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Kings and Queens
Mary, Queen of Scots

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Key events
Marriages
Execution and burials
Pedigree
Other

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Mary, Queen of Scots

Mary, Queen of Scots, is one of the most colourful (not to say tragic) characters in British history, and a great favourite of quiz setters.  This page (especially the 'Other' subcategory) probably includes far more information than you're ever going to need in quizzes, but you never know.

Key events

Born Click to show or hide the answer
Place of birth Click to show or hide the answer
Succeeded to the Scottish throne (aged 6 days) Click to show or hide the answer
Crowned (aged 1 year 212 days) Click to show or hide the answer
Crowned at Click to show or hide the answer
Regent 1542–54 Click to show or hide the answer
Mary's son James (the future James VI of Scotland and James I of England) born Click to show or hide the answer

Marriages

11558–60 Click to show or hide the answer
21565–67 Click to show or hide the answer
31567–70 Click to show or hide the answer

Execution and burials

Date of execution Click to show or hide the answer
Place of execution Click to show or hide the answer
Number of blows of the axe said to have been required to sever her head Click to show or hide the answer
Age at death Click to show or hide the answer
Buried (initially) Click to show or hide the answer
Re–interred 1612 on the orders of her son, James I of England Click to show or hide the answer

Pedigree

This section explains Mary's claim to the English and Scottish thrones.

King of England and great–grandfather of Mary, Queen of Scots Click to show or hide the answer
Elder surviving daughter of Henry VII, married James IV of Scotland; mother of James V of Scotland, grandmother of Mary, Queen of Scots Click to show or hide the answer
Father of Mary, Queen of Scots Click to show or hide the answer
Mother of Mary, Queen of Scots – acted as regent from 1554 until her death in 1560 Click to show or hide the answer

Other

This section deals with other events in Mary's life, in chronological order.

1543 treaties that promised Mary to be married to Edward, son of Henry VIII of England (Edward VI), uniting the crowns of England and Scotland – renounced by the Scottish parliament after Henry tried to change the terms and force Scotland to break its alliance with France Click to show or hide the answer
Raids on Scotland initiated by Henry VIII in an attempt to force the Scots to allow Mary to marry Edward Click to show or hide the answer
10th September 1547: the last battle between English and Scottish royal armies, and the first 'modern' battle (i.e. involving active co–operation between infantry, artillery and cavalry, and naval bombardment in support of land forces) on British soil. Duke of Somerset capitalised on a fatal blunder by the Scottish regent Hamilton; 15,000 Scottish troops killed. Known in Scotland as Black Saturday Click to show or hide the answer
Following the French Marriage Treaty, the French fleet left to carry Mary to France on Click to show or hide the answer
Collective nickname of Mary's Scottish friends in the French court Click to show or hide the answer
First husband – heir to the French throne, upon succession became Click to show or hide the answer
Mary married the Dauphin (aged 15 years 137 days) at Notre Dame, Paris Click to show or hide the answer
Henri II died and Francois succeeded him as Francois II; Mary became Queen of France Click to show or hide the answer
Treaty (15th July 1560) by which Mary's representatives agreed to withdraw French troops from Scotland and recognise Elizabeth I's right to the English throne (Mary refused to recognise it) Click to show or hide the answer
Francois II died (3 days before Mary's 18th birthday) Click to show or hide the answer
Brother of Francois II – succeeded him aged 10 Click to show or hide the answer
Mother of Francois II – acted as Regent following his death Click to show or hide the answer
Mary returned to Scotland Click to show or hide the answer
Mary's illegitimate half–brother (born c.1531), leader of the Protestant faction in Scotland and a prominent advisor to Mary Click to show or hide the answer
Scottish Protestant reformer who preached against Mary Click to show or hide the answer
Ambassador sent by Mary to persuade Elizabeth of her right to succeed her Click to show or hide the answer
Childhood companion of Mary's father James V, a leading Scottish Catholic; Mary transferred the Earldom of Moray from him to her half brother James Stewart; captured by Mary following continued opposition; died in prison 1562 Click to show or hide the answer
Cousin and second husband, an English subject; father of King James I of England; participated in the murder of David Rizzio; assassinated 1567 as a result of Boswell's conspiracy Click to show or hide the answer
Mary married Darnley Click to show or hide the answer
Moray's unsuccessful rebellion against Mary's marriage to Darnley Click to show or hide the answer
Third and last husband (1567–70); recipient of the 'casket letters'; alleged to have caused the explosion that killed Darnley; fled to Norway and Sweden after the marriage caused a revolt; divorced by Mary on grounds of rape before marriage; died insane while imprisoned in a castle in Zeeland, Netherlands Click to show or hide the answer
Italian adventurer and Mary's secretary; incited Darnley's jealousy and advised her to refuse him the crown matrimonial Click to show or hide the answer
Rizzio murdered – stabbed allegedly 57 times – at Holyrood House, in Mary's presence Click to show or hide the answer
Mary's son James (the future James VI of Scotland and James I of England) born Click to show or hide the answer
Darnley murdered (body found in the gardens – apparently strangled) following an explosion at the Provost's House, Edinburgh Click to show or hide the answer
Agreement by some of the Scottish lords to support Bothwell's claims to marry Mary Click to show or hide the answer
Mary visits her son James in Stirling for the last time; while returning to Edinburgh she is captured by Bothwell and taken to Dunbar Castle, where she may have been raped by him Click to show or hide the answer
Mary married Bothwell at Holyrood House, according to Protestant rites Click to show or hide the answer
Confrontation on 15th June 1567 at which Mary agreed to follow the lords provided they let Bothwell go (there was no battle) Click to show or hide the answer
Mary imprisoned after the Lords broke the agreement made at Carberry Hill (she miscarried twins there in July 1567) Click to show or hide the answer
Mary escaped from Loch Leven Castle Click to show or hide the answer
Mary defeated by Moray on 13th May 1568; she subsequently flred to England and was imprisoned by Elizabeth's officers in Carlisle Castle (19th May 1568) Click to show or hide the answer
'Inquiry' (October 1568 to January 1568) into Mary's involvement in the murder of Darnley: held at Click to show or hide the answer
The eight letters purportedly from Mary to Bothwell (although their authenticity is hotly disputed), which led to her conviction of involvement in the murder of Darnley Click to show or hide the answer
Mary's custodian 1569–80 Click to show or hide the answer
Redoubtable wife of Shrewsbury – he was her 4th husband; supported the claims of her grand–daughter Arbella Stuart (daughter of Lord Darnley's brother, Charles Stuart) to the thrones of England and Scotland; see also People in History: 1500s Click to show or hide the answer
During Shrewsbury's custodianship, Mary was held in the castle and manor of Click to show or hide the answer
Mary's keeper from 1580 until her execution in 1587 Click to show or hide the answer
Site of Mary's final imprisonment and execution (Northamptonshire) Click to show or hide the answer
Elizabeth's advisor, who negotiated with Mary after the representatives of Charles IX of France persuaded her to help Mary regain the throne of Scotland. (Elizabeth in return demanded the ratification of the Treaty of Edinburgh, but Mary refused) Click to show or hide the answer
Catholic plot of 1570, intended to assassinate Elizabeth and place Mary on the English throne; Elizabeth subsequently encouraged Parliament to introduce a Bill barring Mary from the throne, but unexpectedly declined to give Royal assent Click to show or hide the answer
Bothwell died in prison in Denmark Click to show or hide the answer
Document introduced by Elizabeth 1584, aimed at preventing any would–be successor from profiting from her murder. Not legally, binding, but signed by thousands – including Mary Click to show or hide the answer
Leader of the plot against Elizabeth I (1586) that led to Mary's trial and execution Click to show or hide the answer

© Haydn Thompson 2017