Mary, Queen of Scots Early life: Mary lived from December 8th 1542 (one week after her father, James V of Scotland, died) to February 8th of 1587 and was Queen of Scotland for 25 years. She was born in Linlithgow Palace. Mary’s family was “Stewart”. However in France she adopted the French spelling “Stuart”. The two variants were used almost interchangeably by later generations, depending on how close relations were with France at the time. Spouses: Francis II: In 1558 she married Francis, the eldest son of King Henry II and Catherine de Medicis. Francis was crowned in 1559, making Mary France’s Queen consort. Unfortunately, Francis died from an ear infection the year after, leaving Mary widow at the age of eighteen. Henry Stewart, Earl of Darnley: She married her cousin in 1565; Henry was a grandson of Margaret Tudor. This marriage turned Mary’s halfbrother against her and caused a lot of problems to Mary. In 1566 Henry and a group of protestant nobles murdered David Rizzio (Mary’s Italian secretary) by stabbing him 56 times. Though she gave birth to their son a few months later, she no longer wished to be married to Henry. He was mysteriously killed by an explosion of Kirk O’Field and Mary’s involvement is unclear. James Hepburn, Ear of Bothwell: She married James Hepburn, the main suspect in her previous husband’s murder and only three months after. This made the Scottish nobility rise against her. Bothwell went into exile, where he was ultimately arrested and held captive until his death. In July 1567, Mary was compelled to abdicate the throne in Scotland in favour of her infant son. She was imprisoned in Lochleven Castle. Mary’s Children: Mary gave birth June 18th 1566 to the future James VI o Scotland and James I of England. He became King in July 1567 at Stirling (Scotland). Queen at war: Elizabeth I vs. Mary, Queen of Scots: Mary I was not well received in England and Elizabeth I was able to incriminate her for her former husband’s murder and imprison her for eighteen years. Mary became physically weak, out of shape and lost her beauty. In 1586, the English Catholics that wanted Mary on the throne attempted to assassinate Elizabeth I. Mary was tried by an English court and condemned to death. Death: Mary was executed in Fotheringay Castle in Northamptonshire on February 8th 1587. She was 44 years old. Mary was buried in Peterborough Cathedral, but when her son became King James I of England, he moved his mother’s body to Westminster Abbey in 1612.