Mary, the name of two English queens who were reigning monarchs. Mary I was a Tudor and Mary II was a Stuart.

(1516-1558), queen of England and Ireland, was the first woman to be fully recognized as an English monarch. Her persecution of Protestants caused her to be known in history as “Bloody Mary.” She was the daughter of Henry VIII by his first queen, Catherine of Aragon. Mary was declared illegitimate and barred from the right of succession after Henry's marriage to Catherine was annulled in 1533. In 1543, however, Henry restored her to the succession, next in line to her half-brother Edward.

During the establishment of Anglican forms of worship in the reign of Edward VI (1547-53), Mary remained a devout Roman Catholic. Upon Edward's death the royal court, composed of Protestants, declared his successor to be Lady Jane Grey, grandniece of Henry VIII. Parliament and the English people, however, supported Mary and she was proclaimed queen on July 19, 1553.

Mary immediately restored the Catholic bishops to office, but did not at first deal harshly with the Protestants. In October she announced her intention of being married to Philip of Spain, son of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. There was wide opposition to a Spanish alliance, and in February, 1554, a group of about 3,000 rebels led by Sir Thomas Wyatt marched on London. Mary rallied the city and Wyatt was defeated and later executed. Mary's half-sister, Elizabeth, was suspected of being involved in the rebellion and was imprisoned.

In July Mary married Philip, who became king of England but had no voice in government. Cardinal Reginald Pole was sent to England as papal legate, and in 1555 the nation was readmitted to the Roman Catholic Church. Heresy laws enacted during Mary's reign were used to put to death some 300 Protestants, including the archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Cranmer; and Bishops Hugh Latimer and Nicholas Ridley.

Philip returned to Spain and in January, 1556, ascended the Spanish throne as Philip II. In 1557 he persuaded Mary to join him in a war against France, with the result that England lost the French port of Calais in 1558. Mary died in the same year and was succeeded by Elizabeth.

(1662-1694) was queen of England, Scotland, and Ireland, and wife of William III. Mary was the elder daughter of the Duke of York (later James II) by his first marriage, and was brought up a Protestant. In 1677 she married her cousin William of Orange, ruler of the Netherlands and a staunch Protestant. In the Glorious Revolution of 1688 William, at the invitation of Parliament, landed with an army in England and deposed James. In 1689 William and Mary were crowned as joint sovereigns. During their reign, William managed the affairs of state.