Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 36.djvu/345

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Mary I
Mary I

Christmas 1542 Mary spent with her father at Westminster, and she attended in the following July his marriage to his sixth wife, Catherine Parr. She accompanied the king and queen on their autumn progress to Woodstock, Grafton, and Dunstable. With Catherine Parr she was always on amiable relations.

All Mary's disabilities were now to be removed. Henry, seeing that an outbreak of war with France was inevitable, was anxious to conciliate Charles V at all points, and the latter seized the opportunity of insisting on Mary's restoration to the succession. On 7 Feb. 1544 an act of parliament entailed the crown upon her after Edward or any other child that should be born to the king in lawful wedlock. Of Mary's legitimacy nothing was said. Ten days later she took part with the queen in the reception of the Spanish Duke de Najera, and attracted favourable attention. She danced at a court ball, and the duke's secretary sent word to Spain that she was not only pleasing in person but very popular. Later in the year Mary, at Queen Catherine Parr's suggestion, translated Erasmus's Latin paraphrase of St. John, and the queen subsequently induced her to allow her work to be printed, with a translation of the rest of Erasmus's paraphrases by various authors, under the direction of Dr. Francis Mallett [q. v.] It appeared in 1551–2. Dr. Udall in the preface wrote that England would 'never be able, as her deserts require, enough to praise the most noble, the most virtuous, and the most studious Lady Mary's grace for taking such pains and travail.' Towards the end of Henry's reign the emperor once more suggested a matrimonial alliance between Mary and himself, and when Duke Philip of Bavaria revisited England in 1546, he too renewed his old proposal. But on 23 Jan. 1546–7 Henry died, and, despite the numerous negotiations, Mary was still unmarried. The king is reported to have summoned her to his deathbed, to have expressed his sympathy with her for her past misfortunes, and to have bidden her be a mother to her little brother (Spanish Chronicle, p. 151). Henry left her, while she was unmarried, 3,000l. a year, chiefly drawn from the manors of Newhall, Hunsdon, and Kenninghall, and on her marriage (provided she married with the council's consent) 10,000l., with such jewellery and plate as the council should determine. Mary was now thirty-one years old, and thus twenty years the new king's senior. Despite the discrepancy in their ages, and although Edward had with characteristic precocity occasionally presumed to advise her on religious topics, they had always been in affectionate relations with each other. Nor was Mary at first on other than friendly terms with her brother's chief advisers, although the deprivation in March of her old acquaintance, Lord-chancellor Wriothesley, a staunch catholic, caused her disquietude. On 24 April she wrote in the friendliest terms to Somerset's wife, asking that the necessities of two old servants of her mother might be generously met. To her sister Elizabeth, her junior by seventeen years, she also showed a sisterly tenderness. During the reign of her brother Mary spent her time chiefly at the country houses appointed for her under her father's will — Newhall, Hunsdon, or Kenninghall (cf. Acts of Privy Council, 1547–50, pp. 84, 92).

In the autumn (1547) she expressed her first misgivings of Edward's religious policy. She complained to Somerset that he was not upholding catholic principles in accordance with her father's design, nor was he educating her brother in them. Somerset contested her interpretation of her father's wishes. Christmas was spent with her brother and sister, but this was the only occasion during the reign in which she took part in festivities at court. In the autumn of 1548 she paid a visit to St. James's Palace. The protector's brother, Lord Seymour, who had just lost his wife, Catherine Parr (7 Sept.), proposed to introduce to her his attendant, Walter Earle, to give her lessons on the virginals, and offered to marry her. But he was a protestant who was bent on her conversion to his views, and his advances were not encouraged. Moreover, Mary was once again the object of other suitors' attentions. In March 1547–8 the Duke of Ferrara 'gave grateful ear' to an English envoy's suggestion that the princess should marry his son (Cal. State Papers, For. 1547–53, p. 17). Don Luiz of Portugal was a second time put forward, and between August 1548 and June 1549 his claim was formally discussed in the council. The Duke of Brunswick and the Marquis of Brandenburg — both protestants — were also willing to marry her. But serious illness attacked Mary in the summer of 1549 while she was at Kenninghall, and interrupted matrimonial negotiations.

Religious matters were also absorbing her attention anew. Early in 1549 the Act of Uniformity had passed through parliament. The mass was prohibited after the following May. Mary resolved to disobey the order, and fearlessly entered on the second great struggle of her life. On 16 June 1549 the council advised her to give order that the mass should be no more used in her house (Acts of the Privy Council, pp. 291–2). On