Henry VII (1457-1509)
Elizabeth I (1533-1603)
Mary, Queen of Scots (1542 - 1587)
James VI and I (1566-1625)
John Knox (c. 1513 1572)
George Buchanan (1506-1582)
Charles I (1600 -1649)
'The Old Pretender' (1688-1766)
'Bonnie Prince Charlie' (1720 1788)

mary queen of scots

Mary Queen of Scots is one of Scottish history's most intriguing and tragic figures. Apart from her childhood spent in France, there are very few periods of her life when she was either secure or content. Indeed, she spent large parts of her life in confinement, in Scotland and England.

She was married three times: to the French Dauphin, Francis, who died shortly after succeeding to the throne; to Henry Stewart, Lord Darnley who at least provided her with an heir; and to James Hepburn, the Earl of Bothwell. None of her marriages in Scotland provided her with the support or political wisdom she needed to help govern successfully.

Following the death of her first husband, and her return to Scotland, she was faced with ruling Scotland as a Catholic queen in the midst of the Protestant reformation, and was constantly at the mercy of nobles vying for influence and power. Both of her Scottish husbands can be viewed as this. Darnley proved to be an arrogant hedonist who proved to be a hindrance to any chance she had of establishing herself as the strong monarch she needed to be.

Her last marriage, to the powerful Earl of Bothwell, was the most ruinous, leading to her being forced to flee Scotland by the Scottish nobles. Her flight to England, where she hoped to find security, only resulted in her eventual execution at the hands of her Protestant English cousin, the Queen, Elizabeth.

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