Mary Stuart (1542 – 1587) inherited the Scottish throne in 1542 at the death of father when she was six days old. While Scotland was ruled by regents, Mary was betrothed to the heir to the French throne. They married young but, unfortunately, Francis died the following year. After the death of Queen Mary Tudor of England, Mary Stuart claimed the English throne, denying Elizabeth’s right to inherit. Mary, as the granddaughter of Henry VIII’s sister, had a strong claim to the English throne.
The Scottish Queen Mary married seventeen-year-old Henry, Lord Darnley, a cousin also descended from the English royal family. He was a poor husband with vile habits and he and his friends eventually murdered Mary’s secretary, David Rizzio, in front of her while she was pregnant. When she delivered her son, James, Mary and Henry were estranged. Mary was suspected of being party to planning his death. Having escaped a poisoning attempt, he managed to survive the explosion of the Kirk o Fields where he was residing. Henry’s body was found outside—he’d been strangled.
Mary allied herself with James Hepburn, Lord Bothwell, who was probably behind Henry’s murder. She married Bothwell but, when the Scottish nobles turned against them, he fled leaving her a captive of the Scots. She miscarried twins and escaped to England looking for refuge. She found another prison that would hold her for 20 years. More about Mary tomorrow, Rita Bay