Today marks the anniversary of the birth of Mary, Queen of Scots, born in Linlithgow, Scotland in 1542.
She became Queen of Scotland only six days after her birth, following the death of her father, James V.
Mary went on to marry the French king Francis II when she was just sixteen, effectively uniting the thrones of Scotland and France. However, Francis died the following year and Mary had to return to Scotland in 1651.
However, the young monarch soon experienced problems back in her homeland; she was, after all, a catholic in an essentially protestant country.
It was Mary’s subsequent marriages, her apparent lack of judgement and bad counsel she received at critical times, which led to great unpopularity and her eventual arrest and abdication in 1567. Although she managed to escape to England the next year, she was soon apprehended and spent the rest of her life in various places of custody.
She was finally executed on February 18 1587, following much intrigue and attempts to install her on the English throne, although right until the end, it was clear that Elizabeth was very reluctant to sign the order of execution on a fellow female monarch.
copyright Francis Barker 2019