Mary I. (15161558)

Mary I., queen of England, was born at Greenwich, daughter of Henry VIII. and Catharine of Aragon; at first the king's favourite, on her mother's divorce she was treated with aversion; during her brother Edward VI.'s reign she lived in retirement, clinging to her Catholic faith; on her accession in 1553 a Protestant plot to put Lady Jane Grey on the throne failed; she began cautiously to restore Catholicism, imprisoning Reformers and reinstating the old bishops; on her choosing Philip of Spain for her husband a revolt broke out under Sir Thomas Wyatt, and though easily put down was the occasion for the execution of Lady Jane Grey and the imprisonment of Elizabeth; after her marriage in 1554 the religious reaction gained strength, submission was made to Rome, and a persecution began in which 300 persons, including Latimer, Ridley, and Cranmer, perished in three years; ill-health, Philip's cruelty, and her childlessness drove her to melancholy; a war with France led to the loss of Calais in 1558, and she died broken-hearted, a virtuous and pious, but bigoted and relentless woman (15161558).

Definition taken from The Nuttall Encyclopædia, edited by the Reverend James Wood (1907)

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