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Mary, Queen of Scots, Led a Life Full of Power, Love, and Betrayal

Many people know of Mary Queen of Scotland. However, few people know how she became queen, her adventures before and after the throne, and her many husbands and lovers.

Mary was born on December 8, 1542, a week before her father died. She became Queen of Scotland at six days old. It was previously agreed that she would wed the Prince of England. However, the Scots refused the arrangement. The English king sought to change their minds through force and power. A war broke out, and the battle was called the “Rough Wooing.”

In order to secure a Catholic alliance against Protestant England, Mary was sent to France to weather young French heir Dauphin. In 1561, the Dauphin died, still very young. Mary returned to Scotland as a widow. At this time, Scotland was going through a reformation due to a largely growing Protestant and lessening Catholic populace.

Later in her life, Mary fell madly in love with Henry, Lord Darnley. However, he was frail and feeble, and drunk most of the time he was with her. Although Henry was technically king, Mary gave him no power, opinion, or authority in her country. Thus, she ruled by herself.

She then had a secretary, David Riccio. Darnley became extremely jealous. Soon, he and some others decided to kill Riccio before Mary. At this time, she was six months pregnant.

Lord Darnley later died under “mysterious circumstances” in 1567. The house he was staying in blew up in February, and his body was found in the garden shed after the explosion. This was alarming, though, because he had been strangled.

Soon after Darnley's death, Mary met James Hepburn, Earl Of Bothwell. Bothwell was accused of Darnley's murder but was not found guilty. Mary and James wed, and the lords did not approve - they imprisoned her. James fled to Dunbar during Mary's confinement, never to be seen again. He was declared insane in 1578 and died in Denmark soon after.

In May 1568, Mary escaped from Leven Castle, where she had been imprisoned. She then fled to England looking for safety. While in England, she fell under the control of Queen Elizabeth I and was transferred to many different prisons for 19 years. After coded letters that detailed Mary and others' plot to overthrow the Queen were found, she was deemed guilty of treason.

She was taken to Fotheringhay Castle and executed in 1587, and she was buried at Peterborough Cathedral. Her son, James I of England and VI of Scotland had her body exhumed and moved to a place of honor at Westminster Abbey in 1612; at the same time, he also had Queen Elizabeth removed to a place of less honor. Even though he did not know much about his mother, he still wanted to honor her achievements and legacy. Most importantly, he hoped to honor the path she made for many other women living the same life she was told to live.

Hundreds of other girls, females, and women at the time believed they could only live under the rule of a man. However, Mary Queen of Scots lived as a female figure who opposed this tradition, leading a whole kingdom by herself and not letting any of her husbands dictate her actions or life.

[Source: Historic UK]

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