Mary Queen of Scots

  • Created by: cieran32
  • Created on: 09-11-18 13:45

The problem of Mary Queen of Scots

Mary Queen of Scots had a strong, legitimate claim to the English throne. To some Catholics, her claim was better than Elizabeth's.

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The danger of supporting Mary

  • Supporting Mary would mean attacking a friendly Protestant government in Scotland. Mary was her cousin, but it was too big a risk.
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The danger of not supporting Mary

  • Not supporting Mary would be endorsing her overthrow and implying that it was acceptable to depose an anointed, lawful monarch.
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mary's claim to the throne

  • Mary’s presence in England was a problem. She was next in line to the throne, favoured by Catholics, while Elizabeth was refusing to marry or name an heir.
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Mary's flight to England

  • When Catholic Mary Queen of Scots returned in 1561, Scotland was being ruled by a Protestant government.
  • Mary married Lord Darnley and gave birth to an heir, James, in 1566.
  • Darnley was murdered in 1567. Mary and her lover, the Earl of Bothwell, were implicated.
  • Mary was forced to abdicate in favour of James, then imprisoned. The Earl of Moray became regent.
  • Mary escaped in 1568, raised an army but was defeated. She fled to England.
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Rebellion against Elizabeth I

  • The Northern Rebellion of 1569 aimed to marry Mary, Queen of Scots to the Duke of Norfolk. Her children with Norfolk would be Elizabeth’s heirs.
  • The aims of the plot developed into deposing Elizabeth I.
  • Catholic Earls from northern England led thousands of ordinary Catholics in rebellion, seizing Durham.
  • The Northern Rebellion was put down by Elizabeth I’s troops. Hundreds were executed, showing Elizabeth’s alarm. Neither Mary nor Norfolk were punished.
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Plots against Elizabeth I

  • The Ridolfi Plot in 1572 was a plot to assassinate Elizabeth I and put Mary on the throne.
  • The Throckmorton Plot in 1583 was a plot to assassinate Elizabeth I and the Duke of Guise invading England.
  • The Babington Plot in 1586 was also a plot to assassinate Elizabeth I and the Duke of Guise invading England. Mary was found to be implicated in this plot.
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Reasons not to execute Mary

Elizabeth I was reluctant to execute Mary following the Babington Plot. This was because:

  • She didn't want to condone the murder of a monarch.
  • Mary was her cousin.
  • Mary's execution would anger the Catholic community.
  • It could give Spain an excuse to invade England.
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Reasons to execute Mary

  • But there were compelling reasons to execute Mary:
    • England was already at war with Spain and Spain was planning their Armada.
    • Mary had been found guilty of treason.
  • Mary was executed in February 1587.
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