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24 <td valign="bottom" colspan="3"> <img border="0"
25 src="maryqosbiography.gif"
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27 <p> Mary, queen of Scots is one of the most fascinating and
28controversial monarchs of 16th century Europe.&nbsp; At one time, she
29claimed the crowns of four nations - Scotland, France, England and
30Ireland.&nbsp; Her physical beauty and kind heart were acknowledged
31even by her enemies.&nbsp; Yet she lacked the political skills to rule
32successfully in Scotland.&nbsp; Her second marriage was unpopular and
33ended in murder and scandal; her third was even less popular and ended
34in forced abdication in favor of her infant son.&nbsp; She fled to
35England in 1568, hoping for the help of her cousin, Elizabeth I.&nbsp;
36Her presence was dangerous for the English queen, who feared Catholic
37plotting on Mary's behalf.&nbsp; The two queens never met and Mary
38remained imprisoned for the next nineteen years.&nbsp; She was executed
39in 1587, only forty-four years old.&nbsp; By orders of the English
40government, all of her possessions were burned.&nbsp; In 1603, upon
41Elizabeth's death, Mary's son became king of England as James I.</p>
42 </td>
43 </tr>
44 <tr>
45 <td><br>
46 </td>
47 <td><br>
48 </td>
49 <td><br>
50 </td>
51 </tr>
52 <tr>
53 <td valign="top" width="48%"> <img border="2"
54 src="maryqosbiographyblack.jpg"
55 width="400" height="521"></td>
56 <td width="4%"><br>
57 </td>
58 <td valign="top" width="48%">&nbsp;
59 <p> &nbsp;</p>
60 <p> <font size="2"><b>FURTHER READING</b><br>
61You may also view a <a
62 href="maryqoschronology.html">
63chronology</a> of her life, read <a
64 href="../primary.html">Primary Sources</a>,
65including letters written by Mary, view <a
66 href="">portraits of Mary</a>
67and her contemporaries, test your knowledge of Mary's life at <a
68 href="../tudor1.html">Tudor Quizzes</a>,
69and learn more about her famous cousin, <a
70 href="../monarchs/eliz.html">Queen
71Elizabeth I</a>.</font></p>
72 <p> <font size="2"> <a
73 href="maryqosbiography.html#Sources">
74Click here to view sources</a> for this biography; and <a
75 href="maryqosbiography.html#Weblinks">
76click here for weblinks</a> related to Mary, queen of Scots.&nbsp; My
77personal favorite is </font><font size="2" face="Times New Roman"> <a
78 href="">The Marie Stuart Society of
79Scotland</a> website.</font></p>
80 <p> &nbsp;</p>
81 <p> &nbsp;</p>
82 <p> <font face="Times New Roman" size="2"><b>NEWS&nbsp; April
84 </b>Two new studies of Mary, queen of Scots have arrived in
85bookstores.&nbsp; Jane Dunn's <i> <a
86 href="">
87Elizabeth and Mary: Cousins, Rivals, Queens</a></i> is a dual biography
88with a beautiful selection of portraits and judicious use of primary
89sources.&nbsp; John Guy's <i> <a
90 href="">
91Queen of Scots: The True Life of Mary Stuart</a></i> (published in the
92UK as <a
93 href="">
94 <i>My Heart is My Own: The Life of Mary Queen of Scots</i>)</a>
95is the first biography dedicated to the Scottish queen in over thirty
96years.&nbsp; Its central thesis argues that Burghley was the true
97villain of Mary's story.<span style="font-weight: bold;"><br>
98 </span><b><br>
99September 2004</b>: I am working on a new, detailed biography of
100Mary.&nbsp; Please check back soon.</font></p>
101 </td>
102 </tr>
103 </tbody>
108 <blockquote>
109 <p>&nbsp;</p>
110 <p><b><font face="Arial"><a name="Biography"></a></font> </b> <font
111 face="Times New Roman" size="4">'As a sinner I am
112truly conscious of having often offended my Creator and I beg him to
113forgive me, but as a Queen and Sovereign, I am aware of no fault or
114offence for which I have to render account to anyone here
115below.'&nbsp;&nbsp; </font><font face="Times New Roman"><i><font
116 size="2">Mary, queen of Scots to her
117jailer, Sir Amyas Paulet; October 1586</font></i></font></p>
118 <hr>
119 <p>In November 1542, King James V of Scotland, lay dying at his
120beloved Falkland Palace, built just five years earlier.&nbsp; He was
121devastated by his army's defeat by the English at Solway Moss and saw
122little hope for the future.&nbsp; At Falkland, he was told that Mary of
123Guise, his French-born wife once wooed by Henry VIII, had given birth
124to a daughter at Linlithgow Palace on December 8.&nbsp; This was a
125feast-day in honor of the Virgin Mary and many took it as a good omen
126for the little <font face="Arial"> <img height="407"
127 alt="sketch of Mary, queen of Scots, age 12 or 13, by Clouet"
128 src="maryqosmain13.jpg"
129 width="250" align="left" border="1"></font>princess; for her father,
130however, it was otherwise.&nbsp; Upon receiving news of Mary's birth,
131he reportedly said, 'Woe is me. My dynasty came with a lass.&nbsp; It
132will go with a lass.'&nbsp; James's ancestor, Robert II, had become
133King of Scots in 1371.&nbsp; The son of Robert the Bruce's daughter
135and Walter, the High Steward of Scotland, Robert was nearest in
136succession to the throne.&nbsp; He called his&nbsp; new dynasty
137'Stewart,' a variation on his father's title; in France, it was spelled
138Stuart. Mary's father, James V, believed this lineage had ended with
139his daughter's birth.&nbsp; He certainly never contemplated that his
140grandson would one day rule both Scotland and its old enemy,
141England.&nbsp; James died within a week of Mary's birth and, before she
142was even a year old, the child was crowned queen of Scots. </p>
143 <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; The regents of Scotland made a treaty with
144Henry VIII in which Edward, Henry's long-awaited and precious son,
145would wed Mary.&nbsp; But Henry VIII became increasingly erratic and
146despotic in his later years and continued to send his army north.&nbsp;
147In 1546, Henry also encouraged the murder of Cardinal Beaton, a great
148Scots patriot; the proof - shortly before the murder, he had offered
150thousand pounds for expenses associated with a plot to murder
151Beaton.&nbsp; After this, the Scots were determined to avoid the
152proposed English marriage. In July 1548, they sent the five-year-old
153Mary to France, her mother's homeland.&nbsp; The Scots Parliament had
154agreed to her marriage with Francis, the heir of Henry II, king of
155France from 1547 to 1559.&nbsp; Mary sailed from Dumbarton Castle to
156France, using this route to avoid English ships patrolling the English
157Channel.&nbsp; According to most contemporary reports, Mary was
158exceptionally lovely (even in an age when most noble women were
159accorded the title of 'fair' or 'beautiful'), intelligent and full of
160vitality.&nbsp; One French observer wrote admiringly: 'It is not
161possible to hope for more from a Princess on this earth.'&nbsp; From
162this vantage point, Mary's life seemed to be set on a glorious course;
163but like a later foreign queen of France, Marie Antoinette, Mary's life
164was not destined to be peaceful and happy. </p>
165 <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; When Mary left for Scotland, she traveled
166with the children of Scotland's nobility, including the 'Four Maries,'
167the women who would stay with her throughout her later imprisonment and
168execution.&nbsp; They were Mary Fleming, Mary Seton, Mary Beaton and
169Mary Livingstone.&nbsp; Mary Seton was the only one to die unmarried
170and lived on until 1615, praying for Mary's soul and giving alms in her
171memory.&nbsp; The group arrived in France in August 1548. </p>
172 <center>
173 <hr width="100%">
174 <p> <u><font size="+1">France, 1548-61</font></u></p>
175 </center>
176 <p>Mary was given a royal welcome in France by King Henry II.&nbsp;
177He ordered that she would have precedence over his own daughters as she
178was sovereign of an independent country and also because she was to wed
179his heir, the Dauphin.&nbsp; The king also became very fond of the
180child, saying, 'The little Queen of Scots is the most perfect child I
181have ever seen.'&nbsp; While in France, Mary's maternal grandmother,
182Antoinette de Guise, wrote to her daughter in Scotland that Mary was
183'very pretty, graceful and self-assured.' </p>
184 <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Mary was 5 when she first met the
185four-year-old Dauphin, her betrothed husband.&nbsp; According to most
186contemporaries, they were close and affectionate with one another even
187as children.&nbsp; They traveled from one royal palace to another -
188Fountaineblea to Meudon, or to Chambord or Saint-Germain.&nbsp; They
189were always attended to by a retinue of servants and, even then, Mary
190had developed a fondness for animals, especially dogs, which was to
191continue throughout her life.&nbsp; Mary was also educated in the
192traditional manner of French princesses; she spoke French and learned
193Latin, Italian, Spanish and a little Greek.&nbsp; She learned to dance,
194sing, play the lute as well as converse on religious matters.&nbsp; Her
195religious tutor was the prior of Inchmahome, a Scottish priest.&nbsp;
196When she was seven, her mother came to France to visit her; when Mary
197of Guise returned to Scotland, neither realized that they would never
198see each other again. </p>
199 <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; By the age of eleven, Mary was deemed to be
200as intelligent and well-spoken as a woman of twenty-five by her doting
201father-in-law.&nbsp; It is worth noting that the Guise family regarded
202Mary as one of their own; not only was betrothed to the heir to the
203throne but her mother was a Guise as well.&nbsp; Her uncle, Cardinal
204Guise, taught her about statecraft, perhaps encouraging her natural
205feelings of clemency and mercy.&nbsp; In fact, Mary was to be
206remarkably free from bigotry during her short reign in Scotland, even
207towards her subjects of a different religion. </p>
208 <p> <img
209 alt="portrait of Mary queen of Scots and her first husband, Francis II of France"
210 src="maryfrancis-crop.jpg"
211 align="left" border="1" width="170" height="226"> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;
212In 1555, Mary sent back letters to her mother in Scotland to be used
213for administrative purposes and it is from these that we first see her
214royal signature <img
215 src="marysig.jpg">'MARIE R'</a>.&nbsp;
216In 1558, she married the Dauphin in an incredible celebration in
217Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris.&nbsp; Exceptionally tall for a woman in
218the 16th century, Mary was every inch the regal Queen; she had an oval
219face, shapely chin, and small mouth which were set off by her
220golden-red hair, her large forehead, and hazel eyes.&nbsp; Many
221considered Mary to be the most beautiful princess in Europe, much as
222they had thought of her relative, Henry VIII's sister, <a
223 href="brandon.html">Mary</a>,
224who had also come to France as queen for a short while.&nbsp; Mary was
225not always in the best of health but, unlike her husband, there were no
226immediate concerns for her life. </p>
227 <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; In 1558, <a
228 href="../monarchs/mary1.html">Queen Mary I</a>
229of England passed away and Henry II of France encouraged his
230daughter-in- law to assume the royal arms of England.&nbsp; In his
231opinion - and that of most of Catholic Europe - Mary of Scotland was
232the next heir to the English throne.&nbsp; This belief, of course,
233would have serious repercussions throughout Mary's life.&nbsp;
234Elizabeth I never forgot this first offense and never rested easily
235while her Catholic relative was alive.&nbsp; But the matter was
236smoothed over when Elizabeth was persuadd the assumption was due more
237to Guise ambitions than Mary's actual wish.&nbsp; In 1559, Henry II of
238France, died at the age of 40. Mary and her husband were crowned Queen
239and King of France.&nbsp; But in June of 1560, Mary's mother died in
240Scotland at the age of 45.&nbsp; And just six months later, her young
241husband also died of an ear infection.&nbsp; Mary was understandably
242devastated by this chain of tragic events.&nbsp; Thockmorton, the
243English ambassador, commented that Francis had left 'as dolorous a wife
244as she had good cause to be.&nbsp; By long watching with him during his
245sickness and painful diligence about him' she had become exhausted and
246made herself ill.&nbsp; She wrote a poem, in French, about her grief at
247his death; this is a translation of one verse: </p>
248 <p><i>By day, by night, I think of him/ In wood or mead, or where I
249be/ My heart keeps watch for one who's gone./ And yet I feel he's aye
250with me.</i> </p>
251 <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; What was Mary to do next?&nbsp; She left for
252Scotland, a land rife with religious and civil discord. Without waiting
253for a safe-conduct pass from Elizabeth, whose ships were patrolling her
254route, Mary set out for Scotland on 14 August 1561 and, five days
255later, reached Leith, the port of Edinburgh. </p>
256 <center>
257 <p>&nbsp;</p>
258 <hr width="100%">
259 <p> <u><font size="+1">Scotland, 1561-68</font></u></p>
260 </center>
261 <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Mary knew very well that she was succeeding
262to a most troubled heritage.&nbsp; But after her recent years of loss
263and grief, she was determined to make a bright future.&nbsp; Also, in
264an age of religious persecution which earned her cousin Mary Tudor the
265nickname 'Bloody Mary,' Mary was determined that every one of her
266Scottish subjects should worship God as their conscience bade; there
267would be no religious persecution under her rule. &nbsp;In this, she
268resembled her cousin <a
269 href="../monarchs/eliz.html">Elizabeth I</a>.
270 </p>
271 <p> <img alt="copy of a French miniature of Mary, painted c1565"
272 src="maryqos1565cr.jpg"
273 align="left" border="1" width="175" height="236"> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;
274The Scots received their new queen with great joy and
275celebration.&nbsp; At once, she began to try and help them; within a
276year of her arrival, one-sixth of all Church benefices was given to the
277Protestant ministers to relieve their poverty.&nbsp; She also attempted
278to strengthen the power of the Crown against Scotland's notoriously
279difficult-to-control nobles.&nbsp; Of course, such a strategy would
280lead to more peace and stability within the realm.&nbsp; As a result,
281she was popular with the common people but not the nobility; she played
282croquet, golfed, went for hunts and archery practice, sung, danced,
283and, in general, showed an admirable zest for life.&nbsp; In 1562 the
284English ambassador reported to Elizabeth, 'When the soldiers came back
285from the night's sentry-duty, she said she was sorry she was not a man
286to be all night on the fields and to walk the causeway with buff-coat,
287steel-helmet, buckler, and broadsword.' </p>
288 <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; In 1563, Mary began the traditional 'royal
289progress' throughout Scotland.&nbsp; In 1564, the fourth Earl of Atholl
290organized a great hunt in honor of the queen and, yet again, Mary
291charmed all who met her.&nbsp; Yet she also treaded dangerous ground
292with her policy of non-discrimination and desire to unify the nation,
293taking power away from the independent nobles.&nbsp; Though a Catholic,
294Mary became friends with one of the most learned Protestants of the
295time, George Buchanan.&nbsp; In the political realm, Mary kept up
296peaceful relations with France, Spain, and England, though she never
297met Elizabeth face-to-face.&nbsp; But, in 1566, her patience was tried
298by the English ambassador's persistent and obvious spying; she ordered
299him out of the kingdom and declared him persona non grata.&nbsp; And
300her peace with France and Spain was kept without a treaty, though a
301treaty would have given Scotland some measure of protection against
302England in the possibility of conflict.&nbsp; However, Mary was aware
303that any treaty could compromise her subjects, involving them in yet
304another war and causing strife.&nbsp; Above all, she wanted peace and
305prosperity, and she kept Scotland safely distanced from political
306machinations.&nbsp; When the threat to Mary's reign finally came, it
307was not from one of these outside powers; indeed, it came from within
308her own nation. </p>
309 <p> <img alt="Mary's second husband, Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley"
310 src="darnley-crop.jpg"
311 align="left" border="1" width="150" height="197"> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;
312As queen, Mary was more than aware that she should marry and provide
313heirs to the throne.&nbsp; In July of 1565, she wed a cousin named
314Henry Stewart, Lord Darnley, a weak, vain, and unstable young man; like
315Mary, he was also a grandchild of Henry VIII's sister Margaret.&nbsp;
316Why Mary wed Darnley remains a mystery; he was superficially charming
317and, unlike most men, taller than the queen. &nbsp;He was fond of
318courtly amusements and thus a nice change from the dour Scottish lords
319who surrounded her. &nbsp;But he never seemed to care for Mary and
320sought far more power than she was willing to give him.&nbsp; When she
321was six months pregnant in March of 1566, Darnley joined a group of
322Scottish nobles who broke into her supper-room at Holyrood Palace and
323dragged her Piedmontese secretary, David Riccio, into another room and
324stabbed him to death.&nbsp; They claimed Riccio had undue influence
325over her foreign policy but, in reality, they probably meant to cause
326Mary, from watching this horrific crime, to suffer a miscarriage, thus
327losing her child and her own life as well since one usually meant the
328other in the 16th century.&nbsp; Mary certainly believed that Darnley,
329angry because she had denied him the crown matrimonial, wanted to kill
330her and the child, thus becoming King of Scots.&nbsp; But it is
331unlikely that, had he been successful, Darnley would have long survived
332his wife. </p>
333 <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; After Riccio's death, the nobles kept Mary
334prisoner at Holyrood Palace.&nbsp; Entering the later stages of her
335pregnancy, she was desperate to escape and - somehow - won over Darnley
336and they escaped together.&nbsp; Three months later the future James VI
337of Scotland was born and congratulations came from all over
338Europe.&nbsp; Still young and healthy after the birth, Mary now had an
339heir.&nbsp; This was the apex of her reign, her greatest and happiest
340moment.&nbsp; In December 1566 James was baptized in the Chapel Royal
341of Stirling Castle. Mary, once the fragile last hope of the Stewart
342dynasty, was just 23 years old and had fulfilled one of a monarch's
343greatest duties - providing a healthy son and heir.&nbsp; Elizabeth of
344England, ten years older, watched these events with interest for, even
345then, she knew her own future would be - by choice - unmarried and
346childless.&nbsp; She could well imagine that Mary's son would be her
347heir as well. </p>
348 <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; But this future soon seemed perilous for
349James's birth provided only a temporary calm.&nbsp; The nobles who had
350plotted with Darnley now felt betrayed by him; after all, they had
351captured the queen and her potential heir, murdered her dear friend,
352and were in a position to demand anything.&nbsp; But Darnley's decision
353to help Mary escape infuriated them.&nbsp; In February of 1567 they had
354Darnley's house, Kirk o' Field, blown up; Darnley's strangled body was
355found in the garden.&nbsp; Many nobles were implicated, most
356particularly James Hepburn, the Earl of Bothwell. Certainly Bothwell's
357later life (imprisoned in Denmark, he died in 1578, virtually insane)
358was a degree of punishment for this crime.&nbsp; However, in the
359immediate aftermath of Darnley's murder, he met with Mary about six
360miles outside of Edinburgh.&nbsp; He had 600 men with him and asked to
361escort Mary to his castle at Dunbar; he told her she was in danger if
362she went to Edinburgh.&nbsp; Mary, unwilling to cause further bloodshed
363and understandably terrified, followed his suggestions.&nbsp;
364Bothwell's noble friends had previously pressed her to marry him and
365he, too, had told her she needed a strong husband who could help unify
366the nobles behind her.&nbsp; Mary had refused the proposal then,
367preferring to marry Darnley, but now she knew herself to be
368powerless.&nbsp; She also had an infant son to consider. So she
369consented to wed Bothwell, hoping that this would finally stabilize the
370country.&nbsp; Also, Bothwell showed&nbsp;<img
371 alt="Mary's third husband, James Hepburn, Lord Bothwell"
372 src="bothwell.jpg"
373 align="left" width="226" height="224"> Mary an agreement the nobles
374had signed which indicated they were prepared to accept him as their
375overlord.&nbsp; In May 1567 they wed at Holyrood and Mary wrote to the
376foreign courts that it was the right decision for her country. </p>
377 <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; But the nobles were still not to be
378trusted.&nbsp; Now, they were angry that Bothwell would be all-powerful
379and they decided to wage war against him.&nbsp; Barely a month after
380the marriage, rebel nobles and their forces met Mary's troops at
381Carberry Hill, 8 miles south-east of Edinburgh.&nbsp; The nobles
382demanded that Mary abandon Bothwell, whom they had earlier ordered her
383to wed.&nbsp; She refused and reminded them of their earlier
384order.&nbsp; To avoid the bloodshed of battle, she turned herself over
385and the rebels took her to Edinburgh while Bothwell struggled to rally
386troops of his own.&nbsp; Mary was taken to Lochleven Castle and held
387prisoner in that island fortress; fearing for her own life, she became
388desperately ill.&nbsp; She was forced to sign a document abdicating the
389crown in favor of her year-old son.&nbsp; At the end of that month,
390July 1567, James was crowned king and James Stewart, the Earl of Moray,
391Mary's bastard half-brother, became Regent.&nbsp; Moray wasted no time
392in repaying Mary's earlier kindness to him by stealing her son and
393jewels.&nbsp; Of course, Scottish history reveals that all these
394nefarious nobles came to a bad end - Moray was murdered just 3 years
395later and the next regents were also killed; in fact, her son James had
396one of the traitors executed in 1580, when he was just a teenager. </p>
397 <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Mary's cause was aided in 1568 when John Hay,
398before his execution, made a statement from the scaffold that told how
399the nobles had murdered Darnley.&nbsp; Before this, the nobles had
400attempted to make the people believe Mary was responsible.&nbsp; Now,
401she was able to win sympathy and friends.&nbsp; George Douglas, one of
402the brothers of her keeper at Lochleven, helped her escape.&nbsp; After
40310 months of captivity, she was free to fight for the throne.&nbsp; Her
404supporters gathered an army and, on their way to Dumbarton Castle, a
405battle was fought at Langside, Glasgow.&nbsp; Mary's forces lost and
406she was forced to flee with her supporters.&nbsp; Against all advice,
407she was determined to go south and ask Elizabeth I for support.&nbsp;
408As James's godmother and Mary's cousin as well as a fellow independent
409Queen, Mary felt certain Elizabeth would help her.&nbsp; As most know,
410this was the beginning of yet another chapter of suffering and misery
411for Mary. </p>
412 <p>&nbsp;</p>
413 <hr width="100%">
414 <center>
415 <p><u><font size="+1">The Final Years, 1568-87</font></u></p>
416 </center>
417 <p>Mary set sail for England on 16 May 1568.&nbsp; She soon arrived
418in Workington, Cumbria; Elizabeth did not know what to do and kept Mary
419guarded in the north.&nbsp; After all, without Mary's knowledge, she
420had been helping her enemies, promising money and&nbsp;<img
421 alt="Mary, queen of Scots and Lord Darnley, as portrayed by Vanessa Redgrave and Timothy Dalton in the film 'Mary Queen of Scots', 1971"
422 src="maryqos-film.jpg"
423 align="left" border="1" width="280" height="247"> sanctuary in return
424for their treacherous behavior against their queen.&nbsp; Elizabeth's
425motives for this were obvious - Mary was the closest Catholic claimant
426to the English throne and Elizabeth knew some of her subjects were not
427above hoping she could be deposed and Mary made queen of both Scotland
428and England.&nbsp; So she had determined to keep her cousin's kingdom
429in continual strife; if Mary was busy at home, she would have less
430chance to plot against Elizabeth.&nbsp; But Elizabeth's conscience was
431determined to be clear so she appointed commissioners to look into the
432matter; they met throughout 1568 and 1569.&nbsp; In December of 1569,
433the so-called Casket Letters were first presented at Westminster.&nbsp;
434They were supposedly letters and other papers belonging to Bothwell and
435found in his casket (letter box).&nbsp; They disappeared soon
436afterwards and only translations and copies remain.&nbsp; However, few
437believed they were either real or important at the time for Elizabeth,
438in January 1569, released a statement that 'Nothing had been
439sufficiently proved, whereby the Queen of England should conceive an
440evil opinion of her good sister.'&nbsp; Everyone took this to mean that
441Mary was not guilty of any conspiracy alleged in the letters. </p>
442 <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; But in this same year, conservative nobles in
443England supported an idea that Mary should wed the Duke of
444Norfolk.&nbsp; This also indicated that Elizabeth, and most English
445nobles, believed Mary innocent of Darnley's murder and any charges in
446the Casket Letters.&nbsp; But Elizabeth did not consent to the marriage
447and kept Mary under lock and key.&nbsp; Soon, this arrangement had
448settled into stone; Mary was moved from prison to prison, eventually
449ending up at Fotheringhay Castle, about 70 miles north-west of London
450and as close to Elizabeth as she ever came.&nbsp; Of course, Mary
451plotted from the very beginning to escape.&nbsp; She felt justified in
452doing so since she was being held against her will.&nbsp; However, as
453the years passed, the plots grew more outlandish and murderous.&nbsp;
454Mary's imprisonment was only to end with her execution.<br>
455 <br>
456&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <b>Read a more detailed account of <a
457 href="../monarchs/eliz3.html">Mary's
458arrival in England</a> and <a
459 href="../monarchs/eliz4.html">the plots
460which led to her trial and execution</a> at the <i>Queen Elizabeth I</i>
461website.</b> </p>
462 <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; In October of 1586, Mary was put on trial at
463Fotheringhay for plotting to kill Elizabeth and claim the English
464throne.&nbsp; Elizabeth's last letter to Mary was delivered at the
465start of the trial: </p>
466 <blockquote>
467 <p>You have in various ways and manners attempted to take my life
468and to bring my kingdom to destruction by bloodshed. I have never
469proceeded so harshly against you, but have, on the contrary, protected
470and maintained you like myself. These treasons will be proved to you
471and all made manifest. Yet it is my will, that you answer the nobles
472and peers of the kingdom as if I were myself present. I therefore
473require, charge, and command that you make answer for I have been well
474informed of your arrogance. <br>
475&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Act plainly without reserve, and you will sooner be
476able to obtain favour of me. <br>
477&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Elizabeth.</p>
478 </blockquote>
479 <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Mary defended herself admirably though she
480had no friends or supporters at the trial and, essentially, the verdict
481had been decided before the proceedings had begun.&nbsp; Mary admitted
482her desire to escape but stated, 'I have not procured or encouraged any
483hurt against Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth.'&nbsp; And she appealed for
484mercy, mentioning her own reputation for tolerance and kindness: 'My
485subjects now complain they were never so well off as under my
486government.'&nbsp; But she also accepted the inevitable, telling the
487assembled nobles, 'May God keep me from having to do with you all
488again.'&nbsp; When the verdict was read to her, she said, 'I do not
489fear to die in a good cause.' </p>
490 <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; The trial lasted just two days and was over
491on 16 October 1586 but it was not until 7 February 1587 that she was
492told she would be executed the next morning.&nbsp; She asked for her
493chaplain but was refused this last comfort.&nbsp; The Earl of Kent
494said: 'Your life would be the death of our religion, your death would
495be its life.'&nbsp; In fact, Mary had been a tolerant ruler in Scottish
496religious matters.&nbsp; But such was the extreme religious upheaval of
497the time, tolerance itself was a sign of weakness.&nbsp; The
498death-sentence was signed by Elizabeth who later argued that her
499secretary Davison had deceived her as to its contents; she said she
500would not have signed it otherwise.&nbsp; Her letter to Mary's son
501James about the execution, written on 14 February, is a remarkable
503 <blockquote>
504 <p>My dear Brother, I would you knew (though not felt) the
505extreme dolor that overwhelms my mind, for that miserable accident
506which (far contrary to my meaning) hath befallen. I have now sent this
507kinsman of mine, whom ere now it hath pleased you to favour, to
508instruct you truly of that which is too irksome for my pen to tell you.
509I beseech you that as God and many more know, how innocent I am in this
510case : so you will believe me, that if I had bid aught I would have bid
511by it. I am not so base minded that fear of any living creature or
512Prince should make me so afraid to do that were just; or done, to deny
513the same. I am not of so base a lineage, nor carry so vile a mind. But,
514as not to disguise, fits not a King, so will I never dissemble my
515actions, but cause them show even as I meant them. Thus assuring
516yourself of me, that as I know this was deserved, yet if I had meant it
517I would never lay it on others' shoulders; no more will I not damnify
518myself that thought it not. <br>
519The circumstance it may please you to have of this bearer. And for your
520part, think you have not in the world a more loving kinswoman, nor a
521more dear friend than myself; nor any that will watch more carefully to
522preserve you and your estate. And who shall otherwise persuade you,
523judge them more partial to others than you. And thus in haste I leave
524to trouble you:&nbsp; beseeching God to send you a long reign. <br>
525&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Your most assured loving sister and cousin, <br>
526&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Elizabeth R.</p>
527 </blockquote>
528 <p>A year later, the Catholic Philip V of Spain invaded England
529with his Armada, perhaps - to some degree - urged on by Mary's
530execution. </p>
531 <p> <img
532 alt="Laslett John Pott's painting 'Mary Queen of Scots being led to execution', 1871"
533 src="maryqos-death.jpg"
534 align="left" border="1" width="400" height="282"> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;
535Mary did not retire until two in the morning on the last day of her
536life.&nbsp; She spent her final hours making a will and generously
537providing to those who had served her faithfully.&nbsp; Early on the
538morning of 8 February 1587, dressed in black satin and velvet, she
539entered the Great Hall of Fotheringhay Castle.&nbsp; She commanded her
540servant, Melville, to go to her son and tell him that she had never
541done anything to compromise their kingdom of Scotland.&nbsp; Mary was
542calm and composed before the several hundred spectators present; she
543listened while the execution warrant was read and then prayed aloud in
544English for the Church and her son.&nbsp; She also mentioned Queen
545Elizabeth and prayed for her to continue to serve God in the years to
546come. </p>
547 <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Mary comforted her weeping servants, her
548friends and supporters to the last.&nbsp; They helped her undress;
549beneath her all-black gown, she wore a red petticoat and bodice.&nbsp;
550Her women helped her attach the long red sleeves.&nbsp; Mary thus died
551wearing the liturgical color of Catholic martyrdom.&nbsp; She gave them
552her golden rosary and Agnus Dei, asking them to remember her in their
553prayers.&nbsp; Her eyes were covered with a white cloth.&nbsp; While
554her servants wept and called out prayers in a medley of languages, she
555laid her neck upon the block, commended herself to God and received the
556death-stroke.&nbsp; But the executioner was unsteady and the first blow
557cut the back of her head; Mary whispered, 'Sweet Jesus', and the second
558blow descended.</p>
559 <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; When the executioner lifted her head and
560cried out, 'God save the Queen,' a macabre surprise occurred.&nbsp;
561Mary, queen of Scots had worn an auburn wig to her execution.&nbsp; It
562was left in the executioner's hand as her head, with its short, grey
563hair, fell to the floor.</p>
564 <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Mary had always loved animals and her little
565Skye terrier had brought her great comfort during the years in
566prison.&nbsp; It had curled itself around her feet while she knelt at
567the block and died just days after the queen.&nbsp; As queen of Scots,
568Mary's motto had been 'In my end is my beginning'.&nbsp; And certainly
569the end of her life marked the beginning of her legend.&nbsp; The
570Catholic nations which had condemned her behavior during Darnley's
571murder and the marriage to Bothwell now celebrated her as a
572martyr.&nbsp; Her former brother-in-law, Henri III of France, held a
573funeral mass at Notre-Dame, where Mary had wed Francis almost thirty
574years before.&nbsp; Accounts of her execution, illustrated by crude
575woodcuts, were sold throughout Europe.&nbsp; She was now the
576sympathetic heroine; the past could be forgotten.</p>
577 <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Sixteen years later, Mary's son
578became King of England and Scotland.&nbsp; In 1612, he moved her body
579to Westminster Abbey, London, constructing a magnificent tomb which
580rivaled Elizabeth I's.&nbsp; In her <i> Essay on Adversity</i>,
581written in 1580 while she was imprisoned, Mary had written of rulers:
582'Tribulation has been to them as a furnace to fine gold - a means of
583proving their virtue.'&nbsp; It was a fitting epitaph for her own
584infamous life.</p>
585 <center>
586 <p><font size="2">You can <a
587 href="../maryqos-letter.html"> read
588Mary's last letter</a>, written to Henri III of France just six hours
589before her execution, <br>
590as well as <a href="../exmary.html">an
591eyewitness account of her execution</a> at the <i>Primary Sources </i>
594 <hr> </center>
595 </blockquote>
597<p align="center"><font face="Times New Roman"> <font size="2"> <b> <a
598 href="maryqoschronology.html"><br>
599</a> </b> <a
600 href="maryqoschronology.html">CHRONOLOGY</a>
602The major events of her life.</font></font></p>
603<p align="center"><font face="Times New Roman"> <a
604 href=""><font size="2">IMAGES<br>
605</font> </a><font size="2">Portraits of the queen, her friends and
606family, with
608<p align="center"> <font face="Times New Roman"> <a
609 href="../primary.html"><font size="2">PRIMARY
610SOURCES</font></a></font><font size="2" face="Times New Roman"><br>
611Letters written by Mary, as well as an
612eyewitness account of her execution.</font></p>
613<p align="center"><font face="Times New Roman" size="2"> <a
614 href="../tudor1.html">Tudor Quizzes<br>
615</a>Test your knowledge of Mary's
616life and times.</font></p>
617<p align="center"><font face="Times New Roman" size="2"><a
618 href="../monarchs/eliz.html">Queen
619Elizabeth I<br>
620</a>Learn about Mary's famous cousin.</font></p>
621<p align="center"><font face="Times New Roman" size="2"> <a
622 href="../relatives.html">to Tudor
625<div style="text-align: left; margin-left: 80px;"><br>
626<small><a name="Sources"></a><span style="font-weight: bold;">Sources:</span>&nbsp;
627Life of Mary, Queen of Scots (2 vol) by George Chalmers -&nbsp;</small>
628<small>My Heart is My Own by John Guy</small> - <small>Mary, Queen of
629Scots: The Daughter of Debate by Marjorie Bowen</small> - <small>Mary,
630Queen of Scots: The Daughter of Debate (yes, same title - earlier book)
631by Sir Arthur MacNalty</small> - <small>The Castles, Palaces, and
632Prisons of Mary of Scotland by Charles MacKie</small> - <small>On the
633Trail of Mary, Queen of Scots by JK Cheetham</small> - <small>The
634Queen of Scots by Stefan Zweig</small> - <small>Mary, Queen of Scots
635by Antonia Fraser</small>&nbsp; - <small>Mary, Queen of Scots by Susan
636Watkins</small> - <small>Two Queens in One Isle by Alison Plowden - </small><small>The
637Casket Letters: A Solution to the&nbsp; Mystery of Mary, Queen of Scots
638and the Murder of Lord Darnley by MH Davison - </small><small>Tudor
639Cousins: Rivals for the Throne by Dulcie Ashdown - </small><small>All
640the Queen's Men by Gordon Donaldson - The First Trial of Mary, Queen of
641Scots by Gordon Donaldson - Mary, Queen of Scots and the Murder of Lord
642Darnley by Alison Weir - In My End is My Beginning: A Life of Mary,
643Queen of Scots by James Mackay - Mary Queen of Scots: A Study in
644Failure by Jenny Wormald - The Oxford Illustrated History of Tudor and
645Stuart Britain, edited by John Morrill - Two Queens in One Isle by
646Alison Plowden - New Worlds, Lost Worlds: The Rule of the Tudors by
647Susan Brigden - The Life of Mary, Queen of Scots by Agnes Strickland -
648The Mystery of Mary Stuart by Andrew Lang - Mary, Queen of Scots and
649Her Accusers by John Hosack - Scotland Under Mary Stuart: An Account of
650Everyday Life by Marjorie Bowen - Elizabeth and Mary by Jane Dunn -
651Original Letters Illustrative of English History, edited by Henry Ellis
652- Mary, Queen of Scots: A Study of the Lennox Narrative in the
653University Library of Cambridge, edited by Reginald H. Mahon - The
654Chronicles of England, Scotland and Ireland by Raphael Holinshed -
655Letters of Mary, Queen of Scots, and Documents connected with her
656personal history, edited by Agnes Strickland<br>
659<small><a name="Weblinks"></a><span style="font-weight: bold;">Weblinks:&nbsp;</span>
660</small><small><font face="Times New Roman"><a
661 href="">The Marie Stuart Society of
662Scotland</a>&nbsp; This is the most detailed Mary, queen of Scots site
663on the web.&nbsp; It has a&nbsp; lengthy biography of the queen,
664samples of her poetry and letters, and much more - too much to list
665here, in fact. </font></small>
666<p><font face="Times New Roman"><small><a
667 href="">Mary, queen of Scots</a>&nbsp;
668This site is currently available in French.&nbsp; It's beautifully
669designed and has lots of information; go visit and try out your foreign
670language skills!&nbsp; Its creator also made this <a
671 href="">Lady Jane Grey site</a>.<br>
673<p><font face="Times New Roman"><small><a
674 href="">The Catholic
675Encyclopedia's biography of Mary</a>, with links to other topics.<br>
676</small> </font></p>
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