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Death Of England's First Queen

England First Queen Mary Tudor

1558 - Britain's first ruling queen, Mary Tudor, has died a broken and disappointed woman, hated by her subjects, after five years on the throne. Born in 1516 to Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon, she was at first her father's favourite but her loyalty to her mother and to the Catholic Church led to harsh treatment. On the death of her half-brother Edward VI she outmanoeuvre Lord Dudley's attempt to put Lady Jane Grey on the throne, and there was widespread rejoicing. However her marriage to Philip II of Spain dragged England into the war between France and Spain, and in the struggle she lost Calais, which had been an English outpost since the time of Edward III. There was further resentment at the restoration of the Catholic Church in England, when many Protestants, notably Latimer, Cranmer and Ridley, were burned at the stake. Her final torment was the knowledge that her husband favoured her Protestant half-sister Elizabeth as heir over the Catholic Mary Queen of Scots.