Mary of Guise



Mary of Guise was the mother of Mary Queen of Scots and lived from 1515 until 1560.

She was a French noblewoman, the daughter of Claude de Lorraine, Duke of Guise, and was sometimes called Mary of Lorraine.

Her first husband was Louis D'Orleans and the second was the Duc de Longueville, but he died in 1537. Mary of Guise married the Scottish King, James V, in 1538. This created good relations between Scotland and France. The King of England, Henry VIII, was not pleased.

When Mary's daughter was only a week old, James V died and the baby was declared Mary, Queen of Scotland.

James Hamilton, the second Earl of Arran, was appointed to look after the young Mary, but Mary de Guise didn't like him at all. He had arranged to let the young Mary marry the future King of England (Henry's son, Edward) and she was in danger of losing her powers over Scotland. So Mary of Guise decided to look after her daughter herself. She came to an arrangement with the Earl of Arran and set herself up as Regent for Mary. She then took the important decisions about Scotland.

She sent Mary to France to keep her safe and arranged for her to marry the French Dauphin in 1558. This made closer the links between Scotland and France, but the marriage caused a great deal of trouble.

Scotland was a country that was changing fast. Many people were converting to Protestantism and they didn't want a Catholic for a queen.

To start with Mary of Guise was happy to allow the Protestants their freedom to worship as they wished. However, in 1559 she changed her mind and began giving the Protestants a hard time, so they rebelled against her.

John Knox, the well-known Protestant reformer of the Church, led the revolt against her and Marie de Guise lost her powers. Not even France could help her.

Mary of Guise died in 1560. Her death ended the years of French influence in Scotland, and cleared the way for a new Protestant Scotland to carry on.


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