Page 129. " The rebellion of 1554 - known from the leader of its most important sector as Wyatt's Revolt - brought Elizabeth to her nadir. "

Mary was determined to marry Philip of Spain in spite of general popular opposition.  The mere thought of a Spaniard on the throne of England was anathema to the populace.   In response, a rebellion was planned in which the whole of middle and southern England would rise in revolt.  Lady Jane Grey's father, the Duke ofSuffolk would raise an army in the midlands, the Carew family in the south-west, Sir James Croft in the Welsh Marches (the area covering the borders of Wales and England) and Sir Thomas Wyatt in Kent.  The plans fell apart until only the Kent forces, led by Thomas Wyatt, reached London.  Repulsed by Mary's supporters at London Bridge they regrouped and marched to Kingston, where they crossed the river but were finally stopped at Ludgate, which was defended by its inhabitants.  Thomas Wyatt, along with 90 of his supporters, surrendered, was tried and eventually executed on 11th April 1554.

Sign at the Tower Hill Scaffold location
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeSign at the Tower Hill Scaffold location - Credit: Mike Peel

Elizabeth was implicated in the plot and faced the very real threat of retribution from Mary.  However, after strenuous efforts to condemn Elizabeth as a conspirator, nothing could be proved, other than she had communicated with the rebels and was kept informed of their plans.  Thereafter, until Mary's death, Elizabeth was either kept a prisoner, or closely watched.



The plaque on the old site of the scaffold on Tower Hill shows Thomas Wyatt's name and date of execution, together with others executed for treason during the reign of the Tudors.

Page 130. " But in her speech in the Guildhall to the City government she roused herself to oratorical heights "
The Guildhall, City of London
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeThe Guildhall, City of London - Credit: David (talk)

The Guildhall remains the ceremonial centre of the City of London.  It has been used as a town hall for several hundreds of years and is the only building not owned by the Church to survive the Great Fire of London in 1666. 


The complex of buildings have housed many different functions including the trials of Lady Jane Grey and Thomas Cranmer.  It was the place of meeting for the City Government in Tudor times, and where monarchs, such as Mary, addressed the City of London directly.

Page 141. " Palm Sunday is the beginning of Passion Week. "
Jesus entering Jerusalem on a Donkey. Unknown publisher of Bible card. c.early 1900s
Public DomainJesus entering Jerusalem on a Donkey. Unknown publisher of Bible card. c.early 1900s - Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Palm Sunday always falls on the Sunday before Easter in the Christian calendar.  It marks the occasion of the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem before his Passion.  It was, and still is in some countries, the tradition to distribute palm leaves (or other native flora) to the assembled worshippers. 


Page 141. " a tract entitled "The Miraculous Preservation of the Lady Elizabeth, now Queen of England" "
Martyrdom of Alexander Gouch and Driver's Wife. 1558. John Foxe Ecclesiastical Histories. 1641
Public DomainMartyrdom of Alexander Gouch and Driver's Wife. 1558. John Foxe Ecclesiastical Histories. 1641 - Credit: Wikimedia Commons



John Foxe's Book of Marytrs is an account of the sufferings of people condemned for their faith throughout the centuries, beginning with the 1st century.  It was first published in 1563 and was read widely by English Puritans, reinforcing their attitudes, and prejudices, towards Roman Catholics for years following.  The work concentrates on the martyrdom of Protestants at the hands of Catholics, including the treatment of Elizabeth, while still a princess, by her sister Mary.




As David Starkey points out, the account of Elizabeth's suffering at this point must be taken with a pinch of salt as John Foxe was anything but an unbiased recorder.  He notes that, according to Foxe, Elizabeth refused to get out of the barge taking her to the Tower upon her arrival at Traitor's Gate although the Tower diarist at the time asserts that she landed at Tower Wharf rather than at Traitor's Gate.  As Traitor's Gate is a water gate, it would not have been possible to deliver Elizabeth there as the tide in the River Thames was, at that time, too low.

Page 148. " she took her real text from St Matthew's Gospel "

In this verse in the Gospel of Matthew (10:16), Jesus is giving the disciples advice (or instruction) in their coming mission to spread the Word of God to the Jews and warns them of the dangers they face.  The disciples are the 'sheep' and, by implication, the Jews are the 'wolves' and hostile to the belief that Jesus is the son of God.  By referring to the wisdom of serpents, Jesus is recalling the serpent in the Garden of Eden in the Old Testament Book of Genesis where it is called 'subtle'.  But, as 'doves' they are to accomplish their mission with no harm to anyone else.

Matthew Evangelist. Koberger Bible 1483. Author Anton Koberger
Public DomainMatthew Evangelist. Koberger Bible 1483. Author Anton Koberger - Credit: Wikimedia Commons