Bystander effect

Sample Essay on Mary I of England

Mary I of England


Born on 18, February 1516, Mary I of England was the daughter of King Henry the eight with his first wife (he had 6 wives) Catherine of Aragon. She was the only child to survive infancy from that union. She was the queen of Ireland and England from July 1553 till her death on November 17, 1558. She was renowned for her execution of Protestants which earned her the name ‘Bloody Mary’ coined by her opponents.

Early years

Mary I of England was alienated from her father during his divorce from her mother. Because of the divorce, her parent’s marriage was considered null and void causing Mary to be viewed as an illegitimate child. This deprived her of her status as the heir.  This only served to fuel her rage especially after her father broke away from the Roman Catholic Church which has instructed him previously not to divorce her mother.

Mary felt if her father had not disobeyed the Roman Church, she would not be considered an illegitimate child and her status as heir to the throne would not be put to question. It is on this basis that her loyalty to Rome was founded. However, by the time King Henry the right died, her right had been restored and she was second in line to the throne after Edward, her half brother who was weak physically.

Mary I of England becomes Queen

Mary’s younger half brother, Edward VI succeeded her father in 1447. In 1553, Edward became gravely ill and attempted to remove Mary from the succession line on the basis of religious differences. On his death, their first cousin Lady Jane Grey was proclaimed as the queen. Mary acted by assembling a force in East Anglia, successfully deposed of Jane who was beheaded ultimately.

Mary’s official coronation happened on 30, November 1553. She started earning the name ‘Bloody Mary’ when she had her cousin executed in order to prevent any power struggle. However, it is believed that she might have spared the life of her cousin were it not for Spanish diplomats intervention who conditioned the execution in order to permit her marriage to their king.

Mary I of England has resented and rejected the break from Rome instituted by her father and his establishment of an Anglican church that flowed from the Protestantism of her half brother. Therefore, she had plans of turning England back to Roman Catholicism and the effort was carried out by force. As a result of this, hundreds of protestant leaders were executed with the first one being John Rogers also known as Thomas Matthews who was the printer of the ‘Matthews-Tyndale Bible.

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