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The Tudor Society

14 December – A death, an accession and a burial

On this day in 1542, James V died at Falkland Palace in Falkland, Fife, Scotland, after being taken ill following the Scots' defeat at the Battle of Solway Moss on 24th November. It is not known what killed him – some argue that it was a nervous collapse, and others that it was a virus.

While James was on his deathbed, his consort, Mary of Guise, gave birth to a daughter, and it was the six-day-old baby who became Mary, Queen of Scots on her father's death. John Knox and the chronicler Robert Lindsay of Pitscottie both recorded that James uttered the words “it came wi a lass, it'll gang wi a lass” (“it came with a lass, it will end with a lass”) as he lay dying, referring to how the Stuart dynasty began with a girl, through Marjorie Bruce, Robert the Bruce's daughter, and how he feared it would now end with his daughter, Mary. However, the Stuart dynasty actually ended with another girl, Queen Anne, in 1714, and it is not known that James actually ever said these words.

James was buried at Holyrood Abbey on 8th January 1543.

Also on this day in history, 14th December 1558, just under a month after her death, Queen Mary I was buried at Westminster Abbey. Although Mary had left instructions in her will for her mother Catherine of Aragon's remains to be exhumed and brought to London so that mother and daughter could be buried together, her instructions were ignored and Mary was buried by herself at Westminster on 14th December 1558 with just stones marking her resting place.

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There are 2 comments Go To Comment

  1. R /

    The Protestant Dynasty of the Stuarts, as in reigning Stuarts in 1714, but the line didn’t end. Technically the line continued in the next heir, James iii, and then in Charles Edward Stuart, even if they were excluded because of their Catholic faith. The Stuart Dynasty could have continued but for that bit of complication. The Act of Settlement allowed George, Prince of Hanover, who was part Stuart, through his mother Sophie, youngest child of Elizabeth of Bohemia, sister of Charles I. So yes, the Dynasty ended in Anne, but it didn’t have to. Of course, James ii was forced to flee, as a Catholic King who was too absolutist, which meant that his daughter, Mary and her husband, William of Orange were ‘invited’ after a carefully planned coup and bloodless invasion to take over as joint Protestant Sovereigns. After Mary died, William continued because he was the nephew of James and Charles and also had a claim to the throne. At his court was also the young Prince James, the son of James ii by his second Queen, but he was excluded with every Catholic in the future by the Exclusion Act. This ridiculous Act has never been repealed so any Catholic who married into the present royal family has no claim and their spouse has to give up their claims. James iii as his supporters accepted him to be went into exile after his father but pushed a claim in 1715, from over the water and his own son, Bonnie Prince Charlie challenged George ii in 1745 and 46. However, if it wasn’t for this Exclusion Bill and a desire for a Protestant heir, it is almost certain that the Stuart Destiny would have continued for another two generations. It was of course, the unfortunate death of all 14_of Queen Anne’s children which led to the selection of George of Hanover as the next heir.

    Another funny thing is that Mary, Queen of Scots was actually a Stuart by marriage. Her Dynastic family name was Stewart and she married her cousin, Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley, hence Stuart, the name also being the Ango spelling as his mother was English.

  2. R /

    Just think, Mary was Queen at just six days old and she was so small when she was crowned at nine months that a very tiny circulate was made for her. By the time she was six she was in dire danger from English attempts to kidnap her and had to flee. She was quickly betrothed to the future Francis ii and taken to be raised in safety and luxury in France. She must have been very frightened and very relieved to be safe.

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14 December – A death, an accession and a burial