Lady Jane Grey and Bloody Mary

The second king in the Tudor dynasty, Henry VIII of the six wives, had three children—Mary, Elizabeth and Edward. Edward became king first, though he was still only a boy. He helped to continue the change his father had been doing on the Church of England. When he was on his deathbed at the age of eighteen, he named Lady Jane Grey, his cousin, as his successor.

Lady Jane Grey was chosen over her cousin Mary because Lady Jane was a Protestant and Mary was a staunch Roman Catholic. She became queen on July 10, 1553.

Mary, however, did not allow her to rule for very long. Angry at not being chosen, she gathered the support of the nobles and threw Lady Jane out of the position after she had ruled for only nine days. She was known hereafter as the ‘Nine Days Queen.’ She was thrown into prison and executed along with her husband.

Mary, having gotten Lady Jane out of her way, now assumed the crown. She tried to do exactly what her half-brother had feared—to reinstate Roman Catholicism in the people. She burned 300 Protestants at the stake and made the Church of England Catholic. She did many other horrible deeds which I don’t deem necessary to include. Because of all these bloody acts, she earned the nickname Bloody Mary. Then she died in 1558.

Elizabeth, her younger half-sister, came to the throne next and did many deeds to make the people of England happier than they had ever been before under the Tudors.

Although Bloody Mary and Lady Jane may not have been immaculate examples for their country, they still helped to mold England into what it would eventually become.


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