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Mary's Marriage Personal Appearance And Popularity

Mary The Queen Dauphiness The Queen And The Queen Dowager Of France

A Tangle

An Examination Of The Letters Sonnets And Other Writings Adduced In Evidence Against Mary Queen Of Scots

Occurrences Immediately Preceding Darnley's Death

The Little Waif

Paul's Walk



Mary's Birth And Subsequent Residence At The French Court

Least Viewed

Return To Scotland

The Bewitched Whistle

Hunting Down The Deer

My Lady's Remorse

The Love Token

Queen Mary's Presence Chamber

Mary's Reception In England And The Conferences At York And Westminster

Mary's Eighteen Years' Captivity

Before The Commissioners

Ten Years After

Return To Scotland


Calais.--Artificial piers and breakwaters.--Throckmorton.--Elizabeth's
plans.--Throckmorton baffled.--Throckmorton's advice.--Queen Catharine's
accident.--Mary's farewell to France.--Her deep emotion.--Mary's first
night on board.--Her reluctance to leave France.--Fog.--One vessel
captured.--Narrow escape.--Mary's Adieu to France.--Attempts to
translate it.--Translations of Mary's Adieu to France.--Arrival at
Leith.--Palace of Holyrood.--Mary's arrival unexpected.--Mary's
reception.--Contrasts.--The cavalcade.--Serenade.--Solitary
home.--Favorable impression.--The Lord James.--Mary makes him one of
her ministers.--The mass.--Transubstantiation.--Adoration of the
host.--Protestant and Catholic worship.--Violence and persecution.--The
mass in Mary's chapel.--Scene of excitement.--Lord James.--The reformer,
John Knox.--His uncompromising character.--Knox's interview with
Mary.--His sternness subdued.--The four Maries.--Queen Elizabeth's

Mary was to sail from the port of Calais. Calais is on the northern
coast of France, opposite to Dover in England, these towns being on
opposite sides of the Straits of Dover, where the channel between
England and France is very narrow. Still, the distance is so great
that the land on either side is ordinarily not visible on the other.
There is no good natural harbor at Calais, nor, in fact, at any other
point on the French coast. The French have had to supply the
deficiency by artificial piers and breakwaters. There are several
very capacious and excellent harbors on the English side. This may
have been one cause, among others, of the great naval superiority
which England has attained.

When Queen Elizabeth found that Mary was going to persevere in her
intention of returning to her native land, she feared that she might,
after her arrival in Scotland, and after getting established in power
there, form a scheme for making war upon her dominions, and
attempt to carry into effect her claim upon the English crown. She
wished to prevent this. Would it be prudent to intercept Mary upon
her passage? She reflected on this subject with the cautious
calculation which formed so striking a part of her character, and
felt in doubt. Her taking Mary a prisoner, and confining her a
captive in her own land, might incense Queen Catharine, who was now
regent of France, and also awaken a general resentment in Scotland,
so as to bring upon her the hostility of those two countries, and
thus, perhaps, make more mischief than the securing of Mary's person
would prevent.

She accordingly, as a previous step, sent to Throckmorton, her
embassador in France, directing him to have an interview with Queen
Catharine, and ascertain how far she would feel disposed to take
Mary's part. Throckmorton did this. Queen Catharine gave no direct
reply. She said that both herself and the young king wished well to
Elizabeth, and to Mary too, that it was her desire that the two
queens might be on good terms with each other; that she was a friend
to them both, and should not take a part against either of them.

This was all that Queen Elizabeth could expect, and she formed her
plans for intercepting Mary on her passage. She sent to Throckmorton,
asking him to find out, if he could, what port Queen Mary was to sail
from, and to send her word. She then gave orders to her naval
commanders to assemble as many ships as they could, and hold them in
readiness to sail into the seas between England and France, for the
purpose of exterminating the pirates, which she said had lately
become very numerous there.

Throckmorton took occasion, in a conversation which he had with Mary
soon after this, to inquire from what port she intended to sail; but
she did not give him the information. She suspected his motive, and
merely said, in reply to his question, that she hoped the wind would
prove favorable for carrying her away as far as possible from the
English coast, whatever might be the point from which she should take
her departure. Throckmorton then endeavored to find out the
arrangements of the voyage by other means, but without much success.
He wrote to Elizabeth that he thought Mary would sail either from
Havre or Calais; that she would go eastward, along the shore of the
Continent, by Flanders and Holland, till she had gained a
considerable distance from the English coast, and then would sail
north along the eastern shores of the German Ocean. He advised that
Elizabeth should send spies to Calais and to Havre, and perhaps to
other French ports, to watch there, and to let her know whenever they
observed any appearances of preparations for Mary's departure.

In the mean time, as the hour for Mary's farewell to Paris and all
its scenes of luxury and splendor, drew near, those who had loved her
were drawn more closely to her in heart than ever, and those who had
been envious and jealous began to relent, and to look upon her with
feelings of compassion and of kind regard. Queen Catharine treated
her with extreme kindness during the last few days of her stay, and

she accompanied her for some distance on her journey, with every
manifestation of sincere affection and good will. She stopped, at
length, at St. Germain, and there, with many tears, she bade her
gentle daughter-in-law a long and last farewell.

Many princes and nobles, especially of the family of Guise, Mary's
relatives, accompanied her through the whole journey. They formed
quite a long cavalcade, and attracted great attention in all the
towns and districts through which they passed. They traveled slowly,
but at length arrived at Calais, where they waited nearly a week to
complete the arrangements for Mary's embarkation. At length the day
arrived for her to set sail. A large concourse of spectators
assembled to witness the scene. Four ships had been provided for the
transportation of the party and their effects. Two of these were
galleys. They were provided with banks of oars, and large crews of
rowers, by means of which the vessels could be propelled when the
wind failed. The two other vessels were merely vessels of burden, to
carry the furniture and other effects of the passengers.

Many of the queen's friends were to accompany her to Scotland. The
four Maries were among them. She bade those that were to remain
behind farewell, and prepared to embark on board the royal galley.
Her heart was very sad. Just at this time, a vessel which was coming
in struck against the pier, in consequence of a heavy sea which was
rolling in, and of the distraction of the seamen occasioned by Mary's
embarkation. The vessel which struck was so injured by the concussion
that it filled immediately and sank. Most of the seamen on board
were drowned. This accident produced great excitement and confusion.
Mary looked upon the scene from the deck of her vessel, which was now
slowly moving from the shore. It alarmed her, and impressed her mind
with a sad and mournful sense of the dangers of the elements to whose
mercy she was now to be committed for many days. "What an unhappy
omen is this!" she exclaimed. She then went to the stern of the ship,
looked back at the shore, then knelt down, and, covering her face
with her hands, sobbed aloud. "Farewell, France!" she exclaimed: "I
shall never, never see thee more." Presently, when her emotions for a
moment subsided, she would raise her eyes, and take another view of
the slowly-receding shore, and then exclaim again, "Farewell, my
beloved France! farewell! farewell!"


She remained in this position, suffering this anguish, for five hours,
when it began to grow dark, and she could no longer see the shore. She
then rose, saying that her beloved country was gone from her sight
forever. "The darkness, like a thick veil, hides thee from my sight,
and I shall see thee no more. So farewell, beloved land! farewell
forever!" She left her place at the stern, but she would not leave
the deck. She made them bring up a bed, and place it for her there,
near the stern. They tried to induce her to go into the cabin, or at
least to take some supper; but she would not. She lay down upon her
bed. She charged the helmsman to awaken her at the dawn, if the land
was in sight when the dawn should appear. She then wept herself to

During the night the air was calm, and the vessels in which Mary and
her company had embarked made such small progress, being worked only
by the oars, that the land came into view again with the gray light
of the morning. The helmsman awoke Mary, and the sight of the shore
renewed her anguish and tears. She said that she could not go. She
wished that Elizabeth's ships would come in sight, so as to compel
her squadron to return. But no English fleet appeared. On the
contrary, the breeze freshened. The sailors unfurled the sails, the
oars were taken in, and the great crew of oarsmen rested from their
toil. The ships began to make their way rapidly through the rippling
water. The land soon became a faint, low cloud in the horizon, and in
an hour all traces of it entirely disappeared.

The voyage continued for ten days. They saw nothing of Elizabeth's
cruisers. It was afterward ascertained, however, that these ships
were at one time very near to them, and were only prevented from
seeing and taking them by a dense fog, which at that time happened to
cover the sea. One of the vessels of burden was seen and taken, and
carried to England. It contained, however, only some of Mary's
furniture and effects. She herself escaped the danger.

The fog, which was thus Mary's protection at one time, was a source
of great difficulty and danger at another; for, when they were
drawing near to the place of their landing in Scotland, they were
enveloped in a fog so dense that they could scarcely see from one end
of the vessel to the other. They stopped the progress of their
vessels, and kept continually sounding; and when at length the fog
cleared away, they found themselves involved in a labyrinth of rocks
and shoals of the most dangerous character. They made their escape at
last, and went on safely toward the land. Mary said, however, that
she felt, at the time, entirely indifferent as to the result. She was
so disconsolate and wretched at having parted forever from all that
was dear to her, that it seemed to her that she was equally willing
to live or to die.

Mary, who, among her other accomplishments, had a great deal of
poetic talent, wrote some lines, called her Farewell to France, which
have been celebrated from that day to this. They are as follows:


Adieu, plaisant pays de France!
O ma patrie,
La plus cherie;
Qui a nourri ma jeune enfance.
Adieu, France! adieu, mes beaux jours!
La nef qui dejoint mes amours,
N'a cy de moi que la moitie;
Une parte te reste; elle est tienne;
Je la fie a ton amitie,
Pour que de l'autre il te souvienne.

Many persons have attempted to translate these lines into English
verse; but it is always extremely difficult to translate poetry from
one language to another. We give here two of the best of these
translations. The reader can judge, by observing how different they
are from each other, how different they must both be from their
common original.


Farewell to thee, thou pleasant shore,
The loved, the cherished home to me
Of infant joy, a dream that's o'er,
Farewell, dear France! farewell to thee.

The sail that wafts me bears away
From thee but half my soul alone;
Its fellow half will fondly stay,
And back to thee has faithful flown.

I trust it to thy gentle care;
For all that here remains with me
Lives but to think of all that's there,
To love and to remember thee.

The other translation is as follows:


Adieu, thou pleasant land of France!
The dearest of all lands to me,
Where life was like a joyful dance,
The joyful dance of infancy.

Farewell my childhood's laughing wiles,
Farewell the joys of youth's bright day,
The bark that takes me from thy smiles,
Bears but my meaner half away.

The best is thine; my changeless heart
Is given, beloved France, to thee;
And let it sometimes, though we part,
Remind thee, with a sigh, of me.

It was on the 19th of August, 1561, that the two galleys arrived at
Leith. Leith is a small port on the shore of the Frith of Forth,
about two miles from Edinburgh, which is situated somewhat inland.
The royal palace, where Mary was to reside, was called the Palace of
Holyrood. It was, and is still, a large square building, with an open
court in the center, into which there is access for carriages through
a large arched passage-way in the center of the principal front of
the building. In the rear, but connected with the palace, there was a
chapel in Mary's day, though it is now in ruins. The walls still
remain, but the roof is gone. The people of Scotland were not
expecting Mary so soon. Information was communicated from country to
country, in those days, slowly and with great difficulty. Perhaps the
time of Mary's departure from France was purposely concealed even
from the Scotch, to avoid all possibility that the knowledge of it
should get into Elizabeth's possession.

At any rate, the first intelligence which the inhabitants of
Edinburgh and the vicinity had of the arrival of their queen, was the
approach of the galleys to the shore, and the firing of a royal
salute from their guns. The Palace of Holyrood was not ready for
Mary's reception, and she had to remain a day at Leith, awaiting the
necessary preparations. In the mean time, the whole population began
to assemble to welcome her arrival. Military bands were turned out;
banners were prepared; civil and military officers in full costume
assembled, and bon-fires and illuminations were provided for the
evening and night. In a word, Mary's subjects in Scotland did all in
their power to do honor to the occasion; but the preparations were so
far beneath the pomp and pageantry which she had been accustomed to
in France, that she felt the contrast very keenly, and realized, more
forcibly than ever, how great was the change which the circumstances
of her life were undergoing.

[Illustration: PALACE OF HOLYROOD. With Salisbury Crags and Arthur's
Seat in the Distance.]

Horses were prepared for Mary and her large company of attendants, to
ride from Leith to Edinburgh. The long cavalcade moved toward evening.
The various professions and trades of Edinburgh were drawn up in lines
on each side of the road, and thousands upon thousands of other
spectators assembled to witness the scene. When she reached the Palace
of Holyrood House, a band of music played for a time under her
windows, and then the great throng quietly dispersed, leaving Mary to
her repose. The adjoining engraving represents the Palace of Holyrood
as it now appears. In Mary's day, the northern part only had been
built--that is, the part on the left, in the view, where the ivy
climbs about the windows--and the range extending back to the royal
chapel, the ruins of which are seen in the rear.[E] Mary took up her
abode in this dwelling, and was glad to rest from the fatigues and
privations of her long voyage; but she found her new home a solitary
and gloomy dwelling, compared with the magnificent palaces of the land
she had left.

[Footnote E: For the situation of this palace in respect to Edinburgh
see the view of Edinburgh, page 179.]

Mary made an extremely favorable impression upon her subjects in
Scotland. To please them, she exchanged the white mourning of France,
from which she had taken the name of the White Queen, for a black
dress, more accordant with the ideas and customs of her native land.
This gave her a more sedate and matronly character, and though the
expression of her countenance and figure was somewhat changed by it,
it was only a change to a new form of extreme and fascinating beauty.
Her manners, too, so graceful and easy, and yet so simple and
unaffected, charmed all who saw her.

Mary had a half brother in Scotland, whose title was at this time the
Lord James. He was afterward named the Earl of Murray, and is
commonly known in history under this latter designation. The mother
of Lord James was not legally married to Mary's father, and
consequently he could not inherit any of his father's rights to the
Scottish crown. The Lord James was, however, a man of very high rank
and influence, and Mary immediately received him into her service,
and made him one of her highest ministers of state. He was now about
thirty years of age, prudent, cautious, and wise, of good person and
manners, but somewhat reserved and austere.

Lord James had the general direction of affairs on Mary's arrival,
and things went on very smoothly for a week; but then, on the first
Sunday after the landing, a very serious difficulty threatened to
occur. The Catholics have a certain celebration, called the mass, to
which they attach a very serious and solemn importance. When our
Savior gave the bread and the wine to his disciples at the Last
Supper he said of it, "This is my body, broken for you," and "This is
my blood, shed for you." The Catholics understand that these words
denote that the bread and wine did at that time, and that they do
now, whenever the communion service is celebrated by a priest duly
authorized, become, by a sort of miraculous transformation, the true
body and blood of Christ, and that the priest, in breaking the one
and pouring out the other, is really and truly renewing the great
sacrifice for sin made by Jesus Christ at his crucifixion. The mass,
therefore, in which the bread and the wine are so broken and poured
out, becomes, in their view, not a mere service of prayer and praise
to God, but a solemn act of sacrifice. The spectators, or
assistants, as they call them, meaning all who are present on the
occasion, stand by, not merely to hear words of adoration, in which
they mentally join, as is the case in most Protestant forms of
worship, but to witness the enactment of a deed, and one of great
binding force and validity: a real and true sacrifice of Christ, made
anew, as an atonement for their sins. The bread, when consecrated,
and as they suppose, transmuted to the body of Christ, is held up to
view, or carried in a procession around the church, that all present
may bow before it and adore it as really being, though in the form of
bread, the wounded and broken body of the Lord.

Of course the celebration of the mass is invested, in the minds of
all conscientious Catholics, with the utmost solemnity and
importance. They stand silently by, with the deepest feelings of
reverence and awe, while the priest offers up for them, anew, the
great sacrifice for sin. They regard all Protestant worship, which
consists of mere exhortations to duty, hymns and prayers, as lifeless
and void. That which is to them the soul, the essence, and substance
of the whole, is wanting. On the other hand, the Protestants abhor
the sacrifice of the mass as gross superstition. They think that the
bread remains simply bread after the benediction as much as before;
that for the priests to pretend that in breaking it they renew the
sacrifice of Christ, is imposture; and that to bow before it in
adoration and homage is the worst idolatry.

Now it happened that during Mary's absence in France, the contest
between the Catholics and the Protestants had been going fiercely
on, and the result had been the almost complete defeat of the
Catholic party, and the establishment of the Protestant interest
throughout the realm. A great many deeds of violence accompanied this
change. Churches and abbeys were sometimes sacked and destroyed. The
images of saints, which the Catholics had put up, were pulled down
and broken; and the people were sometimes worked up to phrensy
against the principles of the Catholic faith and Catholic
observances. They abhorred the mass, and were determined that it
should not be introduced again into Scotland.

Queen Mary, knowing this state of things determined, on her arrival
in Scotland, not to interfere with her people in the exercise of
their religion; but she resolved to remain a Catholic herself, and to
continue, for the use of her own household, in the royal chapel at
Holyrood, the same Catholic observances to which she had been
accustomed in France. She accordingly gave orders that mass should be
celebrated in her chapel on the first Sunday after her arrival. She
was very willing to abstain from interfering with the religious
usages of her subjects, but she was not willing to give up her own.

The friends of the Reformation had a meeting, and resolved that mass
should not be celebrated. There was, however, no way of preventing
it but by intimidation or violence. When Sunday came, crowds began to
assemble about the palace and the chapel,[F] and to fill all the
avenues leading to them. The Catholic families who were going to
attend the service were treated rudely as they passed. The priests
they threatened with death. One, who carried a candle which was to be
used in the ceremonies, was extremely terrified at their threats and
imprecations. The excitement was very great, and would probably have
proceeded to violent extremities, had it not been for Lord James's
energy and courage. He was a Protestant, but he took his station at
the door of the chapel, and, without saying or doing any thing to
irritate the crowd without, he kept them at bay, while the service
proceeded. It went on to the close, though greatly interrupted by the
confusion and uproar. Many of the French people who came with Mary
were so terrified by this scene, that they declared they would not
stay in such a country, and took the first opportunity of returning
to France.

[Footnote F: The ruins of the royal chapel are to be seen in the rear
of the palace in the view on page 114.]

One of the most powerful and influential of the leaders of the
Protestant party at this time was the celebrated John Knox. He was a
man of great powers of mind and of commanding eloquence; and he had
exerted a vast influence in arousing the people of Scotland to a
feeling of strong abhorrence of what they considered the abominations
of popery. When Queen Mary of England was upon the throne, Knox had
written a book against her, and against queens in general, women
having, according to his views, no right to govern. Knox was a man of
the most stern and uncompromising character, who feared nothing,
respected nothing, and submitted to no restraints in the blunt and
plain discharge of what he considered his duty. Mary dreaded his
influence and power.

Knox had an interview with Mary not long after her arrival, and it is
one of the most striking instances of the strange ascendency which
Mary's extraordinary beauty and grace, and the pensive charm of her
demeanor, exercised over all that came within her influence, that
even John Knox, whom nothing else could soften or subdue, found his
rough and indomitable energy half forsaking him in the presence of
his gentle queen. She expostulated with him. He half apologized.
Nothing had ever drawn the least semblance of an apology from him
before. He told her that his book was aimed solely against Queen Mary
of England, and not against her; that she had no cause to fear its
influence; that, in respect to the freedom with which he had advanced
his opinions and theories on the subjects of government and religion,
she need not be alarmed, for philosophers had always done this in
every age, and yet had lived good citizens of the state, whose
institutions they had, nevertheless, in some sense theoretically
condemned. He told her, moreover, that he had no intention of
troubling her reign; that she might be sure of this, since, if he had
such a desire, he should have commenced his measures during her
absence, and not have postponed them until her position on the throne
was strengthened by her return. Thus he tried to soothe her fears,
and to justify himself from the suspicion of having designed any
injury to such a gentle and helpless queen. The interview was a very
extraordinary spectacle. It was that of a lion laying aside his
majestic sternness and strength to dispel the fears and quiet the
apprehensions of a dove. The interview was, however, after all,
painful and distressing to Mary. Some things which the stern reformer
felt it his duty to say to her, brought tears into her eyes.

Mary soon became settled in her new home, though many circumstances
in her situation were well calculated to disquiet and disturb her.
She lived in the palace at Holyrood. The four Maries continued with
her for a time, and then two of them were married to nobles of high
rank. Queen Elizabeth sent Mary a kind message, congratulating her on
her safe arrival in Scotland, and assuring her that the story of her
having attempted to intercept her was false. Mary, who had no means
of proving Elizabeth's insincerity, sent her back a polite reply.

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