When Mary became queen in 1553, she announced that she would not force her subjects to follow her religion, but soon after her succession she had several high ranking English Protestants imprisoned. She quickly had her parents' marriage declared valid upon taking the throne and restoring Catholic church doctrine, trying to mend the broken ties that England had with the pope and Rome. Under what was known as the Marian Persecutions, many Protestants were executed, a total of 283, most of whom were burned at the stake. Some rich Protestants chose exile instead of facing execution and around 800 left the country. These burnings were extremely unpopular with the English people and the victims of these persecutions were labeled as martyrs. Mary's maternal grandparents were Isabella of Castile and Ferdinand of Aragon, the Spanish monarchs who led the Spanish Inquisition which killed thousands of people, so one can understand where Mary's willingness to burn those she deemed to be heretics came from. Her cruel treatment of Protestants and the bloody ways in which they died led people after her death to give her the name "Bloody Mary", which is still a well known name for her today.