The Dynamics of Persecution Under King Philip and Queen Mary was intended to take the burning of protestant martyrs in their reign as a whole, but from the point of view of the martyrs really, rather than the state.  I would argue that the research so far in this area has been state-centred, looking at the persecution in terms of what it did for the state; how it reflected the monarchy’s aims. I wanted to look in more depth at whether the majority of the burnings were initiated from the bottom up, as I suspect.  Only a few of the martyrs were major players in the Edwardine church.  What about the rest of them?  There’s no denying that they must have held fast to their beliefs, which basically meant for most of them that they refused to accept the catholic doctrine of transubstantiation.  But why were people in certain areas burned and other areas not?

The thesis was also intended to look at the restoration of the medieval heresy laws, the show trials of Cranmer and the other protestant leaders, and the influence of the Spanish contingent at court.

Why are they the ‘Marian Martyrs’?  Why is she ‘Bloody Mary’ when there is never any mention of Philip?  How has Philip been written out of our consciousness so that if we know him at all, we only know him as the man who launched the Armada against Elizabeth I?

And why ‘Under King Philip and Queen Mary’?  Because that’s how they referred to themselves.

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