Mary I – Tudor Tuesdays

July 21 2020 | Castle History

The theme for this week’s #TudorTuesdays with Historic Houses is Mary I.

On this Tudor Tuesday, we take a look at Mary I, daughter of Henry VIII.

Visitors can see a portrait of Mary I in the Long Gallery of the Castle. Mary I, also known as Mary Tudor, co-owned Hever Castle with Phillip of Spain during her reign and she is pictured wearing the La Peregrina Pearl.

The pearl was bought by actor Richard Burton for Elizabeth Taylor during their first marriage and was seen on screen for the first time at Hever Castle when Taylor played a cameo role in Anne of the Thousand Days (1969), having been rejected for the coveted part of Anne Boleyn.

During its visit to Hever, the pearl was briefly reunited with two Hever portraits which depict it being worn on the Queens who once owned it: Mary I and Elizabeth de Valois.

Visitors to Hever Castle were able to read about the pearl during the Hever Castle on Stage and Screen exhibition.

During Mary I’s reign the country underwent a Counter-Reformation, returning England to the Catholic faith and the authority of Rome.

Edward Waldegrave was knighted by Mary and placed on her Privy Council. She also sold him Hever Castle, which had remained the property of the Crown since Henry VIII had purchased it in 1540.

Mary is perhaps best remembered for the purges of Protestants throughout her reign when over 300 religious dissenters were burned at the stake, known as the Marian persecutions. Mary’s reign was short, and she was unable to provide an heir.

Her successor, Anne Boleyn’s daughter Elizabeth I, was arguably just as culpable of religious intolerance, killing over 200 Catholics during her reign.

But history is written by the ‘victors’, and the famous “Book of Martyrs” by John Foxe which documented Mary’s persecutions in 1563 was a potent bestseller that helped to differentiate “Bloody Mary’s” persecutions from those of “Good Queen Bess.”

The Waldegrave family who had flourished during Mary’s reign were forced to hide their catholic faith when Elizabeth I ascended the throne and a small private chapel known as an oratory was added to what is now known as the Waldegrave room at Hever Castle.

If you enjoyed this item on Mary I then why not discover the previous #TudorTuesdays news items:
Tudor Chapels
Tudor Windows
Tudor Tapestries
Tudor Chimneys
Tudor Panelling
Tudor Knott Gardens
Tudor Childhood
Tudor Dining Rooms
• Tudor Rose Gardens
Henry VII
Henry VIII