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Queen Mary I

Bloody Mary

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Queen Mary I belonged to the House of Tudor. Born in 1516 to Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon, she ascended to the throne in 1553 and died in 1558. She was preceded as monarch by her half-brother Edward VI and was succeeded by her half-sister Elizabeth I.

As the daughter of the woman Henry VIII wished to divorce, Mary saw her status drop from heir presumptive to illegitimate child in the king's eyes. By annulling his marriage with Catherine, Henry illegitimized Mary in the process.

As Henry's only son, her half-brother Edward succeeded to the throne on Henry's death in 1547. When Edward died young, Mary overcame the claims of Lady Jane Grey and was proclaimed queen in 1553. During her reign, she attempted to restore Roman Catholicism. In the process, she had more than 300 persons burned at the stake, among them Thomas Cranmer, Nicholas Ridley, and Hugh Latimer, all high-ranking Protestant clergymen. Mary's marriage to Philip of Spain was unpopular and produced no children.

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