A Scottish Threat: Queen Elizabeth I and Mary, Queen of Scots

A Scottish Threat: Queen Elizabeth I and Mary, Queen of Scots

Morning, Sharla D.

Fort Bend ISD SchoolsHistory 4346, Tudor England Research Paper, December 2, (2002)


In 1542 Marie de Guise of France bore James V of Scotland, a daughter, Mary Stuart. The death of James V at the hands of the English in battle occurred within days of her birth, leading to Mary Stuart’s accession to the throne of Scotland, with her mother, de Guise as regent. Even as a child scandal was not far from Mary Stuart as the Kings of France and England both offered up their sons in marriage to Mary. An alliance with France would prove to have more advantages for Scotland than an alliance with England, thus the offer to contract Mary Stuart to the Dauphin Francis was accepted. In 1568 Marie de Guise sent her daughter to the French court, where she would remain until adulthood. In her absence the Scottish nobles who had joined the Protestant Reformation as it swept through Scotland, would succeed in overturning the Catholic religion and establishing the Protestant religion in its place.

In 1558 Mary Stuart marries Francios II, the crown prince of France, and assumes the title of Queen of France in 1559 upon Henri II’s death and the accession of her husband to the throne of France. Francois II’s death in 1560 prompts Mary’s return to Scotland in 1561. Four years later Mary marries for the second time to Henry, Lord Darnley in 1565 and in 1566 gives birth to  their only child, a son, who would become James VI of Scotland. Scandal consumes Mary again in 1567 with the murder of Lord Darnley and the discovery of the Casket Letters, suggesting Mary’s involvement in her husband’s death. The scandal would Mary’s Scottish enemies to call for her abdication, which she gave under duress and her confinement, until she escapes Scotland in 1568 for England.

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