We have all heard this tale of chanting the name of ‘Bloody Mary’ a few times before a mirror with a candle at night in the hopes to conjure an apparition who revealed the future.
That story definitely gave us the chills as a child, but do you really know the true story behind the aforementioned lady? She hails from our very own British royal family from the 1500s and was the first female ruler of the English monarchy.
Continue reading to learn more about the legend of Bloody Mary.
Crowned in 1553, Mary I was the first Queen regnant of England and the British Dominions. She wanted to spread her Roman Catholic beliefs in the kingdom.
Mary had a tumultuous childhood, her father, Henry VIII, declared her illegitimate during her childhood. Her estranged relationship with her father was soon restored by one of her stepmothers.
After being back in the line of succession, she acceded to the throne by thwarting anyone opposing her. She fought for what was rightfully hers and gained support throughout England.
Historian Sarah Gristwood describes the ascension of Mary I as a ‘staggeringly bold’ move, with a slim chance to succeed.
But, this was not it, she was also nicknamed ‘Bloody Mary.’
Mary took it upon herself to restore the Catholic faith in the country. She prioritised religion as the single most important factor of her rule.
During her five-year regime, she allegedly gave commands to burn 280 Protestants at the stake for refusing to convert to Catholicism. This led to her notorious nickname.
Additionally, 800 people fled the country to surpass the torture. Queen Mary could not conceive a Catholic heir as she hoped for and following her death,her half-sister, Elizabeth I, became the new Queen.
The religious persecution associates the legend of Bloody Mary to Queen Mary; although the killings were no less than her father, Henry the VIII, or the other British monarchs.
She was stubborn and flawed, yes. But she was a product of her time, who paved the way for her sister’s reign.