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The Myth of 'Bloody Mary' > Mary vs Carnmer

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message 1: by Lynsay (new)

Lynsay | 32 comments Mary had a policy of allowing those who recanted to live. Yet she went back on her word with Thomas Cranmer. I think Mary blamed Cranmer for the misery she endured. Even though the blame really lay with her father he was a King, to hate him was treason and she was raised to love her King. Cranmer on the other hand declared her mother's marriage invalid and reformed the church; he was there when Edward changed the will. Did Cranmer deserve Mary's wrath?

I think that in a way if she got rid of Cranmer, then she perhaps hoped to be rid of her pain. However, it backfired as he died a martyr and there is a monument built in Oxford in memory of him and others who died there.

What do you think of Mary's vendetta against Cranmer? Did it seal her fate? Was he the real target of her wrath?


message 2: by Val (last edited Feb 06, 2014 04:52AM) (new)

Val I have copied this over from the Elizabeth thread:

Lynsay wrote: "Mary doesn't rate as a tyrant, she followed her conscience. And according to the bio even John Knox acknowledged that she did not personally carry out or condone most of the executions. That was her ministers, though she did agree with the policy. But she would let those who converted live.

The one exception of course was Cranmer."


Yes, that one does seem to be personal. I suppose it is understandable after his role in the divorce and declaring Mary illegitimate. It is one of the few times she acts on her feelings, which makes the picture of her as generally neurotic and vindictive very unfair. Most of the time she was concerned to act according to the law and to get Parliamentary backing first.
She could have stepped in and pardoned some other people, which would have given a lead and perhaps made those enforcing the law more lenient in turn without undermining the policy. Instead she let the executions carry on. However strongly she believed that certain views were heretical, people are more likely to be 'cured' of those views by education than by making martyrs of some of them and hardening the opinions of the rest.


message 3: by Val (new)

Val I think it is interesting that Philip advised moderation, he does not have that reputation in The Netherlands.


message 4: by Paula (new)

Paula (paulakrapf) | 74 comments Lynsay wrote: "Mary had a policy of allowing those who recanted to live. Yet she went back on her word with Thomas Cranmer. I think Mary blamed Cranmer for the misery she endured. Even though the blame really lay..."

I think it was very personal for Mary when it came to Cranmer, and she was waiting for a chance to do something about it. I'm not sure that sealed her fate, I think the times were changing in a way she was not prepared to handle - her ministers especially.

I read another book recently that focused on the Hapsburgs (what a crazy bunch!) but it mentioned Philip a few times and he was not seen as a moderate in that book, either. Somehow he managed to maintain a decent reputation in England, but not so much anywhere else.


message 5: by Lynsay (new)

Lynsay | 32 comments I think because she couldn't lay the blame at Henry VIII's door she focused on Cranmer. I think that whole situation is tragic because she wasn't able to really face the past and confront the person who did her the most damage. Cranmer was the net best thing, and her way of fixing her father's wrongs in a way, maybe.


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