Mary (I, Queen of England 1553-1558, Bloody Mary, Mary Tudor)

 Born  18 Feb 1516   Born At  Greenwich
 Died  17 Nov 1558   Buried At  Westminster Abbey
 Father  Henry (VIII, King of England 1509-1547)   Mother  Catherine (of Aragon)
Preceded by  Edward (VI, King of England 1547-1553) Succeeded by  Elizabeth (I, Queen of England 1558-1603)
 Royal House   Tudor
enry VIII and his first wife Catherine of Aragon had several children but all of them died as infants except Mary Tudor. Mary was born on February 18, 1516. Henry was happy to have a healthy child but he would have preferred to have a boy to ensure the succession of the English throne to a male heir. As with many royal children marriage arrangements were made to secure political agreements between countries. Mary was no different and at the age of 2 an agreement was made with France that she would marry the French dauphin. When the relationship between Henry and Catherine of Aragon fell apart and their marriage was declared void Mary was send to live at Ludlow Castle away from her father and mother. Mary herself was declared illegitimate. Henry's second wife was Anne Boleyn and they had a daughter, Elizabeth. Anne wanted Mary removed from any line of succession and wanted her own daughter Elizabeth to be heir to the English throne. Naturally, Anne had no time for Mary and Mary was left isolated from her father. Jane Seymour was Henry's third wife and she tried to unite Henry and his daughters but it Catherine Parr, Henry's sixth and last wife, who managed to unite Henry and his three children Mary, Elizabeth and Edward under one roof. When Henry VIII died Mary's younger half-brother Edward became King of England as Edward VI.

Disputed succession

This simplified family tree shows the relationship between Mary and Lady Jane Grey both of whom were descended from Henry VII.

 Henry (VII, King of England 1485-1509)
   Elizabeth (of York)
Henry (VIII, King of England 1509-1547)
   Catherine (of Aragon)
 Mary (Tudor, Queen of France)
   Brandon, Charles (Duke of Suffolk)
Mary (I, Queen of England 1553-1558, Bloody Mary, Mary Tudor)
 Frances (Lady)   Grey, Henry (Duke of Suffolk)
 Grey, Jane (Lady)

Edward VI was too young to rule unaided and his help came from John Dudley, the Duke of Northumberland. Just before he died Edward signed a change to his will preventing Mary and Elizabeth from becoming Queen and nominating Lady Jane Grey instead. Lady Jane Grey was the granddaughter of Mary, a sister of Henry VIII. Jane had also recently married Northumberland's son Guilford. Edward VI died on July 6 of 1553 and several days later Lady Jane Grey was proclaimed Queen. Mary was aware of the crisis and had travelled to Kenninghall Manor in Norfolk where she called for support. Large numbers of people backed Mary's claim to the throne. The Duke of Northumberland took a small army from London to deal with Mary but at Cambridge the Duke realised his army was not a match for the huge support that Mary had raised. The Duke accepted defeat and was sent to the Tower of London. On August 3, 1553 Mary entered London by Aldgate to a huge welcome from the citizens on the city. There to meet her were her half-sister Elizabeth and Anne of Cleves.

Becomes Queen

Mary became Queen of England on July 19th 1553 and was crowned at Westminster Abbey on October 3rd.

Opposition to marriage with Spain

The question as to who Mary should marry was answered when she chose Philip (II) of Spain, the son of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. Many in England opposed the idea of such a close link to Spain and believed that Philip would take control of England and involve the country in his conflicts in Europe. Several rebellions were planned around the country. In Wales a group was led by Sir James Croft. In Devon another group was led by Sir Peter Carew. The Duke of Suffolk was in Leicestershire, but it was only Sir Thomas Wyatt from Kent who managed, early in 1554, to get a force together when the plots were uncovered. Wyatt led his men to London but was refused entrance to the city. His men were attacked and many of his supporters were killed. Wyatt was captured, held in the Tower and then executed. Elizabeth was also caught up in the trouble as it was first assumed that she had some part to play in the rebellion but this turned out not to be the case. Philip arrived in England in July 1554 and on the 25th of the same month he and Mary were married at Winchester Cathedral.

Family Tree Details
Father: Henry (VIII, King of England 1509-1547) (b.1491 - d.1547)
Mother: Catherine (of Aragon) (b.1485 - d.1536)
Mary (I, Queen of England 1553-1558, Bloody Mary, Mary Tudor) (b.1516 - d.1558)
+Philip (II, King of Spain 1556-1598) (b.1527 - d.1598)

View Graphical Family Tree


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Partial Personal Timeline

Early Modern Period (1500-1800)
1516 Feb 18  Birth of Mary
 All of Catherine of Aragon's children died in infancy until Princess Mary was born in February of 1516. Mary was healthy and Henry was happy to have an heir. But Henry would have been happier to have a son.

Episode: Henry VIII and his Six Wives  
1518 Oct  2yrsTreaty of London (Universal Peace)
 A treaty was signed in London between the major European countries, England, France, Burgundy and many more. For Cardinal Wolsey this treaty was a plan to produce a peaceful Europe. The treaty stated that the countries must not attack one another and if they did the other countries would come to the aid of those being attacked. Within the treaty was the agreement that Henry's 2 year old daughter Mary would marry the French dauphin. 
1533 Spring  17yrsAct of Succession
 A statute passed by Parliament called the 'Act of Succession' declared that Mary Tudor was illegitimate and not Henry's heir because the marriage between Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon was void. This meant that children of Henry and Anne Boleyn would be the true heirs to the English throne.

Episode: Henry VIII and his Six Wives  
1534 Jan  18yrsMary moved to Hatfield
 By the order of Henry VIII Mary's title of Princess had been removed and she was taken to Hatfield to be a servant in the household of Princess Elizabeth, her younger step-sister. Mary was around eighteen years old at this time. Mary was not happy with this arrangement and could not accept that Elizabeth had a better claim to the English throne than she did.[1]

Episode: Henry VIII and his Six Wives  
1536 Jul  20yrsElizabeth declare illegitimate
 Parliament declared that Elizabeth, like her elder step-sister Mary, was illegitimate. This allowed the next son of Henry VIII to be born to become the heir to the English throne.[1]

Episode: Henry VIII and his Six Wives  
1543   27yrsSuccession to the Crown Act
 An act passed by Parliament specifiying the order of succession to the English throne after the death of Henry VIII. Although Edward was the youngest the order would be Edward, Mary and the Elizabeth. [1] 
1553 Jul  37yrsMary gathers support
 At Kenninghall Manor in Norfolk Mary called for support against the Duke of Northumberland and Lady Jane Grey. Large numbers of supporters gathered around her with supplies and weapons.

Episode: Lady Jane Grey, the Nine Day Queen  
 Jul 10  Lady Jane Grey proclaimed Queen
 The Duke of Northumberland proclaimed that his daughter-in-law Lady Jane Grey was the next monarch of England. Jane was moved to the Tower of London. Although Northumberland controlled London many of the town's people supported Mary's claim to the throne.

Episode: Lady Jane Grey, the Nine Day Queen  
 Jul 17  Northumberland's final move
 The Duke of Northumberland and a army of some 3,000 men travelled to Cambridge in an attempt to stop Mary. Moving on to Bury St. Edmunds the Duke came up against a much larger army supporting Mary. Accepting defeat, Northumberland was arrested and taken back to London to be held in the Tower.[2]

Episode: Lady Jane Grey, the Nine Day Queen  
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