A look at the misunderstood Mary, Queen of Scots and the people in her life (2022)

WE are so used to thinking of Mary, Queen of Scots, as a tragic figure that we often forget that for an admittedly short period in the 1560s, she was a monarch who had some successes in reigning over a convulsed nation.

In this latest in a series of columns on the powers behind the Scottish throne down the ages, I will be looking this week and the next two weeks at the reign of Mary Stuart – it was she who changed the family name from Stewart to the French spelling – and concentrating on six men and a woman who all played a huge role in Mary’s story.

In no order at all they were her mother, Marie de Guise; Mary’s husband, Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley; Matthew Stewart, 4th Earl of Lennox; James Hamilton, the 2nd Earl of Arran; James Stewart, the 1st Earl of Moray; William Maitland of Lethington; and James Hepburn, the 4th Earl of Bothwell.

Unlike so many historians, authors and screenwriters, I am not going to expend any passion in making the case ‘for’ or ‘against’ Mary, but will let readers decide whether she was more sinned against than sinning.

Mary’s life certainly had a tragic beginning in that her father, King James V, died when she was only six days old. Once again Scotland needed a regent and there were two main candidates – Cardinal David Beaton and James Hamilton, the 2nd Earl of Arran. Beaton was head of the Roman Catholic church in Scotland and was thus a divisive figure at a time when the Protestant Reformation was gathering pace, while 24-year-old Arran was a leading figure in the Scottish court as well as being heir presumptive to the Scottish throne.

Using James V’s allegedly forged will, Beaton attempted to seize power and made himself Chancellor, but Arran and the Protestant nobles outflanked him and took control of the country. It should be noted here that while the Protestant nobles generally were pro-England and the Catholics were pro-French, there was no hard and fast division between the two factions and loyalties often changed in that period, as Arran himself later showed.

(Video) Mary, Queen of Scots | Biography

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A key figure in Queen Mary’s life enters the scene at this point. Beaton possibly realised that becoming governor or regent was not a good move for himself, so he asked Mathew Stuart, the 4th Earl of Lennox, who had spent most of his life in France, to return to Scotland and oppose Arran for the regency. Beaton may also have suggested that Lennox could gain the hand of Marie de Guise and thus rule Scotland, but that union did not come to pass.

Lennox came to the family stronghold of Dumbarton Castle but arrived a few days after the Scottish Parliament deposed Beaton and made Arran the Regent and governor for Queen Mary.

Lennox, who also had a claim to be heir to the Scottish throne, would become a thorn in Arran’s side, especially as he asserted that Arran could not be the heir presumptive as he was illegitimate since his father had married his mother without first divorcing his wife.

Arran acted quickly to secure his regency, and had Cardinal Beaton imprisoned in the custody of George Seton, the 6th Lord Seton. He also moved to ensure that Marie de Guise was ‘accommodated’ in Linlithgow Palace. Having been declared ‘second person in the realm’ by the Scottish Parliament, Arran and his Anglophile associates started dealings with Protestant England rather than Catholic France and negotiations began with King Henry VIII for the future marriage of his son Prince Edward and young Mary.

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Henry was his usual meddling self and is said to have provided funds for the Protestant faction, which was now in the ascendancy. These negotiations resulted in the Treaty of Greenwich signed on July 1, 1543, and ratified in Scotland on August 25. In between those two dates Marie de Guise pulled off an amazing stunt when on July 26, 1543, she assembled an army and took herself and the baby queen to Stirling Castle. The Earl of Lennox, after negotiating with Arran, was at the head of the royal escort.

Arran did not oppose the royal flit, as he had been secretly negotiating with Cardinal Beaton and was forgiven for his Reformist ‘sins’ as he helped the Cardinal to be fully restored to power. Arran’s flip-flopping of allegiances and return to Catholicism gained him a notable reward – when the nine-month-old baby Queen’s official coronation was held on September 9, 1543, it was Arran who carried the crown.

The two main elements of the Greenwich Treaty were a peace accord between Scotland and England and the planned marriage of Mary to the future Edward VI – it would take place in 1552 when Mary would be ten. Henry got what he wanted – any children of the marriage would mean the Scottish crown would be subsumed into the Tudor dynasty. Arran himself was paid off and would gain a royal daughter-in-law as an understanding was reached that his son James would marry Henry’s daughter, the future Queen Elizabeth – how different might British history have been had that marriage gone ahead.

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Seton wasn’t very good as a jailer as Beaton was eventually freed as the pro-French nobles gained prominence in the polity. Arran was still in charge, however, when in December, 1543, the Scottish Parliament rejected the Treaty of Greenwich which many Scots saw as a capitulation to Henry’s demands to be acknowledged as overlord of the whole island of Great Britain. That vote by the Parliament directly led to the invasions by the English army that would become known as the Rough Wooing. Beaton was made Chancellor by that same Parliament which also voted to resume the Auld Alliance with France, while Arran was made to accept a regency council to advise him, with Marie de Guise and Cardinal Beaton chief among its 16 members.

The Earl of Lennox, meanwhile, had allied himself with Henry VIII who had dispatched thousands of soldiers to harry the Scots on the east coast and in the Borders. In early 1544, Lennox attacked the isles of Arran and Bute with English naval ships and about 800 troops.

(Video) Mary, Queen of Scots

It was now that the Earl of Arran was at his best.

Arran is often portrayed as a weak and vacillating regent, but examining his record I have concluded that he was a Machiavellian character who promoted his own self-interests. Yet even as heir presumptive, he never took the final step of usurping Mary’s throne. He probably calculated that would be a fatal move as there were strong men in both factions who would happily kill any would-be king. He also did his best to cope with England’s Rough Wooing tactics and there’s no doubting Arran’s bravery in defence of Scotland. He also suffered personal tragedy when his wife Margaret neé Douglas became insane – he tried and failed to divorce her in 1544. It appears to have been a hereditary disease as two of their children also suffered similar mental problems which caused their deaths.

FACING the invasion of Lennox and his English troops, Arran assembled an army loyal to Queen Mary and himself and marched to Glasgow where Lennox and his ally, William Cunningham, the 4th Earl of Glencairn, had quartered their men. On the field of Glasgow Muir, just east of the main town, a pitched battle took place on March 16, 1544.

At first the Lennox-Glencairn army looked likely to succeed, but Arran had chosen his officers well and Robert Boyd, the 4th Lord Boyd of Kilmarnock, turned the day with a well-timed sally that eventually won Arran the victory. The Regent then attacked Glasgow’s Bishop’s Castle and forced the surrender of the mostly English force occupying the building. The garrison walked out and Arran promptly hanged a goodly number of them.

The two sides returned to Glasgow Moor around May 25, and this time it was the Earl of Glencairn who was in command of the forces that took on Arran and his army once again. The result was the same and Lennox fled from Dumbarton Castle back to England a few days later.

As well as military duties against would-be invaders, Arran was also operating in a time of tumultuous religious upheaval. Beaton wanted to crack down heavily on the “heresy”, as he saw it, of Protestantism and he saw to it that one preacher, George Wishart, was prosecuted for heresy and burned at the stake in St Andrews. Arran knew all about the church’s cruelty to Protestants – his own relative, Patrick Hamilton, had been the first Protestant martyr of the Scottish Reformation when he was burned alive at St Andrews in 1527.

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Beaton himself suffered a martyrdom of sorts when on May 29, 1546, he was savagely murdered in his rooms at St Andrews Castle by a group of Protestant lairds from Fife who had been supporters of Wishart. The Cardinal had been with his mistress Marion Ogilvy, mother of eight of his children, when the lairds attacked which is possibly why he was never beatified as a martyr by the Catholic Church.

A look at the misunderstood Mary, Queen of Scots and the people in her life (1)

With St Andrews Castle now occupied by Protestants, including Wishart’s assistant John Knox, Arran’s reaction to Beaton’s murder was to defer to Marie de Guise who sought help from her family who were now the closest advisors to the new French king, Henri II. Henry VIII of England having died in January, 1547, and been replaced by nine-year-old Edward VI, there was nobody in these isles to stop a Catholic king helping out a Catholic queen, so Henri II sent a French navy to attack St Andrews Castle. The ‘Castilians’, as they were known, held out for weeks but eventually surrendered on July 31, with the junior members of their force, such as John Knox, hauled off to serve in the French galleys.

We do not know what was Arran’s reaction to all these events, but we do know that he played a leading role in a battle that was to prove disastrous for Scotland. Even after Henry VIII’s death, the English court still wanted Edward VI to marry Queen Mary, despite the fact that Scotland and France were negotiating for a match between Mary and the Dauphin Francois. Edward VI’s uncle the Duke of Somerset assembled a huge army and marched north to force the Scots to conform to the Treaty of Greenwich, and it was Arran who led the Scottish army to confront them.

The inevitable battle took place at Pinkie Cleugh on the coast near Musselburgh on September 9 and 10, 1547. I have written extensively before about Pinkie, in which Arran was the Scottish commander and took control of the centre of the Scottish army with the other two ‘battles’, as the sections were called, under the command of the Earls of Argyll and Angus. The battle began on the afternoon of September 9, and Somerset brought ships into the Firth of Forth where they were unopposed as they poured cannon fire into the Scottish ranks.

The Scottish cavalry under Lord Home broke ranks to attack Somerset’s mounted troops but the English had more men and horses, as well as better armour. Arran could only watch helplessly as Lord Home was himself captured and his force effectively destroyed.

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On the morning of September 10, Arran could see that his remaining army was going to be caught in a pincer attack from land and sea so he decided to send his battles into action. They were duly routed and the Regent and the Earl of Angus fled the field, not stopping until inside Edinburgh Castle itself.

Find out next week how Arran turned to the Auld Alliance for help.

FAQs

What did people say about Mary, Queen of Scots? ›

For every Protestant who saw Mary as a bloodthirsty harlot there was thus a Catholic to see her as a pious martyr. For every Scottish person who had heard she was a Frenchified interloper, there was a French one who understood her to be the rightful unifier of the thrones of England, Scotland, and France.

Why was Mary, Queen of Scots an issue? ›

Why did Mary pose a threat to Elizabeth? Mary, Queen of Scots was a threat to Elizabeth's rule because she had two claims to the English throne: Many people believed Elizabeth to be illegitimate and so felt she had no right to be on the throne. (Her father, Henry VIII, had divorced his first wife.

Was Queen Mary of Scots a good queen? ›

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.

What impact did Mary, Queen of Scots have? ›

Mary secured the legitimate succession to the throne by having a son. This was hugely important as it would ensure peace. Mary's son James would go on to unite the crowns of Scotland and England, and every British monarch since an trace their blood back to Mary.

Was Mary, Queen of Scots a good leader? ›

Mary, Queen of Scots developed a reputation for being a strong leader and she needed every scrap of that famous strength in order to keep a grip on her position.

Why did Queen Elizabeth wear white makeup? ›

It is known however that she contracted smallpox in 1562 which left her face scarred. She took to wearing white lead makeup to cover the scars. In later life, she suffered the loss of her hair and her teeth, and in the last few years of her life, she refused to have a mirror in any of her rooms.

Why did Queen Elizabeth execute Mary? ›

Mary was eventually found guilty of conspiring to assassinate the queen in the Babington plot; her own signature on secret letters securing her own death. Elizabeth had no choice but to execute Mary, as was the law.

Why did Mary have more claim to the throne than Elizabeth? ›

Claim to the English Throne and Imprisonment by Elizabeth I

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.

Who was the rightful Queen Mary or Elizabeth? ›

In the eyes of the Catholic Church, Elizabeth was the illegitimate product of an unlawful marriage, while Mary, the paternal granddaughter of Henry VIII's older sister Margaret, was the rightful English heir.

Was Mary Stuart the rightful Queen of England? ›

1558-59: The rivals take the stage

Yet for many Catholics in England and abroad, Elizabeth was illegitimate. They saw Mary Stuart, queen of Scotland and legitimate granddaughter of Henry's sister Margaret Tudor, as the rightful queen of England.

Who is queen of Scotland now? ›

Her Majesty the Queen is bound to Scotland by ties of ancestry, affection and duty. She is descended from the Royal House of Stewart on both sides of her family.

Why was Mary Stuart called Bloody Mary? ›

She was the first-ever Queen of England to rule in her own right, but to her critics, Mary I of England has long been known only as “Bloody Mary.” This unfortunate nickname was thanks to her persecution of Protestant heretics, whom she burned at the stake in the hundreds.

Did Mary Stuart love Francis? ›

French became her first language, she always called herself Marie Stuart and she loved dancing and hunting. She grew up delightfully charming, graceful and attractive, the French fell in love with her and Henry II of France resolved to marry her to his son and heir, the sickly dauphin Francis.

Did Mary, Queen of Scots wear mismatched earrings? ›

No, Mary, Queen of Scots wouldn't have worn so many earrings in one ear,” she told me in an email. “We have a number of portraits of her that clearly show her wearing matching single earrings in each ear.

Which queen died from makeup? ›

Where did Elizabeth I die? Elizabeth I died in Richmond Palace. At the time of her death she was reported to have a full inch of makeup on her face. Her rumoured last words were: “All my possessions for one moment of time.”

Did Queen Elizabeth have black teeth? ›

The queen was especially fond of sweets, but not so fond of the dentist. Her teeth rotted; they turned black and gave off a foul odor. Eventually, Elizabeth lost so many teeth that people found it difficult to understand her when she spoke.

What did Elizabeth really look like? ›

We can be almost completely certain that her hair was a golden red, her eyes dark brown, her nose ridged or hooked in the middle, her lips rather thin, and her cheek bones pronounced. Her hair was also probably naturally curly or at least wavy.

Did Mary ever meet Elizabeth? ›

Elizabeth I of England and Mary, Queen of Scots. Queen Elizabeth I of England and Mary, Queen of Scots were two of the greatest, most legendary rivals in recorded history—although they never even met. In one castle was Elizabeth, the childless “virgin” queen: bawdy, brilliant, tactical and cynical.

Why was Reign Cancelled? ›

News of cancellation, although devastating for some fans, isn't much of a surprise to a majority of the show's seasoned viewers. This is because, “Reign” hasn't been doing so well in terms of ratings. The Season 3 final drew only a 0.3 rating, according to a report by Zap2It.

Did Queen Elizabeth 1 have a lover? ›

Robert Dudley, earl of Leicester, also called (1550–64) Sir Robert Dudley, (born June 24, 1532/33—died Sept. 4, 1588, Cornbury, Oxfordshire, Eng.), favourite and possible lover of Queen Elizabeth I of England.

Who was the last Queen of Scotland? ›

Thus, Queen Anne became the last monarch of the ancient kingdoms of Scotland and England and the first of Great Britain, although the kingdoms had shared a monarch since 1603 (see Union of the Crowns).
...
List of Scottish monarchs.
Monarchy of Scotland
Formation843
7 more rows

Did Mary and Francis have a child? ›

As a result of the marriage, Francis became King Consort in Scotland until his death. The marriage produced no children, and may never even have been consummated, possibly due to Francis's illnesses or undescended testicles.

Is reign based on a true story? ›

Undeniably. If we were to ask the question 'Is Reign' a true story? We'd have to answer no. Aside from some minor events in backstory, Reign is a fantasy and its only claim to history is that there was indeed a Mary, Queen of Scots who married Francis, Dauphin of Viennois.

Who killed more Mary or Elizabeth? ›

After all Mary's father ordered the deaths of nearly 37, 000 people while Elizabeth had 600 people executed.

Is Queen Elizabeth related to Anne Boleyn? ›

Queen Elizabeth I was the daughter of King Henry VIII and his second wife, Anne Boleyn.

Did Mary, Queen of Scots almost marry the prince of Portugal? ›

The relationship between Mary, Queen of Scots and Tomás, the heir to the Portuguese throne. They were engaged by a deal made to save Mary's country when France was not helping.

Why was Mary Stuart called Bloody Mary? ›

She was the first-ever Queen of England to rule in her own right, but to her critics, Mary I of England has long been known only as “Bloody Mary.” This unfortunate nickname was thanks to her persecution of Protestant heretics, whom she burned at the stake in the hundreds.

Who killed more Mary or Elizabeth? ›

After all Mary's father ordered the deaths of nearly 37, 000 people while Elizabeth had 600 people executed.

Did Mary Stuart love Francis? ›

French became her first language, she always called herself Marie Stuart and she loved dancing and hunting. She grew up delightfully charming, graceful and attractive, the French fell in love with her and Henry II of France resolved to marry her to his son and heir, the sickly dauphin Francis.

Why did Queen Elizabeth execute Mary? ›

Mary was eventually found guilty of conspiring to assassinate the queen in the Babington plot; her own signature on secret letters securing her own death. Elizabeth had no choice but to execute Mary, as was the law.

Did Mary ever meet Elizabeth? ›

Elizabeth I of England and Mary, Queen of Scots. Queen Elizabeth I of England and Mary, Queen of Scots were two of the greatest, most legendary rivals in recorded history—although they never even met. In one castle was Elizabeth, the childless “virgin” queen: bawdy, brilliant, tactical and cynical.

Did Mary 1 have a child? ›

Several years after her false pregnancy, Mary once again incorrectly thought she was expecting. She ultimately died childless.

Did Queen Elizabeth 1 have a lover? ›

Robert Dudley, earl of Leicester, also called (1550–64) Sir Robert Dudley, (born June 24, 1532/33—died Sept. 4, 1588, Cornbury, Oxfordshire, Eng.), favourite and possible lover of Queen Elizabeth I of England.

How old was Mary, Queen of Scots when she died? ›

Mary was finally executed at Fotheringhay Castle in Northamptonshire on 8 February 1587, at the age of 44. She was buried in Peterborough Cathedral, but in 1612 her son James VI and I had her body exhumed and placed in the vault of King Henry VII's Chapel in Westminster Abbey.

Why did Francis cheat on Mary? ›

Mary had been in a relationship with Francis and was married to him, Lola slept with him. Francis is only in love with Mary. He only slept with Lola because he had a broken heart because of Mary's decision to end their engagement.

Does Francis fall in love with Lola? ›

But, let's be honest, there was no attraction between Lola and Francis. There was, however, definite tension between Francis and Mary when he left for Lola in the Season 1 finale. And by the end of "The Plague," Francis had already decided that the baby and Lola would join him to live in the castle.

Did Queen Mary and Francis love each other? ›

Francis II loved Mary so much he allowed her to rule him as well as France after he became King in 1558. However, Mary was not destined to rule France. In 1560, Francis II died and Mary was sent back to Scotland by her mother-in-law, Catherine de'Medici.

Mary Stuart is always referred to as Elizabeth I's lifelong enemy, but her story is much more tragic and complex than you'd think.

So, how did such a great woman end up having such a tragic life?. Under a regency, Scotland decided to make an alliance with England by betrothing their Queen to Henry VIII's heir, Edward.. However, when Cardinal Beaton rose to power in Scotland, he told the regent Queen Mary de Guise they should break that alliance and secure a better prospect for her daughter with France’s Dauphin.. One year later, King Henry II died, making her not only Queen of Scotland but also Queen consort of France.. With the death of Mary Tudor (a devout Catholic who sent many Protestants to the stake), the Catholics wanted Mary Stuart to take over the throne of England as the only legitimate heir (remember that Elizabeth was Anne Boleyn’s daughter, so her marriage to King Henry VIII was seen as illegitimate by the Catholic Church), but since she was already Queen of France they couldn’t do much, and Elizabeth became queen in the middle of violent battles and plots to murder her.. Mary, in turn, wanted to obey her powerful cousin, but she wasn't going to let her get away with everything, so, in 1565 she decided to marry Henry Stewart, Lord Darnley.. Scared of her husband, she fled to Edinburgh Castle in 1566, where she gave birth to James while she tried to convince Elizabeth to help her dissolve her marriage to Darnley.. However, the following year, Darnley was murdered, and Mary was the main suspect for the crime (although to this day, it’s still a mystery who did it).. After Darnley's death, Mary lost basically all her supporters except for James Hepburn, Earl of Bothwell, whom she married just a few months later.. Above all, though, she was a woman who could’ve had it all, but life decided it wasn't meant to be.

Mary Queen of Scots is always referred to as Elizabeth I's lifelong enemy, but her story is much more tragic and complex than you'd think.

Another important character is Mary, Queen of Scots, Elizabeth’s lifelong enemy, who was kept in a secluded tower for almost half her life.. Elizabeth overshadowed Mary for the many achievements she had during her reign (I mean, that's why it's called the Elizabethan era), but actually, back then, she felt very threatened by Mary in many ways, like her beauty, grace, intelligence, and the people’s support for her.. However, when Cardinal Beaton rose to power in Scotland, he told the regent Queen Mary de Guise they should break that alliance and secure a better prospect for her daughter with France’s Dauphin.. One year later, King Henry II died, making her not only Queen of Scotland but also Queen consort of France.. With the death of Mary Tudor (a devout Catholic who sent many Protestants to the stake), the Catholics wanted Mary Stuart to take over the throne of England as the only legitimate heir (remember that Elizabeth was Anne Boleyn’s daughter, so her marriage to King Henry VIII was seen as illegitimate by the Catholic Church), but since she was already Queen of France they couldn’t do much, and Elizabeth became queen in the middle of violent battles and plots to murder her.. However, when Mary returned to her country, people's hopes to overthrow Elizabeth grew both in England and in Scotland, which started the eternal feud between the Queens.. Knowing that the Catholics saw Mary as a martyr trapped by a Protestant queen, Elizabeth knew she couldn’t just get rid of her because that would cause a huge revolt that she wasn’t sure she would be able to suppress.. That is, until 1586, when Mary started writing to Anthony Babington, a Catholic conspirator who wanted to murder Elizabeth and put Mary on the throne.

Was David Rizzio really Mary’s gay best friend?

In this, the filmmakers are following a well-established tradition in historical fiction.. Though both Chan and Lester are playing characters who were white in real life, we need not take the next step of assuming that there were zero people of color in historical Britain.. Period pieces love to make historical figures support religious tolerance.. Mary’s rule is opposed by Protestant preacher John Knox, who hates her because she’s a woman.. And given what we know of Darnley, rumors swirled that he had a sexual relationship with Rizzio: According to Alison Weir’s Mary, Queen of Scots and the Murder of Lord Darnley , contemporary sources report that Rizzio was granted access to the lord’s “table, his chamber and his most secret thoughts,” and they allegedly were known to “lie in one bed together.” However, John Guy’s Queen of Scots notes that the source for many of these stories was English ambassador Thomas Randolph, a “hostile witness” who was doing whatever he could to make Darnley look bad.

She was made queen when she was six days old. Four decades later, she was executed for trying to hold onto her power.

Mary, Queen of Scots was only six days old when she was crowned queen in 1542: she weighed the same as the crown on her head.. At the height of this war though, Mary’s father King James V of Scotland died.. 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.. Thus her claim to the British throne was signed over to France.. Wikimedia CommonsThe rival queens: Mary, Queen of Scots and Queen Elizabeth I of England.. 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 Mary, Queen of Scots, as the rightful ruler over England.. Wikimedia CommonsMary with her second husband, Lord Darnley.. The only way she could get away from Darnley was if he died.. Mary would not see him again.. Her son James, who was but one year old, was taken from her and given her crown.. 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.

In 1567, a tempestuous, unhappy queen picked up her pen and wrote a passionate sonnet to her lover. “My love for him is not an empty show,” she wrote, “But

And those documents were part of a larger hoard called the casket letters, explosive papers that played a part in the bizarre story of the tragic end of Mary, Queen of Scots ’ marriage to her second husband, the chaotic beginning of a new union, and the events that would cause the Scottish throne to slip through her fingers.. But though the casket letters would be used against Mary, their authenticity have always been in question.. After the murders, she wrote a sympathetic letter to Mary (the cousins never met in person).. But Elizabeth knew that one queen couldn’t get away with impugning another, so she convened not a trial, but a 1568 conference in which the English Privy Council, Elizabeth’s closest advisers, would consider Mary’s actions.. They had supposedly been found in a silver casket among Mary’s possession after she fled Scotland, and the implications for Mary’s monarchy were scandalous.. Using copies and passed-down transcriptions of the letters, historians now speculate that the letters were a mix of fact and fiction that combined Mary’s actual writings with false dates, additional information, and misdirection.. The signature of Mary Queen of Scots, on display at the National Library of Scotland in 2017, from the last letter she wrote just hours before her execution.. Elizabeth’s council apparently believed the information in the letters, but Mary never defended herself in front of them.. A detection of the actions of Mary Queen of Scots concerning the murder of her husband, and her conspiracy, adultery, and pretended marriage with the Earl Bothwell and a defense of the true Lords, maintainers of the King's Majesties action and authority offered titillating reading, but they served a bigger purpose.. True or not, the casket letters still had the potential to hurt Mary.

Was Mary, Queen of Scots an innocent victim or a wily traitor and agitator? The dramatic potential of her imprisonment and death under Elizabeth I of England...

In this blog, we go back and take a look at the many works relating to Mary Queen of Scots published in her lifetime and up to the 19 th century which we are proud to hold at Senate House Library.. His portrayal of Mary’s murdered husband Darnley suppresses entirely Darnley’s flaws and his murder, before Mary’s eyes, of David Riccio (see Dana Sutton, http://www.philological.bham.ac.uk/mqs/ ).. Buchanan’s viewpoint contrasts starkly with that of The Historie of the Life and Death of Mary Stuart, Queene of Scotland , the first biography of Mary Queen of Scots in English.. Senate House Library has the first editions of several fictional versions of Mary’s story, including Friedrich Schiller’s famous play Maria Stuart (1801) and Joseph Mellish’s English translation of Maria Stuart (1801).. Skipping ahead to the latter part of the nineteenth century, we have Algernon Charles Swinburne’s trilogy of plays about Mary, Chastelard (1865), which aroused complaints from reviewers about Chasterlard’s immoral passion for Mary; Bothwell (1874), which took Swinburne six years to write; and Mary Stuart (1881).. Swinburne had a lifelong fascination with Mary, with whom he identified from family reasons: he believed that one of his ancestors, Sir Thomas Swinburne of Capheaton, had been one of Mary’s lovers and had fought for her in England.. Senate House Library also holds the first edition of Alfred Tennyson’s Queen Mary (1875), which was the first play that Tennyson completed.. The chapter ends with Mary’s executioner holding up her head by its auburn locks, which came off in his hand, whereby: “the grey stubble underneath proved too plainly that Mary had lived for many years a secret adherent to wig principles”.

A summary of the life of one of Scotland’s most fascinating historical figures

Mary’s father was King James V of Scotland and her mother was Mary of Guise.. Mary’s great-uncle, Henry VIII, arranged for Mary to marry his son Edward, hoping that this would unite Scotland and England.. Mary’s mother (who had ruled Scotland as regent) had also died in 1560, and so Mary returned to Scotland in 1561.. Protestant nobles united against Mary and Bothwell, and eventually met Mary and Bothwell’s army at the Battle of Carberry Hill on 15 June 1567.. Mary, daughter of James V of Scotland and Mary of Guise, was also related to the English royal family as she was the great-granddaughter of Henry VII.. Sir Anthony Babington wrote to Mary and suggested that Elizabeth should be killed, the Catholic religion restored in England and Mary become Queen of England.

They witnessed first-hand the most eventful periods in Mary Stuart's life, accompanying her everywhere and enjoying the lavish court entertainments so important to 16th-century monarchy. But what happened to the four girls appointed to be companions and, later, ladies-in-waiting, to the Queen of Scots?

So runs the old ballad, remembering the four friends and companions of a fifth Mary – Mary Stuart, the romantic and ill-fated Queen of Scots.. Mary Stuart was Mary, Queen of Scots in her cradle.. Fleming’s mother, Janet, Lady Fleming was the illegitimate half-sister of Mary’s father, James V, and Livingston was the daughter of the queen’s guardian, Alexander, 5th Lord Livingston of Callendar.. Beaton’s grandfather was first cousin to Cardinal David Beaton, one of the men vying for the role of regent, while Seton was the daughter of George, 4th Lord Seton, and she and Beaton were also daughters of two of Marie de Guise’s ladies-in-waiting.. More informally, they joined Mary in dressing up as burgesses’ wives to walk around Edinburgh and St Andrew’s, shopping in the market and cooking, in a faint foreshadowing of another doomed queen, Marie Antoinette.. Knox made the most of every innocent pastime derived from youth and high spirits at the queen’s court to insinuate that the queen and her entourage, including the Marys, lived immoral lives.. Mary did remarry in July 1565, but life for all of the Marys would probably have been better had she stayed a widow – the marriage to Lord Darnley [who she wed in 1565] proved disastrous.. When Mary made a will in 1566, Livingston drew up a minute inventory of her jewels – specimens of which were bequeathed to the Marys, should the queen die in childbed.. The queen’s biographer, John Guy, refers to them as lovers, but it seems unlikely that one of the queen's closest friends would expose Mary to the risks of confidential information leaking out – unless Beaton were acting in concert with Mary, extracting information from Randolph.. Maitland had a chequered history in Mary’s service: one of the few nobles who was Protestant by conviction, he had joined the Lords of the Congregation and was a friend of Sir William Cecil, the English secretary of state, whose whole life was dedicated to eliminating Mary.. After the surrender at Carberry Hill [Mary surrendered and later went to exile in England following the battle of Carberry Hill, 15 June 1567, which took place near Edinburgh after a number of Scottish lords objected Mary’s rule following her marriage to the Earl of Bothwell, who was widely believed to have murdered her previous husband Lord Darnley], she joined Mary in captivity at Lochleven Castle.. Later, when Mary fled to even more onerous imprisonment in England, Seton was permitted to join her, and spent 15 years incarcerated in the gloomy series of castles where Mary wore her life away.. “But why should I fear a nameless graveWhen I've hopes for eternity….There was Mary Seton and Mary Beaton,And Mary [Fleming] and me”.

Mary Stuart is my all time favorite historical figure. When I came across this book while browsing Amazon, I bought it without hesitation. I hadn't read anything by Kate Williams prior to this, and was eager to see how she portrayed my favorite queen. The book did not disappoint. Read my fu ...

*A note of caution — this review discusses trauma-informed historical analysis of sexual assault and violence*. I hadn’t read anything by Kate Williams prior to this, and was eager to see how she portrayed my favorite queen and the ill-fated bond of queenship between her and Elizabeth I.. Williams describes the upbringings of both queens in relative detail.. She included details often overlooked by historians, such as Elizabeth’s relationship with her final step-mother, Katherine Parr, in the years following Henry VIII’s death.. As Williams crafts a balanced narrative about two women with power in an era where women were hardly educated, she also provides a refreshing, trauma-informed analysis to both queens.. Williams’ discussion of Mary’s abduction by Bothwell (chapters 20-21) was what stood out to me most while reading the book.. Without a feminist, trauma-informed analysis, historians have found it easy to say that this inaction meant Mary, at best, found Bothwell agreeable, and, at worst, complicit in a fake abduction to push ahead a marriage.. That he, first, had been a friend to her and, second, had the gaul to lay hands on a monarch believed to be anointed by God undoubtedly would have put Mary in fear for her life.. And, like most [sexual assault] victims, she no doubt castigated herself when there was no reason to do so.. The Betrayal of Mary, Queen of Scots: Elizabeth I and her Greatest Rival , Kate Williams, pg.. Mary’s story may well have been Elizabeth’s, had certain factors not favored Elizabeth’s reign (including the political power of England versus Scotland).

It was Mary Stuart, the doomed, charming, and controversial Queen of Scotland, who said shortly before her death, "In my end is my beginning." But even

It was Mary Stuart, the doomed, charming, and controversial Queen of Scotland, who said shortly before her death, “In my end is my beginning.”. But even Queen Mary might have been astounded by how fascination with her life and her dramatic execution on February 8, 1587, in Fotheringhay Castle has never abated.. In December 2018 a movie about the relationship between Mary, Queen of Scots and England’s Elizabeth I will be the latest big-screen version of the cousins’ deadly rivalry.. The most history-minded are finding fault with a scene in the film’s trailer showing the two queens in the same room, exchanging fury, because history says they never met in person, even though Mary was under a form of house arrest in her cousin’s kingdom for 19 years.. Elizabeth I was the younger daughter of Henry VIII and Mary was the only child of King James V of Scotland, Henry’s nephew.. Mary’s mother being a French noblewoman, the child queen was more or less smuggled out of Scotland to marry the French heir to the throne, the Dauphin, later Francis II.. In fairness to Elizabeth, Mary was a threat to her from the time Good Queen Bess took the throne.. Queen Elizabeth initially showed some sympathy for Mary’s cause once she was driven out of her kingdom, but under pressure from her councilors and from the government of Scotland, Elizabeth said she could not support Mary with money and troops until she had been cleared of the murder of her second husband, Lord Darnley.. With the use of letters that are now believed to have been forged, Mary’s enemies made a strong case that the Queen had murdered Darnley, the father of her son, James VI.. A young Mary, Queen of Scots, and her husband, Francis II of France, shortly after his coronation.. Sir Francis Walsingham, Elizabeth’s spymaster, laid a trap for Mary, using a double agent to convey letters that were in code to her French friends and relatives and, later, a young Englishman named Anthony Babington who dreamed of liberating her.. In a letter to him, Mary approved of his plot to free her and depose Elizabeth with violence.. After Elizabeth died, Mary’s son, James VI of Scotland, became James I of England in 1603.. And while many venerate the “Golden Age” of Gloriana, the present day Queen Elizabeth is directly descended from Mary Queen of Scots.

She was practically born a queen.

Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots, circa 1558.. / Hulton Archive/Getty Images. Mary, Queen of Scots in mourning wear, circa 1560.. / François Clouet, The Royal Collection, // Public Domain. Hulton Archive/Getty Images

There have been few monarchs in British history quite as tragic or beautiful as Mary, Queen of Scots. We sift the fact from the fiction On 8 February 1587, Mary Stuart came to a sticky end....

The real story of Mary Stuart – also known as Mary, Queen of Scots – has become intertwined with biased accounts, biographies, novels and lms.. Mary was born on 8 December 1542 at Linlithgow Palace in Scotland, the only child of James V of Scotland and his French wife, Mary of Guise.. Elizabeth I,. by then on the throne, felt threatened by the marriage, because both Mary and Darnley were claimants to the English crown.. Rizzio’s murder did little to help Mary’s marriage, with Mary and her nobles soon discussing how to remove Darnley.. A year later, she fled to England to seek refuge with her cousin, Elizabeth I. Mary had hoped Elizabeth would support her: they were family.. Mary was executed the following year, aged 44, with her son succeeding Elizabeth in 1603.

In 1542 the Scottish throne went to Mary, Queen of Scots, a controversial monarch who became France's queen consort and claimed the English crown. She was executed by Queen Elizabeth I in 1587.

Mary, Queen of Scots, also known as Mary Stuart, was the queen of Scotland from December 1542 until July 1567.. Mary was the daughter of King James V of Scotland and his second wife, Mary of Guise.. In 1559, Mary's husband was crowned Francis II, making Mary both the queen of Scotland and France's queen consort.. Mary's new husband was a grandson of Margaret Tudor; Mary uniting with a Tudor infuriated Elizabeth Tudor.. In November 1558, Henry VIII's daughter, Elizabeth Tudor, became Queen Elizabeth I of England following the death of her sister, Mary Tudor .. The 1971 film Mary, Queen of Scots starred Vanessa Redgrave as Mary and Glenda Jackson as Elizabeth, with Timothy Dalton as Darnley.. And the 2018 movie, Mary Queen of Scots , starred Saoirse Ronan as Mary and Margot Robbie as Elizabeth.

Think Mary, Queen of Scots and a few key facts probably come to mind: she was Catholic, she was imprisoned and she had her head chopped off. But a poet who offers insight into 16th-century women’s writing…

Think Mary, Queen of Scots and a few key facts probably come to mind: she was Catholic, she was imprisoned and she had her head chopped off.. Some 39 poems have been attributed to Mary, some circulated only in manuscript, some written in the margins of her prayer book, and others published and circulated widely in the 16th and 17th centuries.. Mary Stuart at 16, about the time of her marriage to the French heir Francis of Valois, the later King Francis II of France.François Clouet/Wikimedia CommonsIt is likely some of these poems were not written by the queen, but were forgeries.. All, however, were circulated as Mary’s writing and under her signature at the time – meaning she was one of the most widely-read women writers of the 16th century.. Raised in the French court and educated by humanist tutors, Mary was briefly Queen of France, then Queen of Scotland.. More scandalously, a sonnet sequence widely circulated in print under Mary’s name was alleged at the time to describe her rape by her third husband, Bothwell.. Not only do these poems have the speaker giving up her kingdom to her lover, sonnet 9 of the sequence begins by describing that lover possessing the speaker physically, without her emotional consent.. Efter he did give me one vther hard charge,. Quhen he bled of his blud great quantitie,. Through the great sorow of the quhilk came to mee that dolour,. That almost caryit away my life, and the feire. To lese the onely strength that armit me.. Mary Queen of Scots in Captivity.Wikimedia CommonsBut there is some evidence that some 16th-century readers believed these poems to be genuine.. The least known, but most interesting, of Mary Queen of Scots’ poetry lies in 14 poems and fragments written in her distinctive hand in the margins of her Book of Hours, over her lifetime.. As was typical of the time, the Book of Hours contains signatures by the queen herself and by ten others, some her friends and relatives and others, more disturbingly, her enemies, who wrote in her book after her death.. The Book of Hours poems vividly lament the queen’s loss of status in imprisonment, and her anger at her public vilification:

Posts about Mary Queen of Scots written by The Unseen Library

Series: Giordano Bruno – Book Six. The heretic monk Giordano Bruno returns for another outstanding and exciting historical murder mystery with Execution , the latest impressive release from S. J. Parris.. Queen Elizabeth I rules England as a protestant queen, but not everyone is enamoured with her rule.. Into this hotbed of English conspiracy and treason returns Giordano Bruno, former monk turned heretic and occasional spy for Elizabeth.. His information confirms that a group of Catholic Englishmen are planning to assassinate Queen Elizabeth and liberate Mary.. Brought into this piece of espionage, Bruno is tasked with infiltrating the conspirators under the guise of a Spanish agent and ensuring that their attempted plot proceeds the way Walsingham desires.. Now this was an extremely enjoyable and incredible piece of historical murder mystery fiction.. I have been a major fan of Parris’s series for a while now and I have really enjoyed several of the preceding novels in the series which deal with some fascinating and compelling conspiracies and murders that Bruno finds himself involved with.. As a result, I have been looking forward to this new novel for a while and I knew that I would have an awesome time reading Execution when it came out.. I felt that the author did a fantastic job bringing this historical and dangerous version of London to life, and the protagonist ends up exploring several key areas of the city.. I also liked how Parris was able to cleverly work her mystery and espionage story around a historical and well-documented plot to assassinate the Queen.. The author comes up with some great ways for the events of the real conspiracy to impact on the overall story while also doing a fantastic job of examining key elements of the plot, such as who the key players were, what they were up to and how Sir Francis Walsingham had spies in their midst the entire time.. Parris has so far cleverly worked the series around the events of Bruno’s life, including his time in England, and this novel ties into Bruno’s work as an agent for Walsingham.. Despite this, you do not really need to have read any of Parris’s previous Giordano Bruno novels as the author makes Execution extremely accessible, with the reader receiving all the relevant details about the referenced adventures or characters.. Overall, Execution by S. J. Parris was an outstanding and captivating novel that serves as a fantastic sixth entry in the amazing Giordano Bruno series.

The life and death of Mary Queen of Scots from her early life to her execution under Elizabeth I.

In 1565, she married her cousin, Lord Darnley, when she was 22.. He was to become the king of England when Elizabeth died in 1603.. On February 9th 1567, Mary and Darnley was at a house called Kirk O’Field.. Darnley’s body was found in the garden of the house.. First, Mary was a queen and so was Elizabeth.. If Mary was sent back to Scotland, from where she had escaped, she may well have been killed and Elizabeth would not accept that a queen (and family) should be treated in such a way.. Mary was found guilty of plotting to kill Elizabeth.. She spoke her last words in Latin and then putting her head onto the block said “Into your hands, O Lord” three times, again in Latin.. Elizabeth I was queen from 1558 to 1603.. In her reign, Mary, Queen of Scots was executed and the Spanish Armada was defeated.. Elizabeth I…

Although I try not to do this while researching and learning about Tudor figures, I have to admit that I tend to 'take sides' when it comes to Tudor drama and quarreling. In the case of a very...

In the case of a very controversial figure - Mary, Queen of Scots, I find myself siding more with her father's cousin, Queen Elizabeth I, who was the cause of her execution on this day in 1587.. This bit of information is the reason for Mary, Queen of Scots' supposed claim to the English throne, and it is why she met the awful fate she did.. Her grandmother was Princess (later Queen consort of Scotland) Margaret Tudor - Henry VIII's older sister.. She had a brief stint as Queen consort of France when she married the Dauphin, Francis, but he died two years later and she returned to Scotland, later to marry her first cousin, Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley.. Once Mary I of England (Bloody Mary) died, King Henry II of France proclaimed his oldest son and daughter-in-law (this Mary) to be the King and Queen of England, based on Mary's relations with the Tudors.. This made the Catholic Mary, Queen of Scots the true heir in their minds.. Queen Elizabeth's secretary and 'spy' - (really one of the earliest known spy networks) - Francis Walsingham successfully disrupted a range of plots and letters from Mary to her 'supporters,' therefore gathering evidence of her plans to remove the Queen through murder.This is where it's hard to take Mary's side.... if she truly was plotting to kill Elizabeth then, given the standards of those times, she deserved her fate.. The horrible thing about this execution is that it reportedly took two blows of the axe to remove Mary's head - the first one apparently striking the back of her head.. So today is not a happy day for fans of Mary, Queen of Scots, although there is a bit of a positive side to the end of her life - First of all, Queen Elizabeth went on and continued her glorious reign as England's Queen, but as she died without producing heirs, the tragic Mary of Scots' son, James, ascended the English throne, being the closest familial relation to English royalty, and beginning the Stuart Dynasty.

Mary Queen of Scots is buried in a tomb erected by her son James I in the south aisle of the Lady Chapel, Westminster Abbey.

Mary, Queen of Scots was born in 1542, daughter of King James V of Scotland and Mary of Guise.. MARY STUART, QUEEN OF SCOTS, Dowager Queen of France, daughter of James V of Scotland, sole heir and great granddaughter of Henry VII, King of England, through his elder daughter Margaret, (who was joined in marriage to James IV of Scotland): great-great-granddaughter of Edward IV, King of England through his eldest daughter of Elizabeth [of York]: wife of Francis II, King of France sure and certain heiress to the crown of England while she lived: mother of James, most puissant sovereign of Great Britain.. May the day of [their own] death swoop upon the death-dealers.. Historical Memorials of Westminster Abbey by A.P.. Exhibition "Elizabeth and Mary Royal Cousins Rival Queens" at the British Library until February 2022. Detail of Mary’s tomb. Mary Queen of Scots effigy from above

Mary, queen of Scots was one of the most fascinating and controversial monarchs of 16th century Europe.

In 1603, upon Elizabeth’s death, Mary’s son became king of England as James I.. James died within a week of Mary’s birth and, before she was even a year old, the child was crowned queen of Scots.. In 1559, Henry II of France, died at the age of 40.. Mary and her husband were crowned Queen and King of France.. However, in the immediate aftermath of Darnley’s murder, he met with Mary about six miles outside of Edinburgh.. This also indicated that Elizabeth, and most English nobles, believed Mary innocent of Darnley’s murder and any charges in the Casket Letters.. Mary’s imprisonment was only to end with her execution.. Elizabeth.. Sixteen years later, Mary’s son became King of England and Scotland.

Videos

1. Mary Queen of Scots: The Red Queen (FULL MOVIE)
(FREE MOVIES)
2. MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS - Official Trailer [HD] - In Theaters December
(Focus Features)
3. Why Bloody Mary Hated Queen Elizabeth I | Two Sisters | Absolute History
(Absolute History)
4. TAKING A TOUR OF HOLYROOD PALACE & MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS BEDROOM! VAN LIFE | EDINBURGH
(The Ingham Family)
5. Mary, Queen of Scots: Lover, Fighter, Rogue
(Biographics)
6. "Bloody Mary" Mary I of England
(The Infographics Show)

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