Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Marie de Guise

Marie was a princess of the House of Lorraine, who became Queen of Scots and mother of Mary Stuart. As a young girl, she refused to marry Henry VIII, marrying his nephew in Scotland instead. She held the throne of Scotland for her daughter for many years in the midst of every adversity. To quote:
The Queen Mother faced a difficult situation. Coming from the Guise family, she was a devout Roman Catholic, which made her unpopular with many of the Scottish nobles who were adherents to the new radical Protestantism of John Knox. However, Marie de Guise was tolerant toward the Protestants and ruled in such an open manner that she made friends of many who would have been her enemies. The Protestants even backed her decision to marry their young Queen to the Dauphin of France, Francois II.

However, problems soon arose with England. Although Queen Elizabeth I had signed a peace treaty with Marie de Guise, she soon attacked Scotland anyway and even when not at war, England supported and encouraged Protestant subversion against the regency. Marie de Guise was forced to call in French troops and England forged an alliance with the Scottish elites and invaded north. Fortunately, Marie de Guise defeated the English in a stunning victory at Leith. The crackdown against the Protestant rebels became a civil war. The Queen Mother was driven from power, but later was able to return. France and England continued to support the opposite sides but the Queen managed to hold the government together by sheer determination.

No comments: