Author Topic: Succession Crises of 1562  (Read 12816 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Prince_Lieven

  • Moderator
  • Velikye Knyaz
  • *****
  • Posts: 6570
  • To Be Useful In All That I Do
    • View Profile
    • Edward III's Descendants
Succession Crises of 1562
« on: October 24, 2005, 04:56:22 PM »
In 1562, Elizabeth Tudor had been Queen of England for just four years. She contracted smallpox. It was thought by almost everyone she was going to die and provoked a massive succession crises in her council. There were several cadidates, some more practical than others, some more powerful than others, some favoured by the people, some by the council, some by neither!

The Primary Candidates

1. Lady Katherine Grey - Katherine was the most likely cadidate. Under the terms of Henry VIII's will, she stood to inherit the throne after Elizabeth. She was a Protestant, which found favour with most English people. The Council saw that here was a well educated but rather stupid woman whom men like William Cecil could have manipulated easily. But there were some disadvantages to Katherine's candidature - namely, she was at the time in the Tower for contracting an illegal marriage to Edward Seymour, Earl of Hertford. So, if she was accepted as heiress presumptive, the councillors would have been obliged to release 'Queen Katherine' from the Tower. Also, though she was married, the legitimacy of her marriage was in doubt - in fact, it had been declared null and void by Elizabeth. No doubt as queen, Katherine would have been able to find clerics to declare her marriage valid, but what if one day, her son, as 'Edward VII' would be confronted with the question of his legitimacy? It could end in civil war.

2. Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots - Mary was something of a dark horse. Technically, she had the most superior claim, ad she was in the senior line of descent from Henry VII. Also, she would have the backing of not just Scotland, but perhaps of France also. She was a Catholic, but a French army might have been able to force the English to accept her. She was young, and able to bear children as far as was known. However, there were several points against her - Margaret Tudor had renounced the dynastic claims of any descendants of her marriage to James IV: this obviously included Mary, though it is doubtful that anyone recalled this in 1562. Also, Philip II of Spain would resist her enthronment, to counter act the French influence. Also, as a Catholic, she would be deeply unpopular with her subjects.

3. Margaret, Countess of Lennox - Lady Margaret was 47 in 1562, married with two sons. She was a Catholic, which counted against her, but, she could also claim to have a better right to the throne than both Katherine and Mary - Katherine by seniority and Mary because Margaret, unlike her niece, had been born in England, and Margaret Tudor's renounciation had not counted towards the issue of any subsequent marriage. She was also married to a potential claimant to the Scottish throne, and the mother of two healthy sons, which was a definite point in her favour.

4. Henry Stewart, Lord Darnley - It was certainly possible that Margaret Lennox, like her ancestor Margaret Beaufort, would choose to renounce her rights in favour of her son, Henry. Darnley was young, handsome and well known at the English court. That said, he was also a Catholic - was a Catholic king any more acceptable than a Catholic queen? Through his father, he had a potential claim on the Scottish throne.

5. Charles Stewart - Darnley's brother. Would not be considered while Darnley was alive.

6. Lady Mary Grey - Katherine's sister. Would not be considered while Katherine lived.

7. Margaret, Lady Strange - a rank outsider, the daughter of Eleanor Brandon. I'm not sure whether she was Catholic or Protestant at this time - anyone know? She was 22, married to Henry Stanley, Lord Strange, heir to the Earl of Derby, and the mother of two young sons - Ferdinando and William. If she was Protestant at this time, and Margaret Tudor's descendants were to be ruled out because of their Catholocism, and Katherine Grey because of her dubious marriage, then Lady Strange was a definite possibility.

The Secondary Candidates
There was even talk at this time of not bothering with the Tudor descendants, and placing a Plantagenet on the throne. These names were bandied around the Privy Council at the time.

1. Henry Hastings, Earl of Huntingdon - he was descended from George, Duke of Clarence through the latter's daughter Lady Salisbury. He was a Protestant, but had no real wish to be King of England. He was married to Robert Dudley's sister, Katherine.

2. Henry Manners, Earl of Rutland - he was descended from Edward IV's sister Anne. He was married to Margaret Nevill, who had Plantagenet blood too - she was descended from Henry IV's sister Elizabeth.

3. Henry Nevill, Earl of Westmorland - the brother of Margaret, Lady Rutland, who had a claim through Henry IV's sister Elizabeth.

4. Foreign claimants - to acknowlege the claims of the Nevills, though, also meant acknowleging that of others with Lancastrian descent - including Philip II of Spain and Joao I of Portugal. I think we can safely say neither of these men stood a chance of becoming king of England in their own right!  ;D

5. Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk - not so much as an outsider as he seems at first. Norfolk was young, married, and had a son. He also had Plantagenet blood through his grandmother Elizabeth Stafford, and was the premier peer of the realm - but a Catholic.

Any comments on this? Who would you have chosen?  ;D
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Prince_Lieven »
"How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?"
-Sherlock Holmes

"Men forget, but never forgive; women forgive, but never forget."

bell_the_cat

  • Guest
Re: Succession Crises of 1562
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2005, 01:48:02 AM »
Mary of Scotland was the most credible candidate. All the others would have been very wobbly indeed on the throne. The argument of Margaret Tudor's renunciation was never used against her son, so I don't know how seriously it would be taken in 1562.

Although herself catholic, she was already Queen of a protestant country. She would not have tried to reintroduce monasteries as Mary Tudor had done.

She would not have had the support of the French at this juncture, which might have been to her advantage.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by bell_the_cat »

ilyala

  • Guest
Re: Succession Crises of 1562
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2005, 06:45:21 AM »
considering what happened when jane grey (protestant) was placed on the throne against mary (catholic) i'd safely say that mary queen of scots was the most likely candidate. unfortunate, true, but most likely

Offline Prince_Lieven

  • Moderator
  • Velikye Knyaz
  • *****
  • Posts: 6570
  • To Be Useful In All That I Do
    • View Profile
    • Edward III's Descendants
Re: Succession Crises of 1562
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2005, 10:22:42 AM »
Oooh, thanks for replying - I thought everyone would be scared off by the huge opening post!  ;D

And if Mary had become Mary II of England, do you think she would have married Darnley? Or perhaps Catherine de Medici would have suddenly looked upon her erstwhile daughter in law in a new light, and offered her son King Charles as a husband for Mary, uniting Scotland, England and France?  :o Philip II would NOT have been happy.
"How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?"
-Sherlock Holmes

"Men forget, but never forgive; women forgive, but never forget."

bell_the_cat

  • Guest
Re: Succession Crises of 1562
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2005, 10:37:55 AM »
I think Mary would still marry Darnley, because a) she fancied him and b) it was taking out a potential rival claim.

She wouldn't have married Charles because he was only eleven and so she'd have had to wait a bit! Also Charles was under his mother's thumb, whereas Francis hadn't been.

She wouldn't have married Philip either - she had seen the problems it had caused with Mary I.

Offline Prince_Lieven

  • Moderator
  • Velikye Knyaz
  • *****
  • Posts: 6570
  • To Be Useful In All That I Do
    • View Profile
    • Edward III's Descendants
Re: Succession Crises of 1562
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2005, 10:42:03 AM »
Oh yes, I knew Philip wasn't an option. Charles though . . . well, it was hardly unusual to have to wait a while to consummate a marriage.

That said, she was certainly a woman to be ruled be her heart - but Darnley, as a Catholic, would have been unpopular in England, perhaps. Also, do you think Mary would have executed rival claimants like Katherine Grey?
"How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?"
-Sherlock Holmes

"Men forget, but never forgive; women forgive, but never forget."

bell_the_cat

  • Guest
Re: Succession Crises of 1562
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2005, 10:49:41 AM »
Yes her and Mary Grey and Margaret Clifford!

Best to get it over with!

Offline Prince_Lieven

  • Moderator
  • Velikye Knyaz
  • *****
  • Posts: 6570
  • To Be Useful In All That I Do
    • View Profile
    • Edward III's Descendants
Re: Succession Crises of 1562
« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2005, 10:51:47 AM »
You think Mary would have done that?  :o I could well believe her killing Katherine, who was heiress under Henry VIII's will, but Mary Grey - a hunchback - and Margaret Clifford, whose claim was so distant as to be easily overriden by Mary's more senior one?
"How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?"
-Sherlock Holmes

"Men forget, but never forgive; women forgive, but never forget."

bell_the_cat

  • Guest
Re: Succession Crises of 1562
« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2005, 10:53:43 AM »
Once Katherine was gone, Mary would be the heiress, hunchback or not. Once Mary was gone, Margaret Clifford was the heiress...... ;D

Offline Prince_Lieven

  • Moderator
  • Velikye Knyaz
  • *****
  • Posts: 6570
  • To Be Useful In All That I Do
    • View Profile
    • Edward III's Descendants
Re: Succession Crises of 1562
« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2005, 10:56:46 AM »
Nope, Katherine had two sons - though there legitimacy was in question . . . two more 'Princes in the Tower'?  :o
"How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?"
-Sherlock Holmes

"Men forget, but never forgive; women forgive, but never forget."

bell_the_cat

  • Guest
Re: Succession Crises of 1562
« Reply #10 on: October 25, 2005, 11:04:09 AM »
She could leave them to growup and be executed by James, maybe.  :-/

Seriously though, it may be that by the 1560s the Greys had blotted their copybooks so much with their affairs and so on that nobody took them seriously any more. They didn't pose much of a threat to Elizabeth. Mary would have to carefully guage public opinion, before deciding how to act. There would surely have been a few casualties though.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by bell_the_cat »

Offline Prince_Lieven

  • Moderator
  • Velikye Knyaz
  • *****
  • Posts: 6570
  • To Be Useful In All That I Do
    • View Profile
    • Edward III's Descendants
Re: Succession Crises of 1562
« Reply #11 on: October 25, 2005, 11:07:01 AM »
Yes, apparently Elizabeth didn't have much of an opinion of her cousin Katherine . . . Both she and her sister Mary married with royal approval, so even though, when Elizabeth was aging and heir-less in the 1580s and 90s, her son Edward, though a Protestant English nobleman who was next in line under Henry VIII's will, was not really a practical candidate . . .
"How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?"
-Sherlock Holmes

"Men forget, but never forgive; women forgive, but never forget."

ilyala

  • Guest
Re: Succession Crises of 1562
« Reply #12 on: October 26, 2005, 05:45:37 AM »
i don't think mary would have eliminated her counter candidates unless they decided to pose threat. while she was very impulsive and once decided she would have done it over with, unlike elizabeth, she wasn't the cruel type. maybe she wouldn't have been the best queen ever but she wouldn't have been another mary tudor either.

as for her marriage... had she already met darnley when the crisis came up? cause if so, she probably would have married him anyway... otherwise, i don't know...

bell_the_cat

  • Guest
Re: Succession Crises of 1562
« Reply #13 on: October 26, 2005, 06:18:54 AM »
She wasn't a cruel person, but she was prepared to send people to the block if necessary. In 1562 after defeating the Catholic Earl of Huntly in battle, she had his son Sir John Gordon beheaded.

When she visited the castle of Burntisland in 1563 she was followed by Chastellard, a French poet to whom she had shown some favour. However, he arrived via a secret stairway and entered her bedchamber. This was the second time he had done this (previously pardoned for a similar offence at the Palace of Holyrood in Edinburgh), and he was duly executed at Saint Andrews. Legend has it that his last words were "adieu, most beautiful and cruel Princess".

I suppose he would be called a "stalker" nowadays.

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by bell_the_cat »

Offline Kimberly

  • Moderator
  • Velikye Knyaz
  • *****
  • Posts: 3143
  • Loyaulte me lie
    • View Profile
Re: Succession Crises of 1562
« Reply #14 on: October 26, 2005, 06:53:01 AM »
I read somewhere that he was on the payroll of Catherine de Medici. And his role was to blacken Mary's name. Anyone confirm that?
Member of the Richard III Society