Date of Award


Document Type

Restricted Thesis

Terms of Use

© 1984 Jeffrey Pilchard. All rights reserved. Access to this work is restricted to users within the Swarthmore College network and may only be used for non-commercial, educational, and research purposes. Sharing with users outside of the Swarthmore College network is expressly prohibited. For all other uses, including reproduction and distribution, please contact the copyright holder.

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


History Department

First Advisor

Robert S. DuPlessis


In the Sixteenth Century, monarchical succession in England was exclusively dominated by male figures for centuries. Pilchard posits that Mary I disrupted the tradition when she succeeded to the thrown as the first woman to do so in 1553. This thesis explores the factors leading to and the legacy that remains of Mary I’s crowning and reign in England. Pivotal in the evolution of the English Monarch, he argues her accession was the result of newly instituted parameters and was the precedent for which the process followed by the generations to come. Pilchard employs chronicles of figures’ lives among his primary sources; cites original documents in quotations acquired from secondary sources; and brings into conversation disparate viewpoints of several accounts on female succession in the 16th Century.