Impossible in theory but manageable in practice.
How accurately does this describeTudor queenship?3
An Harborowe for Faithfull and Trewe Subiectes,
argued, stating that Knox‟s arguments were „absurd,‟ and that when God establisheda woman‟s power inevitably she would be a good queen.
Aylmer argued that St Paulhad been misinterpreted when he forbade women to speak in congregation, that thisshould not imply that a woman cannot be the head of the church.
that woman too was created in God‟s likeness, and the Biblical term for c
leader „from Brethren,‟ did not in fact exclude women due to gender usage in
Nonetheless ruling over a patriarchal society which believed women to beinferior by natural and biblical law was challenging.
In 1553 Mary gave out morealms than her brother had done in any year of his reign, enforcing the idea of godly queenship.
Thus contemporary theological arguments were inconclusive over thetheoretical possibility of queenship.Following from this religious argument was the notion that gynarchy was
repugnant to nature and reason. There was „no ideological foundation for femaleauthority,‟
in early modern England;
even Edward VI‟s minority rule was
Henry VIII feared leaving no male heir, especially when male andfemale were seen as polar opposites; engendering honour/dishonour,order/disorder.
Thus the idea of queenship was difficult for contemporaries tocomprehend,
especially with the lack of precedent. There were instances of powerful women, Empress Matilda, Lady Margaret Beaufort, and women influentialin politics under Henry VIII, but no clear precedent of an autonomous queen.
Mary‟s reign set a precedent of non
-disastrous rule for Elizabeth to follow, probably increasing contemporary views of the possibility of gynarchy, but as soon as new problems reared their heads the old suspicions of queenship emerged once more.
An Harborowe for Faithfull and Trewe Subiectes
A Catholic apologist for Mary Queen of Scots.
Jordan, ‘Woman's rule,’ p.442.
, ‘Courts, Courtiers, and Culture in Tudor England,’
The Historical Journal, Vol. 46,
, ‘“Would I Could Give You Help and Succour": Elizabeth I and the Politics of Touch,’
Albion: AQuarterly Journal Concerned with British Studies, Vol. 21
(1989), p. 196.
(London, 2nd ed., 1998), p.171.
Especially as it was only expected to be temporary.
, ‘Gender, Religion, and Early Modern Nationalism: Elizabeth I, Mary Queen of Scots, and the
Genesis of English Anti-
The American Historical Review, Vol. 107
Would I Co
uld Give You Help and Succour,’ p.195.
, ‘Courts, Courtiers, and Culture ,’ p.717.