Edward VI, Somerset and Northumberland


Royal Authority

Regency Council

  • 16 members - supported by 12 more
  • Administrators and lawyers
  • Religious conservatives
    • Thomas Wriothesley - Lord Chancellor/ Earl of Southampton
    • William Paulet - Lord St John/ Marquis of Winchester
    • Cuthbert Tunstall - Bishop of Durham
  • Religious reformers
    • Edward Seymour - Earl of Hertford/ Duke of Somerset
    • Thomas Cranmer - Archbishop of Canterbury
    • Sir Anthony Denny - MP for Hertfordshire
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Royal Authority under the Duke of Somerset

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Royal Authority under the Duke of Northumberland

  • Presided as Lord President of the Privy Council
  • Moved away from conciliar government
  • Had William Paget committed to the Tower
  • Crushed the 1549 rebellions
  • Brought some stability to the country
  • Educated Edward in government
  • Supported Protestant reform
  • Supported the work of Cranmer
  • Not universally popular
  • Got his power through Edward's survival
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Problems of succession

  • Edward's health declined rapidly in 1553
  • Princess Mary was next in line under the 1544 Succession Act
  • Mary was a Catholic so Northumberland would be ruined
  • Northumberland encouraged Edward to write the Devyse for the Succession
  • Mary and Elizabeth were declared illegitimate
  • Lady Jane Grey was declared
  • Edward died in 1653 before parliament could ratify this
  • Northumberland still proclaimed Lady Jane Grey as Queen
  • The crews sent to prevent Mary from sailing the throne changed alliance
  • Lady Jane Grey was committed to the Tower and executed in 1554
  • Northumberland was executed in 1553
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Relations with foreign powers

  • Somerset inherited a state of war with Scotland and France
  • Somerset hoped to marry Edward to Mary Queen of Scots
  • Somerset defeated Scotland at the Battle of Pinkie
  • The French took Mary to France in 1548 to marry the French Dauphin
  • France threatened England with an invasion in 1549 
  • Northumberland abandoned the remaining 25 garrisons and returned Boulogne to France
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