Mary was determined to return England to the Catholic faith. She systematically reversed all the measures that had been taken to turn England into a protestant country. The years of Mary's reign were fraught with peril for Elizabeth. Over 300 Protestants were burned at the stake during the reign of Queen Mary I - the historians of England then referred to her as ‘Bloody Mary’. Elizabeth’s failure to truly convert to the Catholic faith put her in constant danger. Protestant conspiracies to overthrow Mary and place Elizabeth on the throne also placed her life in true peril. On March 18, 1554 Princess Elizabeth was imprisoned in the Tower of London for eight weeks after being implicated in the Wyatt rebellion
Elizabeth and Bloody Mary - Elizabeth demonstrates outward conformity to the Catholic religion
Elizabeth's release was conditional on her conformity to the Catholic religion. Elizabeth had no alternative but to demonstrate her outward conformity to the Catholic religion. Elizabeth ensured that this was going to be a slow process. She insisted that as she had known no other religion than Protestantism that she was in need of instruction in the Catholic religion. She requested books from Mary to help her with this. She did not, however ask for a Catholic priest. During this time at Hatfield she was under the watchful eye of Sir Thomas Pope.
Elizabeth and Bloody Mary
Mary strongly distrusted her half-sister but was eventually reconciled with Elizabeth through the persuasions of her husband. Philip was shrewd. He was also aware that the alternative heir to the English throne was Mary Queen of Scots who was closely allied to France. Mary had not long married Francois the French heir to the throne. And France was the enemy of Spain. Elizabeth was therefore the 'lesser of two evils' and Philip slowly persuaded his wife to reconcile with her sister.
Elizabeth and Bloody Mary - the Death of Queen Mary I
On November 17, 1558 Queen Mary I, Tudor of England died from cancer. Elizabeth was at Hatfield when Mary died. Elizabeth was reputedly sitting underneath an oak tree when the news of her accession to the throne reached her when she said, "This is the Lord's doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes".
Queen Elizabeth I
Some interesting facts and information about Elizabeth and Bloody Mary. Details, facts and information about the life of Queen Elizabeth I can be accessed via the Elizabethan Era Sitemap.