Christine de Pizan

Christine de Pizan
The Writer Christine de Pizan at Her Desk

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Mary Stuart: Queen of Scotland, Would-Be Queen of England, Catholic Martyr

Mary Stuart, queen of Scots (executed 8 February 1587)

Mary Stuart, c. 1578
On this day in 1587, Mary Stuart was executed by Elizabeth Tudor. Forced to abdicate as queen of Scotland on 24 July 1567, Mary had fled to England in 1568, apparently hoping Elizabeth would help her regain her throne--despite having for years claimed Elizabeth's throne as her own. 

Instead, Mary was imprisoned. After nearly twenty years of captivity--and suspected involvement with numerous plots aimed at overthrowing Queen Elizabeth and placing herself on the English throne--Mary Stuart was charged with treason, tried, convicted, and executed.

After Elizabeth of England died in 1603, Mary's son, James VI of Scotland, became King James I of England. He had his mother's body moved to Westminster Abbey, not far from Elizabeth's.

For a post on Mary Stuart's mother, Marie de Guise, who was regent of Scotland for many years, click here.