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"Bloody Mary"

The infamous "Bloody Mary" Tudor was crowned on October 1, 1553. She was the daughter of King Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon. Before her reign, England went through Reformation started by her father to break away from the Catholic Church.

During the Reformation, images, ornate furnishings of the Church, and any relics that were frowned upon by the Protestants were destroyed. The once sacred Monasteries were desecrated and destroyed. Stone from the monasteries was used to build new homes/ estates. The gold and silver ornamentation was looted from the architecture of the monastery, melted down, and given to the Crown. Everything from manuscripts to altarpieces was destroyed. It has been said that Henry VI and his successor, Edward VI are responsible for the massive loss of important items and cultural records. Architecture during this time was evolving due to the events. England went through a "building boom" which was created partly by the cheap sale of church land and forested areas that in turn provided more timber.

When Mary I came to power, she quickly re-introduced the Catholic faith and wanted to restore the monasteries, convents as well as churches. This proved much more difficult than anticipated as the government had agreed that the church lands sold/given out to the nobility during the years of reform, remained theirs. Mary I's support lacked not only due to her unpopular marriage to Philip of Spain but also because of her merciless execution of over 283 Protestants who were burned at the stake for heresy. Luckily her Bloody reign only lasted for about 5 years when she succumbed likely to cancer.

Architecture serves as a form of physical human record, unfortunately, the record has been forever erased due to these unfortunate events.


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