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  1. Mary, Queen of Scots (8 December 1542 – 8 February 1587), also known as Mary Stuart, was Queen of Scotland from 14 December 1542 until her forced abdication in 1567. The only surviving legitimate child of James V of Scotland, Mary was six days old when her father died and she acceded to the throne.

    • Who Was Mary, Queen of Scots?
    • Early Years
    • Children
    • Reign
    • Claim to The English Throne and Imprisonment by Elizabeth I
    • Death
    • Movies About Mary, Queen of Scots

    Mary, Queen of Scots, also known as Mary Stuart, was the queen of Scotland from December 1542 until July 1567. The death of Mary’s father, which occurred just days after her birth, put her on the throne as an infant. She briefly became queen consort in France before returning to Scotland. Forced to abdicate by Scottish nobles in 1567, Mary sought the protection of England's Queen Elizabeth I, who instead had her arrested. Mary spent the remainder of her life in captivity until her 1587 execution.

    Mary Stuart was born on December 8, 1542, in Linlithgow Palace, West Lothian, Scotland. Mary’s father died when she was only six days old, making her queen of Scotland. Mary was the daughter of King James V of Scotland and his second wife, Mary of Guise. Mary’s great-grandfather was Henry VII, making Henry VIIIher great uncle. Elizabeth I was Mary's cousin. Given that Mary was only an infant, her great-uncle Henry VIII made a bid for control. Her mother, however, ended up acting as regent on Mary's behalf. Mary was initially betrothed to Henry VIII's son, Prince Edward of England, who eventually became King Edward VI. Scottish Catholics, however, objected to this plan, since England had separated from the Catholic Church. When the match was annulled, England attacked Scotland in raids that became known as "The Rough Wooing." At the age of 5, Mary was sent to France, where she grew up in the luxurious French court. Mary's mother was French, and the Scots had a longstanding alliance w...

    On June 19, 1566, Mary gave birth to the future James VI of Scotland and James I of England. James was Mary’s one and only child, conceived with her second husband, Henry Stewart.

    Mary was the Queen of Scotland from her father’s death in December 1542 until she was forced to abdicate the throne to her infant son James in July 1567. Following her first husband Francis’s death, Mary returned to Scotland from France in 1561. By that time, John Knox's influence had changed Scotland's official religion from Catholicism to Protestantism. As a Roman Catholic raised in France, Mary found herself an outsider. However, with help from her illegitimate half-brother, James, Earl of Moray, Mary managed to rule while creating an atmosphere of religious tolerance. Following the mysterious death of Mary's second husband, Henry Stewart, Lord Darnley, and her quick marriage to Bothwell, the Scottish nobility rose up against her and compelled her to hand over rule to her son and imprisoned her.

    As the great-granddaughter of King Henry VII, Mary had a strong claim to the English throne. Her French father-in-law, Henry II, made this claim on her behalf. However Mary never became the queen of England. In November 1558, Henry VIII's daughter, Elizabeth Tudor, became Queen Elizabeth I of England following the death of her sister, Mary Tudor. Many Roman Catholics did not recognize the validity of Henry VIII's marriage to Elizabeth's mother, Anne Boleyn, and they considered Elizabeth's rule to be illegitimate. In 1568, Mary escaped from Lochleven Castle, where she was imprisoned by the Scottish nobility for her unseemly marriage with Bothwell. She raised an army but was soon defeated. She fled to England, where she sought Elizabeth's protection. Instead of helping her cousin, the queen imprisoned Mary. Mary's captivity would last for the next 18 years. Meanwhile, English Catholics plotted to get Mary, a Catholic herself, onto the throne by assassinating Elizabeth. Mary correspond...

    After Elizabeth signed her cousin's death warrant for treason, Mary was executed in Fotheringhay Castle, Northamptonshire, on February 8, 1587. She was 44 years old. Elizabeth had Mary buried in Peterborough Cathedral. After Mary's son became King James I of England, he moved his mother's body to Westminster Abbeyin 1612.

    Centuries after her death, Mary continues to be an object of cultural fascination. The 1971 film Mary, Queen of Scots starred Vanessa Redgraveas Mary and Glenda Jackson as Elizabeth, with Timothy Dalton as Darnley. In 2013, a Swiss-French movie was made on Mary’s life. And the 2018 movie, Mary Queen of Scots, starred Saoirse Ronan as Mary and Margot Robbieas Elizabeth. Mary’s life also inspired the 2013 to 2017 television show Reign.

    • Infancy and Early Years
    • Her First Marriage
    • Mary Stuart’s Claim to The English Crown
    • Brief Period as Queen Consort of France
    • Return to Scotland and Reign
    • Second Marriage and The Dawn of Utter Chaos
    • Her Reign in Scotland Crumbles
    • Imprisonment in England
    • Execution and Death of Mary Stuart
    • Her Motivations and Legacy

    When Mary was born (on December 8, 1542) her father, King James V, was on the throne. Her mother was Mary of Guise, a French-born from the powerful House of Guise. Mary of Guise was King James V’s second wife. Sadly for Mary, King James V died six days after Mary’s birth. The king got ill after a horrific defeat at the hands of the English at Solway Moss. What this meant was that Mary was about to spend her formative years only raised by her mother. As she was a baby, her mother became the queen regent of Scotland. The queen regent thought it wise to let the young Mary spend her childhood in France. She also wanted to protect Mary from the aggressive moves of her Protestant half-brother, James Stewart, 1st Earl of Moray. Therefore at the age of five, Mary departed for France. The Roman Catholic King of France, King Henri II, took her in and raised her as his own. Her grandmother (Antoinette de Guise) and the entire House of Guise featured very strongly in young Mary’s life. Mary gre...

    King Henri II arranged a marriage between his eldest son, Francis, and Mary. Historians believe that the young Mary was head over heels for Francis. As it was typical back in those days, King Henri II’s only purpose of the marriage was to bring France and Scotland together. The two countries shared a common hatred for England and their Protestant religion. England and France had intermittently been warring with each other for years. With Scotland and France both predominantly ruled by noble Catholics and lords, it seemed natural that the two would want to be drawn into a closer alliance. In April 1558, Mary and Francis happily got married in Notre-Dame Cathedral, Paris. Prior to the marriage, there was a lot of resistance from England. Henry VIII of Englandhad always wanted his grandniece, Mary, to marry his son, Prince Edward (later King Edward VI). There was even an arrangement between the regents in Scotland and Henry VIII. The marriage was intended to secure peace between Scotla...

    Across the Channel, Mary’s cousin Elizabeth was crownedqueen of England in 1558. Elizabeth I inherited the crown after brief reigns of Edward VI and Mary I. Elizabeth was Mary’s first cousin (twice removed). Technically speaking, Mary had a valid claim to the English throne as well. This is because Mary was the great niece of the deceased King Henry VIII. Furthermore, her grandmother, Margaret Tudor, was King Henry VIII’s sister. In the eyes of the Roman Catholics in England, Mary was the rightful heiress to the throne of England. They felt that Mary had a greater birth right to the English crown than her cousin, Elizabeth. They argued that Henry VIII annulment of his marriage to Elizabeth’s mother, Anne Boleyn, meant that Elizabeth became an illegitimate heiress. Their claim was more of a political claim than a religious claim. Furthermore, the Catholics in England greatly sympathized with the French. The French refused to let the sway they had under Elizabeth’s predecessor, Mary I...

    In 1559, the court of King Henri II of France was plunged into mourning after King, Henri II died. Mary’s young husband, Francis, was crowned Francis II, King of France. This made Mary the new queen consort of France. Sadly, this position only lasted for a year or so. King Francis died in 1560. It is said that the young King Francis II died from an infection to the ear. Her husband’s death devastated the 18-year old Mary. Six months prior to her husband’s death, Mary also mourned the passing of her mother, Mary of Guise, in June 1560. The dark period of Mary’s life was just about to start.

    After a year of mourning the loss of her husband and mother, Mary returned to her home in Scotland in 1561. She was 18 at this time and fully ready to be crowned Queen of Scotland. After years of staying in France, she found it very difficult adapting to her new environment. Scotland had changed both politically and religiously. The Protestants had made huge gains in Scotland. By virtue of their sympathy to fellow protestant Elizabeth I in England, some of them looked at Mary (a deeply Catholic person) with a lot of suspicion. The Calvinist reformer John Knox, a staunch protestant, was among those people that considered Mary as an outsider with a different religion. Elizabeth also rejected any claims Mary had on the English throne. Mary’s first few years on the Scottish throne were relatively peaceful. She worked to ensure that there was some level of religious freedoms. There weren’t so many religious persecutions. Also, the nobles and Protestants did not give her much trouble. She...

    Mary’s new groom was the Earl of Darnley, Henry Stewart (Stuart). Stewart was her maternal cousin. They got married in July 1565. Their marriage produced a son named James (later King James VI) on June 19, 1566. Many historians consider her union with Stuart the singular event that brought the chips down. In the first place, Queen Elizabeth, her cousin, did not approve of the marriage. Elizabeth was aggrieved because Mary failed to consult her before the marriage. Secondly, Mary’s noblemen were annoyed by her marriage. Her half-brother and counselor, James Stewart, was one of the people to switch sides and move away from Mary. The noble Scots considered Henry Stewart as an odd sickly man who was up to no good. It was alleged that he was also very power hungry. It was obvious that he wanted to position himself as joint ruler (like a crown matrimonial) of Scotland. These and many more other factors infuriated the Scottish nobles. A year into her marriage, her opposition had drummed up...

    In May 1567, Mary and James Hepburn got married at Holyrood. Mary’s unwise decision of marrying a prime suspect in the death of her second husband did not go down well with the noblemen and Lords in Scotland and England. Some argue that she did not do so entirely out of passion but did so because she needed a man to assist her to steer the affairs of her kingdom. She needed a noble that could unite the various warring nobles. All she wanted was to stabilize the situation that was getting out of hand. Besides, Mary’s health had started to briefly deteriorate. The chaos in her palace resulted in the banishment of Hepburn. Soon, Mary herself was put under house arrest at Loch Leven Castle. She was later forced to abdicate her throne in 1567. Her one-year-old son, James (James VI), became King of Scotland on July 24, 1567. James Stewart, 1st Earl of Moray, acted as regent during the minority of James. After some few military losses to her opponents during the battle at Langside, Glasgow...

    Queen Elizabeth strategically put Mary in places far from the Scottish border, but also far from the British hub of power. There was simply too much suspicion around Mary. Did she really kill her husband? Was she in England to depose her cousin, Queen Elizabeth I? Would her presence in England stir up a Catholic uprising in England? All of these questions must have gone through the mind of Elizabeth. Additionally, Mary’s bad health issues resurfaced. She was miles away from her home and constantly got accused of murdering her own husband. Time in England was anything but good for her. The Catholics in England secretly hoped that Mary could assert her claim to the English throne. Some of them tried to convince Elizabeth to name Mary as heiress. Therefore, the English Protestants saw Mary’s continued presence on their soil as a genuine threat to the Protestant Queen and Protestantism in general. Investigations into her correspondence while in England revealed that Mary may have commun...

    Under the passive blessing of Queen Elizabeth I, the Protestant lords and earls set out to prosecute Mary under the charges of murder and treason. In Mary’s defense, she protested the entire trial. She argued that she was not a subject of Queen Elizabeth I, and therefore could not be tried in England. Her prosecutors also brought a series of evidence in the form of her supposed love letters (also known as the Casket Letters) with second husband Hepburn as proof of her infidelity and murder. In the course of her trial, Mary was moved from one castle to another. Perhaps the essence of doing this was to prevent her from plotting her escape. On October 16, 1586, Mary was found guilty at the trial held at Fotheringhay under the charges of plotting to kill Elizabeth. She was sentenced to death on February 7, 1587. She appeared very calm and composed all throughout the proceeding. Her country folks put up no resistance; neither did her son James VI of Scotland come to her defense. The tide...

    Mary was never once considered weak. She lived in a time that saw national religions and allegiances shift very swiftly. She may have lacked the political acumen to rule and bring men in line, something her cousin, Elizabeth did so perfectly well. But who could blame her? She lost her dad at such an early age. Her first husband died when she was young. The odds were stuck against her right from childhood. Catholicism was simply on the decline in England and Scotland, and Mary was a Catholic. Perhaps she could be described as a victim of her circumstances in the sense that male chauvinists in both England and Scotland did not wish her well ever since she occupied the Scottish throne. On the other hand, she truly had a hand in her own undoing. She made some very terrible decisions. Disregarding the rumors and going ahead with the marriage to Hepburn. Certainly, such moves only added more fuel to the raging fire in her life. Had she lived in an earlier age in the future, Mary’s wits an...

  2. 09/06/2021 · Mary, Queen of Scots is perhaps the best known figure in Scotland’s royal history. Her life provided tragedy and romance, more dramatic than any legend. She was born in 1542 a week before her father, King James V of Scotland, died prematurely. It was initially arranged for Mary to marry the ...

  3. María I, de nombre María Estuardo (en inglés, Mary Stuart, Mary Stewart o Marie Steuart; [iii] 8 de diciembre de 1542-8 de febrero de 1587), fue reina de Escocia del 14 de diciembre de 1542 al 24 de julio de 1567. Única hija legítima de Jacobo V, con seis días de edad sucedió a su padre en el trono escocés.

    • Mary, Queen of Scots: The Infant Monarch
    • The Two Queens of England
    • Mary’s Long Road to Doom
    • The Grisly Execution of Mary, Queen of Scots

    Mary, Queen of Scots was only six days oldwhen she was crowned queen in 1542: she weighed the same as the crown on her head. She was also born in a tumultuous time, as King Henry VIII of England invaded her homeland of Scotland. At the height of this war though, Mary’s father King James V of Scotland died. He was left with no other living heirs than his infant daughter. But his death made Mary more than just the Queen of Scots. As Henry VII of England’s great-granddaughter, Mary was next in line to the English throne, after Henry VIII’s children, and because England was not willing to recognize any of the children of Henry VIII as legitimate, Mary was the rightful heir to the English throne. Her cousin, Henry VIII, had converted to Protestantism so that he could divorce his first wife. His conversion fractured his relationship with his family and erupted the British Isles into a series of furious conflicts between Catholics and Protestants. But the Catholic Church still didn’t recog...

    For the first 18 years of her life, Mary barely set foot in Scotland. She had been rushed off to France when she was just five-years-old where she spent 13 years as a French princess and eventually as the Queen of France after the death of the French King Henry II. She didn’t return to Scotland until her husband, Francis II, died of an ear infection, leaving her a widow at age 18. The throne of France was passed on to her brother-in-law, Charles IX, and Mary was sent back to rule over the country of her birth; a place she hadn’t seen since she was a child. Scotland wasn’t the place she’d known as a child any longer. A growing faction of Scottish Protestants had sided with the English and was becoming an officially Protestant country under the religious reforms led by John Knox — a Scottish minister, theologian, and writer. To make matters worse, though England was now under the rule of Mary’s cousin, Queen Elizabeth I, the kingdom of France had declared that they recognized only Mar...

    Mary’s third marriage to Bothwell was no happier than her second. By some accounts, she didn’t even enter it willingly. Though he had become a close confidant of Mary’s, it’s said that Bothwell also possessed a great influence over her. He also had his own ambitions to become King and used his power over Mary to try to realize those ambitions. But their marriage was seen by most as proof that the two had conspired in Darnley’s death. Mary was denounced as an adulteress and a murderer. Her Protestant Lords revolted against her. This led to a confrontation between her army and the Scottish Nobility’s at Carberry Hill, near Edinburgh, on June 15, 1567. Mary’s army was defeated and she was subsequently imprisoned in Loch Leven Castle. Her new husband Bothwell fled to Scandinavia where he was captured and imprisoned as well. Mary would not see him again. Her son James, who was but one-year-old, was taken from her and given her crown. While imprisoned, Mary gave birth to stillborn twins....

    Many believed Elizabeth to be an illegitimate queen to England, as her father Henry VIII’s marriage to her mother, Anne Boleyn, was not recognized by the church. As such, plots against Elizabeth’s reign were not unusual. The queen, consequently, was typically anxious. With Mary under her charge, Elizabeth grew only more paranoid. When letters regarding a plot against Elizabeth were discovered between Mary’s jailer and a Catholic priest, Mary was immediately implicated in having plotted against Elizabeth herself. She was thus deemed guilty of treason in what became known as the Babington Plot. Elizabeth declared of her cousin: “so long as there is life in her, there is hope; so as they live in hope, we live in fear.” Mary’s son, now pursuing his own ambitions as a politician, recognized that an alliance with Queen Elizabeth I would ensure his own ascension to her throne upon her death. He thus signed an alliance with England and began to cut ties to his Scottish ancestry. This includ...

    • Bernadette Deron
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