Mary I of England
Queen Mary I was born in 1516 to King Henry VIII and Catharine of Aragon. It is important to note that Mary was the only child who survived infancy in the marriage. She ruled as Queen of England from 1553 to 1558 when she died at the age of 42.
The early years of Mary I of England were mired with a range of challenges. Firstly, she was separated from her father following the divorce between King Henry VIII and Catharine. However, the separation would be seen as annulment of the marriage in modern days. Since the marriage was invalid, Mary I was deprived of some royal privileges as a claimant of the throne. This infuriated her, and got angry with her father for denouncing the Roman Catholic Church, which was against the King’s divorce. She believed that his father, King Henry VIII was responsible for her illegitimacy to the throne. According to Mary, if the King had obeyed the RCC, her right to inherit the throne would not be questioned by anyone. Holding this position, Mary cemented her loyalty to Rome. However, by the time her father died, she was second in lineage after Edward, her half-brother, who was sickly.
Queen Mary I rose to the throne in 1553 following the death of Edward. At this time, Protestantism had gained ground and proposed Lady Jane Grey, who was Mary’s cousin to take over the throne. However, Mary received public sympathy and took over the throne. She was inaugurated as Queen of England on November 30, 1553. With all the powers she had, Mary ordered the execution of Lady Jane Grey, her cousin to prevent her future attempts to oust her. This earned her the unofficial title “Bloody Mary”. Many people believed that Lady Jane would have live were it not for the interference of the Spanish diplomats.
As mentioned before, Mary I was not happy with alienation from Rome, which was instituted by his father, King Henry VIII, leading to the establishment of Protestantism in England. While on power, Mary tried to get back England to RCC. Bloody Mary had hundreds of Protestants executed, including leaders and bishops. First to be murdered was John Rodgers who published the “Matthews-Tyndale Bible”. Thomas Cranmer, the Archbishop of Canterbury was the second, before hundreds of others followed during Mary’s bloody terror reign. Roman Catholicism restoration by Mary I was remarkable. Most of the Protestant bishops were loyal during the reign of Elizabeth I, dying as they served house arrest terms.
Because of her inclination towards the Roman Catholic, Mary I introduced a raft of social reforms, which terribly backfired. Many people did not recognize her marriage to Phillip II of Spain, which took place in 1554. This marriage would not stand the test of time, since Mary could not give birth. She died of ovarian and uterine cancer. Following her age at 42, she was succeeded by Elizabeth I, her half-sister, who undid most of her failed social reforms. Among other things, Elizabeth I took England back to its Protestant state. Because of the turn of events in England, English refugees in Switzerland published the “Geneva Bible” before they returned home and printed the Protestant Geneva Bible.
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