The Tudor Society
  • June 19 – Mary, Queen of Scots has a son

    A painting of Mary, Queen of Scots, and her son, James VI of Scotland, James I of England

    On this day in Tudor history, 19th June 1566, Mary, Queen of Scots gave birth to a son at Edinburgh Castle. He was her only son and he was fathered by her second husband, Henry Stewart, Lord Darnley.

    The little boy was baptised Charles James in a Catholic service on 17th December 1566 at Stirling Castle. The name Charles was in honour of his godfather, Charles IX of France, Mary’s former brother-in-law, but he was known as James, after his grandfather, James V, and the other Stewart kings.

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  • December 8 – Mary, Queen of Scots is born

    On this day in Tudor history, 8th December 1542, Marie de Guise, second wife of King James V of Scotland, gave birth to a healthy baby girl at Linlithgow Palace in Scotland. The little girl was baptised Mary and when she was just six days old, she became Queen of Scotland and is known as Mary Stuart (Stewart) or Mary, Queen of Scots.

    Find out about the life of Mary, Queen of Scots, including her three marriages, abdication, imprisonment and downfall…

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  • 29 April – Bothwell prepares to marry Mary, Queen of Scots

    On this day in Tudor history, 29th April 1567 (some sources suggest 26th), James Hepburn, Earl of Bothwell, who had recently abducted and allegedly “ravished” Mary, Queen of Scots, had a suit of divorce made against him by his wife, Lady Jean Gordon.

    Lady Gordon was persuaded by Bothwell to make this divorce suit as he was planning to marry Mary, Queen of Scots, which he did on 15th May 1567.

    In this talk, I explain what led up to this day, what happened next, and also what a truly horrible man Bothwell was.

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  • Mary Queen of Scots True or False Quiz

    A miniature of Mary, Queen of Scots in captivity by Nicholas Hilliard

    As Friday was the anniversary of the execution of Mary, Queen of Scots on 8th February 1587, I thought I would test your knowledge on the Scottish queen who was the nemesis of Queen Elizabeth I. Good luck!

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  • 24 April 1558 – The marriage of Mary, Queen of Scots, and the Dauphin of France

    On this day in history, 24th April 1558, Mary, Queen of Scots, married Francis, the Dauphin of France, at Notre Dame in Paris. Mary was fifteen, and Francis was fourteen.

    In his book The Book of the Ladies (Illustrious Dames), Pierre de Bourdeille, seigneur de Brantôme, wrote of their marriage:

    “This lady and princess pleased France so much that King Henri was urged to give her in alliance to the dauphin, his beloved son, who, for his part, was madly in love with her. The marriage was therefore solemnly celebrated in the great church and the palace of Paris; where we saw this queen appear more beauteous than a goddess from the skies, whether in the morning, going to her espousals in noble majesty, or leading, after dinner, at the ball, or advancing in the evening with modest steps to offer and perform her vows to Hymen; so that the voice of all as one man resounded and proclaimed throughout the Court and the great city that happy a hundredfold was he, the prince, thus joined to such a princess; and even if Scotland were a thing of price its queen out-valued it; for had she neither crown nor sceptre, her person and her glorious beauty were worth a kingdom; therefore, being a queen, she brought to France and to her husband a double fortune.

    This was what the world went saying of her; and for this reason she was called queen-dauphine and her husband the king-dauphin, they living together in great love and pleasant concord.”

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  • Mary, Queen of Scots – In my end is my beginning

    On this day in history, 8th February 1587, Mary, Queen of Scots, daughter of James V, King of Scotland, and Marie de Guise, was executed in the great hall of Fotheringhay Castle after having been found guilty of treason.

    We have lots of resources (talks, articles etc.) here on the Tudor Society website on Mary, Queen of Scots, and here are links to them:

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  • 19 April 1558 – Betrothal of Mary, Queen of Scots, and Francis, the Dauphin

    On this day in history, Tuesday 19th April 1558, fifteen-year-old Mary, Queen of Scots, became betrothed to fourteen-year-old Francis, the dauphin of France, the future Francis II.

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  • The Scots Queen Surrenders: An Overview of the Battle of Carberry Hill 1567 by Heather R. Darsie

    By 15 June 1567, twenty-four-year-old Mary Stuart had been Queen of Scotland for almost her entire life; never knew her father, James V, because he died when she was six days old; was Queen Consort, then Queen, of France for less than seventeen months; had lost her mother in July 1560; was about to celebrate her son and heir’s first birthday on 19 June, and was married to her third husband. Mary’s first husband, King Francis II of France, died three days before Mary’s eighteenth birthday in 1560. Mary’s mother was dead for roughly five months when her first husband died. She married her second husband, Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley, when she was twenty-two. Mary gave birth to her only surviving child, James VI, during her marriage to Darnley. Darnley died, likely murdered, less than two years after the marriage, and Mary married her third husband, James Hepburn, 4th Earl of Bothwell. Bothwell may have had a hand in the death of Mary’s second husband and there is speculation as to whether Mary indeed wanted to marry Bothwell or whether she was coerced into the marriage.

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  • Mary Queen of Scots

    Mary, Queen of Scots, was born at Linlithgow Palace in Scotland on 8th December 1542. She was the daughter of James V of Scotland and his second wife, Mary of Guise, and the granddaughter of Margaret Tudor (Henry VIII’s sister) and James IV of Scotland. On the 14th December, when she was just six days old, Mary became Queen of Scotland after her father died of a fever. She was crowned Queen on 9th September 1543 at Stirling Castle. As Mary was a baby, James Hamilton, 2nd Earl of Arran, acted as regent until 1554 when he surrendered the regency to Mary’s mother, Mary of Guise, who acted as regent until her death in 1560.

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  • 10 February 1567 – The Murder of Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley

    On this day in history, the 10th February 1567, Lord Darnley was murdered at Kirk o’ Field, Edinburgh, in the Royal Mile, just a few hundred yards from Holyrood House where his wife, Mary Queen of Scots, and baby son, the future James VI/I, were staying.

    Henry, Lord Darnley, had been lodging at Kirk o’ Field while convalescing after contracting either syphilis or smallpox. What he didn’t know was that while he had been recovering his enemies had been filling the cellars of the house with gunpowder.

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