Mary Tudor was born on February 18, 1516, in Greenwich, England; the only surviving child of Catherine of Aragon, and Henry VIII of England. She got a great education and was raised as a staunch Catholic.
Mary’s father (Henry) took pride in her, but when he divorced her mother Catherine, he banished her and her mother from the court. This made Mary an illegitimate daughter/heir. Later, she reconciled with Henry, and he made her the heir after his son (who’s mom was Jane Seymor) Edward, died.
When on his deathbed, Edward declared Lady Jane Grey to be his successor instead of her, Mary was not happy. L. Jane Grey was a protestant, as was Edward so England would be protestant instead of Catholic. Mary was not fond of the idea. She started to gather followers that wanted her to take over the throne, and become the queen instead of L. Jane Grey. The privy council that had backed Jane up now decided to support Mary instead. Nine days after Jane became Queen, Mary threw Lady Grey and her Husband into the Tower of London, and the next day, she had them had them both executed on the charge of treason. Lady Jane was only in her late teens.
Mary Tudor was crowned queen in September of 1553. She later married King Philip of Spain, which made her queen of Spain as well as England. Mary persecuted the Protestants like nothing you’ve ever seen before. During her five-year reign, she burnt 280 protestants at the stake. That is what got her the nickname “Bloody Mary”.
When Mary died on November 17, 1558, her half-sister Elizabeth became queen. Elizabeth was a protestant herself and didn’t persecute any religious groups. England prospered under Elizabeth’s 40-year reign. They even nicknamed her “Good queen Bess”.