Mary Queen of Scots Is Born – 12/8/1542

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The dying king in Linlithgow Palace in Scotland, James V, receives his new-born daughter on December 8th, 1542. The child was named Mary and she was the only child that survived of her father in which she ascended to the Scottish throne just six days after she was born due to the king now being dead.

Mary of Guise, Mary’s French-born mother, sent her away to be brought up in the French court. Mary would later on marry the French dauphin in 1558 and he would become in 1559 King Francis II of France; he would die one year later in 1560. Mary went back to Scotland to take her role that she was designated at the country’s monarch after the death of Francis. Mary’s great-uncle was Henry VIII who was known as the Tudor king of England in order to reinforce her position to the English throne; she married her English cousin, Lord Darnley (another Tudor) in 1565. However, the current English monarch Queen Elizabeth I became greatly angered over this union.

Darnley was killed mysteriously during an explosion at Kirk o’ Field in 1567 while the key suspect, James Hepburn the earl of Bothwell was also Mary’s lover. Bothwell would be eventually acquitted of the charge although the marriage of him and Mary in the same year infuriated the nobility in which Mary was given no choice but to abdicate in favor of her son by Darnley, James. The small island of Loch Leven would become Mary’s new home as she was imprisoned there.

Mary’s “new home” would be short lived as she would escape from her prison in 1568 and gathered a large army; however, her army was unable to secure a victory but was instead defeated by her Scottish enemy and retreated to England. Mary was initially welcomed by Queen Elizabeth I but was soon given no choice but to have her cousin put under house arrest when Mary became the focal point of a number of plots by the Spanish and English Catholic to overthrow her. Soon, a severe Catholic plot was uncovered to attempt to murder Queen Elizabeth and Mary was eventually brought to trial; she would be convicted on the charge of complicity and her sentence was to be put to death.

Mary Queen of Scots was beheaded for the act of treason in England at Fotheringhay castle. As for her son, King James VI of Scotland, he had patiently come to terms regarding his mother’s execution. Later, when death came to take her in 1603, Mary’s son would become James I and the king of Scotland, Ireland as well as England.

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