MARY I., queen of England (1516-1558), unpleasantly re membered as "the Bloody Mary" on account of the religious persecutions which prevailed during her reign, was the daughter of Henry VIII. and Catherine of Aragon, born in the earlier years of their married life, when as yet no cloud had darkened the prospect of Henry's reign. Her birth occurred at Greenwich, on Monday, Feb. 18,1516, and she was baptized on the following Wednesday, Cardinal Wolsey standing as her godfather. She seems to have been a precocious child, and is reported in July 1520, when scarcely four and a half years old, as entertaining some visitors by a performance on the virginals. When she was little over nine she was addressed in a complimentary Latin oration by commissioners sent over from Flanders on commercial mat ters, and replied to them in the same language "with as much assurance and facility as if she had been twelve years old" (Gayan gos, iii. pt. I, 82). Her father was proud of her achievements. About the same time that she replied to the commissioners in Latin he was arranging that she should learn Spanish, Italian and French. A great part, however, of the credit of her early educa tion was undoubtedly due to her mother, who not only consulted the Spanish scholar Vives upon the subject, but was herself Mary's first teacher in Latin.
When Mary was two years old she was proposed in marriage to the dauphin, son of Francis I. Three years afterwards the French alliance was broken off, and in 1522 she was affianced to her cousin the young emperor Charles V. by the Treaty of Windsor. Not many years passed away before Charles released himself from this engagement and made a more convenient match. In 1526 a rearrangement was made of the royal household, and it was thought right to give Mary an establishment of her own along with a council on the borders of Wales, for the better government of the Marches. For some years she accordingly kept her court at Ludlow, while new arrangements were made for the disposal of her hand. She was now proposed as a wife, not for the dauphin as before, but for his father Francis I., who had just been redeemed from captivity at Madrid, and who was only too glad of an alliance with England to mitigate the severe condi tions imposed on him by the emperor. Wolsey, however, on this
occasion, only made use of the princess as a bait to enhance the terms of the compact, and left Francis free in the end to marry the emperor's sister.
It was during this negotiation, as Henry afterwards pretended, that the question was first raised whether his own marriage with Catherine was a lawful one. But this story is proved to be untrue by the strongest evidence, for we have pretty full con temporary records of the whole negotiation. On the contrary, it is clear that Henry, who had already conceived the project of a divorce, kept the matter a dead secret, and was particularly anxious that the French ambassadors should not know it, while he used his daughter's hand as a bait for a new alliance. The alliance itself, however, was actually concluded by a treaty dated West minster, April 3o, 1527, in which it was provided, as regards the Princess Mary, that she should be married either to Francis him self or to his second son Henry duke of Orleans.
During the next nine years the life of Mary, as well as that of her mother, was rendered miserable by the conduct of Henry VIII. in seeking a divorce. During most of that period mother and daughter seem to have been kept apart. Possibly Queen Catherine had the harder trial ; but Mary's was scarcely less severe. Removed from court and treated as a bastard, she was, on the birth of Anne Boleyn's daughter, required to give up the dignity of princess and acknowledge the illegitimacy of her own birth. On her refusal her household was broken up, and she was sent to Hatfield to act as lady-in-waiting to her own infant half sister. Nor was even this the worst of her trials; her very life was in danger from the hatred of Anne Boleyn. Her health, moreover, was indifferent, and even when she was seriously ill, although Henry sent his own physician, Dr. Buttes, to attend her, he declined to let her mother visit her. At her mother's death, in January 1536, she was forbidden to take a last farewell of her.