Renaissiance and Reformation

Mary, Queen of Scots

Mary, Queen of Scots


This period was marked great upheavals and a transformation of Scotland in several  differing ways. The upheavals really got going on the death of King James V (1513 – 1542) and the accession of his infant daughter Mary. This led to intermittent English invasions by Henry VIII of which the largest was in 1547 leading to the major Scottish defeat at Pinkie in that year. The following years led to the arrival of large numbers of French forces who came under the capable command of James V’s queen the French-born Marie de Guise who ruled as Queen Regent up to her death in 1560. Under her rule her opponents in Scotland were consistently defeated. It was only her death and an invasion by an English army in 1560 that prevented her ultimate victory over what became known as the Lords of the Congregation. By an agreement known as the Treaty of Edinburgh both the French and English armies agreed to leave and set the scene for the most famous and most disastrous Stewart monarch in history, namely Mary Queen of Scots. It was in her reign that the name Stewart was changed to Stuart to help French pronunciation of the name as they did not have the letter w. At first successful she threw her initial advantage away through making a disastrous marriage to Henry. Lord Darnley. The rest of her story is well-known through its use in many plays, films and television productions. Suffice to say that with her final defeat and flight in 1568 the victory of the Protestant Reformation in Scotland was confirmed as was the accession of her infant son James VI who was to rule between 1567 and 1625.


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