Young Folks' History of England HTML version

29. Mary I, A.D. 1553—1588
The Duke of Northumberland kept king Edward's death a secret till he had
proclaimed Jane queen of England. The poor girl knew that a great wrong
was being done in her name. She wept bitterly, and begged that she might
not be forced to accept the crown; but she could do nothing to prevent it,
when her father and husband, and his father, all were bent on making her
obey them; and so she had to sit as a queen in the royal apartments in the
Tower of London.
But as soon as the news reached Mary, she set off riding towards London;
and, as everyone knew her to be the right queen, and no one would be
tricked by Dudley, the whole of the people joined her, and even
Northumberland was obliged to throw up his hat and cry "God save Queen
Mary." Jane and her husband were safely kept, but Mary meant no harm by
them if their friends would have been quiet. However, the people became
discontented when Mary began to have the Latin service used again, and put
Archbishop Cranmer in prison for having favored Jane. She showed in every
way that she thought all her brother's advisers had done very wrong. She
wanted to be under the Pope again, and she engaged herself to marry the
King of Spain, her cousin, Philip II. This was very foolish of her, for she was a
middle-aged woman, pale, and low-spirited; and he was much younger, and
of a silent, gloomy temper, so that everyone was afraid of him. All her best
friends advised her not, and the English hated the notion so much, that the
little children played at the queen's wedding in their games, and always
ended by pretending to hang the King of Spain. Northumberland thought this
discontent gave another chance for his plan, and tried to raise the people in
favor of Jane; but so few joined him that Mary very soon put them down, and
beheaded Northumberland. She thought, too, that the quiet of the country
would never be secure while Jane lived, and so she consented to her being
put to death. Jane behaved with beautiful firmness and patience. Her
husband was led out first and beheaded, and then she followed. She was
most good and innocent in herself, and it was for the faults of others that she
suffered. Mary's sister Elizabeth, was suspected, and sent to the Tower. She
came in a boat on the Thames to the Traitor's Gate; but, when she found
where she was, she sat down on the stone steps and said, "This is a place for
traitors, and I am none." After a time she was allowed to live in the country,
but closely watched.
Philip of Spain came and was married to Mary. She was very fond of him, but
he was not very kind to her, and he had too much to do in his other
kingdoms to spend much time with her, so that she was always pining after
him. Her great wish in choosing him was to be helped in bringing the country
back to the old obedience to the Pope; and she succeeded in having the
English Church reconciled, and received again to communion with Rome. The
new service she would under no consideration have established in her house.