Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 36.djvu/357

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
Mary I
Mary I

everything else is wrong' (For. Cal. 10 March 1558).

On 10 Dec. 1557 Mary had addressed a letter to the sheriffs of the counties, bidding them return to a new parliament representatives who were residents in the constituencies and 'men given to good order, Catholic, and discreet' (Green, iii. 315). On 20 Jan. she opened the parliament, after attending mass in Westminster Abbey (Machyn, p. 163). Hostility to the queen's policy at home and abroad found frequent expression during the debates, and after the grant of a subsidy the houses were dissolved (7 March). Easter was spent at Greenwich (Machyn, p. 168), and on 30 April, although her health had improved under the prevailing excitement, she made her will; once again she believed that she was with child. In May she expected another visit from Philip, but he did not come (Green, iii. 319).

A little later she was at Richmond, suffering from intermittent fever, and she soon removed to St. James's Palace in the hope of benefitting by a change of climate. On 17 June 1558 she urged anew the need of defending the realm against 'our ancient enemies, the French and Scots' (ib. pp. 320-321). In August she was suffering from low fever and dropsy: she was better in September, but was much distressed by the news of the death of Charles V, and in October the disorder returned while she was still at St. James's Palace. On 28 Oct. she recognised her danger and added a codicil to her will. A few days later Philip, who had been informed of her condition, sent once again the Count de Feria to her with a message and a ring. He recognised the futility of pressing his own claims to her crown, and had already desired her, on Mary Stuart's marriage with the dauphin (24 April 1558), to take steps for the recognition of Elizabeth as her successor. Mary's last days were chiefly occupied in securing the observance of Elizabeth's title. She sent her her jewels, with directions to pay her debts and to maintain the true religion. On 5 Nov. parliament met once more, and it considered a bill—the first of its kind—for restricting the liberty of the press; but the queen's illness suspended the proceedings. On 10 Nov. the latest heretics were burnt at Canterbury, nearly bringing the total number of the martyrs to three hundred, and on 12 Nov. a woman was set in the pillory for falsely circulating a report that the queen was dead (Machyn, p. 178). Pole lay on his deathbed at Lambeth at the same time, and hourly messages passed between him and Mary. On 16 Nov. she was composed and cheerful. Early next morning she received extreme unction, and desired that mass should be celebrated in her room. At the elevation of the host she raised her eyes, and as she bowed her head at the benediction, breathed her last (17 Nov.: cf. Clifford, pp. 71–2). Before noon Elizabeth was proclaimed queen. Pole died next day (18 Nov.)

Mary's death—at the age of forty-two years and nine months—was probably due to a malignant new growth, the sequel of a long-continued functional disorder of the ovary. Of the functional disorder—called by Mary and her sister 'her old guest'—the chief symptom was amenorrhea (note kindly supplied by Dr. Norman Moore). Mental worry aggravated her ailments; for years she had rarely been free from headache and palpitations of the heart (Venetian Cal. 1553–4, p. 532). But Holinshed states that when Mrs. Rise, a lady-in-waiting, suggested Philip's absence as the sole cause of her sorrow in her last illness, the queen replied, 'Not only that, but when I am dead and opened you shall find Calais lying upon my heart' (Chron. iii. 1100; the story reached Holinshed through Mrs. Rise). Mary's body was embalmed, and on 10 Dec. she lay in state in the chapel of St. James's Palace. At her special request she was dressed as a member of a religious order, and not, as was customary, in robes of state. On the 13th the coffin was conveyed in public procession to Westminster Abbey, and on the 14th was buried on the north side of Henry VII's Chapel with full catholic rites. The sermon was preached by John White, bishop of Winchester, who proclaimed Mary as a king's daughter, a king's sister, and a king's wife, and eulogised her clemency and private virtues. A solemn requiem, in memory both of her and of Charles V, was sung by Philip's order in the cathedral of Brussels on the same day. No monument was erected to her memory, but James I ordered two small black tablets to be placed above her grave and that of Elizabeth bearing the inscription, 'Regno consortes et urna hic obdormimus Elizabetha et Maria sorores in spe resurrectionis.'

By her will, dated 30 April, Mary named Philip and Pole her chief executors. To the former she left a diamond given her by his father, and a diamond, collar of gold, and ruby set in a gold ring, which he had himself given her. To Pole she left 1,000l. She directed her mother's body to be brought from Peterborough and buried beside herself. To the religious houses of Sheen and Sion she left 500l. each and lands to the annual value of 100l.; to the Observant Friars of Greenwich 500l., and to those at South-