30 Surprising Mary Queen of Scots Interesting Fun Facts

30 Surprising Mary Queen of Scots Interesting Fun Facts

(Last Updated On: April 16, 2021)

Mary Queen of Scots was an outstanding determine in 16th century Europe who reigned over Scotland from 14 December 1542 to 24 July 1567.

Mary Queen of Scots facts

She was additionally Queen Consort of France for a quick interval via her marriage to Francis II of France. Mary, who is taken into account to have been very stunning, married a number of occasions throughout her life.

Mary Queen of Scots first married Francis II of France; then Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley; and eventually James Hepburn, Earl of Bothwell.

Her final marriage was controversial because the Earl was suspected of murdering her second husband Lord Darnley. Mary was then imprisoned in Loch Leven Castle. She managed to flee and sought safety from her cousin Queen Elizabeth of England.

However, Elizabeth saved Mary, prisoner, for eighteen and a half years; and eventually had her executed. Here are fascinating details concerning the life, marriages, schooling, reign, imprisonment, and execution of Mary, Queen of Scots.

1. Mary Queen of Scots grew to become Queen of Scotland when she was 6 days old.

Mary’s father, James V of Scotland, had change into king at simply 17 months old when his father was killed in battle. But on December 14, 1542, at age 30, he died “of no discernable cause,” based on Allan Massie’s book The Royal Stuarts. “He seems simply to have lost the will to live.”

Mysterious because the king’s death was, Mary’s beginning had fortuitous timing. She was born on December 8—simply six days prior. Mary’s father had quite a few illegitimate youngsters, however, his two reliable toddler sons (one was 11 months, the opposite solely per week old) by the second spouse Mary of Guise had each died the prior year inside a day of one another.

And so, as the one surviving reliable inheritor, Mary grew to become queen instantly, making Mary, Queen of Scots the youngest-ever British monarch.

2. Her presence in England led to conspiracies in opposition to Queen Elizabeth

Contrary to the life one would count on prisoners to guide, Mary led a lifetime of consolation and luxury. Elizabeth had no intention of both acquitting Mary or prosecuting her.

She simply wished Mary, who was a critical menace to the crown of England, to be saved underneath surveillance. But since she was thought-about the reliable sovereign of England by many English Catholics, Mary grew to become the subject of many conspiracies in opposition to Elizabeth.

In 1571, Elizabeth’s males uncovered a plot that concerned a plan to overthrow Elizabeth and make Mary the queen with the assistance of Duke of Norfolk and Spanish troops. Mary then mentioned that she wished to retire, and quit her want to the English throne completely.

She mentioned she’d wish to go back to her son, James, who was to marry with the consent of Elizabeth. All she wished in return was that her captivity is ended. James, nevertheless, didn’t like this idea and signed an alliance with Elizabeth, as an alternative.

3. Mary Queen of Scots married Francis II of France via the Treaty of Haddington

Mary’s first correct marriage was via the Treaty of Haddington, which was signed in 1548. The treaty promised the hand of Mary to Francis, in return for the military assistance of the French to put siege to Haddington and take it away from the British.

Once the wedding settlement was signed, little Mary was despatched to France, the place she spent the next 13 years of her life courting the French.

The marriage was formally solemnized in 1554. When the King of France died in 1559, Francis ascended the throne. This led to Mary changing into the Queen of France for a quick interval till Francis instantly died in December 1560.

On August 19, 1561, around 13 years since she left, Mary returned to her homeland. But by now, she was depressed and world-weary, and on the ship on method back from France to Scotland, she even wrote a heart-wrenching poem, Farewell, my dearest homeland.

4. Her lover James Hepburn was suspected of murdering Lord Darnley

In February 1567, Darnley was discovered murdered within the royal backyard underneath mysterious circumstances. He had been asphyxiated. It was suspected that he was treacherously murdered by the queen’s council.

Mary herself had come to see Darnley, who was recuperating from a chronic sickness the earlier night. Hence, she additionally got here underneath suspicion. Around the identical time, Mary’s fondness for James Hepburn, Earl of Bothwell additionally began doing the rounds.

Finally, it was believed that the Earl had murdered Darnley. Mary Queen of Scots and the Earl’s father ordered a trial by parliament, and Earl of Bothwell was acquitted after a seven-hour trial.

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5. Mary Queen of Scots escaped to England however was imprisoned by Queen Elizabeth

Mary Queen of Scots made a daring escape from the Loch Leven fortress with the assistance of the fortress’s owner on May 2, 1568. She then mobilized the military and tried to tackle the regents who had risen to energy in Scotland, in order that she may regain the throne.

However, she was defeated and needed to flee to England, the place she sought the asylum of her first cousin, Queen Elizabeth I of England. Elizabeth detained Mary by pretending to assist her after which imprisoned her.

Mary Queen of Scots was Elizabeth’s prisoner for more than 18 years before she was tried and executed. Surprisingly, in all this time, the 2 by no means met one another.

6. She will not be Bloody Mary.

Mary, Queen of Scots—a.ok.a. Mary Stuart—had many issues in widespread with Mary Tudor, a.ok.a Mary I. They had been each Catholic (although Mary Stuart didn’t persecute her Protestant topics); they had been each Tudors (Scots Mary’s grandmother was Margaret Tudor, the eldest daughter of King Henry VII, the first monarch of the House of Tudor); and so they each had main beef with Elizabeth I (Mary Tudor’s half-sister and Mary, Queen of Scots’s first cousin as soon as eliminated).

But even when they’re generally confused, Mary I used to be old sufficient to be Mary Stuart’s mom. In reality, at one level, King Henry VIII had supplied his eldest daughter, Mary Tudor, as a spouse to Scotland’s King James V. If that marriage had occurred, King James would by no means have married Mary of Guise, Mary Stuart’s mom.

7. Mary married the Earl of Bothwell after he kidnapped her

Within per week of his acquittal, James Hepburn, the Earl of Bothwell, managed to get the approval of many Lords of the queen’s court docket to help his marriage to Queen Mary.

And when Mary was returning to Edinburgh after visiting her son, the Earl and his males kidnapped her. Mary, believing that many nobles permitted her marriage to the Earl, wedded him.

However, the Earl and the Lords didn’t get alongside properly, and the wedding solely made Mary more unpopular. Everyone was shocked that she married the person who was suspected to have murdered her husband.

The friends and the military rose in an insurrection in opposition to the royal couple, and Mary was taken to Edinburgh whereas the Earl managed to flee.

The public deemed her an adulteress and assassin, and he or she was imprisoned in Loch Leven Castle. She was then compelled to abdicate in favor of her son James, who was a year old at the moment. This ended Mary’s official reign over Scotland, which lasted from her father’s dying on 14th December 1542 to 24th July 1567.

8. Mary Queen of Scots modified the spelling of the family name.

The Stewarts had been the ruling family of Scotland for hundreds of years, beginning in 1371 with Robert II (a grandson of Robert the Bruce). Mary Stewart, Queen of Scots, was the eighth on this line.

But at age 5, her guardians secured a wedding treaty that may unite Scotland and France, and Mary was despatched to be introduced up within the French court docket along with her meant, the 3-year-old Dauphin, Francis. Sometime before their marriage in 1558, she modified the spelling of Stewart to Stuart to “make it easier for the French to pronounce.”

9. Mary Queen of Scots was fluent in Latin

Mary Queen of Scots was additionally fluent in French and the Scots dialect of the Lowlands (and was proficient in Italian, Spanish, and Greek), however the Seigneur de Brantôme, a soldier and historian who had identified Mary as a baby within the French court docket and wrote a memoir of her long after her dying, recalled that across the age of 13 or 14, she

“recited publicly, in the presence of King Henri, the Queen, and the entire court, in a room of the Louvre, a speech in Latin composed by herself, sustaining against the common belief the thesis that it is becoming in women to be acquainted with the literature and the liberal arts.”

10. Mary Queen of Scots was very tall

At least, by modern requirements. “By the time she was 14, Mary was much taller than average,” John Guy wrote in his biography Queen of Scots: The True Life of Mary Stuart.

“In an age when a woman was considered tall if she reached 5 feet 4 inches, Mary finally grew to almost 6 feet.” (As a grownup, Mary is usually listed as being 5 feet 11 inches.)

11. Bucking custom, she wore white for her first marriage ceremony.

White was thought-about a color of mourning at the time, however, Mary cherished the shade (and certainly the way it appeared in opposition to her pale pores and skin and putting red hair). She selected a white robe for her Notre Dame marriage ceremony to Francis II.

According to the Discours du grand et Magnifique triumphe, a historic account of the day, “[The] Queen-Dauphine … was dressed in a garment white as a lily and so sumptuously and richly made that it would be impossible to describe it and of which two young ladies carried a wonderfully long train.”

The marriage solely lasted two and a half years—Francis, who was all the time in poor health, died in December 1560 at age 16.

12. Marrying Her Third Husband Angered The Scottish Nobility

The marriage between Mary and Darnley didn’t final. Darnley later died underneath suspicious circumstances simply outdoors of Edinburgh, and Mary married James Hepburn, Earl of Bothwell, three months later. This was a controversial match as Bothwell was really a suspect in her late husband’s homicide.

The Scottish nobles had been lower than supportive of the wedding, and it ended up being one of many key components that led to Mary’s downfall. The Aristocracy rose in opposition to Mary, and after her military abandoned her, she was imprisoned in Lochleven Castle.

13. Mary Queen of Scots Gave Birth To Still-Born Twins While Imprisoned

During her imprisonment in the fortress, Mary tragically gave a beginning to still-born twins. Meanwhile, Bothwell was compelled into exile in Denmark. He later grew to become insane and died in 1578.

With the assistance of the brother of the fortress’s owner, Mary was capable of escape Lochleven and lift a military of around 6,000 miles. When her military was defeated, she traveled to England with the hope that her cousin, Elizabeth I, would assist her to regain her throne.

While she would escape from Lochleven in 1568, the longer term sadly had many more long years of imprisonment in retailer for her.

14. Mary Queen of Scots used to clean her face in white wine.

In the 16th century, it was modern for many who may afford it to wash in white wine. Mary had extremely truthful pores and skin, and the antiseptic properties of white wine basically labored as a toner.

During her long imprisonment in England, the Earl of Shrewsbury, to whom she had been entrusted, was identified to complain concerning the prices of her magnificence routine.

15. Auld Alliance

Through a shared hatred of England, the ‘Auld Alliance’ noticed Mary betrothed to France’s crown prince Dauphin, Francis at simply 5 years old. Mary Queen of Scots was despatched to dwell in France in 1548 and Mary and Francis married when Mary was simply 15 years old.

16. She Tried To Preach Religious Tolerance

Religion was a sensitive subject in Mary’s time. When she arrived back on Scottish soil, she was obtained by authorities of Protestants who had made it unlawful to observe quite a lot of Catholic conventions, comparable to mass. A Catholic herself, this put Mary in a troublesome place. Still, she tried to evangelize religious tolerance throughout her reign.

She tried to guide by instance by being tolerant of Protestantism and Catholicism—an attribute that made her pretty distinctive so far as rulers go. But many grew hostile towards the queen, regardless of her need for tolerance.

17. Her Second Husband Murdered Her Secretary

When she returned to Scotland, Mary fell in love with Henry, Lord Darnley. Not solely did she genuinely take care of him, however, he was a clever match for her within the eyes of her advisors because of his Protestant religion. Though this love story began out positively, there was no joyful ending.

Darnley turned out to be a drunk and was no actual help for Mary. He additionally grew jealous of Mary’s favorite secretary, the Italian David Riccio. As proven within the 2018 movie Mary Queen of Scots, Darnley murdered Riccio right before Mary’s eyes in Holyrood House.

18. The Protestant Elizabeth I used to be godmother to Mary’s son.

Though the crux of Mary and Elizabeth’s rivalry was the road of succession and their religions (and people of their respective nations), Elizabeth served because of the godmother to Mary’s son, James VI. Elizabeth despatched a proxy to the christening, and like her reluctance to fulfill Mary in particular person, Elizabeth solely ever corresponded by letter with James VI.

The beginning of James did finally resolve the continued subject of succession for each nation. Though Elizabeth insisted on conserving Mary underneath home arrest when she fled the uprisings in Scotland and sought solace in England (Mary was additionally compelled to abdicate her throne to a then 13-month-old James), she did finally name James as her successor.

Upon Elizabeth’s dying in 1603, he grew to become James VI and me—the sixth of Scotland and first of England—and the first monarch to collectively rule the sovereign states (often called the Union of the Crowns).

19. Elizabeth I Imprisoned Her For Nearly 20 Years

It is assumed that Mary anticipated assistance from her cousin Elizabeth. But Elizabeth was more cautious of Mary than welcoming of her and ordered a number of inquiries into the occasions that had taken place in Scotland. For almost 20 years, Mary was held captive in numerous areas throughout England.

In the 2018 movie, Mary’s imprisonment is glossed over, however, Mary Queen of Scots was held in England for 18 years. Although she was held captive, she nonetheless had her personal members of employees working for her and was allowed to carry her personal belongings along with her.

20. Mary’s portraits present her to be very stunning

Following an interval of political unrest, the Greenwich Treaty was rejected by the Parliament of Scotland and the British forces raided the Scot and French territories.

Mary was despatched away to a secret place and the Scots turned to the French for assist. Since childhood, Mary confirmed indicators of great expertise, and her skills had been honed additional underneath skilled coaching and tutelage.

Mary was expert in falconry, poetry, writing prose, needlework, and was additionally nifty in horsemanship. She mastered French, Spanish, Latin, Greek, and Italian aside from her mom’s tongue.

Mary Queen of Scots additionally learned to play the lute. Portraits of Mary, Queen of Scots in museums the world over present that she was strikingly stunning.

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21. Final days of life

Mary spent her last days at Fotheringhay Castle in Northamptonshire and was beheaded within the fortress’s Great Hall on 8 February 1587. She was simply 44 years old when she died.

22. Her Son Became King

Mary’s son that she left behind in Scotland grew to become the king of each Scotland and England after her death. He was often called James I of England and VI of Scotland, as his grandfather was James V of Scotland.

After Mary’s execution, Mary Queen of Scots was buried in Peterborough Cathedral. In 1612, James had her body exhumed and reburied at Westminster Abbey, which was deemed to be a spot of honor. He additionally had Elizabeth I exhumed and reburied in a unique tomb close by. James dominated for over 57 years—the longest rule of any Scottish monarch.

23. Mary’s second marriage was to Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley

Four years after her return to Scotland, on July 29, 1565, Mary married her first cousin, Lord Henry Stuart Darnley on the Holyrood Palace.

However, Darnley began demanding the Crown Matrimonial, which might have made him a co-sovereign of Scotland and would have given him the right to retain the crown if Mary died before him. Mary declined and the connection between the couple started to bitter.

Soon, hearsay mills had been rife with the hypothesis that David Rizzio, Mary’s personal secretary, was the daddy of the kid she was anticipating.

A jealous Darnley and his associates murdered Rizzio right in front of the eyes of Mary at a supper celebration Darnley had organized in Holyrood House Palace.

After this, the wedding of Darnley and Mary was over. However, Mary gave beginning to James on June 19, 1566, within the Edinburgh Castle, and thus was born a brand new inheritor to the throne of Scotland.

24. Mary’s Failed Betrothal Led To A War

Mary Queen of Scots was lower than fortunate in her love life. Perhaps her destiny may have been foretold when her first betrothal to Prince Edward of England failed so spectacularly.

The Scottish Catholics didn’t need Mary to be betrothed to an English royal as England had separated from the Catholic Church, and so the betrothal was annulled.

As you may think, pulling out of a betrothal was not properly obtained these days. In response, England began attacking Scotland in a sequence of raids. This is now known as The Rough Wooing.

25. Her First Husband Died When He Was A Teenager

Mary didn’t have a lot of luck along with her first betrothal, which was ended before it may start. She additionally didn’t have quite a lot of luck along with her first official marriage, as her husband died when the couple had been nonetheless youngsters.

In 1548, Mary was dispatched to France to marry the Dauphin. She returned dwelling to Scotland in 1561, nonetheless younger and already widowed.

By modern requirements, it’s troublesome to think that somebody could possibly be a widow at the age of 13. But by this age, Mary was already within the place to hunt out husband quantity two when she returned to Scotland.

27. Mary Queen of Scots cherished golf

Golfers worldwide revere Scotland’s St. Andrews because of the “Cathedral of Golf.” It’s thought-about the oldest golf course on the earth, and Mary had a trip cottage there and performed typically.

She had doubtless realized the sport as a baby in France (or, at the very least an identical pastime referred to as pell-mell), and one longstanding story is that she coined the time period caddie primarily based on the navy cadets who carried the golf equipment for royal gamers.

According to sports activities columnist Sally Jenkins, “It’s thought that her accented pronunciation of the term was further bent by a brogue when she came to Scotland to assume the throne.”

But Mary’s love of golf additionally drew harsh criticism and was seen as proof that she conspired to kill her second husband, Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley. “She was so keen on the game that she was accused of cold-bloodedness for playing around just days after her husband was assassinated,” Jenkins wrote.

28. Mary Queen of Scots was executed on the orders of Queen Elizabeth

It was the Babington Plot which got here to light in 1586 that lastly had Elizabeth acceding to Mary’s trial. The letters clearly confirmed Mary’s hand in conspiring to kill Elizabeth and take over the throne of England.

On October 25th, Mary was convicted and sentenced to die. After dithering for fairly some time, on February 1, 1587, Elizabeth signed Mary’s death warrant.

On February 8, 1587, per week, after Elizabeth signed her dying warrant, Mary was executed at Fotheringhay Castle, Northamptonshire. Mary spent the final hours of her life praying and distributing her belongings to her maids and servants, writing her will and a letter to the King of France.

Mary was 44 years old at the time of her execution, and because the executioner held her severed head up, her wig got her free and it was found that Mary, in actuality, had gray hair, and never auburn.

29. Her pet terrier was hiding underneath her skirts at her execution.

Much has been manufactured from the botched beheading at Mary’s execution. After 18-some years of residing underneath home arrest in England (and as an ongoing, residing menace to Elizabeth’s crown), Mary was convicted of conspiring to kill her cousin.

On February 8, 1587, at age 44, she approached the block, “cast off her black gown to reveal a red dress underneath, the shade of Catholic martyrdom,” and had her neck hacked at the very least 3 times by the fumbling executioner, who then dropped her head when he grabbed it by the wig.

But as devastating as that whole episode was for everybody in attendance, what occurred next made an awful state of affairs even worse. Mary’s pet terrier “had hidden in the folds of her petticoat and sneaked onto the stage,” based on Guy.

“When detected, it ran about wailing miserably and lay down in the widening pool of blood between her severed head and shoulders.”

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30. Mary, Queen of Scots is buried at Westminster Abbey, right next to her cousin Queen Elizabeth I.

Though they by no means met in a particular person, regardless of all their correspondence, Mary and Elizabeth’s tombs are aspect by aspect in Westminster Abbey’s Lady Chapel.

Following Mary’s execution, Elizabeth ignored her request to be buried in France and had her interred at Peterborough Cathedral in a Protestant ceremony. Twenty-five years later, in 1621, Mary’s son James VI and I had her reinterred at Westminster.

And although her tomb is next to her rival cousin’s, they’re separated by a nave—even in death, their crypts aren’t fairly in view of one another.

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