Skip to main content Accessibility help

Restoration and Reaction: Reinterpreting the Marian Church



Although the reign of Mary i (1553–8) was a tumultuous and eventful one, for over four hundred years there was little debate about it or about the queen's efforts to restore Catholicism to England. The reign was almost universally perceived as poor, nasty, brutish and short-lived and the restoration of Catholicism was believed to have been doomed to failure, both because the burning of heretics offended English sensibilities and because Protestantism was already so deeply embedded in England that it could not be uprooted. Yet towards the end of the twentieth century, the tectonic plates of historical research began to shift and the resulting tremors altered the historiographical landscape of Mary's reign, and indeed of the English Reformation.



Hide All

1 Influential and, in their time, highly regarded statements of this view appeared in Dickens, A. G., The English Reformation, London 1964, 259–82, and Elton, G. R., Reform and Reformation: England, 1509–1558, London 1977, 392–8.

2 Haigh, Christopher (ed.), The English Reformation revised, Cambridge 1987 .

3 Duffy, Eamon, The stripping of the altars: traditional religion in England, 1400–1580, New Haven, Ct 1992 .

4 Haigh, Christopher, English Reformations: religion, politics and society under the Tudors, Oxford 1993, 203–34.

5 Ibid. 234.

6 Dickens, , English Reformation (1964), 264–77, cf. The English Reformation, 2nd edn, University Park, Pa 1989, 295306 .

7 Ibid. (1964), 266; (1989), 294–5.

8 Ibid. (1964), 279–82; (1989), 313–15.

9 Loades, D. M., The reign of Mary Tudor, London 1979, 428–52, cf. The reign of Mary Tudor, 2nd edn, Harlow 1991, 362–89.

10 Idem, Mary Tudor: a life, Oxford 1989, 339–45.

11 Idem, Mary Tudor: the tragical history of the first queen of England, Kew 2006, 183, 212–19 at p. 212.

12 Wooding, Lucy E. C., Rethinking Tudor Catholicism in Reformation England, Oxford 2000, 114–51.

13 Edwards, John and Truman, Ronald (eds), Reforming Catholicism in the England of Mary Tudor: the achievement of Friar Bartolomé Carranza, Aldershot-Burlington, Vt 2005 .

14 Classic statements of the view that Pole was too conservative and legalistic to utilise the Jesuits or to embrace the Counter Reformation are Rex Pogson, ‘Cardinal Pole: papal legate in England in Mary Tudor's reign’, unpubl. PhD diss. Cambridge 1972, and Reginald Pole and the priorities of government in Mary Tudor's Church’, HJ xviii (1975), 321 .

15 Wizeman, William, The theology and spirituality of Mary Tudor's Church, Aldershot-Burlington, Vt 2006 .

16 Dickens, English Reformation (1989), 312.

17 Haigh, English Reformations, 234.

18 Duffy, Eamon, Fires of faith: Catholic England under Mary Tudor, New Haven, Ct–London 2009 .

19 Freeman, Thomas S., ‘Burning zeal: Mary Tudor and the Marian persecution’, in Doran, S. and Freeman, Thomas S. (eds), Mary Tudor: old and new perspectives, Basingstoke 2011, 171205 .

20 McDiarmid, John F., ‘“To content god quietlie”: the troubles of Sir John Cheke under Mary’, in Evenden, E. and Westbrook, V. (eds), Catholic renewal and Protestant resistance in Marian England, Farnham-Burlington, Vt 2015, 217, 222.

21 London Metropolitan Archive, DL/C/614, 2v. The incident almost certainly happened before – and caused – Rogers's incarceration in Newgate, although Rogers was not formally questioned about it for almost a year.

22 William Wizeman, ‘The Marian Counter-Reformation in print’, in Evenden and Westbrook, Catholic renewal, 149.

23 E. Evenden, ‘Spanish involvement in the restoration of Catholicism during the reign of Philip and Mary’, ibid. 48.

24 Ibid.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

The Journal of Ecclesiastical History
  • ISSN: 0022-0469
  • EISSN: 1469-7637
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-ecclesiastical-history
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed