Mary Tudor and the return of Catholicism
Bruyere, Rebecca Elizabeth
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Ever since John Foxe's labeling of Mary as a bloody tyrant, the label has persisted throughout history even to the present day. Mary, however, was much more in touch with her people than Foxe and others would portray her, as a more Catholic form of religion was widely supported. Many people began celebrating the Mass and other Catholic ceremonies even before Mary's ascent to the throne. Upon claiming the throne, Mary relied principally upon the support of the common people to help her. She enacted a series of reforms to the more dramatically Protestant elements that her half-brother, King Edward VI, introduced. Most churches met the requirements for the reconstruction of their churches, a feat that was not easy during such difficult economic times. In doing so, the churches relied greatly upon the support of the parishioners, although Mary did try to ease the difficulty of building back Churches by returning various Catholic items. Through the use of pamphlets, Mary and her bishops sought to educate the people about Catholicism so that they might understand some of the more fundamental beliefs. Cardinal Pole was instrumental in assisting Mary as well, implementing reforms as well as preaching about Catholicism. However, a good many Protestants were burned as heretics. Despite Mary's intention for prudence, this was one of the low points of Mary's reign from a modern perspective. However, if Mary lived longer and had an heir, England probably would have had a more Catholic religion and would not have noted so strongly the burning of heretics.