"It was like Achilles skulking in his tent. And Mary, too, had her myrmidons."
Triumph of Achilles by Franz Matsch 1892
Public DomainTriumph of Achilles by Franz Matsch 1892 - Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Edward VI, in order to reinforce Protestantism had, in 1549, passed the Act of Uniformity making any form of worship other than with the new Protestant Prayer Book illegal.  Mary, as a Catholic, found this intolerable and continued to celebrate Mass in the conventional, Catholic manner.  It suited Elizabeth, on the other hand, perfectly.  Edward, losing patience with his sister Mary, summoned her to court.  The visit did not go well and Mary withdrew to her estate at New Hall in Essex, and there she remained, in the heartland of her estates, surrounded by her own supporters until the Council backed off and allowed Mary her Mass.


Achilles, according to Homer, was a prince of the Myrmidons and great warrior. He led his Myrmidons into battle against Troy with Agamemnon's armies but at one point, after being dishonoured by Agamemnon, refused to fight and instead remained in his tent. Without their greatest warrior, the battle turned in favour of the Trojans who were beating Agamemnon and the Greek armies back to their ships on the beaches, when a cousin of Achilles, Patroclus, donned Achilles's armour and rejoined the fighting, only to be killed in battle by Hector, the Trojan champion.  Enraged at his cousin's death, Achilles went back to fighting in vengeance and eventually killed, and dishonoured the body of, Hector.