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Biography of Mary, Queen of Scots


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Mary, Queen of Scots (or Mary Stuart). Born at Linlithgow, 1542; a daughter of James V of Scotland. She was educated at the French court, and when 16 years of age married the dauphin of France who, in 1559, became Francis II. Francis and Mary assumed also the arms and title of the king and queen of England, on the ground of Elizabeth's illegitimacy, and this step ultimately proved fatal to Mary. Soon after the death of her husband in 1560, she returned to Scotland and, in 1565, married Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley. In 1566, Darnley murdered David Rizzio, an Italian whom he accused of improper relations with Mary. Twelve months afterwards, he was himself murdered by the Earl of Bothwell, who married Mary after an interval of less than three months. These proceedings so incensed the nobles that they took up arms against her. She was forced to abandon Bothwell, and to surrender herself to the confederated lords. After a year's confinement, during which she was compelled to sign an act of abdication in favor of her son, she escaped into England to place herself under the protection of Elizabeth. By Elizabeth, however, Mary was treated as a prisoner. After 19 years' confinement, she was brought to trial on a charge of complicity in a plot against the life of Elizabeth, and was beheaded in 1587. In 1612, her remains were removed to Westminster Abbey by her son, James I of England.