Sunday, May 14, 2017

Question from Sarah - Mary & Elizabeth declared legitimate

When were Mary and Elizabeth declared legitimate? Is this the same as the time they were put back in the line of succession?


Anonymous said...

According to Eric Ives in his book on Lady Jane Grey, Mary and Elizabeth were not declared legitimate when placed back in the succession; instead, they were left the throne by a combination of Henry's will and Act of Parliament. He thinks that the nobles seeking to proclaim Lady Jane Grey were simply upholding basic inheritance law, which prohibited illegitimate children from inheriting.


PhD Historian said...

Esther is correct that neither Mary nor Elizabeth were declared legitimate by the Third Act for the Succession, though that Act did enable them to succeed to the crown. The very first Act of Mary's first Parliament was "An Act declaring the Queen's Highness to have been born in a most just and lawful Matrimonie, and also repealing all Acts of Parliament and sentences of Divorce had and made to the contrary." When Elizabeth came to the throne, she and her Parliaments chose to ignore the issue, and no act of legitimation was proposed or passed. Elizabeth remained illegitimate until her death, at least according the English statute law.