Is Bloody Mary, Mary Queen of Scots?
This is a question that I see all over the internet.
The answer is simple….NO!
They are two different people.
And just to make matters a little more complicated for everyone, there is another Mary Tudor that people keep confusing with Bloody Mary. This person is Mary Tudor, Henry VIII’s youngest sister, who is sometimes called the French Queen!
Can you see why people mix up Bloody Mary, Mary Queen of Scots and Mary Tudor, the French Queen? It is easy to do.
In this video, Henry explains the difference between all three, so you will be confused no longer.
If you want to read about the three Marys instead, then keep scrolling down.
Mary Tudor, The French Queen
Let’s start with the eldest of the three possible Bloody Marys.
Mary Tudor was Henry VIII’s youngest sister. She is often referred to as Mary Tudor, the French Queen.
For a brief period, and literally, we are talking, a few months, Mary Tudor was married to the King of France, making her the Queen of France. The old King of France died, leaving her a widow, and she returned to England.
Suppose you want to find out more about Henry VIII’s sister and her clandestine marriage to his best friend, Charles Brandon. In that case, there is another video and blog post here.
Mary Tudor was always Henry’s favourite sister. The elder one, Margaret Tudor, was married to the King of Scotland, and there is more about her in a moment.
Unfortunately, she died aged just 37 at Westhorpe Hall in Suffolk after withdrawing from court life when Henry VIII tried to divorce his first wife, Catherine of Aragon. She hated Anne Boleyn and was great friends with Catherine. She thought it best to get out of Henry’s way, just in case she said something that might anger him.
Although she is a relatively minor player in the story of the Tudor dynasty, she is significant in the fact that she is Lady Jane Grey’s grandmother.
And it is through her that Lady Jane Grey had a claim to the throne of England.
Mary Tudor, The French Queen and Henry VIII’s Youngest Sister is not Bloody Mary.
This is a painting of Mary Tudor after she had married Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk who was Henry VIII’s best friend.
At various times in her life, she was known as:
Princess of England.
Queen of France.
Dowager Queen of France.
Duchess of Suffolk.
She is not Bloody Mary.
Many people think that Henry VIII’s famous ship the “Mary Rose” was named after his favourite sister. There is little evidence to say that it was, and it is more likely to be named after The Virgin Mary.
Mary, Queen of Scots
The youngest of the three was Mary Queen of Scots.
Mary, Queen of Scots, was the great-granddaughter of Henry VIII’s eldest sister, Margaret Tudor. She got sent up to Scotland at 13 and got married off to the king of Scots. Mary was a direct descendant of her and the reason she had a claim on England’s throne.
Mary, Queen of Scots, was Queen of Scotland when Henry VIII’s youngest daughter, Elizabeth I was on the throne of England. She truly believed that she was the rightful Queen of England and not Elizabeth.
Mary was a catholic, and this caused problems with the Scottish lords who were mainly protestants. It resulted in Mary being overthrown and being forced to flee to England.
Elizabeth was none too happy about any of this and took Mary a prisoner. Elizabeth treated her reasonably well, and she was kept in various castles and houses in England. She wasn’t thrown into a cell or manacled to the wall, or anything like that.
After being involved in numerous schemes to assassinate Elizabeth to take the throne for herself, Mary Queen of Scots was put on trial and executed.
Mary, Queen of Scots, is not Bloody Mary.
Mary Tudor, Queen of England…commonly known as Bloody Mary
Mary was Henry VIII’s daughter with his first wife Catherine of Aragon.
She became Queen of England after Edward’s death.
When Edward VI died, there was a brief nine-day coup when Jane Grey tried to install herself on the throne. But Mary, who was next in the line of succession according to my will overthrew that coup and became Queen. She was Mary 1 of England.
How did she get the nickname, Bloody Mary?
England had gone through the reformation, particularly during Edward’s reign. That meant the country, basically converted from being a Catholic country to being a Protestant country.
The problem was when Mary came to the throne, she was a devout Catholic.
Why was this a problem? Because now a lot of her subjects were protestants. Many had no desire to turn back to catholicism.
Mary didn’t like this. She thought that because she was Queen, they should do what she said when it came to religion.
So she started burning protestants at stake as heretics. During her five years on the throne, she burnt around 280 people to death. The most famous of these were the Oxford Martyrs, including the Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Cranmer.
It was this that earned her the rather horrible nickname of Bloody Mary.
Who is Bloody Mary?
Mary Tudor – The French Queen = NOT Bloody Mary
Mary, Queen of Scots = NOT Bloody Mary
Mary 1 of England = Bloody Mary