Posted: June 25th, 2021
Although, source B and D have evidence that religion as still a slight factor that was taken into consideration. Source B is a historians summary of the events surrounding Lady Jane Grey brief reign. It begins to state how towards the end of Edwards reign he and Northumberland were very aware that his successor would be his catholic sister, Mary. They planned to alter the succession in order to ‘secure Protestantism. ‘ This part of the source clearly shows how determined Edward and Northumberland were at keeping the protestant rule over England.
This is because they had spent Edwards rule converting the country to Protestantism and building up power under this religion and if this were then to be changed to Catholicism then the main concern would be the loss of power for some, including Northumberland. In a way, the reason religion was being considered over legitimacy is because Northumberland had convinced Edward to do so. There is no hiding the fact that Edward would do most things that Northumberland would tell him to so what would stop him from altering the succession act if that is what Northumberland wanted.
If Protestantism were to continue as the ruling religion then Northumberland loud be able to keep his position of power and if this religion were to be continued with the rule of Lady Jane Grey then Northumberland powers would have increased due to the fact that his son was married to Jane Grey. Whereas in the second half of the source it says how Mary was decided as successor and done by the power of her legitimacy. She was crowned successor because she made it so there was ‘a much wider appeal to legitimacy and a careful avoidance of religious issues. People appealed because she avoided religion, showing that is was not an influential aspect cause people didn’t have a great concern towards her being a catholic, and because she based her appeal on the fact that she was legitimate because her father was Henry VIII, the people cared more for the relationship of royal blood. The fact that this source is written by a historian is beneficial to the comparison Of which was more important, religion or legitimacy, because he’s able to give a over view of the events without the influence of any bias compared to if the source were to be written by someone of the time.
Overall this source shows how although religion may on been put into consideration ND may of been really important to others, it doesn’t stop that legitimacy became the final decider of who would be successor; going against that ‘in 1 542 and 1 558 religion was more important consideration then legitimacy in settling the succession to the crown. ‘ Source D is also showing how both religion and legitimacy were used to decide a successor. Source D is written by a servant of the king of Spain from the courts deciding on the arrangements for Mays successor.
Although it’s written by a slave I doubt there would be much bias because he is a servant of the King of Spain who as no interest in the succession and the fact that he will not gain anything from this due to the arrangements in his and Mar’s marriage contract. The source begins by saying how the Privy Council had to persuade Mary to agree to Elizabeth as her successor because Mary did not want this to be the case seeing as Mary had converted England to Catholicism after Edwards rule as a protestant and now another protestant would be placed in rule causing her efforts to become meaningless.
However, she did agree but with the terms that Elizabeth will: ‘maintain the Old religion as the Queen had restored it; and he other that she will pay the Queen’s debts. ‘ Therefore, Elizabeth is chosen as successor completely due to the fact that she has the highest standing of legitimacy but Mary does not want her efforts as Queen to be over looked and disregarded which is why she wishes for Catholicism to be maintained. This agreement is carried out even though Mary knows that Elizabeth is most likely to break those promises which show that all Mary truly cares about is legitimacy.
As long as the Tudor blood line continues in power, religion does not alter the choice of successor. Again, religion may be considered and important to some yet the decision of successor will always depend on their legitimacy because that’s what everyone knows truly counts. Both of sources B and D show how religion may of been important to certain individuals but legitimacy would always over rule. The power of legitimacy is shown within sources A and C; Source A is from the third succession act written by Henry VIII with the permission of the Privy Council.
It states how after Henry and Edwards death, then the thrown should pass to Mary and her heirs, then onto Elizabeth and her heirs if Mary were to die without any children. Religion is not mention once within this source because Henrys main concern was to provide the thrown with Tudor successors for years to come. We can tell that religion plays no part with Henry because he willing left the Catholic Church and created the Church of England just so he would be able to have control and grant himself a divorce from his first wife and another to come.
His many wives also show his determination to provide heirs to the throne because he had 6 wives in order to create a son who would rule England after his death. Henry was so committed to making sure that the throne would continue with the Tudor name. Also due to this act being passed with the permission of the Privy Council shows that they too do not care about the religion someone has, as long as they fit the part of being ruler of England. No mention of religion and no concern towards what the future successors religious preference may be, the only thing that matters is who will be in control of England in the future.
Now for the third time its going against the original statement. Source C is also going against religion being more important than astigmatic. It is a response to Marry letters claiming her right to the throne. The Privy Council are telling Mary that it is Jane Grey who is the rightful successor to the throne due to letters Edward wrote before his death and that due to the divorce of her mother and Henry VIII it causes Mary to be illegitimate.
Legitimacy is used within this source to strengthen the position of Lady Jane Grey and weaken the position of Mary. They use it to say that Jane Grey is clearly the right successor because she has a relation to Henry VIII, yet even though Mary is his daughter they choose to disregard her because of a succession act that called her illegitimate even though later on that succession act was over thrown by the third succession act.
Even though religion isn’t mentioned we know that this response has been written because Edward was desperate to have a protestant as his SUccessor which is why so much weight is put on Edwards ‘Great seal of England. ‘ The PRI,y Council know they have a very slim chance at making Jane Grey successor over Mary’ but they were willing to try. Yet in the sense of this source it heavily relies on legitimacy, even though Jane Grey isn’t the true person to be next in line. The Privy Council have an agenda and purpose that they are trying very hard to fulfill.
However, we know that they actually failed to place Lady Jane Grey as the rightful ruler of England because Mary was able to gain the support of the people who believed and knew she was the rightful successor due to her father being Henry VIII and Lady Jane Grey only being a cousin. This source shows how true legitimacy is much more powerful than the word of an existing King. Over all, there is without a doubt that between 1542 and 1 558 elision was not more of an important consideration over legitimacy when it came to choosing a successor.
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