Queen Mary I: Bloody Mary

By | February 21, 2019

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Sir Thomas Wyatt dictating terms to Queen Mary in the White Tower, c1553 ( 1840). Artist: George Cruikshank Pictures. Source: (gettyimages.com)

Her Childhood

Queen Mary I was born on February 18, 1516. She was the daughter of King Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon. She was their only child. King Henry VIII had his marriage to Catherine annulled when she failed to produce him a son. Mary was then considered illegitimate and unable to take her rightful spot as queen. This increased her rage regarding her father’s break with the Roman Catholic Church, which had forbidden him from divorcing Mary’s mother. If he had obeyed the church’s command, then she would not be illegitimate. Later on, she was restored to the lineage, after her half-brother Edward.

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Queen Mary I "Bloody Mary" (1516-1558). Source: (youtube.com)

Queen Mary I Takes The Throne

Prince Edward died in 1553. By this time, Protestantism was gaining ground in England. The leaders of the movement did not want Mary to be queen, as she was loyal to the Catholic Church. One of Mary’s cousins, Lady Jane Grey was put forward as a rival to the throne. The public had some sympathy for Mary because of her childhood so ultimately it was Mary who became queen. Her coronation was on November 30, 1553. Mary immediately began earning her nickname, ‘Bloody Mary’ by having Lady Jane Grey executed to prevent any future power struggle.