. I think Anne was perfectly capable of being a ruthless operator all by herself.”

      Read more: https://www.theanneboleynfiles.com/15-june-1536-the-kings-council-bullies-mary/#ixzz3e5DMZOEW

  12. JudithRex says:

    PLEASE DELETE MY COMMENTS FROM THIS THREAD

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