Mary (Stuart, Queen of Scotland)

 Born  8 Dec 1542   Born At  
 Died  8 Feb 1587   Buried At  
 Father  James (V, King of Scotland 1513-1542)   Mother  Mary (of Guise)
The infant Queen

ary Stuart was the daughter of James V of Scotland and Mary of Guise. Mary Stuart became Queen of Scotland only days after her birth when her father died in December of 1542. As Mary was too young to rule, James Hamilton, the Earl of Arran was chosen as regent of Scotland. An agreement was made with Henry VIII, King of England, for Mary to marry Prince Edward, Henry's heir, but this agreement was abandoned by the Scots.

Escape to France

When the English invaded Scotland and defeated the Scots at the Battle of Pinkie Cleugh in 1547 Mary was secretly moved for her safety to Inchmahome Priory located on an island on lake Menteith. The abbey was home for the young queen for a few months before an agreement with France was reached whereby the French would assist the Scots against the English and Mary would marry the French Dauphin. Mary was moved to Dumbarton Castle on the River Clyde before sailing for France in August of 1548.

Growing up in France

Mary was brought up in the French court along with Francis, the future king of France and her future husband. Mary learnt to speak French and was given a varied education suitable for a European monarch. An agreement was reached between the Scottish commissioners and the French king Henry II for the marriage of Mary and Francis. The terms of the agreement allowed the Scots to maintain their traditional rights and would become united with France when Francis became King of France. It was also agreed that if Mary died without having children the Scottish throne would go to the Earl of Arran. But a secret marriage agreement was signed by Mary giving control of Scotland to France if she died without having children.

Marriage and Deaths

Mary and Francis were married in April of 1558. A year later Henry II, the King of France, was killed in a tournament jousting accident leaving Francis and Mary as the new King and Queen of France. Francis had always suffered from poor health and just over a year into his reign he fell ill and died. Mary's mother, Mary of Guise had died a few months before Francis.

Return to France

After the death of Francis Mary had a proposal of marriage from Don Carlos of Spain. Don carlos was a Catholic like Mary and the Mary approved of the idea, but the Scots refused and Mary decided to return to Scotland.


Do you want to explore a Saxon Hall, a medieval church or a large stone keep? Click the images below to enter a medieval world.

Partial Personal Timeline

Early Modern Period (1500-1800)
1542 Dec 8  Birth of Mary, Queen of Scots
 Mary Stuart was born at Linlithgow Palace in West Lothian, Scotland. She was the daughter of James V, king of Scotland and Mary of Guise, from France. James V died a week after Mary was born and she became Queen of Scotland. 
 Dec 14  Death of James V of Scotland
 The defeat of the Scottish army at Solway Moss a few weeks earlier is supposed to have shocked James V so much that he died. His daughter Mary was only a week or so old when he died and she became queen, known as Mary Queen of Scots. James Hamilton, Earl of Arran became regent of Scotland as Mary was too young to rule. 
1543 Jul  1yrsTreaties of Greenwich
 A treaty was signed by the Scots and Henry VIII swearing firstly peace between the two nations and secondly the agreement that Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots, should marry Henry's son Edward. Although these two treaties were initially agreed they had been rejected by the Scots by the end of the year. 
 Sep 9  Queen Mary's Coronation
 The coronation of Mary, Queen of Scots, took place at Stirling.[1] 
1547 Sep 10  5yrsBattle of Pinkie Cleugh
 Thousands of Scots gathered near the town of Musselburgh, just to the east of Edinburgh. They faced an English army led by the Duke of Somerset. The Scots had a good position on the battle field but wasted it when they attacked. The Scots were heavily defeated. The defeat at Pinkie Cleugh was a threat to Queen Mary and so she was secretly moved from Stirling Castle to the Augustinian Inchmahome Priory located on an island on lake Menteith.[1] 
1548 Qtr 1  6yrsQueen Mary moved to Dumbarton Castle
 To comply with the agreement to marry Mary to the French Dauphin, the young queen was moved from Inchmahome Priory to Dumbarton Castle on the banks of the River Clyde on the west of Scotland. It was here that she waited before sailing to France.[1] 
 Jul  The French arrive in Scotland
 The request of the Scottish Regent, Mary of Guise, for help to fight the English was answered by the arrival of a army of several thousand French. The assistance came on condition that her daughter Mary should marry the French Dauphin, Francis.[2] 
 Aug 7  Mary Stuart leaves for France
 Queen Mary was places aboard the French ship at Dumbarton with a large number of her attendants. Along with her went the four Marys. Although the English fleet were directed to stop her they did not manage to find the French ship. A stormy crossing to France left many of the travellers sick.[3] 
 Aug 13  Queen Mary arrives in France
 Queen Mary arrived in France. Four girls all also called Mary and coming from noble families were chosen to accompany the Queen. Known as the 'Four Maries' the girls were Mary Beaton, Mary Fleming, Mary Livingston and Mary Seton. They landed, possibly, at Roscoff on the north-west coast of France.[1] 
Please note that this area should be showing an interactive map of events. This area will not show if you are currently using an older version of web browser. The map viewer viewer has been tested on IE9 and the latest versions of Firefox and Chrome.