How ‘Bloody’ was Mary Tudor?

At the heart of the lesson is a courtroom trial. Pupils have to acquit Mary Tudor of the charge of being ‘Bloody’.  They look together at the reasons why she was thought to be ‘bloody’ and then work in groups to analyse the evidence in her favour. This requires a careful evaluation of sources such as Foxe’s Book of Martyrs. I would like to acknowledge the contribution of Andy Butterworth, Vanessa Jones, Grant Parsons , of Bridgemary Community School, Gosport, where the lesson was first so successfully taught

Learning objectives

  • to grasp the reasons why Mary has been called Bloody
  • to make a judgement about her actions in relation to what was happening elsewhere in Europe
  • to grasp the significant propaganda effect of Foxe’s Book of Martyrs
  • to be able to confidently make a case in Mary’s favour making effective use of  a range of sources.

Step 1

The lesson started with the pupils being asked to write down any questions they would like to ask of the projected image of the burning of Latimer and Ridley. This was a settling activity – the last lesson of the day. Pupils’ responses were very good. Working in silence, they came up

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