Heritage > Rulers
Mary I, "Bloody Mary", 1553-1558
Mary was born in 1516, and was married to Philip, King of Spain.
Mary suffered from an early age as the bastard child of Henry VIII, under constant reminder of the failure of her mother and father's marriage, by Anne Boleyn, who took great pleasure in reminding her. She always held her father in great awe.
In her early years she was a devout Catholic, who took great strength in her religion, but on Henry's supplanting of the Pope, she took an oath of loyalty to her father. This guilt may have hardened her as Queen.
When she came to the throne she had the intention of restoring Catholicism within England by reintroducing Mass, reinstating all deprived bishops and expelling all clergy who had married.
Before this happened she had to face a revolt against her marriage to the King of Spain, and dealt with this by beheading as many people as she possibly thought may be involved. She also burnt heretics and clerics at the stake.
Philip did not stay in England long, but in that time he made Mary declare war on France and thus England lost Calais, after a tenure of 211 years.
Mary never gave birth, although she dearly longed to be pregnant and this increased her personal bitterness. She continued to burn more and more Protestants, 200 simple men and over 60 women whose only error had been to read the Bible, and it is their deaths that are forged deep into the heart of today's Church of England. Mary died after a long succession of illnesses in 1558.
Know as 'Bloody Mary', Mary I was undoubtedly one of the most unpopular queens in British history.