Mary Tudor, Queen of France

Mary Tudor
1496 Mary Tudor.jpg
Queen consort of France
Tenure9 October 1514 – 1 January 1515
Coronation5 November 1514
Born(1496-03-18)18 March 1496
Sheen Palace, London, Surrey, Kingdom of England
Died25 June 1533(1533-06-25) (aged 37)
Westhorpe Hall, Westhorpe, Suffolk, Kingdom of England
Burial22 July 1533
Bury St Edmunds Abbey
1538
St. Mary's Church, Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk, Kingdom of England
SpouseLouis XII of France
Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk
IssueHenry Brandon
Frances Grey, Duchess of Suffolk
Eleanor Clifford, Countess of Cumberland
Henry Brandon, 1st Earl of Lincoln
HouseTudor
FatherHenry VII of England
MotherElizabeth of York

Mary Tudor (ər/; 18 March 1496 – 25 June 1533) was an English princess who was briefly Queen of France and later progenitor of a family which claimed the English throne. The younger surviving daughter of Henry VII of England and Elizabeth of York, Mary became the third wife of Louis XII of France, more than 30 years her senior. Following his death, she married Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk. The marriage, which was performed secretly in France, took place during the reign of her brother Henry VIII and without his consent. This necessitated the intervention of Thomas Wolsey, and although the couple were eventually pardoned by Henry, they were forced to pay a large fine.

Mary's second marriage produced four children, and through her eldest daughter Frances, Mary was the maternal grandmother of Lady Jane Grey, who was the de facto monarch of England for nine days in July 1553.

First marriage: Queen of France

Mary was the fourth child of Henry VII of England and Elizabeth of York, and the youngest to survive infancy. She was born at Sheen Palace, "most probably" in March 1496. A privy seal bill dated from midsummer 1496 authorizes a payment of 50 shillings to her nurse, Anne Skeron. Also, Erasmus stated that she was four years old when he visited the royal nursery in 1499–1500.[1] At age six, she was given her own household, complete with "a staff of gentlewomen assigned to wait upon her," a schoolmaster, and a physician. She was given instruction in French, Latin, music, dancing, and embroidery.[1]

As children, Mary and her brother, the future King Henry VIII, shared a close friendship. He would name his first surviving child, the future Queen Mary I, in her honour. They lost their mother when Mary was just seven, and given the number of bills paid to her apothecary from 1504 to 1509, it would appear that Mary's own health was fragile.[1]

A sketch of Mary during her brief period as queen of France

Known in her youth as one of the most beautiful princesses in Europe,[1] Erasmus said of her that "Nature never formed anything more beautiful."[2]

In 1506, during a visit from Philip I of Castile, Mary was called to entertain the guests, dancing, and playing the lute and clavicord. In September 1506, King Philip died, and on 21 December 1507, Mary was betrothed to his son Charles, later Holy Roman Emperor. The betrothal was called off in 1513.[1]

Instead, Cardinal Wolsey negotiated a peace treaty with France, and on 9 October 1514, at the age of 18, Mary married the 52-year-old King Louis XII of France at Abbeville. One of the maids of honour who attended her in France was Anne Boleyn. Despite two previous marriages, Louis had no living sons, and sought to produce an heir, but he died on 1 January 1515, less than three months after marrying Mary, reputedly worn out by his exertions in the bedchamber, but more likely from the effects of gout.[3] Their union produced no children. Following Louis's death, the new king Francis I made attempts to arrange a second marriage for the beautiful widow.[1]

Other Languages
azərbaycanca: Mariya Tüdor
Cymraeg: Mari Tudur
Esperanto: Mary Tudor
íslenska: María Tudor
italiano: Maria Tudor