By: Ty Watson
- Mary, the only surviving legitimate child of King James 5 of Scotland , was six days old when her father died and she acceded to the throne. She spent most of her childhood in France while Scotland was ruled by regents, and in 1558, she married the Dauphin of France, Francis.
- Born: 8 December 1542
- Died: 8 February 1587
- Queen of Scotland from December 14 1542 to July 24 1567
- Mary was the first woman to practice golf in Scotland. She even caused a scandal when she was seen playing the game at St Andrews within days of her husband Darnley's murder.
- The skull of Darnley (Mary's second husband) is now in the Royal College of Surgeons in London and bears the telltale pitted marks of Syphilis. Darnley's notorious promiscuity would have finally had the better of him had he not in fact died a little earlier during the Kirk o' Field incident.
- Mary was a real linguist. Apart from her native Old Scot which she learned from childhood and French in which she was educated, she also understood Latin and Greek, Spanish and Italian. Later on in life she learned English which was a different language in those days.
Impact on Reformation
- In 1561, Mary, Queen of Scots, upset the applecart of the Protestant Reformation. Her husband, Francois II, King of France had died unexpectedly, and the Scots were more than a little surprised by the sudden appearance of Mary's ship at Leith's port. Since 1542, Scotland had been ruled by a series of regents acting in Mary’s name.
However, Mary did refuse to give her assent to the Scottish Parliament’s acts which abolished the mass.