Thursday, December 08, 2011

Today In History: Happy Birthday Mary Queen of Scots

Mary, Queen of Scots depicted in an 1885 engraving
469 years ago today Mary Queen of Scots was born on December 8th 1542. Happy birthday Mary

"Mary Stuart was born at Linlithgow Palace on 7th December 1542, the daughter of James V of Scotland and Mary of Guise. Six days after her birth her father died, and she became Queen of Scotland. From her infancy, Scotland's rival pro-English and pro-French factions plotted to gain control of Mary. Her French mother was chosen as regent, and she sent Mary to France in 1548. Mary lived as part of the French royal family. In April 1558 she married the Dauphin Francis; she secretly agreed to bequeath Scotland to France if she should die without a son. In July 1559 Francis succeeded his father becoming King Francis II and Mary became Queen of France as well as of Scotland. In addition, many Roman Catholics recognised Mary Stuart as Queen of England after Mary I died and the Protestant Elizabeth I succeeded her to the throne in November 1558. Mary Stuart's claim to the English throne was based on the fact that she was the grand-daughter of Margaret Tudor, sister of Henry VIII--Elizabeth's father. To the Roman Catholics, Mary's claim appeared stronger than Elizabeth's because they viewed Henry's marriage to Anne Boleyn as illegal. Mary's young husband Francis II died in December 1560 after a reign of 17 months. Mary, who was about to become 18 years of age, was left in a difficult position. Unwilling to stay in France and live under the domination of her mother-in-law Catherine De Medici's she decided to return to Scotland and take her chances with the Protestant reformers".

Mary's bedroom at Holyroodhouse.
At The Palace of Holyroodhouse Queen Victoria made sure that Mary Queen of Scots' bedroom and outer chamber were diligently preserved exactly the way it was left by Mary. It was in the outer chamber that Mary's beloved assistant David Rizzo was brutally murdered by her husband in front of her face. David was ripped from behind Mary's skirts and dragged across the floor before he was murdered. To this day you can take a tour of Holyroodhouse and see these beautiful rooms.


  1. Happy birthday Queen Mary! How odd...I just reviewed a book centered around may not have been a good book, but hey, gotta love Mary. =D

  2. Thank you for this post and all the links.

  3. THanks for such a wonderful post. I would love to visit there and so many other historical sites in the UK.

  4. Carole, ha I have read some really bad Mary books and some are so far out there I almost could not finish them. I love a good Mary read though.

    Mystica, I am glad you enjoy them M.

    Christina, yep that one is one my must visit list especially since it is still the way she left it. It does look so beautiful.


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