Mary, Queen of Scots, 1542-1587

Alternative names
Birth 1542-12-08
Death 1587-02-08

Biographical notes:

Mary, Queen of Scots (1542-1587), also known as Mary Stuart or Mary I of Scotland, was queen of Scotland from 1542 to 1567. Through her husband Francis II, King of France, she was also briefly queen consort of France (1559-1560). Mary was the daughter of James V of Scotland and through him the grand-daughter of Margaret Tudor, elder sister of Henry VIII; as such she had a legitimate claim to the throne of England as well. Mary's reign was tempestuous, partly due to her choice of unsuitable husbands and partly due to the religious upheaval of the time. Mary was a Catholic while many of the Scottish nobles were Protestant; however, Mary declined to persecute Protestants which earned her the distrust of the Catholic faction as well. Mary's relations with Queen Elizabeth of England (daughter of Henry VIII) were also difficult since she had laid claim to Elizabeth's throne and since many Catholics in England viewed her as the rightful Queen of England due to their belief that Elizabeth was illegitimate. In July of 1567 Mary was forced by her own nobles to abdicate the Scottish throne in favor of her year-old son James VI and fled to England. She was treated well but was regarded by Elizabeth as a persistent threat and a potential rallying point for her enemies, and so spent the rest of her life in English custody. In 1586 she was tried and convicted of treason for conspiracy to assassinate Elizabeth, and she was executed on February 8, 1587.


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  • Politics, government and public administration
  • Religion and philosophy
  • Religious tolerance--Scotland--History
  • Seals (Numismatics)--Specimens
  • Dissenters, Religious--Scotland
  • Religion and politics--Scotland--History--16th century


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  • Scotland (as recorded)