March 30 – Thomas Cranmer and his protestation, and A “pregnant” Mary I makes her will

On this day in Tudor history, 30th March 1533, at the Passion Sunday service, Thomas Cranmer, Archdeacon of Taunton, was consecrated as Archbishop of Canterbury.

His consecration was not like those of others before him, however, because as well as making the usual oath promising to be faithful to the papacy and to denounce heretics, he also made a protestation to show that his oath would not conflict with his loyalty to King Henry VIII and his commitment to reforming the church. Hmmmm…. complicated.

Find out more in this talk…

Also on this day in Tudor history, 30th March 1558, Queen Mary I wrote her will. She did it because she believed that she was just about to give birth, and, obviously, childbirth was a risky process.

Find out more about her will, and what happened with this “pregnancy”, in this video…

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One thought on “March 30 – Thomas Cranmer and his protestation, and A “pregnant” Mary I makes her will”
  1. Poor Mary I have always felt such deep sympathy for her, once of the darling of her fathers court her future looked rosy and wonderful, then by the time she was entering puberty her world was turned upside down, once loved by her people when queen she had turned most of them against her by her introduction of the heresy laws, and the vengeance she pursued those she deemed heretics in her kingdom made her look as bloodthirsty and tyrannical as her father, their love whittled away also her marriage to Philip was unpopular, she loved him devotedly but he did not return her ardour, to him it was a political match made for expediency but for her it was a love match, Philip was blonde and said to be handsome, looking at his portraits he had a long jaw, famously called the Hapsburg jaw the result of inbreeding and thin spindly legs, but he was intelligent like his fellow monarchs he was a Renaissance prince and of course a cousin of Mary’s, I have always felt Mary believed herself to be more Spanish than English, maybe the devotion to her indifferent husband was due also to family ties, his long absence’s grieved her and the loss of Calais was a disaster and something which must have made Henry V111 turn in his grave and his forefathers, twice she had believed herself to be with child but she was harbouring an illusion, some women suffer phantom pregnancies and experience the symptoms of pregnancy, nausea bloating the cessation of periods, but poor Mary’s so called pregnancy could have been a tumour, her mother also died from cancer, there was a black mass attached to her heart, of course her doctors believed this was poison but it definitely sounds like cancer, Mary could well have had cancer of the stomach, which makes the victim feel sick and lose an alarming amount of weight, it usually claims the victims life in about a year, her women and men of her household would have noticed her deterioration, her last illness has been the subject of debate with many theories put forward, a brain condition being one of them, depression and stress may also have rendered her inability to cope with some medical conditions, also she had suffered heavy periods in her youth which sounds like endometriosis, some women are rendered infertile by this crippling condition so unbeknown good to her, she was quite possibly incapable of having a baby in the first place, although endometriosis does not kill, there was obviously something sinister going on there, however this day she wrote her will with a cheerful heart, Calais was lost and her dear Philip was abroad, but this was joyful news and it is heartbreaking to know this poor misled queen was celebrating something which was deadly and which was to kill her eventually, one historian wrote that her story is the saddest in English history, she must have gone to her chapel and prayed to the saints for help in her travails on the dangers of pregnancy, as she wrote in her will, in her will she also expressed a wish that her beloved mother’s remains be brought to Westminster where they would both lie together in eternity, sadly her wishes were never met, I do not know why Elizabeth never honoured her sisters wishes, perhaps because of a long harboured resentment caused by her treatment from the queen which she felt was surely unjustified, she had been arrested and taken to the Tower but not for total release, she was kept a house prisoner for a year and Elizabeth had been innocent, also she must have realised that she was maybe being punished for being merely Nan Bullens daughter, Mary was suspicious of her younger sister and must have felt chilled every time her mother’s eyes looked her way, it is natural to hate the daughter of a hated rival, illogical though this is, it’s very much a human trait, this makes Mary out to be petty but I am not inferring that she persecuted Elizabeth because of Anne Boleyn, though I think that had something to do with her mistrust of Elizabeth, she also slandered Elizabeth by commentating on her appearance that she resembled Mark Smeaton her mother’s music master, this was an awful thing to say because it was an insult against her mother as well as Elizabeth, but it was mostly her religion which was the problem here, Mary wished her sister to attend mass but she kept making excuses by complaining she had a stomach ache, or a bad head etc Mary was not fooled, the ugly elephant in the room was always religion just as it had been in Edwards reign, to Mary Elizabeth represented the ghastly reformation the breakdown of her and her mother’s beloved Catholic beliefs, along with the ruination of her mother’s life, she was also much younger and more attractive, she was witty and intelligent no half wit, had Elizabeth been born a simpleton she may have felt more kindly towards her, the longed for child and heir which she left her crown to was never to materialise, just her wishes for her mother’s internment were never honoured, neither was her deep wish that Elizabeth kept her realm Catholic, but for today at least she was blissfully happy, tragic that like along with other events in this unfortunate queens life, it was to be short lived.

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