But I love you for trying smartypants
swreader wrote:It has always struck me as amusing that Elizabeth executed more Catholics by far than Mary did Protestants.
Yes she did but Mary wasn't Queen for as long as Elizabeth was she? Just 5 years as opposed to 44 years - so Mary (with Philip II of Spain as her co-monarch and very much under his thumb) would have possibly been a lot more Bloody if she'd not died so young.
The thing with heresy in England from the time of establishment of the Church of England (with the monarch
as Pontiff not the Pope) is that at the time it was
treason. Thomas Wolsey as de facto religious head of the C of E only just avoided execution (by falling gravely ill and dying) for messing up the Catherine of Aragon divorce/mishandling the Anne Boleyn substitution and various other little anomalies like having a 'wife' that Henry didn't like too much... In practice Henry remained catholic
throughout his entire reign, but without the Pope being able to meddle in dynastic matters, which is what the whole multiple wife thing was all about.
With the politics of the time too, Mary saw Protestant plots against her everywhere almost as soon as her father died in fact. Whilst her little brother reigned (he would have in fact been the most rational Tudor monarch had he lived poor little guy) she had to keep a very low profile as Edward's guardians (the Seymour brothers were only a smidge less ruthless than the Borgias) were eager to hang a heresy/treason label on her for Catholic plots to take the throne. When Mary became Queen the same thing happened to Elizabeth (only in reverse of course) as different Protestant factions tried to rebel against the Catholic rule and put Elizabeth on the throne instead.
Both Mary and Elizabeth trod the same path politically and a lot of the so called Protestant 'heretics' that Mary had burned were said to have schemed to remove her as Queen (which was of course treason).
With the execution of Mary Queen of Scots, this again was purely political and in fact Elizabeth resisted the death penalty for her cousin (through her father's sister, also a Mary) for a very long time. This again fits with the constant political infighting in England that had battered the treasury and forced Elizabeth's strident foreign policy orientation. In the Scottish Queen's case she would
have been Elizabeth's heir had she renounced Catholicism and her son James would have inherited both England and Scotland whatever happened. Elizabeth resisted signing the death warrant for almost 20 years and I think that was simply because she didn't want to antagonise King James (he had succeeded his mum to the Scottish crown when he was barely a year old when the Protestant faction in Scotland (helped by the English) forced mary to abdicate in his favour) any more and hoped that Mary would see sense and accept Protestant rule in both kingdoms. She wouldn't and so she too was the judas goat who had one too many conspiracies in her 'interest' to sweep her into Elizabeth's place and so, in the end she had to be executed to permanently stop up one route to the catholics getting the power back...
See - your religion can
kill you in interesting and very painful ways!