When people think of the reign of Queen Mary, they only think of the couple hundred murders she was accounted for, but there was much more to her. Mary Tudor was not always the harsh leader that many people always think of her as. There many things in her life that lead up to her becoming as what many people refer to her as Bloody Mary. When people think of Mary Tudor many associate her with her unmerciful acts toward her opposition, there are many factors that contributed towhy she became the leader she did such as in her childhood, also having to deal with political issues such with the Church, Mary wasn’t always the one to be very brutal.
She was the only child to her father King Henry VIII and her mother, Katherine of Aragon, that survived when born. After birth in the Catholic Mary was baptized as a catholic. At home she was tutored by Katherine, she especially excelled in two subjects being music and language, Mary was very intelligent and well-educated, but she never showed the same enthusiasm for learning . At a young age she was used to be apart of her father’s diplomatic intrigues. In 1525, Mary was named to be the Princess of Wales and Henry then sent her to live on the Welsh border, while he attempted to engineer a marriage for her, he did so continuously. Annoyed by the absence of a male heir, Henry wanted a divorce from her mother Katharine but Mary remained loyal to her mother and spent nine years in misery living with her.
Henry then broke off relations with the Catholic Church so he could establish the Church of England, with that done he was able to marry Anne Boleyn, one of Katherine’s maids of honors. Boleyn soon then gave birth to Elizabeth I, Mary’s step sister, Anne was afraid that Mary would have to fight for the throne after Henry died. To stop any chance of Mary taking the throne, An act of Parliament was passed to announce Mary illegitimate. Due to Mary’s mother’s refusal to be known as anything lower than Queen of England and refused the illegitimacy of her marriage, Mary was taken away from her mother.
Mary was declared a bastard, struck from the succession, stripped of her title as “Princess” . Treated as an illegitimate, she was forced to serve her half sister. She remained illegitimate and was referred to as”the Lady Mary,” instead of “Princess.” This took Mary farther away from succession of the throne and forced her to waiting behind, Elizabeth, her half sister. She had plans to escape all this and no longer be the lady in waiting, “Plans to escape to the Continent failed, and in 1536 Mary was told that she had to acknowledge herself as illegitimate and to accept her new church, statements from which she was later absolved by the pope.”(The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.). She had to confess to the church as an illegitimate which was indeed very hard for her, She was very loyal to her faith.
After all this Henry was behind a scheme to that beheaded Anne his ex wife and he remarried, Jane Seymour, and he finally had the son he always wanted. Jane eventually made Henry have an amend with his daughter, he only did so when Mary had to admit the truth and see him to be the head of the Church and admit that the marriage was illegality. After Edward died, Mary fought for the throne of the new queen, Lady Jane Grey, the granddaughter of Henry’s sister, who was actually placed secretly on the throne by Edward, and Mary successfully took it.
“The ease with which she defeated the challenge of Lady Jane Grey shows that her Catholicism was no bar to her acceptance as monarch.” (Rathbone) Mary took the throne and first thing she did was restored her parents’ marriage. She was very loyal to her faith, she would have mass, the mass was in a private chapel in defiance of the Act of Uniformity. She acknowledged the religious division of the two churches but she desperately wanted to yet again have the Catholic Church in charge as opposed to the England Church. When Mary I took the throne, the Spanish ambassador, Simon Renaud, toEngland, immediately came up with a marriage.
Mary was at the age of thirty-seven when she got married. She was aware that she could not remain childless or the throne would then be succeeded to Elizabeth, who was Protestant. She was required to have a Catholic qualified to avoid the reversal of her reforms and in order for this she needed the help of the Catholic Church. To successfully complete this goal, Mary’s marriage to the Spanish prince only backed up her religious fanaticism. Mary placed two other relatives above Elizabeth in her court, ans cited Elizabeth’s illegal birth as her reason. The response to Mary’s marriage from the public was very unpopular because there was general dislike for spaniards, and Mary Herself was half-spaniard.
The marriage of Philip did nothing but elevate the hatred for the spaniards, a treaty between spain and England was then created and anyone who went against it was imprisoned. Throughout all this treatment, Mary’s simpler acts of kindness toward the people helped eclipses cruel acts and she then won over the people with her compassion. She would even go out many times and just simply visit the poor and interacted with her subjects on the streets. Mary’s reign was strictly remaining around religion, many of her accomplishments had to deal with the relation of religion or the opinions of the people.
“As a devout Roman Catholic, Mary was hard headed when it came to bring England back into the arms of Rome” (Useful Notes/ Mary Tudor), as stated earlier one of the most important things for Mary was her faith. Philip, Mary’s husband, was named King Consort, and worked with Parliament to fight the Protestant laws passed during the time of Henryand Edward and reinstate the Heresy Acts.