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Mary Tudor – Evil Bloody Mary

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Mary Tudor whom many refer to as “Bloody Mary” was born to Henry VIII and his first wife Katherine of Aragon on February 18, 1516 in Greenwich Palace. Her name came from Henry’s best-loved sister Mary Tudor, whom had a very different nickname the “Tudor Rose.”

As a child Mary was rumoured to have had great talents and beauty. It was documented that at the young age of four she provided entertainment for a visiting delegation with her performance on the virginals. She was able to both read and write Latin by the age of nine and studied Greek, dance and music. Although her father, Henry VIII showed great affection for Mary, he felt that if she became Queen it would make for a weak government and potentially even a civil war. This led to her father’s numerous marriages in quest for a son to be future King.

Mary suffered from irregular menstruation and depression and found herself sick quite frequently following 1531. However it was never determined if these  illnesses were caused by puberty, stress or even a more severe disease. When her mother and father divorced she was forbidden to see he mother as she had been sent to live away from court.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Cranmer proclaimed Henry VIII’s marriage to Catherine was void and and his marriage to his second wife Anne valid. This resulted in Mary Tudor losing her title of “Princess” and she was referred to as “The Lady Mary.” Shortly after, Henry VIII declared himself as the head of the Church of England and broke with the Roman Catholic Church. This would later be the reason behind Mary’s demise.

When Henry VIII’s second wife Anne was later beheaded, her daughter Elizabeth was also downgraded to “Lady”, paving the way for his third wife Jane. Queen Jane urged Henry to make amends with Mary, which he ended up doing after he bullied her into signing a document that agreed with his demands. He had requested she acknowledge him as the Head of the Church and recognize her illegitimacy. Upon signing the document she resumed her place at court.

When Queen Jane died in 1537 shortly after giving birth to her son Edward, Mary was made godmother to her half-brother. It wasn’t until Henry married his sixth wife  Catherine Parr in 1543 that both Mary and Elizabeth returned to their line of succession, placing them after Edward. They were both however, still considered to be illegitimate.

In 1547 Henry passed away, making Edward king. Mary, at the time was passed down several estates. While regency council dominated by Protestants tried to initiate their own faiths Edward was a mere child, Mary remained strictly faithful to the Roman Catholicism. Mary’s strong Catholic continued to be an argument between she and Edward right up to his death in 1553.

Due to their differences in religious beliefs, Edward had attempted to have her excluded from the line of succession as he had feared she restore Catholicism and undo his reforms. Edward’s attempts failed though and at the age of 37 Mary became Queen.

In her first month as Queen, Mary claimed she wouldn’t compel anyone to follow her religion, however eventually that all changed. John Bradford, John Hooper, Thomas Cranmer, John Rogers and Hugh Latimer were all imprisoned and in 1553, she had the marriage between her mother and father declared valid. Mary later abolished Edward’s religious laws and in 1555, after reuniting the English Church with Rome she banned any English translations of the Bible.

Despite being advised against it, Mary executed almost 300 Protestants who refused to give up their religion. She burned them at the stake and received the name “Bloody Mary.” Mary died November 17, 1558 and was buried in Henry VII’s chapel in Westminister Abbey.

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2 Responses to “Mary Tudor – Evil Bloody Mary”

  • Jane:

    This pic of Mary Tudor is not the Mary Tudor you mean…it’s Heny VIII’s SISTER, Mary, her namesake. This is the pic of the (6-months-long) Queen of France and Duchess of Suffolk. She was beautiful, and while “Bloody” Mary Tudor started out as pretty, she was never a great beauty as this lady. Hope this helps?

  • Minty:

    This is a terrible entry. First, Mary Tudor, Henry VIII’s daughter, was by no means a serial killer. Please revisit your definition of that classification. Yes, she was a religious fanatic who pushed capital punishment for those she viewed as heretics. However, she hardly an anomaly. People at that time viewed it as their duty to treat their fellow men this way if they “strayed from the True Path.” If you’re going to pin that name on her, you might as well pin it on every single European secular government and religious bureaucracy in existence at the time.
    The sobriquet of “Bloody” was used by her Protestant enemies who, had they not been restrained by her successor Elizabeth, would have persecuted Catholics in exactly the same manner upon regaining power. It had nothing to do with her being some kind of homicidal maniac.

    Second, while I understand this entry is supposed to give the reader a quick overall look at the subject, it spends way too much time on her life in general. A brief mention of the individuals that she, as Head of State, had executed barely scratches the surface of what was done in her name.

    I realize that this is a website devoted to sensationalism, but be fair and restrict the tales of ‘Orrible Murder to those who deserve it. Don’t vilify someone for whom there is plenty of evidence that she was NOT a psychopath. Lastly, if you insist on doing it anyway, at least focus on the reasons why you’re doing it, instead of a dull account with occasional bits of spurious historical pathology thrown in.

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