Death of James V: Mary, Queen of Scots Is Queen at a Week Old

by AlexandriaIngham

James V of Scotland died on December 14, 1542. It led to a six week old Mary, Queen of Scots.

On December 14, 1542 James V of Scotland died. He had never met his daughter, who was born six days before his death, but is famous for his line “it came wi a lass, it’ll gang wi a lass”. He said that in reference to the Stewart line starting with the birth of Marjorie Bruce. While this is partially true, the Stewart line turned to the Stuart line due to his daughter’s marriage to Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley.

James V died under similar circumstances to his father, who died at the Battle of Flodden Field on September 9, 1513. James V went to war with England once again suffered defeat at the Battle of Solway Moss. While he did not die on the battlefield, he did die due to the nervous collapse he suffered because of the loss at the battle.

Who Was James V of Scotland?

James V of Scotland wasn't happy to hear that his wife had given birth to a daughter.

James V of Scotland died on December 14, 1542James V was the son of Margaret Tudor and James IV of Scotland. Due to that, he had a claim to the English throne. It was possible in 1542 that James never considered getting his hands on the English crown. By this point Henry VIII had the heir to the throne, Prince Edward. The prince was still young, with plenty of chance to marry and have children.

He became King of Scotland at the age of five months old, when his father died at Flodden Field, one of the most infamous battles between Scotland and England. He would not see his mother much after she was forced to flee Scotland for England and numerous occasions. He was raised through his regents.

He married twice, but only his second wife gave birth to a legitimate child. He did have illegitimate sons, but they could not take the throne due to their illegitimacy. However, they did gain favour in the Scottish court.

James V was born on April 10, 1512. He was the son of James IV and Margaret Tudor and the grandfather of the man who joined two Kingdoms, James VI of Scotland and I of England.
Margaret Tudor was born on November 28, 1489. Her birth brought temporary peace between two warring crowns.

The Death of James V and Ascension of Mary, Queen of Scots

Mary, Queen of Scots was just one week old when she became Queen of Scotland.

Mary, Queen of Scots, became queen at just a week oldWhen James V died on December 14, Mary Stewart was just six days old. She would become Queen of Scotland, but the country was ruled by a series of regents, with her mother taking control of her possessions when she was two years old.

England and Scotland were still at war, but Henry VIII wanted peace. When a Protestant became the regent of Scotland, the English king took the opportunity to suggest a marriage between his son and the Scottish Queen. It led to the Treaty of Greenwich, which had a few clauses within it—favourable to the Scottish and the English. One of the biggest clauses was that if the marriage came to an end without issue, the two countries would become separate again. They were still separate entities legally.

However, the Catholic Cardinal Beaton took over as regent in 1553, and brought a pro-French, Catholic regimen to the country, something that angered Henry VIII. It led to the treaty dissolving in December of that year, and the betrothal was off. England and Scotland were back at war.

To keep Mary safe, Scotland turned to France for help. After that, she was sent to the French court and betrothed to her future first husband, the Dauphin Francis. Henry II of France became like a father to the five-year-old girl, and she grew close to her future husband. In fact, when both Henry II and her husband died about a year within each other, she was distraught.

She was raised as a French Catholic, and loved her religion. However, it caused problems when she moved back to a Protestant Scotland.

On July 10, 1559, Mary, Queen of Scots, became the Queen Consort of France. Her reign lasted around 18 months before she returned to Scotland.
On July 29, 1565, Mary, Queen of Scots, married Lord Darnley. He was her cousin through Margaret Tudor and their marriage became important for James VI of Scotland.

Mary, Queen of Scots’ Claim to the English Throne

Mary's want for the English crown arguably led to her execution in 1587.

The union of the English and Scottish thronesSomething that worried Elizabeth I of England was her Catholic cousin’s claim to the English throne. Mary continually tried to get her cousin to agree to her being named her heir, but Elizabeth always had conditions—one of those marrying Robert Dudley.

It was her want for the English throne that led to her execution. Elizabeth set up a series of events that would catch Mary in the middle of a plot to take the throne for herself. She was executed for treason on February 8, 1587.

The thrones would eventually be joined together. Mary's son, James VI of Scotland, would later become James I of England upon the death of Elizabeth I.

Mary, Queen of Scots sought refuge in England after being imprisoned in Scotland. Instead of help, Elizabeth I imprisoned her. To understand why, her past needs to be explained.
On September 29, 1564, the steps were taken to make Robert Dudley a suitable husband for Mary, Queen of Scots. But was he happy about this? What did he do to avoid marrying her?
Updated: 12/14/2013, AlexandriaIngham
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frankbeswick on 12/15/2013

Mary was a victim of circumstances and of the appallingly brutal state of Scottish and English politics. She was not the bad guy.

AlexandriaIngham on 12/15/2013

I love Mary, Queen of Scots. There is just so much about her. I went to an exhibition about her during the summer and have been putting together a series of article ideas based on the things that I've learnt. Now it's just a case of getting the time to read all the books I bought and write them out! I remember in history lessons viewing her as the bad guy, similar to the way Mary I was viewed, but it really isn't the case when you delve into their lives.

AbbyFitz on 12/14/2013

This was very interesting. I love history, however I haven't read up much on Mary and her family

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