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Mary of Guise

From Academic Kids

Marie de Guise (in English, Mary of Guise) (November 22,1515June,1560) was the Queen Consort of James V of Scotland and the mother of Mary, Queen of Scots. She was Regent, or Governor, of Scotland 1554-1560.

Image:marguise.JPG

The eldest daughter of Claude, Duke of Guise, head of the French House of Guise, and his wife Antoinette of Bourbon, Marie was born at Bar-le-Duc, Lorraine. On August 4 1534, at the age of 19, she was married to Louis of Orleans, Duke of Longueville, at the Louvre. Their union was a happy one and on October 30 1535 her first son Francis was born. In the winter of 1536, she attended the wedding of her future husband, King James V of Scotland, and the French King's eldest daughter, Princess Madeleine, in Paris.

On June 9 1537, Louis died at Rouen from an unclear epidemic and left her a widow at the age of 21. However, on August 4, Marie gave birth to her second son, Louis. Later that year, James V of Scotland, having lost his first bride in July, was intent on procuring himself another French bride to further the interests of the Franco-Scottish alliance against England. Marie de Guise now became the focus of his marriage negotiations. His uncle Henry VIII of England decided to prevent this dangerous union by asking for Marie's hand for himself. Francis I of France accepted James's proposals over Henry's and conveyed his wishes to Marie's father. Marie received the news with shock and alarm. She did not rejoice at the prospect of leaving family and country, especially now that she had just lost little Louis aged only four months. Her father was caught in a diplomatic wrangle. He tried to delay matters as much as he could until James, probably sensing her reluctance, wrote her a letter in which he appealed to her for advice and support. Marie accepted the offer and hurried plans for departure.

On May 18 1538, at Notre-Dame de Paris, James V and Marie de Guise were married through Robert, Lord Maxwell acting as proxy. Accompanied by a fleet of ships sent by James, Marie departed from France in June, forced to leave little Francis behind. She landed in Fife on June 10 and was formally received by James V. They were married in person a few days later at St Andrews. She was crowned as Queen Consort at Holyrood Abbey on February 22 1540. James and Marie had two sons, but James lived less than a year, and Robert only two days. Their daughter Mary was born on December 8, 1542, and James died six days later, making Mary queen.

It was Marie de Guise who effectively ruled Scotland as Regent for Queen Mary, whom Marie sent to France when Mary was 5 years old, to be raised with her husband-to-be, the son of the French king Henry II. Marie always consulted with her two powerful brothers in France - Charles, Cardinal of Lorraine, and Francis, Duke of Guise, both of whom held government positions - so that Scotland and France worked as allies in dealing with other nations.

Marie's regency was threatened, however, by the growing influence of the Scottish Protestants, who effectively deposed her on religious grounds. When Marie died in June 10 or 11, 1560 at Edinburgh Castle, her body was taken back to France and interred at the church in the Convent of Saint-Pierre in Reims, where Marie's sister Renée was the abbess.

In modern times - both in the movie Elizabeth and in Philippa Gregory's novel The Virgin's Lover it has been suggested that Queen Elizabeth Tudor ordered Mary's assassination by poisoning her. There is no evidence for this and Mary of Guise's death was one of the few royal deaths in the 16th century which wasn't attributed by her paranoid contemporaries to poison.de:Marie de Guise nl:Marie de Guise

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