Born on February 18th 1516 , daughter of Henry VIII and his first wife Catherine of Aragon, Mary had been declared an illegitimate heir by the 1534 Act of Succession. When Henry died, the throne fell to Mary's half brother, Edward VI, who in turn bequeathed his throne to Lady Jane Grey. After Jane had reigned for only nine days (July 10th-19th 1553), Mary seized the crown, proclaiming herself Queen with the support of the public and making it one of her first political acts to renounce the Act that had branded her mother's marriage illegitimate and jeopardised her succession.
A devout Catholic, Mary aimed to rebuild links to Rome which had been severed by Henry VIII, who had appointed himself …
Editors. "Reign of Queen Mary I of England". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 22 June 2005
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=922, accessed 26 February 2017.]