The Tudor Society

Monarchs’ Bios

Mary_Queen_of_Scots_by_Nicholas_Hilliard_1578As it's Mary, Queen of Scots' birthday today I have added a brief biography of her to our Bios section, which already features brief bios of Henry VII, Henry VIII, Edward VI, Lady Jane Grey, Mary I and Elizabeth I. You can read their bios by navigating the drop-down menu from "Bios" in the top menu bar above or you can click here to read Mary's.

You can find bios of some other Tudor personalities in the Bios category of Tudor Society posts - click here. I do hope you find them useful. There are also pages of primary sources for each Tudor monarch, as well as Richard III and the Wars of the Roses and other primary sources - click here to browse that section.

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  1. L

    Ah yes Mary.
    I suppose I’ve become pretty much an expert the perils and pitfalls of Mary over the last few years. She was very pretty highly educated and very kind, however she was also a bit of airhead too, and often times let her heart rule her head.
    I’ve said this a few times now that I believe all of Mary’s problems were caused by France. If she had stayed in Scotland as a child she may well have become a formidable ruler and given Elizabeth a major headache. I don’t believe that Mary Tudor would have named Mary QoS her heir, in fact there was talk of Mary Tudor possibly naming Margaret Douglas Darnley’s mum as her heir. But as we know that never came to fruition “thank God” because I’m pretty certain that the English people would have preferred a man over a woman to be monarch, no matter how much the people loved Elizabeth, so Darnley potentially could have become King “Heaven Forbid”.
    Mary was also brought up to reign not rule, she would be the decoration of ruling King and baby machine, nothing more. When she returned to Scotland she was out of a depth a little, she had scant memory of what Scotland was like and thought that her pretty face and French manners would get her by.
    What she needed was balls of steel to cope with Scotland, and yes for a little while she did show that she could be an effective ruler, and was tolerated by the men of the court, but she because of her flighty nature, it wasn’t long before her weakness was exploited by the grasping members of her court. We all tend to remember Bothwell, but her half brother was just as bad, I believe he always resented Mary and never understood why his father had never named him as heir. Scotland needed a man on the throne, not a woman, well in this case a baby.
    Mary’s other problem was John Knox, he railed against her again and again, and although at first she did try to argue with him, he was too much for her and she simply used to burst into tears and walk away from him. When he started his monstrous reign of women hogwash with Elizabeth she gave him both barrels of her savage tongue and kicked him square in the gentleman’s department. So Knox felt it better to limp away a bit rapid before Elizabeth chewed them off and spat them out. If Mary had done that right from the start she may well have been able to not exactly stop the Scottish reformation but slowed it down considerably.
    She wasn’t a bad person but she was badly advised and didn’t always think before she acted. She suffered with mood swings and bouts of depression, and there are reports that she did suffer a lot from stomach pains and in a few of her medical reports there is mentions of her having purple or claret coloured urine indicitive to Porethyia George 3rd fame. I do feel that there was possibly Porethyia in the Tudor bloodline Via Catherine of France (Henry 5th wife) of which Mary is part, but that is a just personal opinion.
    Mary is one of the most fascinating and infruating charaters of history, on one hand I want to cuddle her and then I want to strangle her. Fortunes wheel can be a strange mistress at times. If I was asked to sum Mary up in one sentence I would probably say “Mary was neither good nor bad, just misguided, unfortunate and very foolish”

  2. L

    By the way I have spotted a slight mistake in Mary’s bio. She did indeed spend much of her time living in either Tutbury and Chartley, but just before her last move to Fotheringhay she did spend some time at Tixall before being moved back to Chartley and from there she was taken to Forthinghay. There is also a road, which is called Tally Ho Lane, so named because it is alledged that when Mary was on her final Journey, she is supposed to have remarked “Tally ho here I go” and the name stuck.
    Also there is a clump of thistles on the mound where Fortheringhay castle once stood, which is known locally as Queen Mary’s tears.

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Monarchs’ Bios