March 18 – Elizabeth I is arrested and The birth of Mary Tudor, Queen of France

On this day in Tudor history, 18th March 1554, Palm Sunday, the twenty-year-old Lady Elizabeth (the future Queen Elizabeth I) was escorted by barge from her home at Whitehall Palace along the River Thames to the Tower of London, and imprisoned there.

Elizabeth had been implicated in Wyatt’s Rebellion, a rebellion that sought to depose Queen Mary I and put Elizabeth, the queen’s half-sister, on the throne in her place.

Where was Elizabeth imprisoned? What happened to her? Find out more about Elizabeth’s arrest and her time in the Tower of London in this talk…

Also on this day in Tudor history, 18th March 1496, Henry VIII’s beloved sister, Mary Tudor, Queen of France, was born at Richmond Palace.

Find out all about her in this video…

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2 thoughts on “March 18 – Elizabeth I is arrested and The birth of Mary Tudor, Queen of France”
  1. Princess Mary was indeed a paradise, it was said the French never ceased gazing at her for she was so fair to look upon, every contemporary who met her heaped praise upon her tall slender figure, her very elegance, that was all the more charming for it was accompanied by her gracious nature, her pleasing manner, her complexion was described as of an extreme pallor, her eyebrows were winged and arched like her brothers, sparkling grey eyes, her hair was golden red and tumbled over her shoulders and down her back, there is a locket on display containing a strand of her glorious hair which was taken from her corpse when her coffin was opened, several hundred years later and moved to the church of Bury St Edmunds, she was called the most beautiful princess in Europe and her portraits explain all to easily why this was so, standards of beauty have changed throughout the centuries yet to the modern eye Mary’s charm is still visible, her face was a perfect oval, her eyes are wide like a does, she had a long nose like her brother Henry V111, yet it was straight and her mouth is like a pretty rosebud, all in all she resembles a porcelain doll, she sadly lost her mother in childbirth along with her sister Katherine and she shared the nursery with her equally charming and handsome brother Prince Henry, close in age they were deeply fond of each other, and Mary exploited this as she extracted a promise that she could choose her own husband if Louis were to die, Henry agreed possibly to soothe her than must have forgotten it in a moment, however, he had no idea of Mary’s love for his handsome friend Charles Brandon Duke of Suffolk, Suffolk was like him, boyish, loved sports a womaniser, he married several times after Mary and went onto father more children, when news of their clandestine marriage reached, he was furious and they had to pay thousands of pounds in compensation, Mary did not live long, like a rare bloom she had her glory days then withered and died, some say it was tuberculosis others the sweat, Henry was grieved when she died, although she had supported her sister in law Queen Katherine in her stance against his quest for a divorce, she had been extremely close to the queen and had abhorred Anne Boleyn, she did not live long enough to see her brother take four more wives thus she never met her niece and nephew Princess Elizabeth or Prince Edward, Mary’s descendants live on to this day through her two daughters, Frances and Eleanor, as her sons died before puberty, she was the grandmother of the ill fated Lady Jane Grey, whose royal blood she had inherited, and which caused her and her two sisters much grief in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, all her life she was referred to as Queen Consort Of France along with her other title Duchess Of Suffolk, she was as fascinating as her elder brother King Henry V111, whose controversial character and bloody reign set him apart from all other monarchs, yet it is only through her and her eldest sister Margaret Queen of Scotland that the lineage of Henry V11 and Elizabeth of York continues to this day, the Tudor dynasty died yet Tudor blood is still very much alive in her and Margaret’s many descendants including our present queen through Margaret’s lineage, and the many thousands that have Mary’s blood in them.

  2. Also would like to add that Westhorpe Hall the Manor House in Suffolk where the Brandon’s lived was pulled down in a most ungracious manner, according to the antiquarian Thomas Martin in the mid eighteenth century, he witnessed the destruction of the fine chimney’s and decorations on the front of the building saying how they were just pulled down with ropes and that he thought the painted windows would follow next, he describes the monstrous figure of Hercules sitting cross legged with his club and lion, and like many person was horrified at the destruction of such a fine building, I find this as a lover of old buildings incredibly sad, too many beautiful buildings were destroyed over the years, to us today who have an enormous interest in the Tudor age, it’s almost sacrilege that these old houses once homes of important personages were destroyed, Wikipedia states that the home office still stands and some of the plaster and red brick were used to build a care home for dementia stricken patients, so some of the building is in the fabric of the new one, but what a beautiful museum it would have made, some of Princess Mary’s artefacts and her husbands and children could have been on display, the jewellery they wore maybe and other personal items, Elsynge House which once stood in the grounds of Forty Hall near to me was allowed to fall into a state of dereliction, some of the brickwork however was salvaged and used in other buildings in the area, but it could have been turned into a museum and how wonderful it would have been to walk along the same floor that Henry V111’s children trod, to touch the oak panelled walls with ones hands and gaze out of the stained glass windows, sadly the old kings palace of Nonsuch met the same fate and yet how many years had it took to build? They had no building equipment in those days everything was done by hand, an enormous amount of human endeavour went into creating those beautiful buildings yet now many are just ruins in the landscape.

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