26 May 1536 – Mary writes to Cromwell

Mary and CromwellOn 26th May 1536, exactly a week after the execution of her stepmother, Anne Boleyn, the Lady Mary wrote to Thomas Cromwell, her father’s right hand man, asking him to intercede with her father on her behalf and for permission to write to the king.

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3 thoughts on “26 May 1536 – Mary writes to Cromwell”
  1. Mary was very naive here thinking that because Anne was dead her father would soften towards her, she had blamed Anne for all her and her mothers misfortune yet it wasn’t as simple as that, she had angered her father so many times by her flagrant disobedience towards him and more than anything had refused along with her mother to acknowledge her parents marriage as invalid, just because the wicked step mother was dead didn’t mean Henry would forgive her for that and in fact some time later was advised to sign the document admitting it was invalid and she was a bastard, this action tormented her as she felt she had betrayed her mother, Henry would brook no traitors in his court least of all his children and he had had enough of her disobedience, when her mother died she must have felt so alone and quite vulnerable and she turned to Chapyuis for advice, I think how she was treated was largely to blame for her persecution of the Protestants when she came to the throne, the years of misery and seeing her beloved mother suffer made her hate the new religion and what it had done to the Catholic Church, Anne had been of the new religion and because of it had caused her father to break with Rome, Henry dabbled in it yet he died in the Catholic faith, Mary must have associated the Protestants with Anne and all what she stood for and in her heart she burned with revenge, Mary’s story is very sad and in fact had been described as the most saddest in English history.

  2. Fell asleep last night having almost finished Jasper Ridley’s Henry VIII chapter on the ‘Destruction of Anne Boleyn’ in which pages 273-276 deal with Mary’s assumption that all would now be well for her. But England’s fiery lion was anything but finished and threats, examinations, and rumbles of thunder continued to erupt from the throne, until Henry had thoroughly traumatised the court into complete, abject, and utter submission. Henry emerges from this with a new wife and a court in which the factions were quelled. And throughout all this, Mary had a head cold and the toothache! Life doesn’t get much worse than that, I’m thinking.

  3. I have to feel for Mary. She was certainly led to believe that Anne, who gave instructions to pinch and hit Mary, was behind the cruelty alone. When Henry, her father moved her back to her own house for the sake of her health and comfort Mary had even more reason to think that he was not to blame for the ill treatment she had received. The execution of the woman that she blamed for all the ills in her life, for the breakdown of her parents marriage, for the mistreatment of her mother, which contributed to Katherine’s death, for the fact that mother and daughter were seperated, she was also not allowed to see her father; all of these things, that execution freed her from. This was Mary’s hope. This was why she now wrote to Cromwell, for with Anne gone and his new wife to be more inclined towards her, Mary wrongly believes that her father will welcome her with open arms, especially if she shows that she willingly accepts and recognizes the new Queen, on whom she wishes to wait.

    Sadly, Mary is in for a shock. Yes, Anne was giving orders as Mary disrespected her and would not accept that she was queen, she would have no queen but her mother. However, it becomes clear that Henry was pulling the strings. Things now become worse. Henry does not order any physical abuse, but she was threatened. Henry insists that she must submit to him, accept that his marriage to her mother was invalid and deny all she holds true. She was sent a delegation, one person called her a very disobedient child and that he would hit her about the head until she submitted if she was his child. Thankfully she was not. There were even rumours and talk about some at court trying to persuade Henry to have her killed, something that was unlikely to be true.

    Mary had been strong up to now, but faced with being banished and never seeing her father again, or prison or at the worst, death, when given a set of articles to sign before Henry would see her, she broke down. She knew that her father had at least sanctioned some of Anne’s actions, that her father would not coddle her, that her father was prepared to force her submission. The shock must have been great, but even now she did not entirely panick. Mary turned to her mentor and surrogate father, Eustace Chapyus, who had looked out for her for the last six years. He said that she could sign the paper and then protest in secret, asking the Pope for absolution as she had signed under duress and denied the things in the articles. He also strongly advised her to do what Henry wanted and that Jane was trying to get Henry to bring her to court and was working on her behalf. Mary signed, Henry agrerd to see her and Mary was given royal apartments at court. Henry treated her as his daughter, but it was not till 1544 that she was restored to the succession.

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