House of Tudor - Mary Queen of Scots
Name: Mary Queen of Scots
Father: James V King of Scotland
Mother: Mary of Guise
Born: December 7, 1542 at Linlithgow, Scotland
Married:(1) Francis II King of France, on April 24, 1558
Married (2): Lord Darnley Henry Stuart, on July 29, 1565
Married (3): Earl Bothwell, on 1567
Died: February 8, 1587 at Fotheringay Castle, Northants, aged 44 years, 2 months, and 2 days
Buried at: Westminster Abbey
Mary Queen of Scots daughter of James V of Scotland was born at Linlithgow Palace, West Lothian, Scotland, on 8 December 1542, and became Queen of Scots when she was six days old. She was first promised as a wife to Henry VIIIs son Edward who was born in 1553, but no sooner had the treaty been arranged than Catholic Scottish nobles opposed the plan and she was betrothed to Francis son of Henry II King of France. They were married in Paris on 24 April 1558, and Francis became King of France in 1559 but his reign was brief as he died the following year
Mary returned to Scotland which, although she was Catholic, had officially become protestant following the religious reforms of John Knox. She ruled successfully but extravagantly with her French styled court frowned upon by the Calvinist Scottish nobility. In 1565 Mary married her second cousin Henry Lord Darnley, but he was used by her enemies against her. Her secretary David Riccio was murdered when he burst into her chamber with a group of conspirators. Mary and Darnley’s son James was born in June 1566, but their marriage was turbulent and he was found murdered at Kirk o’Field near Edinburgh on 10 February 1567. She was generally believed to be behind the crime.
Her subsequent marriage to Earl Bothwell, who was possibly Darnley’s murderer, brought conflict with the Scottish nobles who imprisoned her in Lochleven Castle where she was forced to renounce the throne to her infant son James VI. Mary escaped from Lochleven, but was defeated near Glasgow at the battle of Langside in 1568. She fled South to England where she believed that Queen Elizabeth I of England would support her restoration.
However, Roman Catholic plots against Queen Elizabeth led Elizabeth's ministers to demand Mary's execution: 'so long as there is life in her, there is hope; so as they live in hope, we live in fear'. Elizabeth was reluctant to sign the death warrant, but Mary was executed at Fotheringhay Castle in Northamptonshire on 8 February 1587, at the age of 44. She was buried in Peterborough Cathedral. In 1612 her son by then James I of England and James VI of Scotland had her body exhumed and placed in the vault of King Henry VII's Chapel in Westminster Abbey.