The Biography of Mary I (1516-1558)

Mary I

 

The Biography of Mary I (1516-1558)
From The Dictionary of National Biography – Volume 12, 1909

MARY I (1516-1558), queen of  England and Ireland, third but only surviving child of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon, was born at four o’clock in the morning of Monday, 18 Feb. 1515-16 at Greenwich Palace. She was baptised with great solemnity on Wednesday, 20 Feb., in the monastery of Grey Friars, which adjoined Greenwich Palace. Margaret Pole, countess of Salisbury q. v., carried her to the font, assisted by the Dukes of Norfolk and Suffolk. The Princess Catherine Plantagenet, daughter of Edward IV, and the Duchess of Norfolk were her godmothers. Cardinal Wolsey stood godfather. The infant was named Mary, after her father’s favourite sister see Mary, 1496-1533, After baptism, the girl received the rite of confirmation, the Countess of Salisbury acting as sponsor. To the countess, a very pious catholic, the queen confided the general care of the child, while Catherine, wife of Leonard Pole (a kinsman of the countess’s husband, Sir Richard Pole), was appointed her nurse, and before she was a year old, Henry Rowte, a priest, became her chaplain and clerk of the closet. For her first year Mary chiefly lived under the same roof as her parents. The autumn of 1517 she spent at the royal residence of Ditton Park, Buckinghamshire, within easy reach of Windsor. In February 1518, when she was just two, Henry VIII, carrying her in his arms, introduced her to a crowd of courtiers, including Wolsey and Sebastian Giustinian, the Venetian ambassador. All kissed the child’s hand, but Mary suddenly cast her eyes on a Venetian friar, Dionisius Meno, the king’s organist, and calling out, ‘Priest, priest,’ summoned him to play with her (Giustinian, ii. 161; BREWER, i 232).  The childish cry – Mary’s first reported words – almost seems of prophetic import. About the same time Margaret, wife of Sir Thomas Bryan, was made governess to the princess, and there were added to her household a chamberlain (Sir Weston Browne) and a treasurer (Richard Sydnour).