History Today Subscription Offer

Mary I

The future queen of England and Ireland was born on February 18th, 1516.

Eamon Duffy explores the relationship between Mary I and her Archbishop of Canterbury Cardinal Pole. Pole’s advice to his queen about attitudes to Henry VIII and in dealing with heretics show he played a far more energetic role in the restoration of the ‘true religion’ than he has been given credit for.

John Foxe’s graphic and angry work depicting the persecutions inflicted by the Roman Catholic church, was partly a response to the rising tide of intolerance across Europe in the mid-sixteenth century, but more specifically to the recent persecution of Protestants in England. David Loades describes the impact of one of the most significant books of its time.

Michael Hutchings argues that for too long Protestant historians have concentrated on the negative aspects of the era of ‘Bloody Mary' and that, in sharp contrast, there are positive achievements to her credit.

Diarmaid MacCulloch reflects on the 'after-life' of Henry VIII's archbishop, burnt at the stake as a Protestant martyr under Mary. 

Has our image of Henry VIII's elder daughter as 'Bloody Mary', burning Protestants and unhappily married to Philip of Spain, clouded our assessment of how close she came to restoring the old religion? 

Protestant, martyr and anti-Catholic icon, prodigy of Renaissance learning, model evangelical schoolgirl, star-crossed lover, Hollywood heroine? The changing images history has given the Nine Days Queen of 1553.