Video appunto: Edward VI, Mary I, James I - summary

Edward VI



During Edward’s reign, religious services were held in English instead of Latin and the Book of Common Prayer became compulsory with the Act of Uniformity. This helped develop the English language. In 1553 the young king died from consumption. Before dying, he had named his Protestant cousin, Lady Jane Grey, as his successor, but after nine days she was taken prisoner.

Mary I
Mary I, Henry VIII’s first daughter, declared herself queen and wanted to restore Catholicism in England. In 1554 she married Philip II of Spain and this made England an ally of Spain against France. Mary’s Counter-Reformation brought the restoration of Catholic rituals and heresy laws. The queen earned the name ‘Bloody Mary’ giving the Protestant Church about 300 martyrs by burning them at the stake. In 1558 she fell ill and reluctantly left the throne to her sister Elizabeth.

James I


James VI, King of Scotland, succeeded Elizabeth, becoming the first Stuart King of England. He had been brought up as a Protestant, he was a learned man who wrote treatises in English and Latin but believed in witchcraft. He believed that, as a monarch, he was the representative of God on earth. He joined Scotland to England and Wales as one kingdom, ‘Great Britain’, he introduced a distinctive .

James held a conference at Somerset House to sign a peace treaty with Spain. This put an end to Spanish claims to the English throne on the one hand, and to English attacks on Spanish ships coming back from America on the other. In 1604, at Hampton Court, the king met the representatives of the bishops and the Puritans to try to solve the conflict between them. They agreed about baptism, ordination and the civil role of the Church. James also ordered a new translation of the Bible. The Catholics had been excluded from Hampton Court, so a group of them, led by Guy Fawkes, organised the Gunpowder Plot to blow up Parliament on 1605. The conspiracy was found out and the plotters were executed. This became an annual event as Bonfire Night.