Towards the end of the 1563 Parliamentary session, John Hales, Clerk of the Hanaper and an M.P. sitting for the Borough of Lancaster, wrote and circulated a tract entitled, A Declaration of the Succession of the Crowne Imperiall of Ingland. In this work, Hales argued that until such time as Queen Elizabeth married and produced an heir, the law clearly designated a successor—Catherine Grey, the leading Protestant claimant and heir according to the terms of Henry VIII’s will, which had been enacted into law. The leading Catholic claimant, and heir by strict hereditary descent, Mary Stuart, was, Hales contended, legally ineligible to succeed to the throne. Crucially, Hales concluded that in the face of inadequate governance by a female monarch wherein the queen violated the law regarding the succession, Parliament would become the rightful body to exercise the queen’s governing power for the good of the people.