Mary of Lorraine


Died aged 44

Mary of Guise (French: Marie de Guise; 22 November 1515 – 11 June 1560), also called Mary of Lorraine, was a French noblewoman of the House of Guise, a cadet branch of the House of Lorraine and one of the most powerful families in France. She was Queen of Scotland from 1538 until 1542, as the second wife of King James V. As the mother of Mary, Queen of Scots, she was a key figure in the political and religious upheaval that marked mid-16th-century Scotland, ruling the kingdom as regent on behalf of her daughter from 1554 until her death in 1560. The eldest of the twelve children born to Claude, Duke of Guise, and Antoinette de Bourbon, in 1534 Mary was married to Louis II d'Orléans, Duke of Longueville, the Grand Chamberlain of France. The marriage was arranged by King Francis I of France, but proved shortlived. The Duke of Longueville died in 1537, and the widower kings of England and Scotland, Henry VIII and James V, both sought the Duchess of Longueville's hand. After much persuasion from Francis I and James V, who wrote a personal letter pleading for her hand and counsel, Mary eventually relented and agreed to marry the King of Scots. Following the new queen's arrival in Scotland, James and Mary were married in person in June 1538 at St Andrews Cathedral. Mary was crowned queen at Holyrood Abbey on 22 February 1540, and the marriage produced three children in quick succession: James, Duke of Rothesay; Robert, Duke of Albany; and Mary. Both sons died in April 1541, and when James V himself died in December 1542, his only surviving heir, Mary, became Queen of Scots at the age of six days old. James V's death thrust Mary of Guise into the political arena as mother of the infant Queen of Scots, with the government of Scotland entrusted to James Hamilton, 2nd Earl of Arran, as regent during the early years of the minority and the Rough Wooing. With the Treaty of Haddington in 1548, the child queen Mary was betrothed to Francis, the Dauphin of France, and was sent to be brought up in France under the protection of King Henry II. Mary of Guise replaced Arran as regent in 1554, and her regency was dominated by her determination to protect and advance the dynastic interests of her daughter, maintain the Franco-Scottish alliance, and reassert the power of the Scottish crown. Throughout her regency, Mary displayed tolerance towards the religious reform movement, and implemented a policy of accommodation towards her Protestant subjects, though she was ultimately unable to prevent the Scottish Reformation.

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Mary of Lorraine, Queen of James V, mother of Mary Queen of Scots and Regent of Scotland from 1554-1560 died here 11th June 1560. "A lady of honourable conditions, of singular judgment, full of humanity, a great lover of justice, helpful to the poor"

Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh, United Kingdom where they died (1560)