The Instigator
JayConar
Pro (for)
Losing
4 Points
The Contender
Atheist-Independent
Con (against)
Winning
6 Points

Lady Jane Grey should have been allowed to rule England as Queen instead of Mary.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
Atheist-Independent
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/7/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,660 times Debate No: 64774
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (30)
Votes (3)

 

JayConar

Pro

We'll use the first round just for acceptance. Final round for rebuttals but no new arguments. Usual stuff, good luck!
Atheist-Independent

Con

I accept this debate and will take the position that Mary deserved to be Queen of England more so than Jane Grey.
Debate Round No. 1
JayConar

Pro

ROUND 1

RIGHT TO RULE

When King Edward VI lay dying at the age of 15, he appointed his cousin, Lady Jane Grey, to be his heir. He therefore essentially dis-inherited his half-sisters from the throne. As the King, he certainly had the power to name his successor. Legally, therefore, Lady Jane Grey had the right to rule.

LEGITIMACY OF EDWARD VI'S SISTERS

It could be argued that Queen Mary did not have a claim to the throne.

[1] If she [Princess Elizabeth] or Mary married without the consent of their brother and his Council, they would forfeit their right of succession to the throne.

As King Edward VI never gave his permission for Queen Mary to marry King Phillip of Spain, Queen Mary, upon marrying the Spanish King, forfeited her right to the throne. Even though she was, by that point, Queen, she effectively revoked her power by doing so. However, this was ignored at the time.

Back over to you my Atheist-Independant friend!

Sources:
[1]http://books.google.co.uk...


Atheist-Independent

Con

ARGUMENT
This round I presume is solely for opening arguments, and therefore I will refrain from any rebuttals of my opponents arguments until the next round (much to my dismay). For this round I will divide my argument into two fundamental subdivisions. These being:


D1: General Reasons
D2: Specific Reasons

What I mean by D1 is that I will attempt to show how in the average case in a monarchical succession Mary I deserved to be Queen as opposed to Jane. For D2 I will provide specific reasonings from the event itself to further strengthen my argument.

Enough with the outline, let's begin!

D1: General Reasons

1. Mary is the first in line after Edward VII
This point is relatively simple. Mary was the eldest (legitimate) daughter of Henry VIII, followed by her sister Elizabeth, and then her brother Edward. Stated in Common Law in the UK, the succession follows a male-preference cognatic-primogeniture [1]. What this means is that the heir to the throne is to be the eldest living male of the previous king. However, in England in the case of their being no direct male heir, the eldest daughter is to become Queen. In the case of Mary, it is very clear that she is the next in line to the throne after her brother Edward VI dies. However, it was arranged so that Jane Grey was to become Queen solely for the reason that she was Protestant while Mary was Catholic. I will later on show how this was placement of Jane Grey upon the throne was entirely illegal in D2.


2. Jane Grey is not even the third in line
To help both myself and our readers for this section of the argument, I would like to show the Tudor family tree in Picture A.


Picture A

Shown in this picture is the relation between Edward VI to Jane Grey, along with the remainder of the Tudor family. Based on this picture it is clear that Mary is second in line given that she is the eldest daughter of Henry VIII. Elizabeth I would be the third in line given that she was the second daughter of Henry VIII. Now it is to be believed that Jane would become the fourth in line to the throne, however this is incorrect as well. Jane's mother, Frances Grey (nee Brandon), the Duchess of Suffolk would claim that title due to the fact that she is the daughter of Henry VIII's sister Mary and that she is obviously older than her daughter, Jane [2]. Further, those descended from Henry VIII's elder sister Margaret, Queen of Scots had been excluded from the sucession due to their Catholic leanings, and thus, James V of Scots, Mary, Queen of Scots, and even her husbsand, Francis II of France had less of a claim to the English throne than the descendants of Henry VIII's younger sister Mary. And despite the fact that the Scottish had been disinherited, it was incredibly illogical that Jane became Queen while there were at least two other candidates for the English throne.

D2: Specific Reasons

1. Third Succession Act (1543)
In 1543, Henry VIII passed the Third Act of Succession during his reign. Essentially, this Act revoked the Second Succession Act which stated that both Mary and Elizabeth could not in any way become ruler of England [3]. Article IV of the Third Succession Act states [4]:


"Provided alway, that if the said Lady Mary do not keep and perform such conditions as shall be limited and appointed to her said estate in the said imperial crown and other the premises as is aforesaid, and the said Lady Elizabeth being then dead without any heir of her body lawfully begotten, that then and from thenceforth for lack of heirs of the several bodies of the king's majesty and the said lord prince lawfully begotten, the said imperial crown and other the premises shall be, come and remain to such person and persons and of such estate and estates as the king's highness by his letters patents sealed under his great seal, or by his last will in writing signed with His Majesty's hand shall limit and appoint"

Admittedly it is a bit wordy, however it is essentially describing that Mary and Elizabeth have both been restored to their former state in the line of succession, which is second and third in line, respectively. Nowhere to be found in the document is the name of Lady Jane Grey, or even her mother, Frances Grey.

2. Illegitimacy of Edward VI's decision to make Lady Jane Grey Queen
There are multiple issues that arise with Edward VI's declaration that made Jane Grey his heir instead of Mary. Edward VI was attempting to follow his father who had been able to gain such an incredible amount of power that he could change his heirs without any input from parliament. Before I describe the specifics of said issues, I would like to share a quote by historian David Loades who states [5]:

"‘Not only was parliamentary consent required for the change that he [Edward] was proposing, but as a minor he was not even capable of making a valid will. As the days ticked by Northumberland became increasingly desperate, even threatening violence against the obstructers. Eventually it was agreed that the only way to proceed was by letters patent, which would have to be retrospectively confirmed. Such letters were drawn up, but they never passed the seals, and thus were never properly validated, and so remained technically invalid.’

Loades addresses multiple issues with Edward's deceleration. One being that he was still technically not old enough to make decisions by himself, as he was only fifteen and still had a regent in charge of the country. Therefore all arguments that state that Henry VIII had given Edward VI the power of changing heirs is somewhat true, yet at the time of his death he was unable to use these powers. Another is that the letters which stated that Jane Grey was the heir of Edward VI were never passed by parliament and therefore are invalid. If the act is invalid, that means that nothing has changed in the succession, and therefore Mary was still the next in line.


Sources

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...

[2] http://genealogics.org...

[3] http://www.theanneboleynfiles.com...

[4] http://www.luminarium.org...

[5] http://mary-tudor.blogspot.com...;
Debate Round No. 2
JayConar

Pro

Round 2

First of all I'd like to start off by saying that I'm sorry about the lateness of this response, but I've been procrastinating with University things.

Rebuttals

My opponent is correct that Mary, in a normal case, would have been first in line to the throne after her brother, Edward, died. However, this case was not a normal case of monarchical succession, as Queen Mary was a Catholic.

Let's post this again to make it easier for all of us:


So it's obvious that Mary I was definitely next in line for the succession if this were a normal case. However, it wasn't.

[1]'The 1544 Act stated that the king ‘myght by the auctoritie of the saide acte give and dispose the ... crown ... by his letters patentes ... or by his last will ... to any person or persons’.

This act was signed into being by the British Parliament in 1544 under King Henry VIII,

It was afterwards that John Dudley persuaded Edward (the then King) to write his own will leaving Lady Jane Grey the throne. She was [2]'known for her Protestant piety and learning; it was this religious devotion which presuaded Edward to alter the succession.'

Whilst my opponent is correct to state that the letters were never validated, [3]'Nonetheless the letters patent were signed by many prominent figures in government, by judges and certain leading citizens of London.' So judges, government figures and other leading London citizens didn't take issue with the document during King Edward's life, it was only afterwards that they changed their mind.

Thus, the Third Succession Act no longer had any credence as the 1944 document allowed future monarchs to declare their successors. As it happens, Edward did do this, thus nullifying the third succession act as Henry VIII was no longer the King, so Edward VI, the current monarch, was allowed to change the succession.

In relation to Edward's age, (his being 15) it is true that he did, at the time, have a regency. However, despite this, Lady Jane Grey was still pronounced Queen. Therefore, it was high treason for Mary to attempt a coup to replace her.

The Hanoverian Rule

Many are familiar with King George III, the third Monarch in the Hanoverian line, also commonly known as the Mad King. However, not many know that his family, the Hanovers, were not first in line to the throne upon the death of Queen Anne. In fact, they were 52nd in line to the throne. However, they were the first protestants in line to the throne. Thus, George I became King, despite the fact that there were 51 people who were further up in the line of succession. This shows that it doesn't matter if people who are further up in the succession want to be King, as long as they have more approval and, for 9 days in 1554, Queen Jane Grey did.


Sources:
[1] http://mary-tudor.blogspot.co.uk...;
[2]http://englishhistory.net...
[3] http://mary-tudor.blogspot.co.uk...
Atheist-Independent

Con

REBUTTAL
Sorry for the late response, yet late is better than never. Let's move on to the rebuttals.

RIGHT TO RULE
I have previously displayed in my opening argument how the placement of Jane Grey as the first heir to Edward VI was illegitimate, therefore negating my opponents argument here. I will, however, relay my opening argument as a rebuttal.

My opponent states that "as the King, he certainly had the power to name his successor", however this argument is flawed. Given that he had a regency in place he was legally not able to make a law of this sort without the consent of his advisers. This was not the case as in reality the Duke of Northumberland had forced the young King to write this law and he ignored the regent entirely. This in itself harms the legitimacy of the King's proposition to make Jane his heir because it is likely that he had very little say in the matter. The other issue with this opening argument is that the law was not even officially signed and approved by Parliament. While Henry VIII hardly needed to use this step, Edward VI was required by law to have all of his laws passed by the Parliament, and in this case the law was not passed.

LEGITAMACY
This argument is flawed on many regards as well. First off, my opponent acknowledges the fact that Mary had married Philip II of Spain after her brother Edward VI had died. Therefore the unspecified law had no effect upon this situation. My opponent claims that even though Edward VI was dead at the time of the marriage, the law still should have been enacted and Mary would no longer have a claim on the throne. This is absolutely ridiculous because using this logic Mary, nor her sister Elizabeth, would be allowed to marry without losing their claim to the throne. This is simply a way of cherry picking a law so that it can be interpreted in your favor, even though it is absolutely illogical.

Therefore Mary's claim does not only exist, it is still the strongest claim in the world as I have shown already in my opening argument. Also, it would be much appreciated if my opponent could actually find the document that states this law as the precise wording could have a large impact on the debate as a whole.

Rebuttals will be longer in the final round, do not fear!
Debate Round No. 3
JayConar

Pro

Final Rebuttals:

My opponent asserts: 'Given that he had a regency in place he was legally not able to make a law of this sort without the consent of his advisers.'

During his reign, Edward VI had two 'advisers' or 'protectorates.' One was the Duke of Somerset and the other, after the downfall of the Duke of Somerset, was the Earl of Warwick (later the Duke of Northumberland), the man that my opponent states: 'had forced the young King to write this law and he ignored the regent entirely.' Now, there is no proof that the young King was entirely manipulated by the Duke of Northumberland. In fact, David Starkey states in his book, Elizabeth: Apprenticeship, that: 'Edward himself opposed Mary's succession, not only on religious grounds but also on those of legitimacy and male inheritance, which also applied to Elizabeth.'

It is true that Elizabeth I and Mary I were still not considered legitimate. The various succession acts had declared them illegitimate and restored them to the succession, but had never actually declared them legitimate.

Thank you for debating this with me, I look forward to future Historical debates with you and wish you luck in this one!
Atheist-Independent

Con

FINAL REBUTTAL

This round might be a bit rushed as I am running a bit late on a variety of things at the moment. Apologies in advance.


I comprehend my opponents argument completely. That since Mary was Catholic it is likely that she would have destroyed all the work that Henry VIII and Edward VI had done in restoring the Church of England. Therefore since Jane Grey was a viable Protestant she should have been queen so that England would not have to go through another religious upheaval. This point is legitimate, however I would like to remind my opponent that this is all irrelevant because it utterly violates the Third Act of Succession. Had Edward VI been able to get his will passed by parliament, this would not be an issue whatsoever, however he did not and therefore Jane still should not be allowed to become queen.

If my opponent is trying to convey that it would be better for the English people to have Jane as queen we must once again disagree. The purpose of having Jane Grey as queen was partially about the Protestant (or Anglican) reformation in England, but it was much more related to having John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland, be the de facto ruler of England. Dudley's plan was to have Jane queen, but keep her as merely a figurehead while he truly ran the country. Sound familiar may happy monarchical friend? His plan nearly worked too as Jane was married to the Dukes younger son, Lord Guilford Dudley, by the time she became queen [1]. Unfortunately for Dudley, Mary arrived to show him who the true ruler of England was.

My opponent argues that due to the fact that Edward VI's will was signed by "many prominent figures in government" it should be considered legitimate. This, of course, completely ignores all laws about both parliament and the powers of the king. This is similar to saying that we should repeal Obamacare because a few prominent Republicans say so. In England, Edward VI would have had to have his will ratified by the parliament for it to become law. This did not happen, despite the many prominent figures who approved of it.

My opponent then goes on to claim that Mary was committing high treason by rebelling against the rule of Jane Grey (or John Dudley, truly the same thing). This is ridiculous because I have shown that Jane had no right nor reason to become Queen of England given that there were at least three more legitimate candidates a head of her in the succession. Therefore Jane is the one who ought to be considered a traitor because she, albeit unknowingly and unwillingly, ascended to the throne of England illegally and without consent of parliament. Jane solely became queen because of the will of John Dudley, and that is not in any way a legitimate way to claim the throne of England.

The final argument about the Hanovers is somewhat off topic, I must admit. However, I believe that my opponent is attempting to show that the legality of a person's rule is not important as long as the person who wants to be ruler has the most support. I find this to be an absurd comparison. Jane simply did not have more support than Mary, who had a massive army of followers at the time. Jane solely had the support of John Dudley, who was able to use his influence to slip Jane onto the throne without any major objections from parliament. The Hannovers had far more support than Jane ever could of dreamed of having.

Another issue with the Hanover argument is that their rise to the throne of England was legal, while Jane's was not. While admittedly, Queen Anne had not wanted George I to be king, she had preferred the Old Pretender James Edward Stuart. However, the Hannovers were given power due to the Act of Settlement in 1701 which stated that only a Protestant may ascend to the throne of England [2]. Since the Hannovers were the closest related Protestants to Queen Anne, they legally were allowed to become the royal family of England. Jane's rise to the throne, on the other hand, was not legal as I have showed countless times in this argument.

I would like to thank my opponent for partaking in this fun, and incredibly nerdy, debate with me.

Sources:

[1] http://www.bbc.co.uk...

[2] http://www.britroyals.com...
Debate Round No. 4
30 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by JayConar 2 years ago
JayConar
Well played A-I!
Posted by JayConar 2 years ago
JayConar
She was a bitch. There is no debate there. ;)
Posted by Atheist-Independent 2 years ago
Atheist-Independent
Want to debate the supposed bitchiness of Mary? :P
Posted by JayConar 2 years ago
JayConar
Lady Jane Grey was a sweet person who had her head chopped off unfairly and Queen Mary was a horrific bitch who should've had her head chopped off but burned hundreds of protestants instead :3 She also had two phantom pregnancies so the joke is on her.
Posted by UndeniableReality 2 years ago
UndeniableReality
Hmm, I don't know who either of those people are =P
Posted by JayConar 2 years ago
JayConar
I'm gonna message people on my friends list I think
Posted by Atheist-Independent 2 years ago
Atheist-Independent
Still no votes...
Posted by JayConar 2 years ago
JayConar
I knooow it's very sad >:(
Posted by Atheist-Independent 2 years ago
Atheist-Independent
Nobody's voting :(
Posted by JayConar 2 years ago
JayConar
I'd love to ;) Good luck beating me on that xD
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Tweka 2 years ago
Tweka
JayConarAtheist-IndependentTied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro has better spelling and grammar. Pro has better arguments.
Vote Placed by 9spaceking 2 years ago
9spaceking
JayConarAtheist-IndependentTied
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Reasons for voting decision: I think pro conceded too much important of an argument, and although his rebuttal was nice, it had crucial flaws exploited by con.
Vote Placed by dtaylor971 2 years ago
dtaylor971
JayConarAtheist-IndependentTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: A very interesting debate topic, to say the least. The BoP was never fully communicated, so I assume "should have been" rests on legal, and not moral, terms. Pro starts off with a simple argument that king has power to choose what he wants, which was fully refuted by con. Con does provide legal evidence negating the resolution (Third Succesion Act) which went on to show that it was entirely right for Mary to rule, regardless of what the king says. The concession by pro that some things were not validated significantly hurts his argument from a legal standpoint. The permission argument by pro was quite compelling at first glance, but con shows it to be quite flawed. What really sewed up the debate for con is that he stated many sound reasons as to why Jane Grey was at least somewhat illegitimate to rule. A valiant effort by pro, but con emerged victorious. Great job and effort by both; quite an entertaining read!