|Mary I (18 February 1516–17 November 1558) was Queen of England and Queen of Ireland from 6 July 1553 (de jure) or 19 July 1553 (de facto) until her death. Mary, the fourth and penultimate monarch of the Tudor dynasty, is remembered for her attempt to return England from Protestantism to Roman Catholicism. To this end, she had almost three hundred religious dissenters executed; as a consequence, she is sometimes known as Bloody Mary. Her religious policies, however, were in many cases reversed by her successor, Elizabeth I.|
Mary I is sometimes confused with her cousin, Mary I, Queen of Scots, who lived at approximately the same time.
Mary, the second daughter and fifth child of Henry VIII and his first wife, Catherine of Aragon (a stillborn sister, two short-lived brothers, and a stillborn brother preceded her) was born at the Palace of Placentia in Greenwich on Monday 18 February 1516. She was baptised on the following Wednesday with Thomas Cardinal Wolsey standing as her godfather. The Princess Mary was a precocious but sickly child who had poor eyesight and bad headaches. Her poor health has been theorised by some authors to be from congenital syphilis transferred to her from her mother, who presumably would have caught the disease from her father (whether or not he had the disease is debated, however). Henry gave the Princess Mary her own court at Ludlow Castle and many of the prerogatives normally only given to a Prince of Wales (sometimes leading to false assertions that she was created Princess of Wales), even though he was deeply disappointed that his wife had again failed to produce a healthy son (Catherine's sixth and last child was a stillborn daughter).
The Princess Mary became an extremely well-educated child under the direction of her governess, the Countess of Salisbury. She learnt to speak Latin, Spanish, French and Italian, as well as her native English. Other studies included Greek, science, and music. In July 1520, when scarcely four and a half years old, she entertained some visitors with a performance on the virginals. A great part of the credit of her early education was undoubtedly due to her mother, who not only consulted the Spanish scholar Vives upon the subject, but was herself the Princess Mary's first teacher in Latin.
Even when she was a young child, the Princess Mary's marital future was being negotiated by her father. When she was but two years old, she was promised to the Dauphin Francis, son of Francis I, King of France. After three years, the contract was repudiated; in 1522, the Princess Mary was instead contracted to her first cousin, the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V by the Treaty of Windsor. Within a few years, however, the engagement was broken off. In 1526, the Princess Mary was sent to Wales to preside over the Council of Wales and the Marches. It was then suggested that the Princess Mary wed, not the Dauphin, but his father Francis I, who was eager for an alliance with England. A marriage treaty was signed; it provided that the Princess Mary should marry either Francis or his second son, Henry, Duke of Orléans. Thomas Cardinal Wolsey, Henry VIII's chief advisor, managed to secure an alliance without a marriage.
The Princess Mary (1544)
Meanwhile, the marriage of the Princess Mary's parents appeared jeopardised. Queen Catherine had failed to provide Henry the male heir he desired; consequently, the King attempted to have his marriage to her annulled. In 1533, Henry secretly married another woman, Anne Boleyn. Shortly thereafter, Thomas Cranmer, the Archbishop of Canterbury, formally declared the marriage with Catherine void and the marriage with Anne valid. Since the Pope had previously denied him the annullment, Henry broke with the Roman Catholic Church. All appeals from the decisions of English ecclesiastical courts to the Pope were abolished, and the King was acknowledged as "Supreme Head" of the Church of England.
Mary, meanwhile, was deemed illegitimate, as Henry's marriage to Catherine was officially null and void from the beginning. She lost the dignity of a Princess, becoming a mere "Lady." Her place in the line of succession was transferred to the Princess Elizabeth (daughter of Queen Anne). The Lady Mary was expelled from the royal court; her servants were dismissed from her service, and she was forced to serve as a lady-in-waiting (under the Queen Anne's aunt, the Lady Shelton) to her own infant half-sister, then living in Hatfield. She was not permitted to meet her own mother, or attend her mother's funeral in 1536. Her treatment and the hatred Queen Anne had for her was perceived as unjust; all Europe, furthermore, regarded her as the only true heir and daughter of Henry VIII, although she was illegitimate under English law.
The source of many of the Lady Mary's troubles were lost when Queen Anne was executed in May 1536 after she failed to produce a male heir. The Princess Elizabeth was also degraded to a Lady and removed from the line of succession. Henry married Jane Seymour, who died shortly after giving birth to a son, the Prince Edward, Duke of Cornwall. The Lady Mary's privy purse expenses for nearly the whole of this period have been published, and show that Hatfield, Beaulieu or Newhall in Essex, Richmond and Hunsdon were among her principal places of residence.
The Lady Mary attempted to reconcile with her father by submitting to him as head of the Church of England under Jesus Christ (thus repudiating Papal authority) and acknowledging that the marriage between her mother and father was unlawful, thus making her illegitimate. She also became godmother to her half-brother Edward and was chief mourner at Queen Jane's funeral. In turn, Henry agreed to grant her a household, and the Lady Mary was permitted to reside in royal palaces. Henry's sixth and last wife, Catherine Parr, was able to bring the family closer together, thus improving the Lady Mary's position.
There were several attempts to marry her off to European princes, but none of them succeeded. In 1544, an Act of Parliament returned the Lady Mary and the Lady Elizabeth to the line of succession (after their half-brother, the Prince Edward, Duke of Cornwall). Both women, however, remained legally illegitimate.
In 1547, Henry died, to be succeeded by Edward VI. Edward was England's first Protestant monarch; his Parliament's Act of Uniformity prescribed Protestant rites for church services (such as the use of Thomas Cranmer's new Book of Common Prayer). The Lady Mary, desirous of maintaining the old Roman Catholic form, asked to be allowed to worship in private in her own chapel. After she was ordered to stop her practices, she appealed to her cousin and former matrimonial prospect, the Emperor Charles V. Charles threatened war with England if the Lady Mary's religious liberty were infringed; consequently, the Protestants at court ceased to interfere with her private rituals.
Edward VI died in 1553 whilst Mary was staying at Framlingham Castle in Suffolk. He did not desire that the Crown go to either the Lady Mary or the Lady Elizabeth; consequently, he excluded them from the line of succession in his will (which was unlawful, because it contradicted an Act of Parliament passed in 1544 restoring the Lady Mary and the Lady Elizabeth to the line of succession, and because it was made by a minor). Under the guidance of John Dudley, 1st Duke of Northumberland, Edward VI instead devised the Crown to the Lady Jane Grey, a descendant of Henry VIII's younger sister, Mary Tudor, Duchess of Suffolk, and the Duke of Northumberland's daughter-in-law.
Thus, after Edward died on 6 July 1553, the Lady Jane Grey was proclaimed Queen. Jane's accession did not meet with popular approval, which was suppressed by the use of force. A young boy so bold as to hail "Queen Mary" was punished by having his ears cut off. Still, the country remained devoted to Mary. On 19 July, Jane's accession proclamation was deemed to have been made under coercion and was revoked; instead, Mary was proclaimed Queen. All support for the Lady Jane vanished and Mary rode into London triumphantly and unchallenged, with her half-sister, the Lady Elizabeth, at her side, on 3 August.
Since the Act of Succession passed in 1544 recognised only Mary as Edward's heir, and since Edward's will was never authorised by statute, Mary's de jure reign dates to 6 July 1553, the date of Edward's death. Her de facto reign, however, dates to 19 July 1553, when Jane was deposed. One of her first actions as monarch was to order the release of the Catholic Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk and Stephen Gardiner from imprisonment in the Tower of London.
Originally, Mary was inclined to exercise clemency. She set the Lady Jane Grey free, recognising that the young girl was forced to take the Crown by her father-in-law. The Lady Jane's father, Henry Grey, 1st Duke of Suffolk, was also released. Only the Duke of Northumberland did the Queen execute, and even him with some hesitation. She was left in a difficult position, as almost all the Privy Counsellors had been implicated in the plot to put the Lady Jane Grey on the Throne. She could only rely on Stephen Gardiner, whom she appointed Bishop of Winchester and Lord Chancellor. Gardiner performed Mary's coronation on 1 October 1553 because Mary did not wish to be crowned by the senior ecclesiastics, who were all Protestants.
Mary's first Act of Parliament retroactively validated Henry VIII's marriage to Catherine of Aragon, and legitimated the Queen.
Now 37, Mary turned her attention to procuring a husband to father an heir in order to prevent her half-sister, the Lady Elizabeth, from succeeding to the Throne. She rejected Edward Courtenay, 1st Earl of Devon as a prospect when her first cousin, the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, suggested that she marry his only son, the Spanish prince Philip. The marriage, a purely political alliance for Philip, was extremely unpopular with the English. Lord Chancellor Gardiner and the House of Commons petitioned her to consider marrying an Englishman, fearing that England would be relegated to a dependency of Spain. Insurrections broke out across the country when she refused. The Duke of Suffolk once again proclaimed that his daughter, the Lady Jane Grey, was Queen. The young Sir Thomas Wyatt led a force from Kent, and was not defeated until he had arrived at London's gates. After the rebellions were crushed, both the Duke of Suffolk and the Lady Jane Grey were convicted of high treason and executed. Since the rebellion was designed to put her on the throne, the Lady Elizabeth was imprisoned in the Tower of London, but was put under house arrest in Woodstock Palace after two months.
Mary and Philip appear on the above medal by Jacopo da Trezzo made circa 1555.
Mary married Philip on 25 July 1554 at Winchester Cathedral. Under the terms of the marriage treaty, Philip was to be styled "King of England," all official documents (including Acts of Parliament) were to be dated with both their names and Parliament was to be called under the joint authority of the couple. Philip's powers, however, were extremely limited; he and Mary were not true joint Sovereigns. Nonetheless, Philip was the only individual to take the crown matrimonial upon his marriage to a reigning Queen of England. (William III became jointly sovereign with his wife, Mary II, pursuant to Act of Parliament, rather than matrimonial right.) Coins were to also show the head of both Mary and Philip. The marriage treaty further provided that England would not be obliged to provide military support to Philip's father, the Holy Roman Emperor, in any war. Mary fell in love with Philip and, thinking she was pregnant, had thanksgiving services at the diocese of London in November 1554. But Philip found his queen, who was eleven years his senior, to be physically unattractive and after only fourteen months left for Spain under a false excuse. Mary suffered a phantom pregnancy; Philip released the Lady Elizabeth from house arrest so that he could be viewed favourably by her in case Mary died during childbirth.
Mary then turned her attention to religious issues. She had always rejected the break with Rome instituted by her father. Her brother, Edward, had established Protestantism; Mary wished to revert to Roman Catholicism. England was reconciled with Rome, and Reginald Cardinal Pole (who would become an adviser Mary very heavily depended upon) became Archbishop of Canterbury. Edward's religious laws were abolished by Mary's first Parliament and numerous Protestant leaders were executed in the so-called Marian Persecutions. The first to die was John Rogers (4 February 1555) and the next to be killed was John Hooper, the Bishop of Gloucester (9 February 1555). The persecution lasted uninterrupted for three and three-quarter years. She earned the epithet of Bloody Mary even though her successor and half-sister, Elizabeth, more than balanced the number killed under Mary with Catholic persecution.
Having inherited the Throne of Spain upon his father's abdication, Philip returned to England from March to July 1557 to persuade Mary to join with Spain in a war against France in the Italian Wars. Meanwhile, England was full of faction, and seditious pamphlets of Protestant origin inflamed the people with hatred against the Spaniards. But perhaps the strangest thing about the situation was that the Pope sided with France against Spain. English forces fared badly in the conflict and as a result the kingdom lost Calais, its last remaining continental possession. Mary later lamented that when she lay dead the words "Philip" and "Calais" would be found inscribed on her heart.
Mary also set in motion currency reform to counteract the dramatic devaluation of the currency overseen by Thomas Gresham that characterized the last few years of Henry VIII's reign and the reign of Edward VI. These measures, however, were largely unsuccessful and it was only under Elizabeth that economic catastrophe was prevented. Mary's deep religious convictions also inspired her to institute social reforms, although these were unsuccessful as well.
During her reign, Mary's weak health led her to suffer numerous phantom pregnancies. After such a delusion was suffered in 1558, Mary decreed in her will that her husband Philip should be the regent during the minority of her child. No child, however, was born, and Mary died at the age of forty-two of influenza, uterine cancer or ovarian cancer at St James's Palace on 17 November 1558. (It has been theorised that an ovarian cyst prevented her from getting pregnant.) She was succeeded by her half-sister, who became Elizabeth I. Mary is buried in Westminster Abbey immediately beside Elizabeth. The Latin inscription on their tomb translates to "Partners both in Throne and grave, here rest we two sisters, Elizabeth and Mary, in the hope of one resurrection."
Although Mary enjoyed tremendous popular support and sympathy for her mistreatment during the earliest parts of her reign, she lost almost all of it after marrying Philip. The English viewed the marriage as a breach of English independence; they felt that it would make England a mere dependency of Spain. The marriage treaty clearly specified that England was not to be drawn into any Spanish wars, but this guarantee proved meaningless. Philip spent most of his time governing his Spanish and European territories, and little of it with his wife in England. After Mary's death, Philip became a suitor for Elizabeth's hand, but Elizabeth wisely refused.
During the five-year long reign, 283 individuals were burnt at the stake—twice as many as had suffered the same fate during the previous century and a half of English history, and at a greater rate than under the contemporary Spanish Inquisition. Several notable clerics were executed; among them were the former Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Cranmer, the former Bishop of London Nicholas Ridley and the reformist Hugh Latimer. John Foxe villified her in a book entitled The Actes and Monuments of these latter and perilous Dayes, touching matters of the Church, wherein are comprehended and described the great Persecution and horrible Troubles that have been wrought and practised by the Romishe Prelates, Epeciallye in this Realme of England and Scotland, from the yeare of our Lorde a thousande to the time now present, commonly called The Book of Martyrs. The presecution of Protestants earned Mary the appellation "Bloody Mary" and led the English people to revile her. It is said that the Spanish ambassadors were aghast at the jubilation and celebration of the people upon her death. Many historians believe, however, that Mary does not deserve all the blame that has been cast upon her. She was not solely responsible for the persecution of Protestants; others who participated included the Archbishop of Canterbury Reginald Cardinal Pole, the Bishop of Winchester Stephen Gardiner and the Bishop of London Edmund Bonner ("Bloody Bonner").
Many scholars trace the nursery rhyme Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary to Mary's unpopular attempts to bring Roman Catholicism back to England, identfying the "cockle shells," for example, with the symbol of pilgrimage to the shrine of Saint James in Spain and the "pretty maids all in a row" with nuns. However, there is also a school of thought which contends that the rhyme was based on the life of Mary's cousin, Mary, Queen of Scots.
Mary has appeared several times in Tudor-related movies. Ann Tyrrell made a cameo appearance as Mary in the movie Young Bess (1953). Nicola Pagett played Mary in the 1969 film Anne of the Thousand Days; Pagget's brief appearance was in a fictitious scene depicting Mary at Catherine of Aragon's deathbed. (Historically, Mary was not present at the time.)
In 1971, the British Broadcasting Corporation ran a six-part television series known as The Six Wives of Henry VIII. In the first part, Catherine of Aragon, the young Princess Mary was portrayed by Verina Greenlaw. The character, played by Alison Frazer, reappeared in the third part, Jane Seymour, and in the sixth part, Catherine Parr. In the blockbuster sequel, Elizabeth R, the middle-aged Mary was played by Daphne Slater.
The 1985 movie Lady Jane had Mary played by Jane Lapotaire. In 1998, Mary was depicted by Kathy Burke in the lavish costume drama Elizabeth. In 2003, Lara Belmont played Mary in the British television drama Henry VIII.
Style and arms
Like Henry VIII and Edward VI, Mary used the style "Majesty," as well as "Highness" and "Grace." "Majesty," which Henry VIII first used on a consistent basis, did not become exclusive until the reign of Elizabeth I's successor, James I.
When Mary ascended the Throne, she was proclaimed under the same official style as Henry VIII and Edward VI, viz., "Mary, by the Grace of God, Queen of England, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith and of the Church of England and also of Ireland in Earth Supreme Head." The "supremacy phrase" at the end of the style was repugnant to Mary's Catholic faith; from 1554 onwards, she omitted the phrase without statutory authority, which was not retroactively granted by Parliament until 1555.
Under Mary's marriage treaty with Philip, the couple were jointly styled King and Queen. The official joint style reflected not only Mary's but also Philip's dominions and claims; it was "Philip and Mary, by the grace of God, King and Queen of England, France, Naples, Jerusalem and Ireland, Defenders of the Faith, Princes of Spain and Sicily, Archdukes of Austria, Dukes of Milan, Burgundy and Brabant, Counts of Hapsburg, Flanders and Tyrol." This style, which had been in use since 1554, was replaced when Philip inherited the Spanish Crown in 1556 with "Philip and Mary, by the Grace of God King and Queen of England, Spain, France, Jerusalem, both the Sicilies and Ireland, Defenders of the Faith, Archdukes of Austria, Dukes of Burgundy, Milan and Brabant, Counts of Hapsburg, Flanders and Tyrol."
Mary I's arms were the same as those used by her predecessors since Henry IV: Quarterly, Azure three fleurs-de-lys Or (for France) and Gules three lions passant guardant in pale Or (for England). Sometimes, Mary's arms were impaled (depicted side-by-side) with her husband's.
|Philip II of Spain (May 21, 1527 - September 13, 1598), king of Spain and Portugal (as Philip I), was born at Valladolid, the heir apparent and only legitimate son of the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V and Isabella of Portugal to survive childhood.|
Philip II of Spain
Philip II, the self-proclaimed leader of the Counter-Reformation, assumed the throne in 1556 with a great deal of potential, inheriting from his uncle Ferdinand the Habsburg lands in Austria together with the imperial crown of the Holy Roman Empire, thus inheriting the Netherlands, Franche-Comté, Naples, Sicily, and Milan. With Spain, however, Philip inherited a new empire overseas, which was far more lucrative than his father's empire in Germany. The death of Charles V also divided the Habsburg territories, freeing Philip from the burden of governing the unstable German Mediterranean perhaps marked the zenith of Spanish power abroad. After the death of Suleiman the Magnificent in 1566, the Turkish advance on Mediterranean continued in 1570 with the Turks capturing the Venetian island of Cyprus—the last Christian outpost in the region. At the height of his power, the Pope and Christian Europe urged Philip to block Turkish expansion. In turn, Philip would form a Holy League to destroy Ottoman naval power in Mediterranean. Spanish and Venetian warships, joined by volunteers across Europe, would later crush the Turks in the Battle of Lepanto. This mission marked the height of the respectability of Spain and its sovereign abroad as Philip bore the burden of leading the Counter-Reformation.
His first marriage (1543) was to his cousin Princess Mary of Portugal, who provided him with a son, Don Carlos of Spain (1545-1568). Following Mary's death in 1546, he sought an alliance with England, marrying the Catholic Queen Mary I of England in 1554. The marriage was unpopular with her subjects, and was a purely political alliance as far as Philip was concerned. On January 16, 1556, Philip succeeded to the throne of Spain, as a result of his father's abdication, but he did not choose to reside in the country until his father's death two years later.
After his second wife, Mary Tudor, died childless in 1558, Philip showed an interest in marrying her Protestant younger sister, Queen Elizabeth I of England, but this plan fell through, for a number of reasons. Philip believed his son Don Carlos had conspired against him; as a result, Philip had him imprisoned. When the prince died shortly thereafter, Philip's enemies accused him of having ordered the murder of his own son.
Spain and England became enemies, especially in the wake of the Spanish Inquisition. In 1559 the 60-year war with France ended with the signing of the Peace of Cateau-Cambrésis. Part of the peace process was Philip's third marriage to Princess Elisabeth of Valois, daughter of Henri II of France who in fact had first been promised to his son, Don Carlos. Elisabeth (1545-1568), provided him with two daughters, but no son. Philip's fourth wife, Anne, daughter of the emperor Maximilian II, provided him with an heir, Philip III.
During Philip II's reign the Philippine Islands were conquered and named for him and a North American colony was established in Florida.
But, his reign was troubled by financial instability and threatened Muslim invasions, as well as conflict with England and the seccession of the Netherlands.
Spain's quagmire in the Netherlands, the defeat of its "invincible Armada" in 1588, and the economic strain of supporting so many wars with an insufficient tax base would lead to the collapse of Spanish hegemony by Philip's death in 1598. In the seventeen provinces of the Netherlands, Philip II continued the policies of heavy taxation since Charles V. Like Charles V, he continued to exclude local nobility from administration, maintained an army of occupation, and upheld an Inquisition to stop the advance of Calvinism.
Philip II, King of Spain, by Titian
Following the 1566 Calvinist revolt, Philip II set out to stamp out treason and heresy. Issuing a new sales tax of roughly ten percent to pay for the required military expenditures, the situation in the Netherlands only worsened. The region fell under open revolt once again in 1568 under William the Silent of the House of Orange, crushed by the brutal Spanish Fury led by the Duke of Alba. But following the Pacification of Ghent in 1576, poorly fed and poorly nourished Spanish troops, formerly considered invincible, especially after the successful campaign against the Ottomans, mutinied. The Dutch Calvinists declared that Spanish solders must be expelled and to be governed by the Estates General. But the Spanish took advantage of the strong religious, cultural and linguistic variation between the northern and southern provinces, playing local aristocrats against each other and recapturing the Southern provinces. Secure behind the "Great Rivers" of the Rhine delta, the north of the Netherlands emerged as the United Provinces.
The seven United Provinces eventually declared their independence from the Spanish king in 1581 following the Union of Utrecht of 1579.
Aside from draining state revenues for failed overseas adventurism, the domestic policies of Philip II exacerbated Spanish decline. For one, far too much power was concentrated in Philip's hands. Unlike England, Spain was subject to separate assemblies: the Cortes in Castile along with the assembly in Navarre and three for each of the three regions of Aragon. While France was divided by regional states, it had a single Estates-General. The lack of a viable assembly would lead to a great deal of power being concentrated in Philip's hands. Authority was administered by local agents appointed by the crown and viceroys carried out instructions of the crown. Philip, a compulsive micromanager, presided over specialized councils for state affairs, finance, war, and the Inquisition. A distrustful sovereign, Philip played royal bureaucrats against each other, leading to a system of checks and balances that would manage state affairs in a very inefficient manner. Calls to move capital to Lisbon from the Castilian stronghold of Madrid — the new capital Philip established following the move from Valladolid - could have perhaps lead to a degree of decentralization, but Philip adamantly opposed such efforts.
Philip’s regime severely neglected farming in favor of sheep ranching, thus forcing Spain to import large amounts of grain and other foods by the mid-1560s. Presiding over a sharply divided conservative class structure, the Church and the upper classes were exempt from taxation (to be expected, considering their lack of parliamentary powers) while the tax burden fell disproportionately on the classes engaged in trade, commerce, and industry.
Due to the inefficiencies of the Spanish state structure, industry was also greatly over-burdened by government regulations. The religious expulsion of the Jews and the Moors also deprived Spain of skilled financiers and craftsmen.
While inflation throughout Europe in the sixteenth century is a broader and more complex phenomenon, the flood of bullion from Americas contributed to high inflation. Under Philip’s reign, Spain saw a fivefold increase in prices. Due to inflation and high tax burden for Spanish manufacturers, Spain’s riches were frittered away on imported manufactured goods by an opulent aristocracy and Philip’s wars. Only the revenues flowing in from the mercantile empire in the Americas was keeping Spain afloat, although this was inflationary, before Spain’s first bankruptcy in 1557 due to the rising costs of military efforts. Dependent on sales taxes from Castile and the Netherlands, Spain’s tax base was far too narrow to support Philip’s overseas adventurism.
Meanwhile, Philip inherited the throne of Portugal, and the success of colonisation in America improved his financial position, enabling him to show greater aggression towards his enemies. In 1580 the direct line of Portuguese royal family died out, giving Philip the pretext to claim the throne through his mother, who was a Portuguese princess. When Lisbon refused Philip’s claims he orchestrated a take-over, invading, annexing, and seizing the throne, which would be held by Spain for sixty years. Thus, Philip added to his possessions a vast colonial empire in Africa, Brazil, and the East Indies, seeing a flood of new revenues coming to the Spanish crown.
Another ostensible boost to Spanish hegemony and the Counter-Reformation achieved a clear boost when Philip married Mary Tudor — a Catholic — in 1554 (the older daughter of Henry VIII). However, they ended up childless (a child would have been heir to all but France) after Queen Mary or “bloody Mary” as she was known by English Protestants, died in 1558 before the union could revitalize the Catholic Church in England.
The throne went to Elizabeth, the Protestant daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. But due to their premises against divorce, this union was deemed illegitimate by English Catholics, who instead claimed that Mary Queen of Scots, the Catholic great-granddaughter of Henry VII, was the legitimate heir to the throne.
The execution of Mary, Queen of Scots provided him with an excuse for an attempted invasion of England. Philip thus sought to oust Elizabeth I with the invasion by the “invincible Armada.” However, the so-called “Protestant Wind” thwarted Spanish ambitions, enabling the small, deftly maneuverable English ships to soundly out-maneuver the large Spanish fleet.
Spain’s crushing 1588 blow with the defeat of the Armada also meant the success of the Dutch rebellion. Philip, ill for the remainder of his life for another ten years left behind a Spain backwards in comparison to its Western European neighbors. And Spain has not closed the gap between its level of development and those of its neighbors to this day.
From 1590 to 1598 he was again at war against the Huguenot King Henry IV of France, joining with the Papacy and the Duke of Guise in the Catholic League during the French Wars of Religion.
By the end of the century, Philip’s rule was largely a failure, with the Netherlands free and Spanish designs on England thwarted. Upon his death, the union with Portugal remained one of his lasting achievements, remaining under Spanish rule for the time being. So despite having far more gold and silver than any other European power flowing in from the New World and the addition of Portugal, and the enthusiastic support under the guise of the Counter-Reformation, Philip’s rule ended in devastating setbacks for Spain.
As Spain plunged into disaster, a Golden Age in Spanish literature developed, despite censorship. Following the defeat of the invincible Armada, Spanish art turned gloomy and pessimistic. The most brilliant manifestation of this is Miguel de Cervantes’ Don Quixote, which was perhaps a satire of Spain’s failed quixotic adventures in the Netherlands and England under Philip II.
Philip was bankrupt by 1596. He died in 1598 and was succeeded by his son, King Philip III.
Marriage and issue
• His first marriage (1543) was to his cousin Princess Maria of Portugal, who provided him with a son, Don Carlos of Spain (1545–1568). Maria died in 1545.
• Philip sought an alliance with the Kingdom of England, marrying the Catholic Queen Mary I of England in 1554. On occasion of the marriage, he was created King of Chile by his father and received the Kingdom of Naples and the title of a King of Jerusalem which came with it, from him. Under the terms of the marriage, Philip became King Consort during the lifetime of his spouse. The marriage was unpopular with her subjects, and was a purely political alliance as far as Philip was concerned. On January 16, 1556, Philip succeeded to the throne of Spain, as a result of his father's abdication, but he did not choose to reside in the country until his father's death two years later. After Mary died childless in 1558, Philip showed an interest in marrying her Protestant younger half-sister, Queen Elizabeth I of England, but this plan fell through, for a number of reasons.
• In 1559 the 60-year war with France ended with the signing of the Peace of Cateau-Cambrésis. A key element in the peace negotiations was Philip's marriage to Princess Elisabeth of Valois, daughter of Henry II of France, who had originally been promised to Philip's son, Carlos. Philip and Carlos were never particularly close, and when Philip suspected his son of conspiring against him, he had him imprisoned. When the prince died shortly thereafter, Philip's enemies accused him of having ordered Carlos's murder. Elisabeth (1545-1568) did not provide Philip with a son, but did give him two daughters, Isabella Clara Eugenia and Catalina Micaela.
• Philip's fourth wife, Anne, daughter of the emperor Maximilian II, provided him with an heir, Philip III.
|Last Modified 25 May 2005||Created 3 Jun 2012 using Reunion for Macintosh|