England has a rich and bloody history when it comes to Religious Persecution. The religious persecutions started when Henry VIII split with Rome in 1534 and started his own Church of England with the King being its head. Suddenly, Catholics were persona non grata and arrested in large numbers, suspected of being behind Papist Plots to bring down King Henry. In a reversal of fortune, his daughter, Mary I was motivated by a religious zeal to purge this new heresy from her land, and during her short reign about 290 Protestants had been burned at the stake. Later, in another turnaround, Queen Elizabeth I hunted down Catholics once more, and executed hundreds for secretly practicing their faith.