Mary I (Scotland)

Mary I

b. c. 8 Dec 1542, Linlithgow, West Lothian, Scotland [1]
d. 8/18 Feb 1587, Fotheringay Castle, Northamptonshire, England [2]

Title: Dei gratia Regina Scotorum = By the grace of God, Queen of the Scots
Term: c. 14 Dec 1542 - 24 Apr 1558
Chronology: c. 14 Dec 1542, succeeded to the throne of Scotland [3]
9 Sep 1543, crowned, Chapel of Stirling Castle, Stirlingshire [4]
Title: Dei gratia rex et regina Scotorum delphinus et delphina Viennenses = By the grace of God, King and Queen of the Scots, Dauphin and Dauphine of Viennois (joint style for Franciscus et Maria = François and Mary) [5][6]
Term: 24 Apr 1558 - 10 Jul 1559
Chronology: 24 Apr 1558, royal style changed upon marriage to François de Valois, premier fils de France et dauphin de Viennois (First Son of France and Dauphin of Viennois), Paris, France [7]
29 Nov 1558, granting of "crown matrimonial" upon marriage is consented to by an Act of Parliament [8]
Title: Dei gratia rex et regina Francie et Scotie = By the grace of God, King and Queen of France and Scotland (joint style for Franciscus et Maria = François and Mary) [6][9]
Term: 10 Jul 1559 - 5 Dec 1560
Chronology: 10 Jul 1559, royal style changed upon accession of François as François II to the crown of France
Title: Dei gratia Regina Scotorum = By the grace of God, Queen of the Scots
Term: 5 Dec 1560 - 29 Jul 1565
Chronology: 5 Dec 1560, reverted to the usage of original royal style upon the death of spouse
Title: Dei gratia rex et regina Scotorum = By the grace of God, King and Queen of the Scots (joint style for Henricus et Maria = Henry and Mary)
Term: 29 Jul 1565 - 10 Feb 1567
Chronology: 28 Jul 1565, intended marriage proclaimed by a warrant under royal signature and Signet Manual ordering that after the marriage Henry Stewart should be styled King [10]
29 Jul 1565, royal style changed upon marriage to Henry Stewart of Darnley
Title: Dei gratia Regina Scotorum = By the grace of God, Queen of the Scots
Term: 10 Feb 1567 - 24 Jul 1567
Chronology: 10 Feb 1567, reverted to the usage of original royal style upon the death of spouse [11]
24 Jul 1567, subscribed an act of abdication, Loch Leven Castle, Loch Leven Lake, Kinross-shire (confirmed by An Act concerning the demission of the Crown in favour of our Sovereign Lord, and his Majesty's Coronation, passed by the Estates between 15 Dec 1567 and 30 Dec 1567) [12]
Names/titles: Baptized (Jan 1543): Mary; private name: Mary Stewart, later Mary Stuart (Stuart adopted during stay in France 1558-1560; legally by marriage 29 Jul 1565); Gaelic name: Mairi
Daughter of King James V and Marie de Guise (also known as Mary of Lorraine); aged about seven days when she succeeded her father (c. 14 Dec 1542) under protection of the council of governors (regency) whose authority was proclaimed 19 Dec 1542 at Edinburgh; was placed under the tutelage of James Hamilton Earl of Arran (from 8 Feb 1548, duke of/duc de Châtelherault in the peerage of France), who was appointed the sole Governor and Protector by a convention of nobles (3 Jan 1543) and confirmed at the meeting of the Estates (13 Mar 1543); she was promised to be married to Prince Edward, son and heir of King Henry VIII of England, by the Treaties of Greenwich (1 Jul 1543); following the repudiation of the Treaties and ensuing English invasion, she was sent for refuge to the island priory of Inchmahome and later sailed to France (c. 7 Aug 1548) where she lived at the court of her maternal grandmother, Antoinette de Bourbon-Vendôme; was brought up as a devout Roman Catholic, received classical education; entering her twelfth year, she was proclaimed to have been of age and authorized to discharge the Duke of Châtelherault of his duties; chose her mother, Marie de Guise, as Regent of Scotland (installed 12 Apr 1554 at the Estates session in Edinburgh); married (24 Apr 1558) the heir of the French throne, François dauphin de Viennois (was granted "crown matrimonial" upon his marriage, which gave him the right to reign should his wife predecease him); was accorded the style 'Queen of France' after accession of her husband as François II (10 Jul 1559); encouraged the growth of French influence in Scotland opposed by Protestant nobles, the Lords of the Congregation (in intermittent warfare with Regent Marie de Guise; they passed an Act of suspension of the Queen Regent's authority, at Edinburgh, 21 Oct 1559); appointed her uncle, René Marquis d'Elbeuf, as a new regent (commission dated 4 Dec 1559, Blois, France) to replace her ailing mother but he never reached Scotland blockaded by English fleet; failed to prevent the passing of acts by Parliament of Scotland establishing Protestantism as state religion (1560); after the deaths of her mother (11 Jun 1560 at Edinburgh) and of her husband (5 Dec 1560 at Orléans, France), she decided to return to Scotland to assume personal rule; landed at Leith, Scotland, 19 Aug 1561 and entered Edinburgh the same day; married (29 Jul 1565) her Catholic cousin, Henry Stewart of Darnley (formerly Lord Darnley by courtesy and Duke of Albany and Earl of Ross), to displeasure of the Protestant lords who rose in rebellion, but were defeated by the queen's army; as the marriage proved to be a disastrous failure, she was engaged in a series of intrigues, involving her courtiers; after the mysterious murder of Henry (10 Feb 1567), she was seized by James Hepburn, 4th Earl of Bothwell and taken to Dunbar Castle (24 Apr 1567); married (15 May 1567) Bothwell (created 12 May 1567 Duke of Orkney), who had been accused of the king's murder and then acquitted; faced a rebellion of the Protestant nobility, was taken captive and imprisoned in a castle on an island in Loch Leven; was compelled to abdicate the throne in favour of her son, James VI (24 Jul 1567); escaped from Loch Leven Castle (2 May 1568); repudiated her abdication (3 May 1568), challenging the authority of the government in the name of James VI; raised an army, which was defeated at the Battle of Langside (13 May 1568); escaped to England (16 May 1568), where she was imprisoned on orders of Queen Elizabeth I, her lifelong rival; although a part of nobility supported her in Scotland and her abdication was annulled by the meeting of the Estates (10 or 12 Jun 1571) summoned in Edinburgh tollbooth by the queen's supporters, they were compelled to disperse by 1573; as a serious pretender to the English throne through her descent from Henry VII, she has been confined for 18 years, mostly in Sheffield Castle and Sheffield Manor; was implicated in several plots and put on trial for treason, which found her guilty and sentenced to death (sentence confirmed by Elizabeth 4/14 Dec 1585); beheaded at Fotheringay Castle (8/18 Feb 1587).
Biographical sources: "Mary, Queen of Scots, Her Environment and Tragedy: a biography", by Thomas Finlaysen Henderson (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1905); "Mary Queen of Scots", by Antonia Fraser (New York: Delacorte Press, 1969).

[1] Mary believed that she was born 8 Dec 1542 as evident from her letter to Queen Elizabeth I dated 'Wynkfield, 8 Dec. 1584, ce viij decembre xliie de ma naissance, et xviije de prison.' However, contemporary sources disagree on the exact date ranging from 25 Nov 1542 to 9 Dec 1542. George Chalmers in The Life of Mary, Queen of Scots: Drawn from the State Papers, with Subsidiary Memoirs (London: John Murray, 1822), p. 3 gives as authority for 7 Dec 1542 the Register of the Official of Lothian. As she was named Mary, and December 8 was the Feast of the Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen Mary's birthday was most probably kept on that day, whether or not 8 Dec 1542 was the actual day of her birth.
[2] Kalendar of Ferne MS; "The Miscellany of the Spalding Club" (Aberdeen, 1842), vol. II, p. 58: The Chronicle of Aberdeen M.CCCC.XCI-M.D.XCV.: 'wes beheiditt in Fodringayme Castell, in Inland, be the Quene of Inland, the aucht day of Fabruar, in the yeir of God 1586 yeris.'; "The Annals of England: an epitome of English history, from contemporary writers, the Rolls of Parliament, and other public records" (Oxford and London: James Parker and Co., 1876), 357-358.
[3] Governors of the Realm (allegedly appointed in the will of James V): David Cardinal Beaton; James Stewart, 1st Earl of Moray; George Gordon, 4th Earl of Huntly; Gillespie Roy Archibald Campbell, 4th Earl of Argyll; James Hamilton, 2nd Earl of Arran (the latter's name might have been omitted from the original will). The authority of the governors was proclaimed at Edinburgh 19 Dec 1542 as reported in the letter of John Dudley, Viscount Lisle (from 11 Oct 1551 Duke of Northumberland), warden of the Scottish Marches, to King Henry VIII. Another report of Viscount Lisle confirms that Earl of Arran was elected by the convention of nobles as the sole governor (3 Jan 1543). See "Hamilton Papers", ed. by Joseph Bain (Edinburgh: H.M.General Register House, 1890-1892), vol. I, pp. 346ff.
[4] "Hamilton Papers", op. cit., vol. II, p. 33: 'Sunday before 11 Sep.' [9 Sep 1543], p. 38: 'Sunday before 13 Sep.' [9 Sep 1543]; "The History of Scotland from the Earliest Period to the Present Time", by George Buchanan (Glasgow, Edinburgh, London: Blackie and Son, 1856), vol. II, p. 190: at Stirling, 21 Aug 1543; "The History of Scotland, from the Death of King James I, in the year M.CCCC.XXXVI to the Year M.D.LXI", by John Lesley Bishop of Ross (Edinburgh, 1830), p. 174: September 1543, Stirling.
[5] Sometimes: Dei gratia rex et regina Scotie delphinus et delphina Viennenses = By the grace of God, King and Queen of Scotland, Dauphin and Dauphine of Viennois.
[6] Between the death of Queen Mary I of England (17 Nov 1558) and ratification of a peace treaty with England (28 May 1559), François and Mary occasionally styled themselves 'By the grace of God, of Scotland, England, and Ireland, King and Queen', although this style had no statutory authority; after the accession of François II (10 Jul 1559), the claim was renewed and the Great Seal of Scotland bore a legend: FRANCISCUS ET MARIA D[ei] G[ratia] R[ex et] R[egina] FRANCOR[um] SCOT[orum] ANGL[ie] ET HYBER[nie]; following the signing of the Treaty of Edinburgh (6 Jul 1560) between France, England and Scotland, the claim was abandoned, although Mary never conceded to ratification.
[7] Facsimiles of National Manuscripts of England, 3, XXXVIII.
[8] Records of the Parliaments of Scotland to 1707, 1558/11/8. Date accessed: 10 November 2008; cf. Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, 2 (nos. 506-507).
[9] On coins: Dei gratia Rex et Regina Francorum Scotorumque = By the grace of God, King and Queen of the French and the Scots
[10] Facsimiles of National Manuscripts of England, 3, XLVIII.
[11] Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, 3:27 (no. 19); for further discussion of sources on the murder of King Henry see Dunbar (1906), 255.
[12] Records of the Parliaments of Scotland to 1707, 1567/12/104. Date accessed: 11 November 2008; Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, 3 (nos. 3, 48).
Image: painting by an artist of the Clouet School (c. 1560).
Last updated on: 14 Mar 2010 03:58:26