Mary Tudor was born on February 18, 1516 at Greenwich Palace she was the daughter of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon (Loades 14). She was the only child in this marriage because none of the others survived (“Mary I” 308). Mary lived an unstable childhood (Tittler 147), although she was a good student, she learned many languages including, Latin, French, Spanish, Italian and Greek. She studied astronomy, natural science, and mathematics (Loades 18). Her father broke away from the Roman Catholic Church and formed his own church, marrying and divorcing several times (Tittler 148).
When Mary’s father marred Anne Boleynn, Mary was forced to leave her own household. Her title was taken away but was restored to the royal succession by the parliamentary act in 1553 (“Mary I” 309). Mary blamed Anne Boleynn, for all the unhappiness in her early adult life (Loades 156). As the summer of 1553 came closer, the fact that she would succeed, began to cause alarm in some well-informed towns (Loades 170). Mary received news of Edward’s death on July eighth, on the ninth she rejoined her main household at Kenninghall, the Kings death was confirmed the same day.
Mary immediately proclaimed herself queen by divine and human law (Loades 176). Mary became queen but not until English nobles tried to replace her with Lady Jane Grey, the nine day queen, (Prescott 152). Mary’s reign began in July 1553, she was not accepted easily, people tried to exclude her from the succession. They often used her illegitimacy as an excuse (“Mary I” 308). At the age of Thirty seven her turbulent reign began (Prescott 149). After a lifetime of sorrow and danger, Mary Tudor was now the most powerful person in England (Lewis 300).
Mary’s first negative action was when she married Philip of Spain, their marriage was unpopular because people looked at Spain as their biggest enemy (“Mary I” 309). Mary’s first real act was not a positive one, she repealed the Protestant legislation of her brother, changing England’s religion that would later evolve into a major persecution problem (Prescott 158). The last action is when she earned her name, “Bloody Mary” because during her reign, more than three-hundred people were burned at the stake for heresy (Tittler 445).
Mary I had good luck in gaining the English throne, the kingdom would experience many misfortunes during her negative and unsuccessful reign. Mary’s first unsuccessful act as queen was her marriage to the militant Catholic Philip. This marriage was designed to enforce Roman Catholicism in England (Lewis 23), Which was a bad choice for the English and made her popular only for a short period of time (“Mary I” 308). Mary liked Philip from the beginning, and he treated her kindly, although he probably found her unattractive, the men who accompanied him to England later described Mary as old , badly dressed, and almost toothless (Prescott 500).
When Mary wed prince Philip II, of Spain it made her subjects even more apprehensive about her, because Spain was looked at as an arch enemy of England, because of religious differences (Tittler 220). Unfortunately for Mary, Two factors compelled her opposition to her plans: the English people hated foreigners especially the Spanish, and twenty years of Protestantism had soured the English popery (Tittler 277). The announcement of Mary and Philip brought on three rebellions including Wyatt’s Rebellion (Loades 225).
Philip later became king of Spain on July 25, 1554 (Loades 225). During Mary’s reign she was never able to provide an heir although she was thought to be pregnant twice (Lewis 298). Mary I was encouraged to ally Spain in a war against France, she lost Calasis, the only English held possession in France . She was also a failure when it came to foreign affairs (Erickson 386). When Philip’s father retired of the Holy Roman empire and he returned to spain, Mary died a mere ten months later (Lewis 258).
Mary knew she failed in her marriage, not providing an heir, losing Calasis and marrying a foreigner she had to recognize her sister Elizabeth as her successor (Erickson 409). Mary was expected to wipe out unpopular Protestantism and restore her father’s religion (Loades 178). That is just what she did , as soon as she was the queen she went to work bringing the Roman Catholic faith back to England, first she substituted the wonderful religious proclamations of Edward VI, and replaced them with old English laws enforcing heresy against the church (Prescott 203).
Mary suffered through a terrible childhood of neglect, intolerance, and ill health. She was staunch catholic from birth (Lewis 193). Mary was Roman Catholic and tried to bring England back to the Roman Catholic Church, of course she was unsuccessful because it was a bad decision people were satisfied the way life was before she repealed all the religious laws of Edward IV (Loades 178). Change of Religion ran in the family. Mary’s Father changed the religion and cut ties with the pope in order to marry, the hated Anne Boleynn (“Mary I” 308).
Mary constantly resisted pressure from others to renounceher faith, a request she always refused (Tittler 394). Mary refused to be a part of the new part of the new Protestant service, she declared in council that her soul was God’s and her faith she would not change she restored the catholic church but not the monasteries (“Mary I” 309). Even Mary’s commitment would help her succeed, her goal was the reestablishment of Catholicism in England and she failed at that as well. (Erickson 400).
Mary I was easily influenced and an inexpert world affairs, inexperienced all around but later inexperienced all around but later generations would call her “Bloody Mary” (Weir 192). Her nickname “Bloody Mary” was given to her because of all the persecutions she caused (Weir 192). It all began in December, a law was passed that allowed bishops of the church of England to sentence heretics to death by burning (Erickson 481). “Bloody Mary” Killed many prominent Protestants including Thomas Cranmer, Nicholas Ridley, and Hugh Latimer as well as lesser folk.
They suffered the heretics death which was burning at the stake about 300 died. Many Protestants left England and fled to places like Geneva (“Mary I” 309). Thomas Cranmer, one of the burned, was the former archbishop of Canterbury (prescott 392). Mary had another name other than Bloody Mary. A Scottish reformer, named John Knox, called Mary the wicked Jezebel of England. In fact this was her first name then people later called her “Bloody Mary”(“Mary I” 309). Mary’s persecution came from pure desire for purity in faith that from vengeance(Erickson 390).
Mary killed everyone who wasn’t her religion, she failed to convert society into one ideological pattern (Tittler 272). Mary Reigned for a short five years, her reign was unfruitful and she never accomplished any positive things for England (Lewis 401). Religious dissent reached its highest peak and England lost her last continental territory during Mary’s horrible reign (Lewis 341). England suffered during the reign of Mary I, the economy was in ruin (Tittler 301).
Mary knew her hard work in bringing the catholic faith back to England would be for nothing once Elizabeth took power, she died in 1558, only five short years she was wade queen of England (Tittler 501). Mary was tortured by loneliness and unhappiness all her life which played a big part in the direction her reign was led, she was now succeeded by her popular sister queen Elizabeth I (Lewis 380). Mary’s uncompromising attitude toward Protestantism, and her sister Elizabeth’s success, have made save that she be remembered as the least successful Tudor (“Mary I” 309).