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Was Queen Elizabeth I right to have Mary Stuart executed?

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One French observer wrote admiringly: The group arrived in France in August He ordered that she would have precedence over his own daughters as she was sovereign of an independent country and also because she was to wed his heir, the Dauphin.

Mary was 5 when she first met the four-year-old Dauphin, her betrothed husband. According to most contemporaries, they were close and affectionate with one another even as children. They traveled from one royal palace to another — Fountaineblea to Meudon, or to Chambord or Saint-Germain. They were always attended to by a retinue of servants and, even then, Mary had developed a fondness for animals, especially dogs, which was to continue throughout her life. Mary was also educated in the traditional manner of French princesses; she spoke French and learned Latin, Italian, Spanish and a little Greek.

She learned to dance, sing, play the lute as well as converse on religious matters. Her religious tutor was the prior of Inchmahome, a Scottish priest. When she was seven, her mother came to France to visit her; when Mary of Guise returned to Scotland, neither realized that they would never see each other again. By the age of eleven, Mary was deemed to be as intelligent and well-spoken as a woman of twenty-five by her doting father-in-law.

It is worth noting that the Guise family regarded Mary as one of their own; not only was betrothed to the heir to the throne but her mother was a Guise as well. Her uncle, Cardinal Guise, taught her about statecraft, perhaps encouraging her natural feelings of clemency and mercy.

In fact, Mary was to be remarkably free from bigotry during her short reign in Scotland, even towards her subjects of a different religion. Exceptionally tall for a woman in the 16th century, Mary was every inch the regal Queen; she had an oval face, shapely chin, and small mouth which were set off by her golden-red hair, her large forehead, and hazel eyes. Mary was not always in the best of health but, unlike her husband, there were no immediate concerns for her life.

In his opinion — and that of most of Catholic Europe — Mary of Scotland was the next heir to the English throne. Elizabeth I never forgot this first offense and never rested easily while her Catholic relative was alive. In , Henry II of France, died at the age of Mary and her husband were crowned Queen and King of France. And just six months later, her young husband also died of an ear infection.

Mary was understandably devastated by this chain of tragic events. She wrote a poem, in French, about her grief at his death; this is a translation of one verse:. What was Mary to do next? She left for Scotland, a land rife with religious and civil discord. Without waiting for a safe-conduct pass from Elizabeth, whose ships were patrolling her route, Mary set out for Scotland on 14 August and, five days later, reached Leith, the port of Edinburgh. Mary knew very well that she was succeeding to a most troubled heritage.

But after her recent years of loss and grief, she was determined to make a bright future. In this, she resembled her cousin Elizabeth I. The Scots received their new queen with great joy and celebration.

At once, she began to try and help them; within a year of her arrival, one-sixth of all Church benefices was given to the Protestant ministers to relieve their poverty. Of course, such a strategy would lead to more peace and stability within the realm. As a result, she was popular with the common people but not the nobility; she played croquet, golfed, went for hunts and archery practice, sung, danced, and, in general, showed an admirable zest for life.

In , the fourth Earl of Atholl organized a great hunt in honor of the queen and, yet again, Mary charmed all who met her. Yet she also treaded dangerous ground with her policy of non-discrimination and desire to unify the nation, taking power away from the independent nobles. Though a Catholic, Mary became friends with one of the most learned Protestants of the time, George Buchanan. In the political realm, Mary kept up peaceful relations with France, Spain, and England, though she never met Elizabeth face-to-face.

And her peace with France and Spain was kept without a treaty, though a treaty would have given Scotland some measure of protection against England in the possibility of conflict. However, Mary was aware that any treaty could compromise her subjects, involving them in yet another war and causing strife. Above all, she wanted peace and prosperity, and she kept Scotland safely distanced from political machinations.

As queen, Mary was more than aware that she should marry and provide heirs to the throne. Why Mary wed Darnley remains a mystery. He was superficially charming and, unlike most men, taller than the queen. He was also fond of courtly amusements and thus a nice change from the dour Scottish lords who surrounded her.

But he never seemed to care for Mary and sought far more power than she was willing to give him. When she was six months pregnant in March of , Darnley joined a group of Scottish nobles who broke into her supper-room at Holyrood Palace and dragged her Piedmontese secretary, David Riccio, into another room and stabbed him to death. They claimed Riccio had undue influence over her foreign policy but, in reality, they probably meant to cause Mary, from watching this horrific crime, to suffer a miscarriage, thus losing her child and her own life as well since one usually meant the other in the 16th century.

Mary certainly believed that Darnley, angry because she had denied him the crown matrimonial, wanted to kill her and the child, thus becoming King of Scots. But it is unlikely that, had he been successful, Darnley would have long survived his wife.

Entering the later stages of her pregnancy, she was desperate to escape and — somehow — won over Darnley and they escaped together. Three months later the future James VI of Scotland was born and congratulations came from all over Europe. Our writers work on the assignment simultaneously as a tight team, helping each other and solving different aspects of the task together. This is a secret of our trustworthy service where anybody can ask to do my essay cheap and the reason why every customer of ours returns to use the next time he or she has academic assignments to do!

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By choosing us as your trained academic advisors, you will gain a whole set of other benefits, including, but not limited to:. He ignored the edict, and two days later he forced his way into her chamber as she was about to disrobe. She reacted with fury and fear, and when Moray rushed into the room, in reaction to her cries for help, she shouted, "Thrust your dagger into the villain!

Chastelard was tried for treason, and beheaded. Darnley's parents, the Earl and Countess of Lennox , who were Scottish aristocrats as well as English landowners, had sent him to France ostensibly to extend their condolences while hoping for a potential match between their son and Mary. They next met on Saturday 17 February at Wemyss Castle in Scotland, [82] after which Mary fell in love with the "long lad" as Queen Elizabeth called him—he was over six feet tall.

English statesmen William Cecil and the Earl of Leicester had worked to obtain Darnley's licence to travel to Scotland from his home in England. The English ambassador Nicholas Throckmorton stated "the saying is that surely she [Queen Mary] is bewitched", [89] adding that the marriage could only be averted "by violence". Mary's marriage to a leading Catholic precipitated Mary's half-brother, the Earl of Moray , to join with other Protestant lords, including Lords Argyll and Glencairn , in open rebellion.

Mary returned to Edinburgh the following month to raise more troops. Mary's numbers were boosted by the release and restoration to favour of Lord Huntly's son , and the return of James Hepburn, 4th Earl of Bothwell , from exile in France.

Before long, Darnley grew arrogant. Not content with his position as king consort, he demanded the Crown Matrimonial , which would have made him a co-sovereign of Scotland with the right to keep the Scottish throne for himself if he outlived his wife. He was jealous of her friendship with her Catholic private secretary, David Rizzio , who was rumoured to be the father of her child. Mary's son by Darnley, James , was born on 19 June in Edinburgh Castle , but the murder of Rizzio led inevitably to the breakdown of her marriage.

She was thought to be near death or dying. Her recovery from 25 October onwards was credited to the skill of her French physicians. At Craigmillar Castle , near Edinburgh, at the end of November , Mary and leading nobles held a meeting to discuss the "problem of Darnley". In late January , Mary prompted her husband to return to Edinburgh. He recuperated from his illness in a house belonging to the brother of Sir James Balfour at the former abbey of Kirk o' Field , just within the city wall.

Men say that, instead of seizing the murderers, you are looking through your fingers while they escape; that you will not seek revenge on those who have done you so much pleasure, as though the deed would never have taken place had not the doers of it been assured of impunity. For myself, I beg you to believe that I would not harbour such a thought. By the end of February, Bothwell was generally believed to be guilty of Darnley's assassination. In the absence of Lennox, and with no evidence presented, Bothwell was acquitted after a seven-hour trial on 12 April.

Between 21 and 23 April , Mary visited her son at Stirling for the last time. On her way back to Edinburgh on 24 April, Mary was abducted, willingly or not, by Lord Bothwell and his men and taken to Dunbar Castle , where he may have raped her.

Originally Mary believed that many nobles supported her marriage, but things soon turned sour between the newly elevated Bothwell created Duke of Orkney and his former peers, and the marriage proved to be deeply unpopular.

Catholics considered the marriage unlawful, since they did not recognise Bothwell's divorce or the validity of the Protestant service. Both Protestants and Catholics were shocked that Mary should marry the man accused of murdering her husband. Mary and Bothwell confronted the lords at Carberry Hill on 15 June, but there was no battle as Mary's forces dwindled away through desertion during negotiations. He was imprisoned in Denmark, became insane and died in Mary apparently expected Elizabeth to help her regain her throne.

As an anointed queen, Mary refused to acknowledge the power of any court to try her and refused to attend the inquiry at York personally she sent representatives , but Elizabeth forbade her attendance anyway. The authenticity of the casket letters has been the source of much controversy among historians. It is impossible now to prove either way.

The originals, written in French, were probably destroyed in by Mary's son. There are incomplete printed transcriptions in English, Scots, French, and Latin from the s. Moray had sent a messenger in September to Dunbar to get a copy of the proceedings from the town's registers.

Mary's biographers, such as Antonia Fraser , Alison Weir , and John Guy , have come to the conclusion that either the documents were complete forgeries, [] or incriminating passages were inserted into genuine letters, [] or that the letters were written to Bothwell by some other person or by Mary to some other person.

The casket letters did not appear publicly until the Conference of , although the Scottish privy council had seen them by December The letters were never made public to support her imprisonment and forced abdication. Historian Jenny Wormald believes this reluctance on the part of the Scots to produce the letters, and their destruction in , whatever their content, constitute proof that they contained real evidence against Mary, [] whereas Weir thinks it demonstrates the lords required time to fabricate them.

Among them was the Duke of Norfolk, [] who secretly conspired to marry Mary in the course of the commission, although he denied it when Elizabeth alluded to his marriage plans, saying "he meant never to marry with a person, where he could not be sure of his pillow".

The majority of the commissioners accepted the casket letters as genuine after a study of their contents and comparison of the penmanship with examples of Mary's handwriting. In the end, Moray returned to Scotland as its regent, and Mary remained in custody in England. Elizabeth had succeeded in maintaining a Protestant government in Scotland, without either condemning or releasing her fellow sovereign.

On 26 January , Mary was moved to Tutbury Castle [] and placed in the custody of the Earl of Shrewsbury and his formidable wife Bess of Hardwick. In May , Elizabeth attempted to mediate the restoration of Mary in return for guarantees of the Protestant religion, but a convention held at Perth rejected the deal overwhelmingly.

Moray's death coincided with a rebellion in the North of England , led by Catholic earls, which persuaded Elizabeth that Mary was a threat. English troops intervened in the Scottish civil war, consolidating the power of the anti-Marian forces. Norfolk was executed, and the English Parliament introduced a bill barring Mary from the throne, to which Elizabeth refused to give royal assent. In , Mary proposed an "Association" with her son, James. She announced that she was ready to stay in England, to renounce the Pope's bull of excommunication and to retire, abandoning her pretensions to the English Crown.

She also offered to join an offensive league against France. For Scotland, she proposed a general amnesty, agreed that James should marry with Elizabeth's knowledge and agreed that there should be no change in religion.

Her only condition was the immediate alleviation of the conditions of her captivity. James went along with the idea for a while but then rejected it and signed an alliance treaty with Elizabeth, abandoning his mother. In February , William Parry was convicted of plotting to assassinate Elizabeth, without Mary's knowledge, though her agent Thomas Morgan was implicated.

On 11 August , after being implicated in the Babington Plot , Mary was arrested while out riding and taken to Tixall. Mary was misled into thinking her letters were secure, while in reality they were deciphered and read by Walsingham. Mary was convicted on 25 October and sentenced to death with only one commissioner, Lord Zouche , expressing any form of dissent. She was concerned that the killing of a queen set a discreditable precedent and was fearful of the consequences, especially if, in retaliation, Mary's son, James, formed an alliance with the Catholic powers and invaded England.

At Fotheringhay on the evening of 7 February , Mary was told that she was to be executed the next morning. It was reached by two or three steps and furnished with the block, a cushion for her to kneel on and three stools, for her and the earls of Shrewsbury and Kent , who were there to witness the execution. She replied, "I forgive you with all my heart, for now, I hope, you shall make an end of all my troubles.

Scotland, 1561-68

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Mary was only a baby when she became Queen of Scotland. Sadly her father, James V of Scotland, died when Mary was only six days old. In Mary was crowned Queen of Scotland at Stirling Castle. Mary was known as Mary Queen of Scots because she became Queen of Scotland.

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(–87). The life of Mary Stuart, more commonly called Mary, Queen of Scots, has been a favorite subject of dramatists and poets. She became the central figure in a complex political drama that resulted in her untimely death. She lived in the turbulent period of the Protestant Reformation, and she was a Roman Catholic.

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Plenary lesson on Uniting the UK. Woodlands Junior Homework Help new website. An eyewitness report of the execution of Mary Queen of Scots at Fotheringay Castle and events that took place in London, Scotland, Paris and Spain after the beheading · Mary, Queen of Scots is perhaps the best known figure in Scotland's history. writing phd thesis engineering Mary Queen Of Scots Homework Help dissertation concours assistante sociale digital libraraies dissertation.

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She was also Protestant, which former supporters of her deceased Catholic sister Mary, deplored. Mary Queen of Scots did not have the power or the grace and charm of Elizabeth. Mary was a schemer who wanted England's throne. She married the heir to the French throne, but he died soon after. In my opinion and looking at things the way people thought back then, Elizabeth was completely justified in having Mary executed. Mary was simply too much of a danger to Elizabeth and her reign. We know, for example, that Mary was actively trying to replace Elizabeth as the Queen of England.