Who was Mary, Queen of Scots, and why is she so famous more than 434 years after her death? Mary, Queen of Scots is perhaps the most famous figure in the royal history of Scotland. Her life provided tragedy and romance, more dramatic than any legend. Mary Stuart inherited the throne of Scotland as a child following the death of her father, King James V. At only eighteen she wore the traditional, white mourning dress because not only had she lost her husband, but her father-in-law and her mother, Mary of Guise, had also died. Mary married a total of three times.
Mary Stuart or Mary Stewart was born on December 8, 1542, at Linlithgow Palace, Scotland. Mary was the daughter of King James V of Scotland and his second wife, Mary of Guise. Mary became Queen of Scots when she was only six days old. Mary was six days old when her father died and she was the only surviving legitimate child of King James V. Her mother, Marie of Guise, was one of the most powerful aristocratic families in France. She was the great-granddaughter of King Henry VIII of England, as her grandmother, Margaret Tudor, was Henry VIII’s sister. Elizabeth I was Mary’s cousin. Since Mary was six days old when she inherited the throne, Scotland was ruled until she became an adult. From the outset, there were many claims to the regency. King Henry VIII of England took the opportunity of the regency to propose marriage between Mary (Mary was six months old only at that time), and her son and heir, Edward, in the hope of a union of Scotland and England. The Treaty of Greenwich was signed, which promised that, at the age of ten, Mary would marry Edward and move to England, where King Henry VIII could oversee her upbringing.
After the death of Henry VIII of England, the Scots suffered a heavy defeat at the Battle of Pinky. Mary’s mother, fearful for her safety, sent her to Inchmahom Priory for more than four weeks and turned to the French for help.
Mary was married three times, with the last union eventually leading to her downfall.
King Henry II of France proposed to unite France and Scotland by marrying his three-year-old son, the Dauphin Francis II, to the young queen (on the promise of French military help and a French dukedom for herself).
Mary learned to play the lute and the Virgin was capable of prose, poetry, horseback riding, falconry, and needlework, and was taught French, Latin, Italian, Spanish, and Greek, in addition to speaking her native Scots.
King Francis II died on 5 December 1560, Due to an ear infection. Mary returned to Scotland nine months later. Having lived in France from the age of five, Mary had no direct experience of the dangerous and complex political situation in Scotland. Scotland was torn between Catholic and Protestant factions. Earl of Moray (Mary’s illegitimate half-brother), was a leader of the Protestants. The Protestant reformer John Knox preached against Mary Stuart, condemning her for hearing Mass, dancing, and dressing too elaborately. She charged him with treason, but he was acquitted.
In 1565 Mary married her cousin, Henry Stewart (Earl of Darnley). Her marriage to Darnley also turned Mary’s half-brother against her.
Soon after married with Darnley, she became aware of his arrogant and unreliable qualities, which posed a threat to the good of the kingdom.
Jealousy and murder:
After their marriage, Darnley’s ruthless ambition caused problems. He was jealous of Marry and David Rizzio’s (her Catholic private secretary) friendship. A group of conspirators kills David Rizzo in front of pregnant Mary at a dinner party at Holyrood Palace with Darnley. Marie was caught at gunpoint and Rizzio was stabbed several times (stabbing him 56-57 times). Her marriage broke up due to Rizzo’s murder (she no longer wanted to be with Darnley). A few months later she gave birth to her son James, the son of Mary by Darnley, who was born at Edinburgh Castle on 19 June 1566.
In the morning (10 February 1567), an explosion devastated Kirk O’Field and Lord Darnley was found dead.
In May 1567, Mary consented to marry James Hepburn, 4th Earl of Bothwell (or Lord Bothwell). Just three months after Darnley was murdered, Mary’s scandalous marriage to Bothwell turned the Scottish against her. Bothwell and Mary herself were among those who came under suspicion in Darnley murdered. Lennox (Darnley’s father) demanded that Bothwell be presented before the Estates of Parliament, to which Mary agreed, but Lennox’s request for a delay in gathering evidence was denied. In Lennox’s absence and without any evidence presented, Bothwell was acquitted.
Catholics considered the marriage illegal, with both Protestants and Catholics puzzled that Mary should marry a man accused of murdering her husband. The Lords took Mary to Edinburgh, where a crowd of onlookers denounced her as an adulterer and murderer. She was imprisoned in Lochleven Castle. While Bothwell was driven exile. He was imprisoned in Denmark, He went insane and died in 1578.
Mary escaped from Lochleven Castle in 1568, She raised an army but was soon defeated.
She fled to England, Mary hoped that Elizabeth would help her regain her throne. Instead of helping her, Elizabeth imprisoned Mary. Mary had previously stated her right to the throne of Elizabeth. Seeing Mary as a threat, Elizabeth imprisoned her in various castles and manor houses in the interior of England.
Through the years Mary became the focus of several Catholic plots to free herself, eventually responding to a secret letter from Catholic conspirators who planned to kill Elizabeth. Mary was charged with treason.
Elizabeth signed Mary’s death warrant, and on 8 February 1587, Mary was beheaded at Fotheringhe. Mary’s request to be buried in France was refused by Elizabeth. His body was left in a secure lead coffin until he was buried in a Protestant service at Peterborough Cathedral in late July 1587.
According to the historian, “She was not a female fatal and manipulative-siren who ruled with passion, but a pioneering female ruler trapped in the impossible circumstances of 16th-century patriarchy.”