Mary Stuart

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Related to Mary, queen of Scots: Mary of Guise, Catherine de Medici

Stuart or Stewart, Mary:

see Mary Queen of ScotsMary Queen of Scots
(Mary Stuart), 1542–87, only child of James V of Scotland and Mary of Guise. Through her grandmother Margaret Tudor, Mary had the strongest claim to the throne of England after the children of Henry VIII.
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Mary Stuart


Born Dec. 7 or 8, 1542, in Linlithgow, Scotland; died Feb. 8, 1587, in the castle at Fotheringhay, England. Scottish queen from 1542 (in actuality from 1561) to 1567.

Mary lived in France from 1548 to 1561. In 1558 she became the wife of the French dauphin (who became King Francis II in 1559). After being widowed, she returned to Scotland in 1561. She also declared her claims to the English throne (as great-granddaughter of the English king Henry VII). Her attempts to consolidate her authority in Scotland, relying for support on the Catholic aristocracy, aroused the dissatisfaction of the Scottish Calvinists; this became apparent in an uprising in 1567. Accused of participation in the murder of her second husband, Lord Darnley, she was forced in 1567 to renounce the throne in favor of her son (Scottish king James VI; English king James I from 1603) and, in 1568, to flee to England. By order of the English queen Elizabeth I, she was imprisoned. In England she became in effect the center of attention for the most reactionary forces of the English feudal aristocracy in their struggle with Elizabeth’s government. After the exposure of a whole series of Catholic conspiracies against Elizabeth in which Mary was involved, she was tried and executed. Her execution marked a serious defeat for the European Catholic reaction. Mary’s life, full of dramatic events, served many writers (F. Schiller, S. Zweig, et al.) as a theme for literary works, in which she is, as a rule, highly idealized.


Henderson, T. F. Mary Queen of Scots, vols. 1-2. London, 1905.
Philippson, M. Histoire du regne de Maria Stuart, vols. 1-3. Paris, 1891-92.
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