Portrait of Queen Mary I of England (1544)

Queen of England

Mary was born in 1516 and did not become Queen of England until 1553

This portrait of the Catholic Mary was scanned from the book The National Portrait Gallery History of the Kings and Queens of England by David Williamson.

Mary I of England, also known as Mary Tudor, was Queen of England and Ireland from 1553 until her death in 1558. She was the only child of King Henry VIII and his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, and was brought up as a Catholic.

Mary is best known for her efforts to reverse the English Reformation, which had been initiated by her father, and for her persecution of Protestants, earning her the nickname “Bloody Mary.”

Despite her reputation, Mary was a well-educated woman who was deeply committed to her faith and her duty as queen. She married the Spanish king, Philip II, but their union was unpopular in England, and she was unable to produce an heir.

Queen Mary’s reign was marked by political and religious turmoil, and her death led to the ascension of her Protestant half-sister, Elizabeth I, to the throne.