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Queen Mary I of England as Princess, c. 1521-25 By Lucas Horenbout (or Hornebolte). NPG.
The Submission of Lady Mary to her Father the King.

In 1536, King Henry VIII decided it was time for the Lady Mary, his daughter by Catherine of Aragón, to be brought to submission. Mary had to say that her parents' marriage had been unlawful, that she herself was a bastard, and that the King was justly the supreme head of the English Church.

The articles of submission were drafted by Lord Secretary Cromwell and copied verbatim by Mary. The signing of the articles went against everything Mary believed, but it had been made clear to her that her survival depended on it. Though humiliated and fearing for her soul for perjuring herself, she finally acquiesced. Here follow her letter to her father, along with the accompanying articles.

Princess Mary to King Henry VIII.

A.D. 1536.

          Holograph,  much burnt.   SUPPLIED  FROM  SMITH  MS. NO. 68,
          FOL. 13, COLLATED WITH HARLEIAN MS. 283, FOL. 111 b, AND
          COTTONIAN MS. TITUS, C. VII. FOL. 17 b.]

*** The present letter was written to accompany Mary's humble submission and confession, which contained a complete yielding of all the disputed points, including the king's supremacy as head of the church, and the acknowledgment of the unlawfulness of her mother's marriage, which she was at length persuaded or frightened into signing.

        Most humbly prostrate before the feet of your most excellent majesty, your most humble, faithful, and obedient subject, which hath so extremely offended your most gracious highness that mine heavy and fearful heart dares not presume to call you father, nor your majesty hath any cause by my deserts, saving the benignity of your most blessed nature doth surmount all evils, offences, and trespasses, and is ever merciful and ready to accept the penitent, calling for grace in any convenient time.

        Having received, this Thursday at night, certain letters from Mr. Secretary, as well advising me to make mine humble submission immediately to yourself (which because I durst not, without your gracious license, presume to do before), I lately sent unto him, as signifying that your most merciful heart and fatherly pity had granted me your blessing, with condition that I should persevere in that I had commenced and begun, and that I should not eftsoons offend your majesty by the denial or refusal of any such articles and commandments as it may please your highness to address unto me, for the perfect trial of mine heart and inward affection.

        For the perfect declaration of the bottom of my heart and stomach, first, I knowledge myself to have most unkindly and unnaturally offended your most excellent highness, in that I have not submitted myself to your most just and virtuous laws; and for mine offence therein, which I must confess were in me a thousand-fold more grievous than they could be in any other living creature, I put myself wholly and entirely to your gracious mercy, at whose hand I cannot receive that punishment for the same that I have deserved. Secondly, to open mine heart to your grace in these things, which I have heretofore refused to condescend unto, and have now written with mine own hand, sending the same to your highness herewith, I shall never beseech your grace to have pity and compassion on me, if ever you shall perceive that I shall privily or apertly vary or alter from one piece of that I have written and subscribed, or refuse to confirm, ratify, or declare the same, where your majesty shall appoint me. Thirdly, as I have and shall, knowing your excellent learning, virtue, wisdom, and knowledge, put my soul into your direction, and by the same have and will in all things, from henceforth, direct my conscience, so my body I do wholly commit to your mercy and fatherly pity, desiring no state, no condition, nor no manner degree of living but such as your grace shall appoint unto me, knowledging and confessing that my state cannot be so vile as either the extremity of justice would appoint unto me, or as mine offences have required and deserved. And whatsoever your grace shall command me to do, touching any of these points (either for things past, present, or to come), I shall as gladly do the same as your majesty can command me.

        Most humbly, therefore, beseeching your mercy, most gracious sovereign lord and benign father, to have pity and compassion of your miserable and sorrowful child, and with the abundance of your inestimable goodness so to overcome mine iniquity towards God, your grace, and your whole realm, as I may feel some sensible token of reconciliation, which, God is my judge, I only desire, without any respect: to whom I shall daily pray for the preservation of your highness, with the queen's grace, and that it may please Him to send you issue.

From Hunsdon, this Thursday,* at eleven of the clock at night.

Your grace's most humble and obedient
daughter and handmaid,


* June 15.

Letters of Royal and Illustrious Ladies of Great Britain. Vol 2.
Mary Anne Everett Wood, Ed.
London: Henry Colburn, 1846. 255-258.


"The confession of me the Lady Mary, made upon certain points and articles under written, in the which as I do now plainly and with all mine heart confess and declare mine inward sentence, belief and judgment, with a due conformity of obedience to the laws of the realm ; so minding for ever to persist and continue in this determination, without change, alteration or varyance, I do most humbly beseech the King's Highness, my father, whom I have obstinately and inobediently offended in the denyal of the same heretofore, to forgive mine offences therein, and to take me to his most gracious mercy. First, I confess and knowledge the King's Majesty to be my Soveraign Lord and King, in the imperial Crown of this realme of England, and do submit myself to his Highness, and to all and singular lawes and statutes of this realm, as becometh a true and faithfull subject to do; which I shall also obey, keep, observe, advance and maintain, according to my bounden duty, with all the power, force and qualities that God hath induced me, during my life.

       "Item.— I do recognize, accept, take, repute and knowledge the King's Highness to be supream head in earth under Christ of the Church of England, and do utterly refuse the Bishop of Rome's pretended authority, power and jurisdiction within this Realm heretofore usurped, according to the laws and statutes made in that behalf, and of all the King's true subjects, humbly received, admitted, obeyed, kept and observed. And also do utterly renounce and forsake all manner of remedy, interest and advantage which I may by any means claim by the Bishop of Rome's laws, process, jurisdiction or sentence, at this present time or in any wise hereafter, by any manner, title, colour, mean or case that is, shall, or can be devised for that purpose.


       " Item.— I do freely, frankly and for the discharge of my duty towards God, the King's Highness and his laws, without other respect, recognize and acknowledge that the marriage heretofore had between his Majesty and my mother, the late Princess dowager, was by God's law and man's law incestuous and unlawfull.



      Stone, J. M. The History of Mary I., Queen of England.
      London: Sands & Co., 1901. 126-127.

Facsimile of Mary's letter to Henry VIII, 26 June, 1536. Cotton MS Otho

Princess Mary to King Henry VIII.

A.D. 1536.

[COTTON.  MS.   OTHO   C. x.  FOL. 266, Holograph,  much burnt. SUPPLIED  FROM  SMITH  MS. NO. 68, FOL 6.]

*** The desired end had at length been accomplished; the king had vouchsafed to send his penitent and submissive daughter some token, or letter, denoting complete reconciliation, which she thus acknowledges.

Most humbly, obediently, and gladly lying at the feet of your most excellent majesty, my most dear and benign father and sovereign lord, I have this day perceived your gracious clemency and merciful pity to have overcome my most unkind and unnatural proceedings towards you and your most just and virtuous laws, the great and inestimable joy whereof I cannot express; nor have any thing worthy to be again presented to your majesty for the same your fatherly pity extended towards me, most ingrately on my part abandoned (as much as in me lay), but my poor heart, which I send unto your highness, to remain in your hand to be for ever used, directed, and framed, whiles God shall suffer life to remain in it, at your own pleasure: most humbly beseeching your grace to accept and receive the same, being all that I have to offer, which shall never alter, vary, or change from that confession and submission which I have made unto your highness in the presence of your council and other attending upon the same; for whose preservation, with my most gracious mother the queen, I shall daily pray to God, whom eftsoons I beseech to send you issue, to his honour and the comfort of your whole realm.

From Hunsdon, the 26th day of June.

Your grace's most humble and obedient
daughter and handmaid,


Letters of Royal and Illustrious Ladies of Great Britain. Vol 2.
Mary Anne Everett Wood, Ed.
London: Henry Colburn, 1846. 258-259.

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Index of Encyclopedia Entries:

Medieval Cosmology
Prices of Items in Medieval England

Edward II
Edmund of Woodstock, Earl of Kent
Thomas, Earl of Lancaster
Henry, Earl of Lancaster
Roger Mortimer, Earl of March
Piers Gaveston

Hundred Years' War (1337-1453)

Edward III
Queen Philippa
The Battle of Crécy, 1346
The Siege of Calais, 1346-7
The Battle of Poitiers, 1356
The Battle of La Rochelle, 1372
Edward, Black Prince of Wales
Joan of Kent, Princess of Wales
Lionel of Antwerp, Duke of Clarence
Henry of Grosmont, Duke of Lancaster
John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster
Edmund of Langley, Duke of York
Thomas of Woodstock, Gloucester
Robert de Ufford, 1. Earl of Suffolk
William de Ufford, 2. Earl of Suffolk
William Montacute, E. of Salisbury
William Montacute, 2. E. of Salisbury
Thomas Holland, Earl of Kent
John de Vere, Earl of Oxford
Richard Fitzalan, 3. Earl of Arundel
William de Bohun, Earl of Northampton
Laurence Hastings, 1. Earl of Pembroke
John Hastings, 2. Earl of Pembroke
Ralph de Stafford, Earl of Stafford
Roger Mortimer, 2. Earl of March
Sir John Chandos
Sir Walter Manny
The Good Parliament, 1376
Richard II
Peasants' Revolt, 1381
Lords Appellant, 1388
Richard Fitzalan, 4. Earl of Arundel
Archbishop Thomas Arundel
Thomas de Beauchamp, E. Warwick
John Montacute, 3. E. of Salisbury
Robert de Vere, Earl of Oxford
Ralph Neville, E. of Westmorland
Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk
Edmund Mortimer, 3. Earl of March
Roger Mortimer, 4. Earl of March
John Holland, Duke of Exeter
Thomas Holland, 2. Duke of Kent
Michael de la Pole, E. Suffolk
Hugh de Stafford, 2. E. Stafford
Wat Tyler
Henry IV
Edward, Duke of York
Edmund Mortimer, 5. Earl of March
Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland
Sir Henry Percy, "Harry Hotspur"
Thomas Percy, Earl of Worcester
Owen Glendower
The Battle of Shrewsbury, 1403
Archbishop Richard le Scrope
Thomas Mowbray, 3. E. Nottingham
John Mowbray, 2. Duke of Norfolk
Thomas Fitzalan, 5. Earl of Arundel
Henry V
Catherine of Valois
Thomas, Duke of Clarence
John, Duke of Bedford
Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester
John Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury
Richard, Earl of Cambridge
Henry, Baron Scrope of Masham
William de la Pole, Duke of Suffolk
Thomas Montacute, E. Salisbury
Richard Beauchamp, E. of Warwick
Henry Beauchamp, Duke of Warwick
Thomas Beaufort, Duke of Exeter
Cardinal Henry Beaufort
John Beaufort, Earl of Somerset
Sir John Fastolf
John Holland, 2. Duke of Exeter
Archbishop John Stafford
Archbishop John Kemp
Owen Tudor
John Fitzalan, 7. Earl of Arundel
John, Lord Tiptoft

Charles VII, King of France
Joan of Arc
Louis XI, King of France
Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy
The Battle of Castillon, 1453

The Wars of the Roses 1455-1485
Causes of the Wars of the Roses
The House of Lancaster
The House of York
The House of Beaufort
The House of Neville

The First Battle of St. Albans, 1455
The Battle of Blore Heath, 1459
The Rout of Ludford, 1459
The Battle of Northampton, 1460
The Battle of Wakefield, 1460
The Battle of Mortimer's Cross, 1461
The 2nd Battle of St. Albans, 1461
The Battle of Towton, 1461
The Battle of Hedgeley Moor, 1464
The Battle of Hexham, 1464
The Battle of Edgecote, 1469
The Battle of Losecoat Field, 1470
The Battle of Barnet, 1471
The Battle of Tewkesbury, 1471
The Treaty of Pecquigny, 1475
The Battle of Bosworth Field, 1485
The Battle of Stoke Field, 1487

Henry VI
Margaret of Anjou
Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York
Edward IV
Elizabeth Woodville
Richard Woodville, 1. Earl Rivers
Anthony Woodville, 2. Earl Rivers
Jane Shore
Edward V
Richard III
George, Duke of Clarence

Ralph Neville, 2. Earl of Westmorland
Richard Neville, Earl of Salisbury
Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick
Edward Neville, Baron Bergavenny
William Neville, Lord Fauconberg
Robert Neville, Bishop of Salisbury
John Neville, Marquis of Montagu
George Neville, Archbishop of York
John Beaufort, 1. Duke Somerset
Edmund Beaufort, 2. Duke Somerset
Henry Beaufort, 3. Duke of Somerset
Edmund Beaufort, 4. Duke Somerset
Margaret Beaufort
Edmund Tudor, Earl of Richmond
Jasper Tudor, Earl of Pembroke
Humphrey Stafford, D. Buckingham
Henry Stafford, Duke of Buckingham
Humphrey Stafford, E. of Devon
Thomas, Lord Stanley, Earl of Derby
Sir William Stanley
Archbishop Thomas Bourchier
Henry Bourchier, Earl of Essex
John Mowbray, 3. Duke of Norfolk
John Mowbray, 4. Duke of Norfolk
John Howard, Duke of Norfolk
Henry Percy, 2. E. Northumberland
Henry Percy, 3. E. Northumberland
Henry Percy, 4. E. Northumberland
William, Lord Hastings
Henry Holland, Duke of Exeter
William Fitzalan, Earl of Arundel
William Herbert, 1. Earl of Pembroke
John de Vere, 12th Earl of Oxford
John de Vere, 13th Earl of Oxford
Thomas de Clifford, 8. Baron Clifford
John de Clifford, 9. Baron Clifford
John Tiptoft, Earl of Worcester
Thomas Grey, 1. Marquis Dorset
Sir Andrew Trollop
Archbishop John Morton
Edward Plantagenet, E. of Warwick
John Talbot, 2. E. Shrewsbury
John Talbot, 3. E. Shrewsbury
John de la Pole, 2. Duke of Suffolk
John de la Pole, E. of Lincoln
Edmund de la Pole, E. of Suffolk
Richard de la Pole
John Sutton, Baron Dudley
James Butler, 5. Earl of Ormonde
Sir James Tyrell
Edmund Grey, first Earl of Kent
George Grey, 2nd Earl of Kent
John, 5th Baron Scrope of Bolton
James Touchet, 7th Baron Audley
Walter Blount, Lord Mountjoy
Robert Hungerford, Lord Moleyns
Thomas, Lord Scales
John, Lord Lovel and Holand
Francis Lovell, Viscount Lovell
Sir Richard Ratcliffe
William Catesby
Ralph, 4th Lord Cromwell
Jack Cade's Rebellion, 1450

Tudor Period

King Henry VII
Queen Elizabeth of York
Arthur, Prince of Wales
Lambert Simnel
Perkin Warbeck
The Battle of Blackheath, 1497

King Ferdinand II of Aragon
Queen Isabella of Castile
Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor

King Henry VIII
Queen Catherine of Aragon
Queen Anne Boleyn
Queen Jane Seymour
Queen Anne of Cleves
Queen Catherine Howard
Queen Katherine Parr

King Edward VI
Queen Mary I
Queen Elizabeth I
Henry Fitzroy, Duke of Richmond

Margaret Tudor, Queen of Scotland
James IV, King of Scotland
The Battle of Flodden Field, 1513
James V, King of Scotland
Mary of Guise, Queen of Scotland

Mary Tudor, Queen of France
Louis XII, King of France
Francis I, King of France
The Battle of the Spurs, 1513
Field of the Cloth of Gold, 1520
Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor
Eustace Chapuys, Imperial Ambassador
The Siege of Boulogne, 1544

Cardinal Thomas Wolsey
Archbishop Thomas Cranmer
Thomas Cromwell, Earl of Essex
Thomas, Lord Audley
Thomas Wriothesley, E. Southampton
Sir Richard Rich

Edward Stafford, D. of Buckingham
Thomas Howard, 2nd Duke of Norfolk
Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk
John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland
Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk
Thomas Boleyn, Earl of Wiltshire
George Boleyn, Viscount Rochford
John Russell, Earl of Bedford
Thomas Grey, 2. Marquis of Dorset
Henry Grey, D. of Suffolk
Charles Somerset, Earl of Worcester
George Talbot, 4. E. Shrewsbury
Francis Talbot, 5. E. Shrewsbury
Henry Algernon Percy,
     5th Earl of Northumberland
Henry Algernon Percy,
     6th Earl of Northumberland
Ralph Neville, 4. E. Westmorland
Henry Neville, 5. E. Westmorland
William Paulet, Marquis of Winchester
Sir Francis Bryan
Sir Nicholas Carew
John de Vere, 15th Earl of Oxford
John de Vere, 16th Earl of Oxford
Thomas Seymour, Lord Admiral
Edward Seymour, Protector Somerset
Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury
Henry Pole, Lord Montague
Sir Geoffrey Pole
Thomas Manners, Earl of Rutland
Henry Manners, Earl of Rutland
Henry Bourchier, 2. Earl of Essex
Robert Radcliffe, 1. Earl of Sussex
Henry Radcliffe, 2. Earl of Sussex
George Hastings, Earl of Huntingdon
Henry Courtenay, Marquis of Exeter
George Neville, Baron Bergavenny
Sir Edward Neville
William, Lord Paget
William Sandys, Baron Sandys
William Fitzwilliam, E. Southampton
Sir Anthony Browne
Sir Thomas Wriothesley
Sir William Kingston
George Brooke, Lord Cobham
Sir Richard Southwell
Thomas Fiennes, 9th Lord Dacre
Sir Francis Weston
Henry Norris
Lady Jane Grey
Sir Thomas Arundel
Sir Richard Sackville
Sir William Petre
Sir John Cheke
Walter Haddon, L.L.D
Sir Peter Carew
Sir John Mason
Nicholas Wotton
John Taylor
Sir Thomas Wyatt, the Younger

Cardinal Lorenzo Campeggio
Cardinal Reginald Pole
Stephen Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester
Edmund Bonner, Bishop of London
Nicholas Ridley, Bishop of London
John Hooper, Bishop of Gloucester
John Aylmer, Bishop of London
Thomas Linacre
William Grocyn
Archbishop William Warham
Cuthbert Tunstall, Bishop of Durham
Richard Fox, Bishop of Winchester
Edward Fox, Bishop of Hereford

Pope Julius II
Pope Leo X
Pope Clement VII
Pope Paul III
Pope Pius V

Pico della Mirandola
Desiderius Erasmus
Martin Bucer
Richard Pace
Christopher Saint-German
Thomas Tallis
Elizabeth Barton, the Nun of Kent
Hans Holbein, the Younger
The Sweating Sickness

Dissolution of the Monasteries
Pilgrimage of Grace, 1536
Robert Aske
Anne Askew
Lord Thomas Darcy
Sir Robert Constable

Oath of Supremacy
The Act of Supremacy, 1534
The First Act of Succession, 1534
The Third Act of Succession, 1544
The Ten Articles, 1536
The Six Articles, 1539
The Second Statute of Repeal, 1555
The Act of Supremacy, 1559
Articles Touching Preachers, 1583

Queen Elizabeth I
William Cecil, Lord Burghley
Robert Cecil, 1st Earl of Salisbury
Sir Francis Walsingham
Sir Nicholas Bacon
Sir Thomas Bromley

Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester
Ambrose Dudley, Earl of Warwick
Henry Carey, Lord Hunsdon
Sir Thomas Egerton, Viscount Brackley
Sir Francis Knollys
Katherine "Kat" Ashley
Lettice Knollys, Countess of Leicester
George Talbot, 6. E. of Shrewsbury
Elizabeth, Countess of Shrewsbury
Gilbert Talbot, 7. E. of Shrewsbury
Sir Henry Sidney
Sir Robert Sidney
Archbishop Matthew Parker
Walter Devereux, 1st Earl of Essex
Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex
Penelope Devereux, Lady Rich
Sir Christopher Hatton
Edward Courtenay, E. Devonshire
Edward Manners, 3rd Earl of Rutland
Thomas Radcliffe, 3. Earl of Sussex
Henry Radcliffe, 4. Earl of Sussex
Robert Radcliffe, 5. Earl of Sussex
William Parr, Marquis of Northampton
Henry Wriothesley, 2. Southampton
Henry Wriothesley, 3. Southampton
Charles Neville, 6. E. Westmorland
Thomas Percy, 7. E. Northumberland
Henry Percy, 8. E. Northumberland
Henry Percy, 9. E. Nothumberland
William Herbert, 1. Earl of Pembroke
Charles, Lord Howard of Effingham
Thomas Howard, 4th Duke of Norfolk
Henry Howard, 1. Earl of Northampton
Thomas Howard, 1. Earl of Suffolk
Henry Hastings, 3. E. of Huntingdon
Edward Manners, 3rd Earl of Rutland
Roger Manners, 5th Earl of Rutland
Francis Manners, 6th Earl of Rutland
Henry FitzAlan, 12. Earl of Arundel
Thomas, Earl Arundell of Wardour
Edward Somerset, E. of Worcester
William Davison
Sir Walter Mildmay
Sir Ralph Sadler
Sir Amyas Paulet
Gilbert Gifford
Anthony Browne, Viscount Montague
François, Duke of Alençon & Anjou

Mary, Queen of Scots
Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley
James Hepburn, Earl of Bothwell
Anthony Babington and the Babington Plot
John Knox

Philip II of Spain
The Spanish Armada, 1588
Sir Francis Drake
Sir John Hawkins

William Camden
Archbishop Whitgift
Martin Marprelate Controversy
John Penry (Martin Marprelate)
Richard Bancroft, Archbishop of Canterbury
John Dee, Alchemist

Philip Henslowe
Edward Alleyn
The Blackfriars Theatre
The Fortune Theatre
The Rose Theatre
The Swan Theatre
Children's Companies
The Admiral's Men
The Lord Chamberlain's Men
Citizen Comedy
The Isle of Dogs, 1597

Common Law
Court of Common Pleas
Court of King's Bench
Court of Star Chamber
Council of the North
Fleet Prison
First Fruits & Tenths
Livery and Maintenance
Oyer and terminer

The Stuarts

King James I of England
Anne of Denmark
Henry, Prince of Wales
The Gunpowder Plot, 1605
George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham
Robert Carr, Earl of Somerset
Arabella Stuart, Lady Lennox

William Alabaster
Bishop Hall
Bishop Thomas Morton
Archbishop William Laud
John Selden
Lucy Harington, Countess of Bedford
Henry Lawes

King Charles I
Queen Henrietta Maria

Long Parliament
Rump Parliament
Kentish Petition, 1642

Thomas Wentworth, Earl of Strafford
John Digby, Earl of Bristol
George Digby, 2nd Earl of Bristol
Thomas Fairfax, 3rd Lord Fairfax
Robert Devereux, 3rd E. of Essex
Robert Sidney, 2. E. of Leicester
Algernon Percy, E. of Northumberland
Henry Montagu, Earl of Manchester
Edward Montagu, 2. Earl of Manchester

The Restoration

King Charles II
King James II
Test Acts

Greenwich Palace
Hatfield House
Richmond Palace
Windsor Palace
Woodstock Manor

The Cinque Ports
Mermaid Tavern
Malmsey Wine
Great Fire of London, 1666
Merchant Taylors' School
Westminster School
The Sanctuary at Westminster


Chart of the English Succession from William I through Henry VII

Medieval English Drama

London c1480, MS Royal 16
London, 1510, the earliest view in print
Map of England from Saxton's Descriptio Angliae, 1579
Location Map of Elizabethan London
Plan of the Bankside, Southwark, in Shakespeare's time
Detail of Norden's Map of the Bankside, 1593
Bull and Bear Baiting Rings from the Agas Map (1569-1590, pub. 1631)
Sketch of the Swan Theatre, c. 1596
Westminster in the Seventeenth Century, by Hollar
Visscher's Panoramic View of London, 1616. COLOR
c. 1690. View of London Churches, after the Great Fire
The Yard of the Tabard Inn from Thornbury, Old and New London

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