Explain Why Mary I Wanted to Persecute Protestants

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During Mary’s reign, she killed a number of Protestants as a result of them resisting her Catholic rule. Her motives to persecute Protestants were a combination of political, personal and religious reasons. Mary’s fundamental reasons for persecuting Protestants were religious. She was a devout Roman Catholic raised by her Catholic mother Catherine of Aragon, however, as she grew up, England and Wales were undergoing a Protestant reformation. Mary believed that it was her duty to restore the true faith and the true Church. Mary executed a total of 238 Protestants. This included big Protestant figures such as Ridley, Cranmer and Latimer who were later seen as heroes in Foxe’s Book of Martyrs. She believed that by burning them, she was freeing their souls, saving them, so they could go to heaven. Also, Mary struggled to re-establish the Catholic faith as she was unable to restore monasteries and chantries and unable to restore land due to rested interests. When Mary came to power, she was determined to crush the Protestant faith. It was part of her policy to reverse the religious changes made by Henry VIII and Edward VI, she wanted to restore Papal Supremacy and she supported a reconciliation with Rome. It could be viewed that this was a public display of force to impress the Pope and exiles such as Reginald Pole. Mary’s chief advisor, Gardiner, supported this policy. He was politically aware of the need for uniformity and was able to drive through these religious changes by virtue of his membership of parliament as he sat in the House of Lords. Mary wished to establish a uniform Catholic religion throughout the realm, in this aim, she had the support from most of the leading landowners and members of parliament. The restoration of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales was part of the Europe-wide Catholic Counter-Reformation, so it wasn’t just Britain being
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