In the early hours of the 18th February 1516 a healthy baby girl was born at the Palace of Placentia in Greenwich. Her name was Mary and she was the daughter of King Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon.

This little girl grew up to be a queen, Queen Mary I, and has, unfortunately, gone down in history as “Bloody Mary”. Whatever we think of the burnings which took place in her reign, she cannot and should not be defined by them. You can read more about Mary’s birth in my article “The Birth of Mary I” which also lists some of the achievements of her reign. If you want to find out more about Mary I then you may also be interested in the following articles:-

Also on this day in history…

  • 1503 – Henry Tudor, the future Henry VIII, was created Prince of Wales
  • 1563 – Francis, Duke of Guise, was wounded by a Huguenot assassin. He died six days later.
  • 1612 – Death of Roberto di Ridolfi, the merchant and conspirator famed for the Ridolfi Plot to assassinate Elizabeth I. He died in Florence, Italy.

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2 thoughts on “18 February 1516 – Birth of Mary I”
  1. Really Mary I was one of the worst Queens to take the throne,what was she thinking,she left England a mess and yes she was blood thristy.I really think she had some mental issues ,also she did not have ,any much wanted children to follow her after her death.Her husband the King of Spain was replused by her,near the end of her life ,I really think she lost her mind,this to I think is very sad and trajic.I have said that the Queens seem to rule better then the Kings,but not this one.We also need to look at her up bring by Henry. THx Baroness

    1. I do think that Mary was damaged by the treatment she received at the hands of Mary and I certainly don’t defend her burning of Protestants, but I don’t believe that her reign was a failure. There was an excellent article in BBC History Magazine a few years back in which historian David Loades listed Mary’s achievements:

      • Mary I preserved the Tudor succession
      • She strengthened the position of Parliament by using it for her religious settlement
      • She established the “gender free” authority of the crown
      • She restored and strengthened the administrative structure of the church
      • She maintained the navy and reformed the militia

      He concluded that “Parliament, the revenues, the navy, even the church benefited from her policies. But the big beneficiary was also the least grateful – Elizabeth. Without her sister’s enlightened legislation and sound administration she would have had a much harder time.”

      Plus, she had to fight for her throne. Mary was able to raise an army and was successful in gaining people’s loyalty and support so that she could oust Lady Jane Grey and claim the throne. That was a huge deal. She was a tragic figure in many ways but she wasn’t all bad.

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