Mary I of Scotland
Mary Queen of Scots.jpg
Historical Figure
Nationality: Scotland (1542-1568),
Dual citizenship in France (1558-1560),
Technically stateless after 1568
Date of Birth: 1542
Date of Death: 1587
Cause of Death: Execution by decapitation
Religion: Catholicism
Occupation: Monarch
Parents: King James V,
Mary of Guise
Spouse: François II of France (died 1560)
Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley (d. 1567)
James Hepburn, 4th Earl of Bothwell (d. 1578)
Children: James I of England
Relatives: Henry VIII of England (granduncle),
Mary I of England (cousin),
Elizabeth I of England (cousin),
Charles I of England (grandson)
House: Stuart
Political Office(s): Queen Consort of France, Queen Regnant of Scotland
Fictional Appearances:
Ruled Britannia
POD: July-August, 1588
Type of Appearance: Posthumous references

Mary I (often called Mary, Queen of Scots, or Mary Stuart) (8 December 1542 - 8 February 1587) was crowned Queen of Scotland when she was only nine months old, but spent much of her childhood in France, of which she was briefly Queen (as wife of King François II), while her mother, Mary of Guise, governed Scotland as regent with great difficulty.

Her reign was a troubled time for Scotland, one marked by religious tension between the Catholic Church, to which Mary belonged, and Presbyterian reformers who followed a Calvinist doctrine, who included much of the Scottish nobility. In 1567 the nobility overthrew Mary, and she fled to England without her infant son, who was proclaimed King James VI.

Mary lived the remaining 19 years of her life in exile in England, where she was alleged to have been involved in as many as three plots against the life of her second cousin once removed, Queen Elizabeth. Mary was Elizabeth's closest living relative, and Catholic monarchs throughout Europe insisted that Mary was the legitimate heir to the English throne. Some insisted that, as Henry VIII's divorce from Catherine of Aragon was not recognized by the Church, his marriage to Anne Boleyn was illegitimate, Elizabeth was a bastard and Mary was already the rightful Queen of England.

Mary was tried and convicted of treason against England, despite the fact that she was not and had never been an English subject. During the trial she was denied access to legal counsel, and was prevented from examining the evidence being introduced against her. On Elizabeth's orders, Mary was executed 1587. Mary became popularly seen as a Catholic martyr, though she was never canonised by any Pope. Catholics throughout Europe were outraged at the act, due to a combination of disappointment at losing the strongest Catholic claimant to the English throne, the injustice of her trial and execution, and horror at the breaking of the ancient taboo against executing a crowned monarch. The fallout from Mary's execution was a factor in exacerbating the Anglo-Spanish Wars, leading to King Philip's attempt to invade England.

Mary Queen of Scots in Ruled Britannia[]

When Spanish forces conquered England in 1588, the year following Mary Queen of Scots' execution, King Philip II imprisoned Queen Elizabeth in the Tower of London, and maintained that allowing her to live was a mercy on his part, as he would have been justified in killing Elizabeth as vengeance for Mary. In 1598, a paradox occurred to Lope de Vega: killing Mary may well have saved Elizabeth's life, as it gave Philip an incentive to show his moral superiority by demonstrating that he, unlike Elizabeth, would never stoop to regicide.[1]


  1. Ruled Britannia, pg. 323.
Royal offices
Preceded by
James V
Queen of Scotland
Succeeded by
James VI
Preceded by
Catherine de Medici
Queen consort of France
Succeeded by
Elisabeth of Austria