This is the story of how Mary Queen of Scots lost her kingdom.
|Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots, about age 15|
Mary Stuart was crowned Queen of Scotland when she was five days old. At the age of six she was sent to France to join the French royal family in preparation for her marrying the king's heir, Francois. The two teenagers were wed, and a year later, in 1560, Francois became king. Mary, at seventeen, was queen of France.
|Elizabeth 1 of England|
|Henry, Lord Darnley|
Mary fell in love with a young Englishman, Lord Darnley, and against the advice of her council she married him. She gave birth to a son, James, but the marriage quickly turned sour. Everyone at court knew that Mary and Darnley were fighting.
|The Earl of Bothwell|
Mary Queen of Scots, at age twenty-four, had lost her kingdom.
It was the worst decision of her life. She would never see Scotland again.
Her arrival in England, and her pleas to Elizabeth to help restore her to her throne, put Elizabeth in a terrible quandary. She sympathized with Mary for they were cousins, and fellow queens. But the Scots would not have Mary back and Elizabeth was not going to foist her on them by force of arms. Besides, Elizabeth needed Moray's Protestant government in Edinburgh as a bulwark against possible invasion by France through Scotland. However, neither could she afford to let Mary move freely around England, because Mary attracted powerful Catholics to her who wanted to see her on England's throne.
Elizabeth's solution was to keep Mary under house arrest. It was a comfortable captivity befitting her royal status, but captivity nevertheless. Mary's incarceration lasted for nineteen years, and during those years she was the focus of many schemes to overthrow Elizabeth. Finally, in 1587 evidence of her plotting Elizabeth's assassination was uncovered. Elizabeth, in the hardest decision of her life, signed Mary's death warrant. Mary was beheaded.
|James 1 of England|
The quirk of history is that at Elizabeth's death sixteen years later her throne passed to Mary's son. Legitimately and peacefully, James VI of Scotland was crowned James I of England.
In death, Mary's claim was vindicated.
Yet James was devoutly Protestant, a defender of the Reformation doctrine that Mary had abhored. It was he who authorized the epochal King James version of the Bible.
So perhaps, in some measure, both queens won.
* * * * *
Barbara Kyle is the author of The Queen's Gamble, The Queen's Captive, The King's Daughter, and The Queen's Lady which follow the rise of an English middle-class family, the Thornleighs, through three tumultuous Tudor reigns.
the fifth "Thornleigh" novel
will be released in May 2013
It features Elizabeth I and Mary Queen of Scots
Visit Barbara's website at www.BarbaraKyle.com
If you'd like to receive Barbara's occassional newsletters Click here.