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Mary I: The First Virgin Queen: Mary I presided over a desperate five years of English history: under her orders, over 300 men and women were burnt at the stake for their religious beliefs. But Mary's life was marked by tragedy, cruelty, and loss. At 17 she was disowned by her father; in her 30s, her brother tried to force her to give up her faith; and when she eventually married, she was forsaken by her prince.