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1.8 Mary Tudor (1553 - 1558)
Although Edward had wished that Jane Grey be made the Queen of England, the people were not ready to accept her as queen. So, Northumberland had to declare Mary as the Queen of England. The people looked towards her as the daughter of Henry VIII, who had brought peace in England.
Mary was a staunch Catholic. She renewed the faith and once again introduced mass. In her parliament, she refuted the acts of Edward VI as immature. She tried to swerve England towards Catholicism.
The Tudors generally had a flair for understanding people, but unfortunately Mary lacked this quality. In spite of the fact that her people did not want Mary to have a marriage alliance with the Spanish Prince, Philip II, she insisted on it. Her Catholic leanings made her unpopular.
1.8a Roman Catholicism during the reign of Mary
Being a staunch Catholic Mary did away with all the measures which Henry VIII and Edward VI took to restrict the activities of Catholics. She also annulled the divorce of Catherine and her strength was increased. The Latin Bible was reinstated in the English churches. Mary apologized to the Pope and requested him to accept England in the folds of the Roman church.
Mary was clearly against Protestantism. Many Protestants were burnt alive and several were severely punished during her reign. This distanced her from the common people in England. They began hating her. They called her "Bloody Mary." These were serious political mistakes on the part of Mary, which caused her unpopularity. England lost many scholars and learned people due to Maryís persecution. An ironical outcome of Maryís cruel policies was that Protestantism became stronger as the people boldly faced the cruelties of Mary.
When Spain and France were at war, England was dragged into the skirmish due to the relationship of Philip II. The French took over Calais. This was a great blow to England. Mary, however, did not recover from the shock of the event and she died in 1558.
Although she became popular for a small time, the English public hated her for her religious intolerance. Perhaps Mary desired to revenge for her motherís fate due to her fatherís tilt towards Protestantism. Thus it is evident that religion, politics and even personal lives could not be separated in the politics of England during that time.