Mary, Queen of Scots

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Mary I (popularly known in the English-speaking world as Mary, Queen of Scots and, in France, as Marie Stuart) (December 8, 1542 - February 8, 1587) was Queen of Scots from December 14, 1542 to July 24, 1567.

She was the only surviving legitimate child of King James V. She was only six days old when her father died and left her Queen of Scots. Her mother, Mary of Guise, assumed regency and the baby sovereign was crowned nine months later.

In 1558, she married Francis, Dauphin of France, who ascended the French throne as Francis II a year later. However, Mary did not enjoy the position of Queen of France for long; she was widowed by 1560. Soon after her husband's death, Mary returned to Scotland, arriving in Leith on 19 August 1561. Four years later, Mary remarried, choosing her first cousin, Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley, as her second husband. Their union was not happy and following the birth of their son, James, on 19 June 1566, a plot was hatched to remove Darnley. In February 1567, an explosion occurred in the house at Kirk o'Field, and Darnley was found dead in the garden.

She soon married James Hepburn, 4th Earl of Bothwell - today, it is believed that she was forced into marriage. Mary was imprisoned in Loch Leven Castle on 15 June and forced to abdicate the throne in favour of her one-year-old son. After an unsuccessful attempt to regain the throne, Mary fled to England seeking protection from her father's first cousin, Queen Elizabeth I, whose kingdom she was to inherit. Elizabeth I, however, ordered her arrest, because of threat of being deposed by Mary, who was considered the rightful ruler of England by English Catholics.

After a long period of custody in England, she was tried and executed for treason following her alleged involvement in three plots to assassinate Elizabeth I of England and place herself on the English throne.

Part of this article consists of modified text from Wikipedia, and the article is therefore licensed under GFDL.