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Ill with dropsy and fever, she died in St James’s Palace in London in 1558, aged 42, and was buried in Westminster Abbey.Her successor was her Protestant half-sister Elizabeth, an incomparably greater monarch than poor Mary could ever have been.
Born at about four o’clock that Monday morning, Mary Tudor was the first surviving child of Henry VIII and his Spanish wife, Catherine of Aragon.
He was 24 years old, she was 30, they had been married for six years and she had suffered a succession of miscarriages and stillbirths.
She was a devout Roman Catholic and strongly disapproved of the Protestant regime headed by her young half-brother Edward VI from 1547 to his death in 1553.
With the armed support of prominent Catholics she succeeded to the throne, determined to restore Catholicism and obedience to the pope.
He had also fallen in love with Anne Boleyn, who refused to bed him unless he married her.
In what his subjects called the king’s ‘Great Matter‘, he decided to have his marriage to Catherine of Aragon annulled.
Catherine of Aragon, however, certainly took a keen interest in her daughter’s education.
The Countess of Salisbury was Mary’s ‘lady governess’.
She seems to have been a singularly 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 matters, and replied to them in the same language "with as much assurance and facility as if she had been twelve years old". About the same time that she replied to the commissioners in Latin he was arranging that she should learn Spanish, Italian and French.