Queen Mary I
Written and researched by Margaret Odrowaz-Sypniewska, B.F.A.

Queen Mary I, or as she was later known, "Bloody Mary," was the daughter of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon. Mary was born on February 18, 1516 in Greenwich Palace, Kent, England. Mary ruled England from July 15, 1553-November 17, 1558, after being crowned at Westminster Abbey. She was also Queen Consort of Spain from January 16, 1556-November 17, 1558. Mary died on November 17, 1558 (at age 42); of influenza, at St. James Palace, London, England. She is buried in Westminster Abbey.

Mary married Philip (1527-1598), son of Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor. Philip was eleven years younger than Mary. Mary was a well-educated child. Mary's right to the throne was recognized in Henry's will, in succession to Edward, her half-brother.

Mary was the first genuine queen regnant of England. Mary was not an attractive woman and she inherited congenital syphilis from her father. She had poor eyesight, had regular headaches, and rhinitis (bad breath). Mary fell in love with Philip (her husband), but he did not love her. He left England in 1555 (to Spain) and only came back once (between March and June 1557). Mary stated that Elizabeth, her half-sister should rule upon her death.

Facts About Mary I:

  • The tiniest dwarf in Royal service was Queen Mary's two foot Page of Honour, John Jarvis.
  • Anne Boleyn hated Mary Tudor, daughter of Catherine of Aragon.
  • Mary's favorite place was Calais.
  • Queen Mary, a fierce Catholic, refused to sit in the Coronation chair because it had previously been sat in by King Edward VI, her half-brother, whom she considered a heretic. She also turned up her nose at the consecrating oil, saying that since it had been used on him, that it was no longer holy.

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