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Mary Queen Of Scots

Mary Queen Scots

Mary Queen of Scots
(1542-1 587)

Queen when she was just six days old, Mary went to France for safety as a child, marrying the Dauphin Francis in 1558. The couple became king and queen on the death of his father in 1559. But with Francis’s death in 1560, Mary returned to her northern realm. The zealous heat of reformation raged in Scotland and Mary depended on the political skills of her half-brother, James Stewart, for the first few years. It was an attempt to break free of him and to strengthen her claim to the English throne led her to marry her cousin, Henry Stewart, Lord Darnley; but the man was a political and personal disaster. His active part in the murder of Mary’s secretary, David Rizzio, in the pregnant queen’s presence just months after their marriage, was an unforgivable betrayal. Mary was suspected of playing a part in her husband’s subsequent assassination, and made her situation worse by marrying Bothwell, the chief murder suspect, in May 1567, 50 uniting all her opponents at a stroke. She was captured and forced to abdicate in favour of her infant son. Defeat at Langside folowed her escape, and she fled to England, never to return. Mary remained a focus of Catholic intrigue until she was trapped into the Babbington Plot to assasinate Elizabeth. Her trial at Fotheringay Castle was rigged, and Elizabeth finally signed her cousin’s death warrant on 1 February 1587. Mary was executed seven days later and has remained one of the most romantic figures in Scottish history.