Bloody Mary is the nickname Mary I of England received after her intense actions for bringing Catholicism back in Protestant England. She was the daughter of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon, his first wife. The separation from Rome came as a result of the Pope’s denial of annulling the marriage between Henry and Catherine, thus infuriating the king and causing him to form his own church, the church of England, in which he was the supreme authority. She is the only child to have survived infancy, as the couple had lost several other children. Initially, Bloody Mary was first in line for the throne of England, however, after Henry’s third wife gave birth to a male heir, she was stripped of this right and of her royal title of princess, being referred to as the Lady Mary.
Bloody Mary’s Accession to the Throne
Henry VIII died in 1547, leaving as heir to his throne his only male child, aged 9 at the time, who became king Edward VI. He carried his father’s religious reform, causing dissatisfaction to his half-sister Mary, who had hoped that Edward would return the country to Catholicism.
However, Edward’s reign was shortly lived, as we was a sickly child. After his death, Mary proclaimed herself queen of England in 1553, becoming queen Mary I. One of her first reforms was to declare the marriage between her parents valid, a reform that was met with little resistance. However, her attempts of an religious reform was met with opposition. As a result, Mary embarked on the journey of returning England to Catholicism, even though her methods weren’t too kind. In 1555 she began arresting people whom she considered to be heretical, as they would not accept Catholicism. The name Bloody Mary derives from her execution of about 275 people, all burnt at the stake. Instead of deterring Protestantism, Bloody Mary managed only enrage people regarding Catholicism.
She remains in history as the Bloody Queen who killed hundreds in her quest of restoring a faith that her country did not wish. After her death in 1558, Elizabeth ( the daughter of Anne Boleyn) ascended to the throne and continued her father’s Church of England, as did every monarch since. Did you know why Mary I is called Bloody Mary?
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