How Stable and Well Served Were the Tudor Monarchy?

Topics: Edward VI of England, Mary I of England, Henry VIII of England Pages: 6 (2600 words) Published: May 6, 2012
How stable and well served were the Tudor monarchy?
After Henry VIII’s reign ended, many historians believe that there was a crisis because of a young King followed by a Queen however considering the details you can see that it was not a clear as first perceived. Many events in each monarch’s reign could show instability however all of the main rebellions that could have been considered a threat were overcome with quite small danger to the reigning monarch, if any. As none of the Tudor monarchs were successfully overthrown indisputably this shows their real ability to hold onto their position and control England, even if their popularity may have fluctuated through throughout their reign. Henry VIII’s reign was viewed by Witney Jones as one of the two Tudor ‘high noons’ however he had his own problems including many rivalry factions and rebellion which imply that his reign was not as stable as perceived when compared to Edward and Mary’s reigns. The struggle between the factions in his court is a key point when observing how well served Henry was. The two main competitors were created when Anne Boleyn became queen because of the introduction of the Protestant religion, which meant he could marry her. She was crowned on 1 June 1533 and by 11 July Pope Clement VII had excommunicated Henry. But her faction had many enemies such as Thomas Cromwell on a personal level and the Aragonese faction as religious conservatives and these, led by Thomas Cromwell, plotted her downfall by fabricating evidence of adultery and treason resulting in her death on 19 May 1536. Declaring Elizabeth a bastard and still refusing to legitimise Mary threw the succession into crisis with his bastard son dying in July 1536 as well. In addition to this, his cruel treatment of the Mary’s supporters helped fuel the Pilgrimage of Grace. His reign became unstable at this point as he had no legitimate heir in his eyes and no wife; because of the weakness the leaders of factions had the opportunity to act. Cromwell tried to advise him to marry Anne of Cleves so to create an ally with the German Protestants. This ended in annulment within six months and the Duke of Norfolk and other such as Gardiner convinced him Cromwell was a traitor, which led to his execution in 1540 and no resistance to the introduction of Catholic Catherine Howard. This was again followed by accusations toward the Duke of Norfolk in 1546 leading to his execution and once again there was no resistance to placing another girl in court for Henry to marry, Catherine Parr, a devoted Protestant, showing their eventual victory. This rivalry between the factions created an unsettled government and Henry seemed to have little actual control, the power being held by the rivalling factions with him as a figurehead, constantly being advised to follow differing paths by his advisers Also Henry started the Dissolution of the Monasteries, protest started in Lincolnshire in 1536 and even though it was stopped before it reached Yorkshire, a lawyer, Robert Aske took over the protest and it became the Pilgrimage of Grace, gathering around 35,000 protesters. It spread to York, Hull and Doncaster, where the Duke of Norfolk intercepted them and promised them pardons and that their complaints would be heard but when a further protest broke out, he backed out of the promise, captured the leaders and they were later executed. Although the protest seemed to be completely religiously based the pilgrims only tried to restore 16 of the 55 monasteries leading it to be thought that there was more economic reasons for the protest as well. These could have been the taxation measures or the two years of bad weather and harvests. Although Henry was quickly victorious over the uprising people he re-organised the Council of the North that shows that he clearly saw the North as a difficulty in controlling the country, being so far from London. He visibly felt threatened as he executed Robert Aske, Lord Darcy, Sir Thomas...
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