What do you think about Mary I?


Queen Mary I was the daughter of King Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon, sister of Edward VI and Elizabeth I, and wife of Philip II of Spain. She had a relatively short reign, ruling from July 1553 to her death in November 1558, but although she is often neglected in favour of her more famous sister, she is well-known.

Mary has been brought to life on screen by actresses such as Romola Garai in Becoming Elizabeth, Sarah Bolger in the Tudors, Kathy Burke in the Cate Blanchett Elizabeth movie, Jane Lapotaire in Lady Jane, and Joanne Whalley in The Virgin Queen, among others… and she is one of those historical characters who divides opinion, and of whom people have very strong views.


I thought it would be interesting to hear what you, as a Tudor history lover, think about Mary I.

Don’t think about it too much. I just want to hear what words spring to your mind when I say Mary I. Please do share as a comment. I don’t expect a long comment. Just a word or a few words. The first thing that pops into your head.

I’ll then share the results.

Thank you!

You can find out about my online event “Discovering Mary I” at https://claireridgway.com/events/mary-2023/

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5 thoughts on “What do you think about Mary I?”
  1. Mary was a product of her life experiences. She was treated very unfairly by Henry, and also saw the mistreatment of her mother by him as well. Given this, it’s not surprising she had little love for Protestants. Even so, I don’t necessarily think she deserves to be called “Bloody” any more than most other rulers of her time

    1. From our viewpoint Henry V111 is deemed as treating Mary unfairly, but she was a rebellious girl in an age where children were meant to honour obey and revere their parents, also her father happened to be the king and so we can understand his exasperation of her continued flouting of his wishes, would any other monarch have treated her the same it is possible.

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