Her reign was a troubled time for Scotland, one marked by religious tension between the Catholic Church, to which Mary belonged, and Presbyterian reformers who followed a Calvinist doctrine, who included much of the Scottish nobility. In 1567 the nobility overthrew Mary, and she fled to England without her infant son, who was proclaimed King James VI.
Mary lived the remaining twenty-one years of her life in exile in England, where she was alleged to have been involved in as many as three plots against the life of her second cousin once removed, Queen Elizabeth. Mary was Elizabeth's closest living relative, and Catholic monarchs throughout Europe insisted that Mary was the legitimate heir to the English throne. Some insisted that, as Henry VIII's divorce from Catherine of Aragon was not recognized by the Church, his marriage to Anne Boleyn was illegitimate, Elizabeth was a bastard and Mary was already the rightful Queen of England.
Mary was tried and convicted of treason against England despite the fact that she was not and had never been an English subject. During the trial she was denied access to legal counsel and was prevented from examining the evidence being introduced against her. On Elizabeth's orders, Mary was executed 1587. Mary became popularly seen as a Catholic martyr, though she was never canonized by her church. Catholics throughout Europe were outraged at the act, due to a combination of disappointment at losing the strongest Catholic claimant to the English throne, the injustice of her trial and execution, and horror at the breaking of the ancient taboo against executing a crowned monarch. The fallout from Mary's execution was a factor in exacerbating the Anglo-Spanish Wars, leading to King Philip II of Spain's attempt to invade England.
Mary Queen of Scots in Ruled BritanniaEdit
When Spanish forces conquered England in 1588, the year following Mary Queen of Scots' execution, King Philip II imprisoned Queen Elizabeth in the Tower of London, and maintained that allowing her to live was a mercy on his part, as he would have been justified in killing Elizabeth as vengeance for Mary. In 1598, a paradox occurred to Lope de Vega: killing Mary may well have saved Elizabeth's life, as it gave Philip an incentive to show his moral superiority by demonstrating that he, unlike Elizabeth, would never stoop to regicide.
| Regnal titles|
|Queen of Scotland|
| Succeeded by|
Catherine de Medici
|Queen consort of France|
| Succeeded by|
Elisabeth of Austria