Mary, Queen of Scots (Dictionary of World Biography: Renaissance)
Article abstract: Through the misfortunes of her personal life, Mary precipitated a political and religious struggle in Scotland that ultimately led to her death in England as a Catholic martyr.
Mary, Queen of Scots, was born at Linlithgow Palace, West Lothian, on December 8, 1542. Six days later, her father, James V, only thirty years of age, died. His death, hastened by the physical and mental anguish of the English defeat of the Scots at Solway Moss in November, brought to the throne one of the most remarkable and tragic women of the sixteenth century.
Mary’s infancy ensured a regency under her French mother, Mary of Guise. In the midst of the war, Henry VIII proposed a marriage between his young son Edward and the infant queen. Ancient Scottish fears of English domination, and the regent’s family connections, led to marriage negotiations with France. Thus, at the age of five, Mary Stuart was sent abroad.
Her departure from Scotland was marked by storms and the danger of shipwreck on enemy shores, but despite the perils, Mary landed in France to receive a warm welcome. Her formidable grandmother Antoinette of Guise met the child and introduced her to the French court at Moulin. There, for the first time, Mary met Francis, the Dauphin of France and her future husband. The two children became fast friends. Mary at five was a vivacious, charming, and happy child. Her four-year-old...
(The entire section is 2160 words.)
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