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Learn English > English lessons and exercises > English test #721: Marie Stuart Queen of Scots (1542 - 1587)
Marie Stuart Queen of Scots (1542 - 1587)
Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots (1542 - 1587)
Mary was the only child of James V of Scotland and his French wife, Mary of Guise. Her father's death, soon after her birth, left Mary as Queen of Scotland. She was sent to France and raised at the court of Henry II; in April 1558 she was married to Francis, Henry's son. That year Elizabeth I became queen of England; Mary's Tudor blood made her Elizabeth's heir. This would prove problematic for both.
Upon Henry II''s death in 1559 her husband, Francis, became king, but died the next year. Widowed at the age of 18, Mary returned to Scotland in 1561. She faced many problems. A Catholic in a Protestant land, many regarded her as a foreign queen with an alien religion. Yet Mary started well, practising religious tolerance and papering over the cracks in Scottish politics.
The slide started with her second marriage to the Earl of Darnley, in 1565. Their relationship quickly soured and the murder in March 1566 of her secretary, David Rizzio, by Darnley and a group of nobles, convinced Mary that Darnley was after her. The birth of their son James in June did nothing to help and, now with an heir, Mary sought a conclusion.
Mary's enemies claimed that she started an affair with the Earl of Bothwell, plotting with him to kill Darnley. She was certainly considering divorce. Yet events took over. In February 1567, the house where Darnley was staying blew up; he died of strangulation. Just three months later she married Bothwell, the chief suspect. He proved no improvement on Darnley and the Scottish nobility rebelled. In June 1567, Bothwell was exiled and Mary deposed. The next year, her supporters were defeated in battle and she fled.
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