Thursday, March 4, 2010

Search for Secrets of A Sunken Cannon - 34

What you are beginning to read is the early history of cannon founding around the era of King Henry VIII, the King of England starting in 1509. My how fast 501 years have come and gone, but in this blog about the disappearance of the Cannonsburg cannon the age of the weapon has roots beginning here. King Henry was an interesting man only because if any king felt 'hen pecked' that'd be him from too many wives; lack of heirs, divorce, executions, etc. He made bad mistakes in judgement and it showed in his attempts to purchase cannons at cheaper than the going rate and his desires to cheat others for what he promised to deliver. The weather in 1545 did indeed change the military history of England. Note the names of individuals, places and things and how they are commonly used in American culture - our roots.

Cannons that weren't recycled were lost at sea, captured, sabotaged and buried live after battles on dry land. Cannons were primed and remain in live firing condition today buried in sand or water for hundreds of years. If you beachwalk and find a rusting or barnacle or coral encrusted cannon never assume it dead. One spark from a shovel hitting the cannon and it can explode. Back about 2007 a Belgium farmer was plowing some new land he purchased. It was prime farm land. His tractor disc struck a buried cannon. It exploded and created a hole nearly 150 feet wide and 75 feet deep. Buried next to the cannon was an ammo dump from World War I. It was buried by unknowns and no eyewitnesses were alive to warn the living.

When it comes to wiping out military cannons two of King Henry's children who later inherited the Throne; King Edward and Queen Mary I almost used up all Henry's cannons before his last child Elizabeth I became Queen of England (1558). In addition to building up his military stores King Henry VIII married Catherine of Aragon (1516-1533). Both were Catholic and she had a daughter named Mary I known later in life as "Mary Tudor" or "Bloody Mary," which to American's is an alcoholic beverage. She was called Bloody Mary because of her restoration of Catholicism in England as Queen from 1554-58.

Mary I was brought up strict Roman Catholic. In 1527 when Catherine of Aragon couldn't bear him a living son Henry got impatient and decided to end their marriage asking Pope Clement to declare his marriage void and Thomas Cardinal Wolsley's inability to grant him a divorce disgraced Henry before 1529. Henry's marriage to Catherine languished until 1533 when he asked Thomas Cranmer, the first Protestant Archbishop of Canterbury to annul the marriage on the grounds that Catherine was previously married at age 16 to Henry's brother Arthur. Why'd he marry her? Was he lying? Was this a convenient lie?

Henry charged Catherine was unclean making Mary an illegitimate daughter, which transferred Mary's line of succession to Elizabeth I. Henry broke from the Roman Catholic Church declaring himself head of the Church of England and Catherine was then Dowager Princess of Wales. Mary survived another sister and three short-lived brothers. Mary was the granddaughter of Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castille. Mary was excluded from court after her mother's divorce and became lady-in-waiting to Elizabeth, which she learned to revile because of her Protestant beliefs. She was prohibited from worshipping her Catholic faith and wasn't allowed to attend mom's funeral. Her heart hardened against her father and Elizabeth. During Henry and Catherine's marriage, Henry promised Mary's hand in marriage at two years of age to Dauphin Francis, son of Francis I, King of France, but that was cancelled at age 5.

Henry tried hitching Mary to her first cousin, the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, age 22, by the Treaty of Windsor, but that fell three years later. The scheming Henry suggested that Mary wed Dauphin's father Francis I or his second son Henry, Duke of Orleans. That was a marriage proposal in exchange for an alliance with England, but that failed, but at least Mary was being educated in Spanish and Latin. King Henry was becoming his own worst nightmare.

Henry then married Ann Boleyn 1533-36. She finally had a daughter named Elizabeth I in 1533, but when she couldn't produce a son Henry had her beheaded in 1536 and he married Jane Seymour 1536-37. Jane died during the childbirth Henry's son Edward VI, who was raised extreme Protestant. Edward was Mary I half-brother and Elizabeth half-sister. Henry's kingdom was divided by two religions and Henry's death split the kingdom into warring factions. Mary I confronted her father telling him she was his only living heir because the Catholic church didn't recognize her mother's divorce. Henry banished her from his court, but gave her royal status, but not succession to the throne. Mary felt cheated and she lived to irritate Elizabeth almost to the point of insanity. Mary I became an itch Elizabeth couldn't stop.

Thomas Cromwell, the Earl of Sussex, arranged the fourth marriage of King Henry to Ann of Cleves in 1540 for strictly political reasons. That marriage ended in annulment that same year. He grew tired of Anne and Cromwell who negotiated the marriage. You don't bug an angry impatient King. Henry divorced her and executed Cromwell.

For the fifth time King Henry married Catherine Howard, but he executed her for reputed Catholic infidelity in 1542 and married Catherine Parr (1543-48) who survived his death in 1547. He was a tortured King by the women he married. How could the King not be dysfunctional dealing with too many wives, lack of heirs and too few cannons and trying to acquire wealth by cheating and stealing from others what he promised to pay for services rendered - the buildup of the King's military stores list. Some historians believe it was King Henry's zest for women and more heirs that was his downfall. I believe all the turnmoil in his life and his conscience of feeling guilty for doing wrong instead of right was taxing his mind and his fall from grace was from his impatience of not getting what he thought he deserved fast enough. Sound familiar?

After King Henry's death Edward VI (b.1537-53), a 10-year old was a sickly pawn for Protestant power as parlayed between Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset and John Dudley, Earl of Warwick. As protectors they didn't help Edward gain control of economic inlation problems affecting his monarchy, but as a boy King of England (1547-53) he built up stocks of cannons and extreme Protestantism was born.

When Edward VI died of tuberculosis his half-sister Mary I seized back the Kingdom from Lady Jane Grey and became Queen of England and Queen of Ireland (1553-58). Mary became the fourth crowned monarch of the Tudor dynasty and she would be known for restoring England to Roman Catholicism after Edward's mini-reign of Protestantism. Mary's reign of terror began when in her thirty's she had 300 religious dissenters burned at the stake during Marian Persecutions. This all started because she was humiliated when summoned to a reunion with Edward and Elizabeth, but was embarrassed to tears in front of the court for "daring to ignore Edward's law regarding Protestant worship. Earlier she had asked Charles V to allow her the right to worship her Catholic faith inside her own chapel, but he refused.

Edward's hatred of Mary's Catholicism was so great he feared she would overturn his and his father's Protestant decrees, so like his father, he planned to exclude her from his line of succession, but Edward's advisors said he couldn't disinherit Mary without disinheriting Elizabeth. The Act of Succession of 1544 prevented the ouster of Mary and Elizabeth as monarchs. When Edward died Lady Jane Grey seized control of the throne with the help of John Dudley, 1st Duke of Northumberland and Edward's supporters installed the false Queen of England. Her reign lasted nine days, because Mary arrived with popular support and legally assumed the throne. Dudley and Grey were arrested and imprisoned in the Tower of London.

Mary without children at age 37 married Philip II of Spain. She had never met him personally, but liked what she saw in a full-length portrait of Prince Philip sent to her by cousin Charles V. Philip was his only son and after a personal courtship of two days they married 25 July 1554, at Winchester Cathedral. Was this courtship a coincidence or was it Mary's deliverance from religious pergatory? Under provisions of the marriage treaty Philip was to be named King of England and both would be named listed as joint authority, but not joint sovereigns.

When the Spanish alliance was sealed this provoked rebellion in England, but the marriage treaty wouldn't allow England to be drawn into any Spanish Wars and the marriage treaty was broken when Philip convinced Mary to lend support to Spain in its war with France. Mary felt much opposition to her declaration of war. All French trade was put in jeopardy. England lacked the financial backing due to Edward's bad economic legacy.

Suddenly seditious Protestant pamphlets appeared and they fanned the glowing embers of those against the Spaniards. Insurrections broke out in England when Mary told the people she would marry Philip. The Duke of Suffolk demanded that his daughter, Lady Jane Grey, was the rightful Queen of England, but Thomas Wyatt supported Elizabeth, but she was defeated. Mary had the Duke and Lady Jane Grey executed for high treason. Elizabeth plead innocent to treason charges during her two month stay in the Tower of London until she was put under house arrest at Woodstock Place. Queen Mary's hatred for Elizabeth was so great she could have executed her to deny her ascension to the throne. She maintained that Elizabeth was an illegitimate heir by King Henry's illegal divorce. Europeans were vehemently opposed to King Henry's dismissal and divorce from Catherine of Aragon.

With Elizabeth out of commission English forces engaged in war with France's Italian Wars, but the England fared badly and lost 1,041 pieces of artillery during the Battle of Calais 1558. Queen Mary I decision to lead England into war failed miserably. The result - people supported Queen Elizabeth. She limited all exportations of ordnances abroad giving England time to re-establish the homeland. Time was of the essence to rebuild England's army and navy. Upon coming to power Mary had caused the ruin of England's stores of cannons. What remained in storehouses was to protect the homeland, but what Elizabeth didn't realize is that it'd take more than 100 years to bring English ordnances back into great prominence. Her father had done lots of damage because of his cheap antics when procuring cannons. Craftsmen were afraid they wouldn't be paid.

Well, its time to quit for now, but it continues and soon you'll I'll disclose some secrets for Search for Secrets of A Sunken Cannon - the Cannonsburg cannon. I've already exposed several secrets. Did you discover them?

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