Previously published in Examiner
Conclusion of the first Queens of England series
This series of women in high ranking positions is a major series that will be broken down into several parts. As you know Montrealers do not have a vice president nor president, our system based on the British system has prime ministers. We continue now with the Queens of England and will end with Montrealers only female Prime Minister of Canada, Right Honorable Kim Campbell.
To learn more about Canadian Prime Ministers and other Canadian or Quebec politics, both McGill University and Concordia University offer wonderful political science degrees.
When the young Edward died, Edward IV named Lady Jane Grey, his first cousin, as his legal succession and she took the throne for those few days in July of 1553 until Mary I was able to gain support and depose her.
Mary was very inexperienced as a monarch and did not have good council. She did do some very compassionate things such as pardon Suffolk, Lady Jane Grey’s father, only to have him start another rebellion to restore his daughter to the throne.
Mary I married Philippe II of Spain in order to create an alliance between Spain, the Netherlands, and England. This alliance was questionable because Spain was at war with France. However, England was to remain out of the war.
Philippe later reneged on the agreement and committed England to war.
Mary’s devotion to her religion and to restoring England to the Holy Sea was fraught with difficulty and much blood shed. The protestant supporters did not want to give up their new religion and their new acquisitions gained under Henry VIII and Edward IV reign. The treatment of the protestants was vicious and cruel and over 300 victims were burned at the stake.
In the end Mary’s husband alienated England from the Pope and her restoration of England to a Roman Catholic country seemed all in vain.
Mary was more or less a product of her generation and to the laws of the land. She was not nearly as cruel as history portrays her to be. She pardoned many people, and told her legal enforcers to be fair and to admit testimony of people who did not agree with the court on legal matters. She tried to govern in a fair way, but was overpowered by her advisers, and her legal enforcers.