Contracting matrimony
in Mary and Philip
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Unpicking the long association of Mary and her marriage with abrogation of English sovereignty, which historians have argued followed the reintroduction of papal jurisdiction, this chapter counters by showing how England’s imperial status was assured and extended by the marriage. It looks at the way the marriage contract’s terms and restrictions responded to anxieties about a regnant queen, analysing the law tenant by courtesy, contemporary legal commentary and the echoes of Ferdinand and Isabella’s contract. Mary made her decision in the face of widespread opposition amongst her household, the Privy Council and parliament. Finally, it counters the notion of Philip’s or Spanish unwillingness or hesitation, demonstrating their impossible financial position and reading Philip’s ad cautelam instrument as an understandable precaution.

Mary and Philip

The marriage of Tudor England and Habsburg Spain

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