Born 8 December 1542 - Executed in 1587, aged 44.

  • Mary was the only child of James V of Scotland and his French wife, Mary de Guise. Her father's died when she was six days old leaving Mary as Queen of Scotland. Sent to France and raised at the court of Henry II.
  • In April 1558 Mary married Dauphin of France, Francis, Henry's son. He ascended to the throne in 1559 as King Francis11. The same year Elizabeth I became queen of England. Mary's Tudor blood made her Elizabeth's cousin. This would prove problematic for both
  • King Francis11 died in December 1560. Widower, Mary returned to Scotland in 1561. She faced many problems. A Catholic in a Protestant land, many regarded her as a foreign queen with an alien religion.
  • The slide started with her second marriage to the Earl of Darnley, in 1565. Their relationship soured. In March 1566 the murder took place of her secretary, David Rizzio, by Darnley and a group of nobles. This convinced Mary that Darnley was after her. The birth of their son James in June did nothing to help and, now Mary had an heir to think of.
  • In December 1566, Mary seen her baby son baptised in the Chapel Royal at Stirling Castle. England, France and Savoy were all represented and sent lavish gifts.
  • The Protestant Lords remained outside the Chapel door at the baptism. They did still take part in three days of rejoicing. This included jousting, feasting, dancing and fireworks in and around the castle.
  • Mary's enemies claimed that she started an affair with the Earl of Bothwell, plotting with him to kill Darnley. She was considering divorce.
  • Events took over. In February the house where Darnley was staying blew up. Darnley died of strangulation. Three months later she married Bothwell. He was no improvement on Darnley and Mary rebelled.
  • In June 1567, Bothwell was exiled and Mary deposed. The next year, her supporters were defeated in battle and she fled.
  • She was forced to abdicate at At Loch Leven Castle in favour of her son, the thirteen-month-old Prince James on July 24th, 1567.
  • The discovery in 1586 of a plot to assassinate Elizabeth and bring about a Catholic uprising. This convinced Elizabeth that, while Mary lived there would always be a danger.
  • Although she was a queen herself, Mary was tried by an English court and condemned to death. She was executed in 1587, aged 44.

Last updated: Friday, September 17, 2021 12:44 PM