Why was Mary Tudor called Bloody Mary

Queen Mary I of England

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Maria Tudor, born a princess, declared a bastard by her father, becomes Queen of England for five years. She was also known as Bloody Mary because of her ruthless religious policy towards Protestants.

Queen Mary I of England, English Mary Tudor, nickname the Catholic but also the bloody one (English Bloody Mary) or the Spanish Maria was from 1553, after the death of her half-brother Edward VI., Queen of England and Ireland. After her death in 1558, her half-sister Elisabeth succeeded her on the English throne.

Maria Tudor was born on February 18, 1516 in Greenwich as the first and only surviving child of King Henry VIII of England and his first wife Catherine of Aragon. At first she is the princess loved by her parents, then she is declared a bastard, and later she becomes Queen of England for five years.

Childhood and youth of Maria Tudor

Maria was already the fifth child of Heinrich and Katharina, but she was the only child of the royal couple to survive birth and childhood. Maria was a sickly child. She suffered from poor eyesight, mood swings and severe headaches.

Princess Maria - happy childhood

The princess received a good education. In addition to English, she also learned Latin, French and Italian. She was taught in music and Erasmus of Rotterdam introduced her to the sciences. Princess Maria received Latin lessons from her mother Katharina, who also brought the English humanist Juan Luís Vives to the English court.

Mary - Princess of Wales

King Henry VIII granted his daughter some privileges. She was allowed to run her own court at Ludlow Castle in the Principality of Wales and she was made Princess of Wales at the age of nine. Both Ludlow and the title were actually reserved for the respective heir to the throne. However, King Henry VIII did not make his eldest and only daughter Maria the official heir to the throne. Heinrich was still hoping for the longed-for male offspring, a legitimate successor to himself on the English royal throne.

Marriage plans for Princess Maria

Until then, Princess Maria remained coveted and courted, after all, important dynastic alliances were entered into with a girl and so the princess was promised to Dauphin Franz, the French heir to the throne, at the age of only two. However, this engagement was broken after only three years, a new husband was selected in the Treaty of Windsor, and in 1522 Maria Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor and King Charles I of Spain was promised. Maria was closely related to Emperor Charles V. Her mother Katharina and his mother, Queen Johanna, were sisters. Karl and Maria were first cousins. But nothing came of this possible marriage either. In 1526 the marriage plans changed again towards France, only the ten-year-old princess should not marry the French heir to the throne but his father, King Francis I of France. And all in terms of an alliance between England and France. Nothing came of this marriage either. France entered into an alliance with England without any security in front of the altar.

Maria's parents split up

From 1527 there was a turning point in the life of Princess Maria. Her father, King Henry VIII, is obsessed with a possible male heir to the throne, but his wife, Queen Katharina, can no longer give birth to him. The marriage between Heinrich and Katharina breaks up. Heinrich wants the annulment of his marriage with Catherine of Aragon and separates from her in July 1531. As a justification, he cites a close relationship. After all, Katharina had been married to his older brother Arthur before him, whether this marriage was consummated or not becomes a matter of dispute. Catherine of Aragon has her nephew, Emperor Charles V, on her side, and so Pope Clement VII refuses to declare the royal marriage null and void. Without a declaration of nullity, however, no new marriage for Heinrich and thus no male heir to the throne and so the English king no longer recognizes the supremacy of the Pope over the English Church. King Henry has parliament on his side, with whose consent he makes himself head of the Anglican State Church. Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, then finally granted Henry's wish and, after a hearing, declared the marriage between the King and Catherine of Aragon to be invalid. In 1533, when Maria was 17 years old, King Heinrich married his long-time lover Anne Boleyn.

Bastard Maria

That the marriage of her parents is declared invalid has far-reaching consequences for Princess Maria. She loses her status. Heinrich no longer recognizes the daughter, who was once so privileged, as legitimate. The 17-year-old loses her status as Princess of Wales, she is only considered a bastard of the king and only has the title of marriage. She must leave the royal court and serve as lady-in-waiting to Lady Shelton, an aunt of the new Queen Anne. Contact with her mother Katharina is forbidden, the princess does not adhere to this prohibition. Katharina von Aragon dies in 1536 and Maria is refused to attend the funeral. The common people in England at least agree that the new Queen Anne is to blame for the poor treatment of the princess. Maria brings sympathy to popular opinion, she continues to be regarded by many as the legitimate heir to the throne, and Heinrich and Anne Boleyn only have one daughter, Elisabeth, Maria's half-sister.

Elisabeth also becomes a bastard

In 1536 Anne Boleyn also fell in favor of Heinrich. After all, she also gave birth to only one girl, and he was denied the male heir to the throne in this second marriage. Heinrich lets Anne Boleyn make the process. And then little princess Elisabeth feels like Maria. Elisabeth loses her place in the line of succession and the princess becomes a bastard. It was probably not the new Queen Anne who was responsible for Maria's bad situation, but the king and father himself.

Mary betrays her faith

Princess Maria, actually Lady Mary, remains rebellious, but tries to improve her situation anyway. She makes concessions to Heinrich and swears to the king to serve faithfully. As a Catholic, however, she initially refuses to take the oath on him as head of the Church of England. Thereupon the king plans to have her accused of heresy and is probably ready to have her executed. Under such pressure, Maria first considers fleeing England. In the end she accepts Heinrich as head of the Anglican Church, contradicting her Catholic faith and papal authority. To save your life. Maria cannot forgive herself that she has to betray her religious convictions in order to save her life. She also has to acknowledge the annulment of her mother Katharina's marriage as legal, Katharina von Aragon herself had not done this until her death. With this, Maria herself confirms her illegitimate status.

Approaching King Henry VIII

In 1536 King Heinrich married for the third time. The new wife at his side is Jane Seymour, a former lady-in-waiting. This creates what Queen Katharina and Queen Anne had not been able to do, she gets the eagerly awaited male heir to the throne, Eduard. Jane Seymour also has no grudge against her stepdaughter Maria and creates a reconciliation between her and Heinrich. Maria even becomes the godmother of her half-brother Edward and settles back in the royal palace. Queen Jane dies shortly afterwards, complications with the birth of Edward. Maria receives the honor of riding ahead of the funeral procession on a black horse as the main victim.

More stepmothers for Maria

King Henry VIII marries three more times, three new stepmothers for Mary. Heinrich is already disappointed with Anna von Kleve when he sees her for the first time; the divorce takes place a short time after the marriage. Catherine Howard goes the way, because Anne Boleyn also had to take, she will be executed. With the wedding of Heinrich and his sixth and last wife, Catherine Parr, the situation of the princesses gradually improved. Catherine Parr stands up for both Maria and Elisabeth.

Maria becomes princess and heir to the throne again

In 1544, the Act of Parliament reinstated both of Henry VIII's daughters as princesses. Although they remain officially illegitimate, they are re-placed in the line of succession behind Prince Edward. Maria in second place, Elisabeth in third.

King Henry VIII dies - Long live King Edward IV.

King Henry VIII dies in 1547. Eduard, who is still underage, is his successor on the English throne. He is only nine years old and comes under the influence of his guardian Edward Seymour, a Protestant. The Catholic Maria withdraws from the royal court and moves to Kenninghall. There she maintains her own chapel and tries as best as it is possible in Protestant England to live her Catholic faith. Her half-brother Edward IV listens to his advisor Seymour and forbids Maria to attend private masses. But Mary has powerful relatives. She turns to her cousin, Emperor Charles V, and he threatens England with war on this religious question of his relatives. That works. Maria is allowed to continue practicing her religion.

Overall, the situation for Catholic Mary in Protestant England under the rule of her half-brother King Edward IV remained difficult. Since Eduard is still very young, the king is not even 16 years old when he dies, and ailing, Maria remains the next in line to the throne after her brother, who is unmarried and has no children.

King Edward dies - Jane Gray follows him

Eduard died on July 6, 1553. Previously, under the influence of his advisors, he had excluded his two half-sisters Maria and Elisabeth from the line of succession. The Catholic Mary on England's throne was to be prevented, the Protestant succession to the throne secured. Eduard decreed in his will that Lady Jane Gray should become Queen of England, a Protestant. Jane Gray was the daughter of Mary Tudor, a sister of Henry VIII. She was also the daughter-in-law of the Duke of Northumberland, John Dudley, adviser to the young king after Edward Seymour. On the day Edward died, it was said that the King is dead, long live the Queen, Jane Gray is proclaimed Queen Joan of England.

Queen Maria triumphs

At the same time one tries to get hold of Maria. She was in Suffolk at the time of King Edward's death and was able to avoid capture and perhaps murder by fleeing to Norfolk. Maria gathers her followers there. Because even if the majority of the population has religious concerns about Mary's accession to the throne, she is the rightful heir to the throne and therefore receives support. The new regime headed by Queen Johanna only lasted a few days. In London, the majority of the Council of State takes the side of the rightful heir to the throne. Maria, however, has the support of her half-sister Elisabeth from the start.

Maria wins. She and her half-sister Elisabeth will move into London on August 3rd. Jane Gray's proclamation to Queen Johanna is repealed. The king is dead, long live the queen and this time Queen Maria is meant. On October 1, 1553, Mary is coronated as Queen of England.

Reign of Queen Mary

Mary's first official act as Queen of England was to validate the marriage of her father Henry VIII to Catherine of Aragon. She then pardoned numerous Catholics imprisoned in the Tower of London and appointed one of the freedmen her Lord Chancellor. She was mild to Jane Gray. Maria was convinced that the idea of ​​becoming Queen of England was not from Jane Gray and that she had only accepted the crown at Duley's pressure. She pardoned both Lade Jane, a niece of the second degree, and her father. Queen Mary showed no mercy to the Duke of Northumberland. She had him charged with high treason and executed.

Marriage policy of Queen Maria

After that, Queen Maria devoted herself to a highly sensitive and important topic. The queen was unmarried. If she died before she had found an heir to the throne, that is, had a child, her sister Elisabeth would succeed her on the English throne. Another Protestant. All of Mary's plans to re-Catholicize England could then be reversed by Elisabeth. So Mary needed a Catholic husband. She gave a basket to an English earl, who had been suggested to her by her relative and protector, Emperor Charles V, his son Philip. The fact that Maria had chosen the Spanish Crown Prince of all places resulted in great rejection. The Spanish influence on England was feared.

Queen Maria marries the Spanish Crown Prince Philip

Maria stuck to the choice of her bridegroom. This sparked a revolt in England and Jane Gray was brought back into play. Her father, the Duke of Suffolk, declared Lady Jane the actual Queen of England again and this time the Protestant lady found more supporters than when she first attempted to rob Mary of the throne. But not enough and so the royal troops won and put down the insurrection.

No mercy on Jane Gray

This time Mary showed no mercy. Although Jane Gray was not really involved in the uprising, she was sentenced to death for high treason and executed, as was her father. And Maria didn't stop at her half-sister Elisabeth either. She accused them of supporting the revolt and they locked him in the Tower of London. Elisabeth sat in the Tower for several weeks, only when she openly professed Catholicism did Maria show mercy and put her under house arrest.

Maria did not give up on her plan to marry Philip and thus forge an alliance between England and Spain against France and to obtain a strong Catholic partner for her re-Catholization plans, and so she married on July 25, 1544 in Winchester Cathedral. In the marriage contract Philip also received the title of King of England. Although he signed all parliamentary documents and agreements with Maria, Philip's power was limited.

The longed-for heir to the throne

The most important goal of this dynastic marriage, however, was the birth of a male heir to the throne who was supposed to prevent Elizabeth from ascending to the throne. Philipp stayed in England 14 months after his marriage to Maria, but Maria did not become pregnant. When Maria suffered from one of several phantom pregnancies, Philip looked for an excuse in September 1555 and left England. When he returned to England in 1577, his father Charles V had abdicated as emperor and king, and he was King of Spain. From March to July Philip stayed in the country and secured Mary's and thus also England's support in the war against France. In England, however, the mobilization found few friends and so there were also isolated riots. For England the war against France ended in disaster. And so England lost its last possession on the continent, the city of Calais, to France in January 1558. A heavy blow for England and also for Queen Mary.

Queen Mary dies

Maria also took advantage of Philip's stay to become pregnant. Whether she succeeded or she just suffered from false pregnancies over and over again, it is left to be seen, these were not good for her health and weakened the queen watching. She was denied the male heir to the throne. In 1558 Maria thought again that she was pregnant. She changed her will and made her husband Philip the regent for her underage child. Her belly swelled so much that it was expected to give birth. But this time, too, it was not a pregnancy, Maria was sick, today it is assumed that the queen suffered from ovarian cancer.

Queen Maria dies - Long live Queen Elisabeth

Queen Mary died on November 17, 1558 at the age of 42 in St. James's Park.

And what Maria wanted to prevent by marrying Philip, so unloved by her people, happened. Since the marriage of Maria and Philip had remained childless, her half-sister Elisabeth now ascended the English throne. And that their commitment to Catholicism in the Tower of London had only been lip service and not a real conversion, Maria had probably also suspected. Queen Elizabeth I of England

Funeral of Queen Mary

Maria's funeral was unspectacular for a late queen. Her sister did not take part either, nor did her husband, Philip, the King of Spain. Only their most loyal ones followed the coffin.

In death, however, Maria and Elisabeth were then united. Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth are buried in Westminster Abbey.

Maria the Bloody - Religious Policy

As Queen Mary tried to reverse the split between the English Church and the Roman Catholic Church. So she also devoted a lot to religious politics. However, she encountered resistance.The Catholic Church and the monasteries had lost all their ecclesiastical property through the separation of the English Church, which benefited from it, the lower English nobility did not think of giving back what had just been won, and so Mary failed because of the resistance of her parliament. However, Maria gave back numerous lands to Franciscans and Dominicans that were still in the possession of the crown.

Ruthless harshness against Protestants

Maria rose up against the Protestants with ruthless severity. Fearing further Protestant uprisings, she had Protestants condemned as heretics and burned, including some Protestant bishops. One of the first was Archbishop Thomas Cranmer, the one who, at the behest of King Henry VIII, had his marriage to Mary's mother declared invalid. In addition to numerous prominent Protestants, the heretic hunt also found numerous victims among the common people.

Public cremation of heretics

Maria had hoped that the public cremation of the heretics would also deter them. This not only failed to materialize, the population showed solidarity with the Protestant martyrs. The persecution continued. The number of convicts and the number of burns increased. Mary raged like this in England for three years. 300 people are said to have been executed for their beliefs. Queen Mary brought this violence but the first name Bloody Mary, the bloody Mary. The procedure did not bring about a return of England to Catholicism. On the contrary, the harshness with which the Protestants were dealt with further accelerated their turning away from Catholicism.

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