The Tudor Society

24 July – Mary, Queen of Scots abdicates

On this day in Tudor history, 24th July 1567, twenty-four-year-old Mary, Queen of Scots, who was imprisoned at Lochleven Castle, and who was recovering after miscarrying twins, was threatened with violence and forced to abdicate. Her young son, James, became King James VI of Scotland in her place.

I share a contemporary account from Mary's private secretary regarding what happened that day and how Mary was forced to abdicate.

Also on this day in history:

  • 1534 – Jacques Cartier, the French explorer, landed in Canada, at Gaspé Bay in Quebec, and claimed it for France by placing a cross there.
  • 1553 – Birth of Richard Hesketh, merchant and conspirator, in Lancashire. In 1593, Hesketh urged Ferdinando Stanley, 5th Earl of Derby, to lead a rebellion to claim the throne of England, through his descent from Mary Tudor, Queen of France. Stanley turned Hesketh in, and the latter was executed on 29th November 1593.
  • 1594 – John Boste, Roman Catholic priest and martyr, was hanged, drawn and quartered in Durham after being accused of leaving and re-entering England without permission. He was canonized in 1970 by Pope Paul VI.

There are 5 comments Go To Comment

  1. M

    Thanks, Claire! I know absolutely nothing about Mary, Queen of Scots, and this was a big help. Michelle t

  2. M

    No video for today, July 25? It’s my birthday and I was looking forward to seeing what happened today. Hope all is well. Thanks. Michelle t

    1. C - Post Author

      A belated happy birthday to you and sorry about that – see

  3. R

    This event makes me ashamed of my countrymen because these brave men, with their daggers drawn, threatened an unarmed woman, still ill after the miscarriage of her twins, saying they would cut her throat if she didn’t abdicate for her son, two years old Prince James. Mary had no choice. She was a prisoner, a frightened mother and in fear of her life. Men are so brave at times! Really makes me sick to my stomach when I think of how these nobles used violence to kill her Secretary, kill her husband and force her abdication. A terrible ordeal.

    1. C - Post Author

      It really must have been awful for Mary and then for her to escape and end up in prison again!

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24 July – Mary, Queen of Scots abdicates