Did Mary I and Elizabeth I hate Henry VIII?

History Chick

Ad Honorem
Jun 2010
3,336
Colorado Springs (PA at heart)
I'm sure both women had complicated relationships with their father (as they did with each other), and it's just not as simple as saying they hated him.

Henry also harmed many men though so I'm not really sure what point you're trying to make by saying he harmed many other women who had nothing to do with his daughters?
 
Jan 2019
297
Montreal, QC
Mary had actually continued to refer to her father in decent terms during her reign, but Cardinal Pole advised her against it, as it could've proven detrimental to her attempt to roll back the Reformation in England. She had referred to him as something along the lines of "our gracious father" and such, obviously showing adherence to the Fifth Commandment (or Fourth, if you're inclined to popery). Mary's government, and not Mary herself, essentially put a memoriam damnatio on Henry. I don't have the book on hand at the moment, but I had come across it in Eamon Duffy's Fires of Faith.

It seems to me as if Pole legitimately hated Henry VIII, as seen in his injunctions to Mary not to speak of her father in a positive light. After all, it was he who broke with Rome and plunged England into spiritual chaos. If anything, her disdain towards her father would've been inspired by Cardinal Pole, and would've had a religious bent to it. As History Chick said, the relationships were certainly complicated, but I highly doubt that either Mary or Elizabeth would have hated their father just because he was vile towards women. NB that he was especially nasty towards men, too. All in all, Henry VIII was a nasty figure. I guess self-entitlement and a TBI don't go too well together!
 
Last edited:
Jan 2019
220
London, United Kingdom
I'm sure both women had complicated relationships with their father (as they did with each other), and it's just not as simple as saying they hated him.

Henry also harmed many men though so I'm not really sure what point you're trying to make by saying he harmed many other women who had nothing to do with his daughters?
Oh, I mean, their other other relatives, mostly female, such as Anne Boleyn’s sister.
 
Jan 2019
220
London, United Kingdom
Mary had actually continued to refer to her father in decent terms during her reign, but Cardinal Pole advised her against it, as it could've proven detrimental to her attempt to roll back the Reformation in England. She had referred to him as something along the lines of "our gracious father" and such, obviously showing adherence to the Fifth Commandment (or Fourth, if you're inclined to popery). Mary's government, and not Mary herself, essentially put a memoriam damnatio on Henry. I don't have the book on hand at the moment, but I had come across it in Eamon Duffy's Fires of Faith.

It seems to me as if Pole legitimately hated Henry VIII, as seen in his injunctions to Mary not to speak of her father in a positive light. After all, it was he who broke with Rome and plunged England into spiritual chaos. If anything, her disdain towards her father would've been inspired by Cardinal Pole, and would've had a religious bent to it. As History Chick said, the relationships were certainly complicated, but I highly doubt that either Mary or Elizabeth would have hated their father just because he was vile towards women. NB that he was especially nasty towards men, too. All in all, Henry VIII was a nasty figure. I guess self-entitlement and a TBI don't go too well together!
If I were Mary I or Elizabeth I, I would certainly have hated him. Had I been Mary I, I would re-declare Catalina the rightful queen and Mary I legitimate child; had I been Elizabeth I, I would have ordered a re-investigation of Anne Boleyn’s case and declared her innocent.
 
Jan 2019
297
Montreal, QC
If I were Mary I or Elizabeth I, I would certainly have hated him. Had I been Mary I, I would re-declare Catalina the rightful queen and Mary I legitimate child; had I been Elizabeth I, I would have ordered a re-investigation of Anne Boleyn’s case and declared her innocent.
Remember that the queen would have to work through Parliament and her advisers. If Mary I declared Catherine of Aragon legitimate and Elizabeth I still succeeded her, she would be obliged to undo the legislation put forth by her half-sister. I'm sure they resented him, but hate may be too strong a word.

Decades after her reign, James, Duke of York (later King James VII/II) declared Elizabeth to be a "bastard usurper". Of course, he was referring to the fact that he felt as if Elizabeth had wrested the throne from his great-grandmother, Mary, Queen of Scots. Seeing as your interest is in women's history and interactions between women, perhaps you would be interested in looking at the dynamic between Elizabeth I and her cousin, Mary Stuart? There's a lot to look at there. It's not very inspiring, though, so be warned if that's what you're looking for.

Like I said in my earlier post, Mary didn't seem to hate her father. Even if she disliked him, she recognised that it was through him that she gained her legitimacy to rule, and the same goes for Elizabeth. Mary wanted to honour her father's memory, but her advisers didn't allow her to on religious grounds. There's a lot of psychology involved behind their familial relationships, and I feel that, as historians, we may not really have access to it.
 

paranoid marvin

Ad Honorem
Aug 2015
2,359
uk
Dificult one. Outwardly? They couldn't; he was their father, and for a daughter to criticise their father was not seemly. Also Henry , for all his obesity, bad temper and numerous wives , was still a respected and feared King of England. They wanted to be associated with that power and majesty, and to slight him would be to slight themselves. The Tudors were still a young family in hereditary terms, the country was in the grip of an evolving religious conversion and Elizabeth and Mary were Queens of England trying to rule in their own right. The country needed a strong monarchy, not one that was seemingly at odds with itself. For a young queen to start publicly crticising such a great and noble King - and their father to boot - would not have gone down well.

How they actually felt about their father who had mistreated their mothers and made them both bastards before reinstating them (more out of necessity than love), or their brother (who tried to remove both from the succession) or their cousin Mary Queen of Scots or indeed each other, we will never really know.

Personally from what I have seen and read, it is likely that Elizaberh and Mary disliked each other (as well as feared each other). I think that Mary , considering how loved her mother had been and how badly she had been treated, and how devastating Henry had been to the Catholic church, probably hated her father. Elizabeth I think was much closer, as she seemed to want to associate herself closely with him. But publicly? Their father was a national hero and tge daughters were loving dutiful daughters.
 
Jan 2019
220
London, United Kingdom
Dificult one. Outwardly? They couldn't; he was their father, and for a daughter to criticise their father was not seemly. Also Henry , for all his obesity, bad temper and numerous wives , was still a respected and feared King of England. They wanted to be associated with that power and majesty, and to slight him would be to slight themselves. The Tudors were still a young family in hereditary terms, the country was in the grip of an evolving religious conversion and Elizabeth and Mary were Queens of England trying to rule in their own right. The country needed a strong monarchy, not one that was seemingly at odds with itself. For a young queen to start publicly crticising such a great and noble King - and their father to boot - would not have gone down well.

How they actually felt about their father who had mistreated their mothers and made them both bastards before reinstating them (more out of necessity than love), or their brother (who tried to remove both from the succession) or their cousin Mary Queen of Scots or indeed each other, we will never really know.

Personally from what I have seen and read, it is likely that Elizaberh and Mary disliked each other (as well as feared each other). I think that Mary , considering how loved her mother had been and how badly she had been treated, and how devastating Henry had been to the Catholic church, probably hated her father. Elizabeth I think was much closer, as she seemed to want to associate herself closely with him. But publicly? Their father was a national hero and tge daughters were loving dutiful daughters.
They were really unlucky to have such a father. When you are a child of a failed or unhappy marriage, you would doubt the meaning of your existence and rather prefer not having been brouhgt to this world. And it's sad that they had to hide their true feelings to stay in power.
And I found it interesting that Elizabeth I seemed to resent Henry less than her half sister, considering that her mother was treated more cruelly by Henry (at least he didn't kill Catherine), and her aunt also suffered.
 

At Each Kilometer

Ad Honorem
Sep 2012
3,937
Bulgaria
Ppl in medieval times experienced terrible things from our present point of view on daily basis it was normal for them. Reading your post i understood what presentism is / to view past events from our modern POV & values/ to pass a moral judgement on the poor sods etc. Idd we are the ubermensch, these bastards from the past they are all sociopaths, psychopaths slash untermensch :)
 
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Matthew Amt

Ad Honorem
Jan 2015
2,966
MD, USA
They were really unlucky to have such a father. When you are a child of a failed or unhappy marriage, you would doubt the meaning of your existence and rather prefer not having been brouhgt to this world. And it's sad that they had to hide their true feelings to stay in power.
And I found it interesting that Elizabeth I seemed to resent Henry less than her half sister, considering that her mother was treated more cruelly by Henry (at least he didn't kill Catherine), and her aunt also suffered.
Never ever ever think of royal families such as these as being ANYTHING like a modern family. I'm sure there were some kings who got back to the residence after a tough day in the office and swept up their kids with loving hugs and rolled on the floor playing with them until dinner time. *Maybe*. (Actual biographies will tell you a lot more!) But it's better to think of royal children as being raised by nannies, and just NOT getting the kind of parental bonding that is the core of a modern nuclear family. Their parents, fathers especially, were probably well known to them, but they were authority figures, and the children would be taught very strictly from birth to respect them.

It's true, I don't see how those rounds of wars and executions could do any *good* to those younger generations, no matter how distant from their parents they might have been! But duty to God and family were completely and thoroughly ingrained in all of them.

Respect and duty made the world go around. Disregarding any of that did not "reform" or "improve" the world, it destroyed it.

Matthew
 
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