Two’s Company, Three’s a Crowd: Part I

Two’s Company, Three’s a Crowd: Part I

Many of Elizabeth Regina’s international affairs were intertwined with those of Philip II.  Most students of history understand his connection as King of Spain and the adversary who lost The Spanish Armada.  Many forget his role as ruler of the Netherlands and Elizabeth’s opposition to his sovereignty there.  Even more do not realize his role as her brother-in-law, Philip was married to Elizabeth’s half-sister Mary for several years.  What was the basis of their relationship?  Did Elizabeth feel any allegiance to Philip for the contribution he made to her relationship with her sister and her position at Court? How did this association influence both countries’ foreign policies?  These questions and several others will be addressed in a series of blogs entitled “Two’s Company, Three’s a Crowd”.

Philip II 

Who was Philip II of Spain?  Born 21 May 1527, his parents were Charles I of Spain (Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor) and Isabella of Portugal.  Given a classical education, he was also given practical instruction.  Philip spent much time as interim ruler of Spain while his father traveling through his domains and much of Philip’s time was spent in the 17 Provinces of the Spanish Netherlands (territories of modern day Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxemburg) where he became nominal ruler from 1549.

Married four times, he was created King of Naples upon his marriage to his second wife, Mary I of England, in order to share equal rank as a ruling sovereign with his new bride.  Philip arrived in Winchester on July 19, 1554, where he met with Mary for the first time prior to their marriage held in the cathedral on 25 July 1554.

philip-ii
  Philip II

As King of Naples and England, Philip’s main concern at all times was for Hapsburg interests.  Leaving England for Flanders in late August of 1555, he attempted to impose the will of the Holy Roman Empire in central Europe.  He returned to his wife 18 March 1557 to request her support in the war against France.  He left again four months later never to return.  Mary did embroil England in a war with France on behalf of his interests and lost Calais January 7, 1558.

Philip’s royal rank was secured when his father abdicated in 1556 and he became ruler in the Spanish Netherlands, Burgundy and Spain. Besides titles in many European territories that had once been part of the Holy Roman Empire, Philip became King of Portugal in 1580 through his mother’s claims.

Referred to accurately as the “secretary-king” or the “king of paper”, Philip ruled “through the written word rather than through personal contact and debate.” As a young king he was a “shy, passive, sedentary man” resolving perfectly to rule his “far-flung dominions with pen and ink alone” (Boyden 66).  Words to describe Philip would be pious, frugal in dress and at table, hard-working, and conscientious.  This blogger believes his dominate trait was loyalty—to the Hapsburg interests.  Politically, this trait overshadowed his religious scruples; religiously, this trait overshadowed his politics. Regardless, from the time of his father’s abdication until his own death at the age of 71 in 1598, Philip ruled absolutely. On one occasion, he wrote “I don’t know if [people] think I’m made of iron or stone. The truth is, they need to see that I am mortal, like everyone else” — but he seldom had qualms about exercising his absolute power (Parker).  Surprisingly, the cautious almost hesitant Philip of his early reign morphed into a more reckless, imprudent ruler in his later years as he struggled with his country’s relations with the Low Countries and England.

bloody mary
  Mary I

England’s military and financial assistance to the Dutch rebels, the seizure of Spanish bullion ships and lack of cooperation with Spain—as perceived by Philip—led to deteriorating relations between the two countries.  Whereas Elizabeth ruled in a time of change, ironically in the face of her motto Semper eadem, he was seen to hold to tradition.  While she did try to keep things familiar, he had to innovate in response to the needs of his vast empire and the shifting international scene.

Despite four marriages and the births of many children, Philip constantly contended with inadequate heirs who were sickly or mentally unstable.  He exclaimed once in frustration, “God, who has given me so many Kingdoms to govern, has not given me a son fit to govern them” (Philip II of Spain).

Mary I

Upon the death of Edward VI and the proclamation of Jane Grey as Queen, there was confusion and anger from the London masses.  Many landowners favored the ‘old religion’ and thus supported Mary when she came to call on the magnates to rally troops for her cause.  She stunned the foreign ambassadors (most likely thinking she couldn’t succeed without foreign troops and intervention) with a following of thousands at Framlingham in Suffolk.

The rationale included in Jane’s proclamation was set to instill fear in the country.  It was a warning that if Mary were to take over the throne and eventually marry “any stranger born out of this realm…to have the laws and customs of his … country …practiced and put in use within this realm, rather than the laws, statues, and customs here… of long time used, …to the peril of conscience and the utter subversion of the common weal of this realm” (Castor 409).

ladyjayne
  The “Streatham” portrait believed to be Lady Jane Grey

Mary’s sex and the traditional role of wife were against her but the people knew her to be the rightful heir.  When she was set to marry Philip of Spain and the people expressed their concern, she gave a rousing speech to ease their fears.  Mary proclaimed, “I am already married to the Common Weal and the faithful members of the same; the spousal ring whereof I have on my finger: which never hitherto was, nor hereafter shall be, left off.  Protesting unto you nothing to be more acceptable to my heart, nor more answerable to my will, than your advancement in wealth and welfare, with the furtherance of God’s glory” (Loades Chronicle of Tudor Queens 36).  This assertion that she was married to her kingdom was a smart political move.

Many people in the country could not fathom that as a woman she did not need a husband to carry out “the offices which do not properly belong to woman’s estate” (Castor 428). Linked to this was the belief that Mary would not hand over the power of England to her husband.  The marriage treaty solved this fear.  Philip would have little to do with the running of the country.  He could assist and that was about it. Mary would do all in her power to appear to include him yet there was no doubt that she, who had been trained as a sovereign Princess of Wales, would be ruler of England.  In the Council Register two days after their marriage it was noted that “At Winchester, 27th July, This daye it was ordered by the boarde that a note of all such matteres of state as should passe from hence should be pute into Latten and Spanyche from henceforth.  It was also ordered that all matteres of estate passynge in the kinge and quenes names should be signed with both their handes” (Nichols Chronicle of Queen Jane 135). So he could read documents in Spanish, he could sign them, but he would be greatly restricted in his formal influence.

Philip mary
Mary and Philip 

Did Mary need a husband to help rule England.  No.  She needed one for an heir though. She had misread her people.  They opposed the foreign match with Philip.  Yes, he was Catholic, the choice of the advisor she so admired (Charles V), and he was from her mother’s homeland.  These emotional elements were also supported by the more practical and political merits of his being a good choice from a limited selection.  It is well-known that Mary fell head-over-heels in love with Philip.  With a restricted formal influence, his informal influence was close to boundless. Giovanni Michiel, Ambassador to England for Venice reported to the Doge and the Venetian Senate that Queen Mary’s representative, Francesco Piamontese, was sent in June 1556 to Brussels because “it being credible that nothing is done, nor does anything take place, without having the King’s opinion about it, and hearing his will” (Brown VI June 1-15 505).

charles
Charles V

Simon Renard, Ambassador to Spain in England was instructed to feel Mary out about the union.   Charles also inquired about his son’s view.  Dutifully, he responded “I very well see the advantages that might accrue from the successful conclusion of this affair.”  Philip assured his father, “ If you wish to arrange the match for me, you know that I am so obedient a son that I have no will other than yours” (Patterson 42-43).  Mary, showing as much filial loyalty as Philip assured Renard that she wanted to please Charles “in the same way she would wish to please her father” (Patterson 43).  The marriage was inevitable despite Mary’s need to have the Privy Council’s approval.  Charles V was aware of this and worked hard behind the scenes to get members on his side.  The importance of this marriage, uniting England and Hapsburg territories, was discussed in many contemporary writings; all agree that the purpose was for “temporal and spiritual peace and unity among Europeans” (Hunt 152).  Quite a mission.

Simon_Renard
 Simon Renard, Spanish Ambassador to England

John Elder shared many details about the ceremonies which marked the marriage between Mary and Philip in the summer of 1554.  Philip had “landed  at Southampton in Hamshire, within ten mile of the citie of Winchester, on Friday the xx day of July at iii of the clocke at afternone” and was met by “the lords of the counsel and diverse other noble men” (Nichols The Chronicle of Queen Jane 137-138).  Philip rode through Winchester “on a faire white horse, in a riche coate embroidered with gold, his doublet, hosen, and hat suite-like” (Nichols The Chronicle of Queen Jane 139).

Mary stayed at Wolvesey Palace (the Old Bishop’s Palace) and Philip was housed in the Dean’s house. They met on July 23rd for the first time at Wolvesey Palace and while some reports say Mary spoke French, most sources agree they conversed “in the Spanishe tongue” (Nichols Chronicle of Queen Jane 140).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Ruins of Wolvesey Palace, where Mary and Philip met for the first time

The wedding, held on 25 July 1554 the feast day of St. James, patron saint of Spain, was very sumptuous with many sources describing decorations of the churches and palaces and the splendor of the clothes and jewelry of the participants.  We know Philip was attired “in brocade, covered with white velvet, rich in gold and pearls, with a very rich brocade collar, a ruby robe, richly decorated with gold and pearls  and diamond buttons” (Hunt 148).  Mary was dressed “in silver cloth with a cloak …a very rich collar and hair decoration…a belt in the richest gold, with jewellery on the breast with a diamond in the center” (Hunt 148).

At the Cathedral Philip was met by the Bishop of Winchester, Stephen Gardiner Lord Chancellor and five other bishops all “mitred, coped, and staved” where he knelt, kissed the crucifix, prayed and then entered “upon a skafholde which was made for the solomnizacion of his marriage” (Nichols The Chronicle of Queen Jane 139).  Remarkably, throughout the ceremony Mary was placed on the right and Philip on the left, the opposite of the conventional set-up.  Perhaps to placate her English subjects or her own feelings of triumph, Mary showed herself as the ruling sovereign with Philip as consort.

StephenGardiner
Stephen Gardiner, Lord Chancellor and Bishop of Winchester

Regardless of who was seen as sovereign and consort, the royal titles are impressive.  John Elder, with relish, gives the list in the “stile in Latin” and the “stile in Englishe” which will be recreated below:

"Philip and Marie, by the grace of God king and quene of England, 
Fraunce, Naples, Hierusalem, and Irelande, defenders of the faith, 
princes of Spain and Secy, archdukes of Austria, dukes of Millan,
Burgundy, and Brabant, counties of Haspurge, Flaunders, and Tiro” 
(Nichols Chronicle of Queen Jane 142).

After the ceremony Philip “addressed the Spanish lords who were about him, and told them they must at once forget all the customs of Spain, and live in all respects after the English fashion” (Nichols The Chronicle of Queen Jane 139).  Post wedding celebrations were then held at Wolvesey Palace where there was much “triumphing, bankating, singing, masking, and daunsing, as was never seen in Englande heretofore” (Nichols Chronicle of Queen Jane 136).

WinCathi
Winchester Cathedral

Two days later, in the Council Register it was noted that “At Winchester, 27th July, This daye it was ordered by the boarde that a note of all such matteres of state as should passe from hence should be pute into Latten and Spanyche from henceforth, and the same to be delyvered to such as it should please the kinges highnes to appointe to recave it.  It was also ordered that all matteres of estate passynge in the kinge and quenes names should be signed with both their handes” (Nichols Chronicle of Queen Jane 135).

Elder was beside himself exclaiming the joy after “this moste noble mariage” of seeing dual sovereignty with “the kinges magestie and the queen sitting under the cloth of estate” (Nichols Chronicle of Queen Jane 143).  We know this did not come to pass without problems.  In January of 1554, after hearing the rumors of a possible match between Mary and Philip, a group of gentlemen organized an uprising known as the Wyatt Rebellion.  This will be further discussed in the blog entry, “Two’s Company, Three’s a Crowd: Part II.”

References

Acton, Lord, comp. The Cambridge Modern History Planning by the Late Lord Acton. Ed. A. W. Ward, G. W. Prothero, and Stanley Leathes. The Reformation  Vol. II. New York: Macmillan, 1904. Google Books. Web. 27 July 2013.

Alford, Stephen. The Watchers: A Secret History of the Reign of Elizabeth I. London: Allen Lane, 2012. Google Books. Web. 9 Aug. 2013.

Allan, James Crosby (editor). “Elizabeth: February 1577, 1-15.” Calendar of State Papers Foreign, Elizabeth, Volume 11: 1575-1577 (1880): 501-518. British History Online. Web. 17 July 2013.

Boyden, James M. The Courtier and the King: Ruy Gómez De Silva, Philip II, and the Court of Spain. Berkeley: University of California, 1995. Google Books. Web. 20 July 2013.

Brown, Rawdon (editor). “Venice: January 1556.” Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 6: 1555-1558, 1877. British History Online. Web. 21 July 2013.

Brown, Rawdon (editor). “Venice: June 1556, 1-15.” Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 6: 1555-1558 (1877): 472-484. British History Online. Web. 26 July 2013.

Brown, Rawdon (editor). “Venice: June 1556, 16-30.” Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 6: 1555-1558, 1877. British History Online. Web. 21 July 2013.

Brown, Rawdon (editor). “Venice: March 1556, 16-31.” Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 6: 1555-1558 (1877): 377-395. British History Online. Web. 28 July 2013.

Brown, Rawdon (editor). “Venice: May 1557, 11-15.” Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 6: 1555-1558 (1877): 1041-1095. British History Online. Web. 08 August 2013.

Brown, Rawdon and G. Cavendish Bentinck (editors). “Venice: February 1559.” Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 7: 1558-1580 (1890): 24-41. British History Online. Web. 21 July 2013.

Brown, Rawdon and G. Cavendish Bentinck (editors). “Venice: March 1559.” Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 7: 1558-1580 (1890): 41-59. British History Online. Web. 21 July 2013.

Brown, Rawdon (editor). “Venice: June 1556, 1-15.” Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 8: 1581-1591, 1877. British History Online. Web. 17 July 2013.

Castor, Helen.  She-Wolves: The Women Who Ruled England Before Elizabeth. London:  Faber and Faber. 2010. Print.

Erickson, Carolly. The First Elizabeth. New York: Summit Books. 1983. Print.

Foxe, John.  The Unabridged Acts and Monuments Online orTAMO.  Book 5. Sheffield: HRI Online Publications, Sheffield, 2011.  Humanities Research Institute. Web. 21 June 2013.

Hume, Martin (editor). “Simancas: December 1558.” Calendar of State Papers, Spain (Simancas), Volume 1: 1558-1567 (1892): 7-21. British History Online. Web. 16 August 2013.

Hume, Martin (editor). “Simancas: January 1559.” Calendar of State Papers, Spain (Simancas), Volume 1: 1558-1567 (1892): 21-26. British History Online. Web. 11 August 2013.

Hume, Martin A. S. (editor). “Simancas: March 1559.” Calendar of State Papers, Spain (Simancas), Volume 1: 1558-1567 (1892): 37-46. British History Online. Web. 18 July 2013.

Hume, Martin (editor). “Simancas: April 1559.” Calendar of State Papers, Spain (Simancas), Volume 1: 1558-1567 (1892): 46-64. British History Online. Web. 11 August 2013.

Hume, Martin (editor). “Simancas: May 1559.” Calendar of State Papers, Spain (Simancas), Volume 1: 1558-1567 (1892): 64-78. British History Online. Web. 13 August 2013.

Hume, Martin (editor). “Simancas: July 1559.” Calendar of State Papers, Spain (Simancas), Volume 1: 1558-1567 (1892): 81-91. British History Online. Web. 14 August 2013.

Hume, Martin (editor). “Simancas: January 1561.” Calendar of State Papers, Spain (Simancas), Volume 1: 1558-1567 (1892): 178-180. British History Online. Web. 16 August 2013.

Hunt, Alice and Anna Whitelock (editors). Tudor Queenship:  The Reigns of Mary and Elizabeth. New York: Palgrave MacMillian, 2010.  Print.

Kamen, Henry. Philip of Spain. New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press, 1997. Print.

de Lisle, Leanda.  “King Henry’s Niece” History Today 63.8 (2013): 42-46. Print.

Loades, David. The Chronicles of the Tudor Queens.  Stroud, Gloucestershire: Sutton Publishing, 2002. Print.

Loades, David.  Mary Tudor:  The Tragical History of the First Queen of England.  Kew, Richmond: The National Archives, 2006. Print.

MacCaffrey, Wallace. Elizabeth I. London: E. Arnold. 1993. Print.

Marcus, Leah S. et al., eds. Elizabeth I: The Collected Works. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2002. Print.

Neale, J. E. Queen Elizabeth I. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1957. Print.

Nichols, John Gough. The Chronicle of Queen Jane, Two Years of Queen Mary, and Especially of the Rebellion of Sir Thomas Wyat.  London: J. B Nichols and Son, 1822. Google Books. Web. 17 June 2013.

Nichols, John. The Progresses and Public Processions of Queen Elizabeth. Among Which Are Interspersed Other Solemnities, Public Expenditures, and Remarkable Events during the Reign of That Illustrious Princess. Collected from Original MSS., Scarce Pamphlets, Corporation Records, Parochial Registers, &c., &c.: Illustrated with Historical Notes. New York: B. Franklin, 1823. Google Books. Web. 19 Jan. 2013.

Norton, Elizabeth.  England’s Queens. Stroud, Gloucestershire: Amberley, 2011. Print.

Parker, Geoffery. “The Grand Strategy of Philip II.” Books. New York Times on the Web, 1999. Web. 22 July 2013. 

Patterson, Benton Rain. With the Heart of a King: Elizabeth I of England, Philip II of Spain, and the Fight for a Nation’s Soul and Crown. New York: St. Martins, 2007. Google Books. Web. 17 July 2013.

Perry, Maria.  The Word of a Prince: A Life of Elizabeth from Contemporary Documents.  Woodbridge, Suffolk: The Boydell Press, 1990.  Print.

“Philip II of Spain.” – Wikiquote. 13 April 2012, n.d. Web. 22 July 2013.

Plowden, Allison.  Marriage with My Kingdom:  The Courtships of Elizabeth I.  New York:  Stein and Day, 1977. Print.

Porter, Linda.  The First Queen of England:  The Myth of “Bloody Mary”.  New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2007. Print.

Pryor, Felix.  Elizabeth I, Her Life in Letters.  Berkeley, California: University of California Press, 2003.  Print.

Queen Elizabeth I, Frank Mumby, and R. S. Rait. The Girlhood of Queen Elizabeth: A Narrative in Contemporary Letters. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1909. Google Books. Web. 9 May 2013.

Ravenscroft, Janet. “Philip II: A Pen Portrait.” History Today 60.10 (2010): 25-28. Print.

Ridley, Jasper. Elizabeth I: The Shrewdness of Virtue.  New York: Fromm International Publishing Corporation, 1989.  Print.

Ronald, Susan.  Heretic Queen:  Queen Elizabeth I and the Wars of Religion.  New York:  St. Martin Press, 2012.  Print.

Sitwell, Edith.  The Queens and the Hive.  Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1966. Print.

Somerset, Anne. Elizabeth I.  New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1991. Print.

Starkey, David.  Elizabeth:  The Struggle for the Throne. New York:  HarperCollins Publishers. 2001. Print

Strickland, Agnes, Elisabeth Strickland, and Rosalie Kaufman. The Queens of England, Abridged and Adapted from Strickland’s “Queens of England” Chicago: Werner, 1895. Internet Archive. Web. 4 May 2013.

Strype, John.  Ecclesiastical memorials, Relating Chiefly to Religion, and The Reformation of It, and the Emergencies of the Church of England, Under King Henry VIII, King Edward VI, and Queen Mary I with Large Appendixes, Containing Original Papers, Records, &c. Historical memorials, Ecclesiastical and Civil, of Events Under the Reign of Queen Mary I Wherein Are Brought to Light Various Things Concerning the Management of Affairs, During the Five Years of Her Government.  Vol. III Part I. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1822.  Google Books. Web. 17 June 2013.

Thoroton Society. Transactions of the Thoroton Society of Nottinghamshire, Volumes 11-13. Ed. John Standish. Vol. XI. Nottingham: Thoroton Society, 1907. Google Books. Web. 28 July 2013.

Turnbull, William B., ed. Calendar of State Papers, Foreign Series, of the Reign of Mary, 1553-1558, Preserved in the State Paper Department of Her Majesty’s Public Record Office. Vol. II. London: Longman, Green, Longman and Roberts, 1861. Google Books. Web. 28 July 2013.

Tyler, Royall (editor). “Spain: March 1554, 21-31.” Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 12: 1554 (1949): 164-180. British History Online. Web. 28 July 2013.

Tyler, Royall (editor). “Spain: June 1555.” Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 13: 1554-1558 (1954): 207-226. British History Online. Web. 30 July 2013. 

Tyler, Royall (editor). “Spain: February 1558.” Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 13: 1554-1558 (1954): 349-365. British History Online. Web. 17 July 2013. http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=88625

Tyler, Royall (editor). “Spain: June 1558.” Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 13: 1554-1558 (1954): 394-402. British History Online. Web. 24 July 2013.

Tyler, Royall (editor).  “Spain: July 1558.” Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 13:  1554-1558 (1954): 402-405.  British History Online.  Web. 14 July 2013. 

Tyler, Royall (editor). “Spain: May 1558.” Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 13: 1554-1558 (1954): 378-393. British History Online. Web. 17 July 2013.

Tyler, Royall (editor). “Spain: November 1558.” Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 13: 1554-1558 (1954): 435-442. British History Online. Web. 24 July 2013.

Waller, Maureen. Sovereign Ladies: Sex, Sacrifice, and Power : The Six Reigning Queens of England. New York: St. Martin’s Griffin, 2008. Google Books. Web. 24 July 2013.

Wart, Thomas. The Life of Sir Thomas Pope, Founder of Trinity College Oxford, Chiefly Compiled from the Original Evidences, with an Appendix of Papers, Never Before Printed. 2nd ed. London: Thomas Cadell, n.d. Internet Archive. Web. 30 July 2013.

Weir, Alison.  The Life of Elizabeth I.  New York: Ballatine Books, 1998. Print.

Whitelock, Anna.  Mary Tudor:  Princess, Bastard, Queen. New York:  Random House, 2009. Print.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s