King Henry VIII was ruling in England. He had two daughters, Elizabeth and Mary (Bloody Mary), and one son named Edward. When Edward was six, he was engaged to Mary Queen of Scots (not Henry VIII’s daughter), but the marriage broke up.
Mary Queen of Scots was then engaged to the heir of the French throne, Prince Francis. Mary moved to France, and at 14 years old, in 1558, married Francis. A few months later, Queen Elizabeth took the English throne.
Many people thought Mary Queen of Scots had better claim to the English throne because she was Catholic, and Elizabeth was Protestant. Also, Elizabeth was born from a “faulty marriage”, and her mother was thought to be a witch.
When Mary was 16 years old, King Henry II of France died, and Mary became queen of France, queen of Scotland (she was heir to the throne when her father died at her birth), and queen of Ireland (Scotland was in control of it).
Now, back to Elizabeth. Her father died in 1547. Nine year old Edward became king, but in 1553, the boy died, and Mary, or Bloody Mary became queen. The name “Bloody Mary” came from her burning non-Catholic people at the stake. Worried that Elizabeth might try to take over the throne (being the next heir), Bloody Mary arrested Elizabeth and sent her to the Tower (like jail). Later, Mary died childless (she had married Phillip II, King of Spain), and Elizabeth became queen of England the same year as Mary Queen of Scots became queen of France.
people were happy about Elizabeth, their bright and pretty new ruler, who had
stopped the burnings of non-Catholic people. In the time of Elizabeth’s rule,
Mary Queen of Scots was having trouble.
She had moved back to Scotland after the death of her husband Francis, and being Catholic, many people hated her, especially after she married a Catholic man named Henry Darnley, and they were crowned king and queen. Protestant nobles were eager to become powerful, and somehow managed to get the weak Darnley to help with a terrible murder plot. While Darnley held back Mary, a nobleman murdered Mary’s friend Riccio.
Now, Mary turned to Bothwell, a good protector. She lived apart from Darnley, and wished she had never married him. Others too wanted to be rid of him. In 1567, Darnley’s manor exploded from gunpowder put in the cellars, thought to be Bothwell’s work. Darnley escaped out a window, but his strangled body was found afterwards.
On her way
back from a visit to her son, James, Mary Queen of Scots was stopped by Bothwell.
He took her off, hastily divorced his wife, and married Mary. No one knows if
she went willingly or by force, if she helped with Darnley’s murder, if
Bothwell murdered Darnley.
Now, Scottish nobles took this as a chance to rebel. They captured Mary Queen of Scots when Bothwell’s army went against the Scottish lords. She was taken to an island in Lochleven, which served as a prison. Mary had to give up her crown to her 13 month old son, James.
later, Mary’s supporters organized an army and were defeated by the Scottish
army. Mary then fled to England to beg help from Queen Elizabeth I. Although
Elizabeth wished to help, she feared that Mary might plot to kill her, being
next in line to the throne. So Elizabeth kept Mary in prison for the meantime.
The Scot lords then made a plan to blame Mary of Darnley murder. They took a silver box full of fake letters supposedly from Mary Queen of Scots to Bothwell, showing that they were secretly in love and had planned Darnley’s murder. But Elizabeth said there was not enough evidence. From then on, Mary was not allowed to leave England, and the two queens did not see each other for 19 years! There were many plots and plans from Mary’s supporters to rescue her or overthrow Elizabeth, and one finally mattered--but it did not help Mary--it killed her.
In 1586, Sir Babington made a plan to overthrow Elizabeth, and wrote to Mary Queen of Scots about it. She agreed, not knowing every letter was read by Elizabeth’s spies. Sir Babington and his accomplices were executed, and Mary was found guilty. In 1587, Mary Queen of Scots, the once proud and beautiful queen, was executed.
The Two Sides
King James VI of Scotland (1566-1625) reigned after Elizabeth’s death. Because Queen Elizabeth had no children, her heir to the English throne was the experienced King of Scotland (her cousin), although he was the son of Mary Queen of Scots, whom Elizabeth had beheaded.
He had been crowned King of Scotland at his mother’s death, when he was only 13 months old. As a child, King James took many lessons: Greek, Latin, history, composition, arithmetic cosmography, dialectics, rhetoric, and theology all in one day. He knew Greek, English, French, Latin, and Scotts very well. He was being taught Spanish and Italian.
age 20, King James married Anne of Denmark. He wrote many romantic and beautiful
poems for her. King James also made his son Charles I heir to the throne, and
wrote him “the Kingly Gift”, a testament to teach him about being king. It
was not meant to be made public, so King James swore his printer to secrecy and
had seven copies made, although they somehow were publicized and illegally
copied, so King James finally gave the “Kingly Gift” freely to the public.
1603, Queen Elizabeth I died, and King James became King of England and
Scotland. He combined the two countries together, forming one powerful nation-
King James also made a new version of the Bible because many others differed in text and had many errors. The King James Version was one of King James greatest accomplishments.
Throughout King James’ rule, Puritans asked for him to make the Church of England less Catholic. King James ignored them. He banished Catholic priests and fined Catholics who did not go to the Church of England. A group of angry Catholics and their leader, Guy Fawkes, tried to blow up King James and his advisors while they were in Westminster. King James found out though, and arrested Guy Fawkes and his assistants, and they were executed.
James ended the war with Spain, and England was at peace for 20 years. Being a lover of the theater, he watched many of Shakespeare’s plays, and Macbeth was even made especially for him. He died in 1625.