|Princess Mary Tudor|
Mary's mother was locked away to clear the path for her father's new wife, Anne Boleyn, who was pregnant with the child that Henry prayed would be his long-awaited son. These were anxious days for Mary, knowing that a son would certainly take her place - in the succession and in her father's heart. Still, Mary decided to take a stand against her father, much as her mother had before her.
Henry may have felt that he was making an inconsequential request when he ordered Lord Hussey, Mary's chamberlain, to send Mary's royal jewels. Mary had been given no choice in accepting her father's new marriage, but here she found a small way to stand up for herself. With the support of her steadfast governess, Margaret Pole Countess of Salisbury, Mary refused to turn over her jewelry. Margaret informed Hussey that it 'cannot conveniently be spared.'
|King Henry VIII|
As strongly as Mary felt that her mother was the king's only true wife and she his only true heir, Henry and Anne were just as staunchly certain of their union. Unfortunately for Mary, Henry was the one in charge. Shortly following Elizabeth's birth on September 7, 1533, Henry revoked Mary's right to her household livery, her coat of arms, along with the title of princess. Her household was reduced, though the loyal Countess of Salisbury remained at her side. Overstepping her bounds more than she knew, Mary wrote to her father, incredulously stating that she had received a letter referring to her as "'the Lady Mary, the king's daughter', leaving out the name of princess. I marvelled at this, thinking your grace was not privy to it."
He was. And he did not appreciate the impudence of his eldest daughter.
Henry took a step that could leave no doubt of Mary's status in his eyes. He demanded that she acknowledge her illegitimacy and admit that his marriage to her mother had been invalid. Mary replied that her father might give her any title that he liked, but she was rightly called princess. It was a title only God could take from her. If Mary hoped to somehow stir her father's love or pity for her, she had misplayed her hand.
|Margaret Pole Countess of Salisbury|
The Countess of Salisbury begged to be allowed to serve Mary, offering to cover her household expenses from her own budget, but Henry refused. This was not about his pocketbook, it was about putting these women in their place. He knew that Margaret was a close friend of his first wife and that she had stirred up this brazen defiance in his daughter. Both women would be left wondering if they had made the right choice. Would it have been better to hand over the jewels and concede to being called Lady Mary?
Hindsight did not benefit Mary as she was bundled away to join her sister's household at Hatfield House just before Christmas 1533. The battle lines were drawn between Mary and her father, but she would eventually have her victory.
The First Queen of England by Linda Porter
Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury 1473-1541 by Hazel Pierce