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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

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Return To Scotland

The Bewitched Whistle

My Lady's Remorse

Hunting Down The Deer

Mary's Eighteen Years' Captivity

Queen Mary's Presence Chamber

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

The Love Token

Before The Commissioners

Loch Leven Castle

Mary's Childhood


Palace where Mary was born.--Its situation.--Ruins.--The
room.--Visitors.--Mary's father in the wars.--His
death.--Regency.--Catholic religion.--The Protestants.--England
and France.--The Earl of Arran.--The regency.--Arran
regent.--New plan.--End of the war.--King Henry VIII.--Janet
Sinclair.--King Henry's demands.--Objections to them.--Plans for
Mary.--Linlithgow.--Plan of the palace.--Fountain.--The lion's
den.--Explanation of the engraving.--The coronation.--Stirling
Castle.--Its situation.--Rocky hill.--The coronation scene.--Linlithgow
and Stirling.--The Highlands and the Highlanders.--Religious
disturbances.--Lake Menteith.--Mary's companions.--The four
Maries.--Angry disputes.--Change of plan.--Henry's anger.--Henry's
sickness and death.--War renewed.--Danger in Edinburgh.--Aid from
France.--New plan.--Going to France.--Dumbarton Castle.--Rock of
Dumbarton.--Journey to Dumbarton.--The four Maries.--Departure from

Travelers who go into Scotland take a great interest in visiting,
among other places, a certain room in the ruins of an old palace,
where Queen Mary was born. Queen Mary was very beautiful, but she was
very unfortunate and unhappy. Every body takes a strong interest in
her story, and this interest attaches, in some degree, to the room
where her sad and sorrowful life was begun.

The palace is near a little village called Linlithgow. The village
has but one long street, which consists of ancient stone houses.
North of it is a little lake, or rather pond: they call it, in
Scotland, a loch. The palace is between the village and the loch;
it is upon a beautiful swell of land which projects out into the
water. There is a very small island in the middle of the loch and the
shores are bordered with fertile fields. The palace, when entire,
was square, with an open space or court in the center. There was a
beautiful stone fountain in the center of this court, and an arched
gateway through which horsemen and carriages could ride in. The doors
of entrance into the palace were on the inside of the court.

The palace is now in ruins. A troop of soldiers came to it one day in
time of war, after Mary and her mother had left it, and spent the
night there: they spread straw over the floors to sleep upon. In the
morning, when they went away, they wantonly set the straw on fire,
and left it burning, and thus the palace was destroyed. Some of the
lower floors were of stone; but all the upper floors and the roof
were burned, and all the wood-work of the rooms, and the doors and
window-frames. Since then the palace has never been repaired, but
remains a melancholy pile of ruins.

The room where Mary was born had a stone floor. The rubbish which has
fallen from above has covered it with a sort of soil, and grass and
weeds grow up all over it. It is a very melancholy sight to see. The
visitors who go into the room walk mournfully about, trying to
imagine how Queen Mary looked, as an infant in her mother's arms,
and reflecting on the recklessness of the soldiers in wantonly
destroying so beautiful a palace. Then they go to the window, or,
rather, to the crumbling opening in the wall where the window once
was, and look out upon the loch, now so deserted and lonely; over
their heads it is all open to the sky.

Mary's father was King of Scotland. At the time that Mary was born,
he was away from home engaged in war with the King of England, who
had invaded Scotland. In the battles Mary's father was defeated, and
he thought that the generals and nobles who commanded his army
allowed the English to conquer them on purpose to betray him. This
thought overwhelmed him with vexation and anguish. He pined away
under the acuteness of his sufferings, and just after the news came
to him that his daughter Mary was born, he died. Thus Mary became an
orphan, and her troubles commenced, at the very beginning of her
days. She never saw her father, and her father never saw her. Her
mother was a French lady; her name was Mary of Guise. Her own name
was Mary Stuart, but she is commonly called Mary Queen of Scots.

As Mary was her father's only child, of course, when he died, she
became Queen of Scotland, although she was only a few days old. It
is customary, in such a case, to appoint some distinguished person to
govern the kingdom, in the name of the young queen, until she grows
up: such a person is called a regent. Mary's mother wished to be
the regent until Mary became of age.

It happened that in those days, as now, the government and people of
France were of the Catholic religion. England, on the other hand, was
Protestant. There is a great difference between the Catholic and the
Protestant systems. The Catholic Church, though it extends nearly all
over the world, is banded together, as the reader is aware, under one
man--the pope--who is the great head of the Church, and who lives in
state at Rome. The Catholics have, in all countries, many large and
splendid churches, which are ornamented with paintings and images of
the Virgin Mary and of Christ. They perform great ceremonies in these
churches, the priests being dressed in magnificent costumes, and
walking in processions, with censers of incense burning as they go.
The Protestants, on the other hand, do not like these ceremonies;
they regard such outward acts of worship as mere useless parade, and
the images as idols. They themselves have smaller and plainer
churches, and call the people together in them to hear sermons, and
to offer up simple prayers.

In the time of Mary, England was Protestant and France was Catholic,
while Scotland was divided, though most of the people were
Protestants. The two parties were very much excited against each
other, and often persecuted each other with extreme cruelty.
Sometimes the Protestants would break into the Catholic churches, and
tear down and destroy the paintings and the images, and the other
symbols of worship, all which the Catholics regarded with extreme
veneration; this exasperated the Catholics, and when they became
powerful in their turn, they would seize the Protestants and imprison
them, and sometimes burn them to death, by tying them to a stake and
piling fagots of wood about them, and then setting the heap on fire.

Queen Mary's mother was a Catholic, and for that reason the people of
Scotland were not willing that she should be regent. There were one
or two other persons, moreover, who claimed the office. One was a
certain nobleman called the Earl of Arran. He was a Protestant. The
Earl of Arran was the next heir to the crown, so that if Mary had
died in her infancy, he would have been king. He thought that this
was a reason why he should be regent, and govern the kingdom until
Mary became old enough to govern it herself. Many other persons,
however, considered this rather a reason why he should not be regent;
for they thought he would be naturally interested in wishing that
Mary should not live, since if she died he would himself become king,
and that therefore he would not be a safe protector for her. However,
as the Earl of Arran was a Protestant, and as Mary's mother was a
Catholic, and as the Protestant interest was the strongest, it was at
length decided that Arran should be the regent, and govern the
country until Mary should be of age.

It is a curious circumstance that Mary's birth put an end to the war
between England and Scotland, and that in a very singular way. The
King of England had been fighting against Mary's father, James, for a
long time, in order to conquer the country and annex it to England;
and now that James was dead, and Mary had become queen, with Arran
for the regent, it devolved on Arran to carry on the war. But the
King of England and his government, now that the young queen was
born, conceived of a new plan. The king had a little son, named
Edward, about four years old, who, of course, would become King of
England in his place when he should himself die. Now he thought it
would be best for him to conclude a peace with Scotland, and agree
with the Scottish government that, as soon as Mary was old enough,
she should become Edward's wife, and the two kingdoms be united in
that way.

The name of this King of England was Henry the Eighth. He was a very
headstrong and determined man. This, his plan, might have been a very
good one; it was certainly much better than an attempt to get
possession of Scotland by fighting for it; but he was very far from
being as moderate and just as he should have been in the execution of
his design. The first thing was to ascertain whether Mary was a
strong and healthy child; for if he should make a treaty of peace,
and give up all his plans of conquest, and then if Mary, after living
feebly a few years, should die, all his plans would fail. To satisfy
him on this point, they actually had some of the infant's clothes
removed in the presence of his embassador, in order that the
embassador might see that her form was perfect, and her limbs
vigorous and strong. The nurse did this with great pride and
pleasure, Mary's mother standing by. The nurse's name was Janet
Sinclair. The embassador wrote back to Henry, the King of England,
that little Mary was "as goodly a child as he ever saw." So King
Henry VIII. was confirmed in his design of having her for the wife of
his son.

King Henry VIII. accordingly changed all his plans. He made a peace
with the Earl of Arran. He dismissed the prisoners that he had taken,
and sent them home kindly. If he had been contented with kind and
gentle measures like these, he might have succeeded in them, although
there was, of course, a strong party in Scotland opposed to them.
Mary's mother was opposed to them, for she was a Catholic and a
French lady, and she wished to have her daughter become a Catholic as
she grew up, and marry a French prince. All the Catholics in Scotland
took her side. Still Henry's plans might have been accomplished,
perhaps, if he had been moderate and conciliating in the efforts
which he made to carry them into effect.

But Henry VIII. was headstrong and obstinate. He demanded that Mary,
since she was to be his son's wife, should be given up to him to be
taken into England, and educated there, under the care of persons
whom he should appoint. He also demanded that the Parliament of
Scotland should let him have a large share in the government of
Scotland, because he was going to be the father-in-law of the young
queen. The Parliament would not agree to either of these plans; they
were entirely unwilling to allow their little queen to be carried off
to another country, and put under the charge of so rough and rude a
man. Then they were unwilling, too, to give him any share of the
government during Mary's minority. Both these measures were entirely
inadmissible; they would, if adopted, have put both the infant Queen
of Scotland and the kingdom itself completely in the power of one who
had always been their greatest enemy.

Henry, finding that he could not induce the Scotch government to
accede to these plans, gave them up at last, and made a treaty of
marriage between his son and Mary, with the agreement that she might
remain in Scotland until she was ten years old, and that then she
should come to England and be under his care.

All this time, while these grand negotiations were pending between
two mighty nations about her marriage, little Mary was unconscious
of it all, sometimes reposing quietly in Janet Sinclair's arms,
sometimes looking out of the windows of the Castle of Linlithgow to
see the swans swim upon the lake, and sometimes, perhaps, creeping
about upon the palace floor, where the earls and barons who came to
visit her mother, clad in armor of steel, looked upon her with pride
and pleasure. The palace where she lived was beautifully situated, as
has been before remarked, on the borders of a lake. It was arranged
somewhat in the following manner:


a. Room where Mary was born. b. Entrance through great gates.
c. Bow-window projecting toward the water. d. Den where they kept
a lion. t.t. Trees.]

There was a beautiful fountain in the center of the court-yard, where
water spouted out from the mouths of carved images, and fell into
marble basins below. The ruins of this fountain and of the images
remain there still. The den at d was a round pit, like a well,
which you could look down into from above: it was about ten feet
deep. They used to keep lions in such dens near the palaces and
castles in those days. A lion in a den was a sort of plaything in
former times, as a parrot or a pet lamb is now: this was in keeping
with the fierce and warlike spirit of the age. If they had a lion
there in Mary's time, Janet often, doubtless, took her little charge
out to see it, and let her throw down food to it from above. The den
is there now. You approach it upon the top of a broad embankment,
which is as high as the depth of the den, so that the bottom of the
den is level with the surface of the ground, which makes it always
dry. There is a hole, too, at the bottom, through the wall, where
they used to put the lion in.

The foregoing plan of the buildings and grounds of Linlithgow is
drawn as maps and plans usually are, the upper part toward the north.
Of course the room a, where Mary was born, is on the western side.
The adjoining engraving represents a view of the palace on this
western side. The church is seen at the right; and the lawn, where
Janet used to take Mary out to breathe the air, is in the
fore-ground. The shore of the lake is very near, and winds
beautifully around the margin of the promontory on which the palace
stands. Of course the lion's den, and the ancient avenue of approach
to the palace, are round upon the other side, and out of sight in
this view. The approach to the palace, at the present day, is on the
southern side, between the church and the trees on the right of the

[Illustration: PALACE OF LINLITHGOW--Queen Mary's Birth-place.]

Mary remained here at Linlithgow for a year or two; but when she was
about nine months old, they concluded to have the great ceremony of
the coronation performed, as she was by that time old enough to bear
the journey to Stirling Castle, where the Scottish kings and queens
were generally crowned. The coronation of a queen is an event which
always excites a very deep and universal interest among all persons in
the realm; and there is a peculiar interest felt when, as was the case
in this instance, the queen to be crowned is an infant just old enough
to bear the journey. There was a very great interest felt in Mary's
coronation. The different courts and monarchs of Europe sent
embassadors to be present at the ceremony, and to pay their respects
to the infant queen; and Stirling became, for the time being, the
center of universal attraction.

Stirling is in the very heart of Scotland. It is a castle, built upon
a rock, or, rather, upon a rocky hill, which rises like an island out
of the midst of a vast region of beautiful and fertile country, rich
and verdant beyond description. Beyond the confines of this region of
beauty, dark mountains rise on all sides; and wherever you are,
whether riding along the roads in the plain, or climbing the
declivities of the mountains, you see Stirling Castle, from every
point, capping its rocky hill, the center and ornament of the broad
expanse of beauty which surrounds it.

Stirling Castle is north of Linlithgow, and is distant about fifteen
or twenty miles from it. The road to it lies not far from the shores
of the Frith of Forth, a broad and beautiful sheet of water. The
castle, as has been before remarked, was on the summit of a rocky
hill. There are precipitous crags on three sides of the hill, and a
gradual approach by a long ascent on the fourth side. At the top of
this ascent you enter the great gates of the castle, crossing a
broad and deep ditch by means of a draw-bridge. You enter then a
series of paved courts, with towers and walls around them, and
finally come to the more interior edifices, where the private
apartments are situated, and where the little queen was crowned.

It was an occasion of great pomp and ceremony, though Mary, of
course, was unconscious of the meaning of it all. She was surrounded
by barons and earls, by embassadors and princes from foreign courts,
and by the principal lords and ladies of the Scottish nobility, all
dressed in magnificent costumes. They held little Mary up, and a
cardinal, that is, a great dignitary of the Roman Catholic Church,
placed the crown upon her head. Half pleased with the glittering
show, and half frightened at the strange faces which she saw every
where around her, she gazed unconsciously upon the scene, while her
mother, who could better understand its import, was elated with pride
and joy.

Linlithgow and Stirling are in the open and cultivated part of
Scotland. All the northern and western part of the country consists
of vast masses of mountains, with dark and somber glens among them,
which are occupied solely by shepherds and herdsmen with their
flocks and herds. This mountainous region was called the Highlands,
and the inhabitants of it were the Highlanders. They were a wild and
warlike class of men, and their country was seldom visited by either
friend or foe. At the present time there are beautiful roads all
through the Highlands, and stage-coaches and private carriages roll
over them every summer, to take tourists to see and admire the
picturesque and beautiful scenery; but in the days of Mary the whole
region was gloomy and desolate, and almost inaccessible.

Mary remained in Linlithgow and Stirling for about two years, and
then, as the country was becoming more and more disturbed by the
struggles of the great contending parties--those who were in favor of
the Catholic religion and alliance with France on the one hand, and
of those in favor of the Protestant religion and alliance with
England on the other hand--they concluded to send her into the
Highlands for safety.

It was not far into the country of the Highlands that they concluded
to send her, but only into the borders of it. There was a small
lake on the southern margin of the wild and mountainous country,
called the Lake of Menteith. In this lake was an island named
Inchmahome, the word inch being the name for island in the language
spoken by the Highlanders. This island, which was situated in a very
secluded and solitary region, was selected as Mary's place of
residence. She was about four years old when they sent her to this
place. Several persons went with her to take care of her, and to
teach her. In fact, every thing was provided for her which could
secure her improvement and happiness. Her mother did not forget that
she would need playmates, and so she selected four little girls of
about the same age with the little queen herself, and invited them to
accompany her. They were daughters of the noblemen and high officers
about the court. It is very singular that these girls were all named
Mary. Their names in full were as follows:

Mary Beaton,
Mary Fleming,
Mary Livingstone,
Mary Seaton.

These, with Mary Stuart, which was Queen Mary's name, made five girls
of four or five years of age, all named Mary.

Mary lived two years in this solitary island. She had, however, all
the comforts and conveniences of life, and enjoyed herself with her
four Maries very much. Of course she knew nothing, and thought
nothing of the schemes and plans of the great governments for having
her married, when she grew up, to the young English prince, who was
then a little boy of about her own age, nor of the angry disputes in
Scotland to which this subject gave rise. It did give rise to very
serious disputes. Mary's mother did not like the plan at all. As she
was herself a French lady and a Catholic, she did not wish to have
her daughter marry a prince who was of the English royal family, and
a Protestant. All the Catholics in Scotland took her side. At length
the Earl of Arran, who was the regent, changed to that side; and
finally the government, being thus brought over, gave notice to King
Henry VIII. that the plan must be given up, as they had concluded, on
the whole, that Mary should not marry his son.

King Henry was very much incensed. He declared that Mary should
marry his son, and he raised an army and sent it into Scotland to
make war upon the Scotch again, and compel them to consent to the
execution of the plan. He was at this time beginning to be sick, but
his sickness, instead of softening his temper, only made him the more
ferocious and cruel. He turned against his best friends. He grew
worse, and was evidently about to die; but he was so irritable and
angry that for a long time no one dared to tell him of his
approaching dissolution, and he lay restless, and wretched, and
agitated with political animosities upon his dying bed. At length
some one ventured to tell him that his end was near. When he found
that he must die, he resigned himself to his fate. He sent for an
archbishop to come and see him, but he was speechless when the
prelate came, and soon afterward expired.

The English government, however, after his death, adhered to his plan
of compelling the Scotch to make Mary the wife of his son. They sent
an army into Scotland. A great battle was fought, and the Scotch were
defeated. The battle was fought at a place not far from Edinburgh,
and near the sea. It was so near the sea that the English fired upon
the Scotch army from their ships, and thus assisted their troops upon
the shore. The armies had remained several days near each other
before coming to battle, and during all this time the city of
Edinburgh was in a state of great anxiety and suspense, as they
expected that their city would be attacked by the English if they
should conquer in the battle. The English army did, in fact, advance
toward Edinburgh after the battle was over, and would have got
possession of it had it not been for the castle. There is a very
strong castle in the very heart of Edinburgh, upon the summit of a
rocky hill.[A]

[Footnote A: See the view of Edinburgh, page 179.]

These attempts of the English to force the Scotch government to
consent to Mary's marriage only made them the more determined to
prevent it. A great many who were not opposed to it before, became
opposed to it now when they saw foreign armies in the country
destroying the towns and murdering the people. They said they had no
great objection to the match, but that they did not like the mode of
wooing. They sent to France to ask the French king to send over an
army to aid them, and promised him that if he would do so they would
agree that Mary should marry his son. His son's name was Francis.

The French king was very much pleased with this plan. He sent an army
of six thousand men into Scotland to assist the Scotch against their
English enemies. It was arranged, also, as little Mary was now hardly
safe among all these commotions, even in her retreat in the island of
Inchmahome, to send her to France to be educated there, and to live
there until she was old enough to be married. The same ships which
brought the army from France to Scotland, were to carry Mary and her
retinue from Scotland to France. The four Maries went with her.

They bade their lonely island farewell, and traveled south till they
came to a strong castle on a high, rocky hill, on the banks of the
River Clyde. The name of this fortress is Dumbarton Castle. Almost
all the castles of those times were built upon precipitous hills, to
increase the difficulties of the enemies in approaching them. The
Rock of Dumbarton is a very remarkable one. It stands close to the
bank of the river. There are a great many ships and steam-boats
continually passing up and down the Clyde, to and from the great city
of Glasgow, and all the passengers on board gaze with great interest,
as they sail by, on the Rock of Dumbarton, with the castle walls on
the sides, and the towers and battlements crowning the summit. In
Mary's time there was comparatively very little shipping on the
river, but the French fleet was there, waiting opposite the castle to
receive Mary and the numerous persons who were to go in her train.[B]

[Footnote B: Travelers who visit Scotland from this country at the
present day, usually land first, at the close of the voyage across
the Atlantic, at Liverpool, and there take a Glasgow steamer.
Glasgow, which is the great commercial city of Scotland, is on the
River Clyde. This river flows northward to the sea. The steamer, in
ascending the river, makes its way with difficulty along the narrow
channel, which, besides being narrow and tortuous, is obstructed by
boats, ships, steamers, and every other variety of water-craft, such
as are always going to and fro in the neighborhood of any great
commercial emporium.

The tourists, who stand upon the deck gazing at this exciting scene
of life and motion, have their attention strongly attracted, about
half way up the river, by this Castle of Dumbarton, which crowns a
rocky hill, rising abruptly from the water's edge, on the north side
of the stream. It attracts sometimes the more attention from American
travelers, on account of its being the first ancient castle they see.
This it likely to be the case if they proceed to Scotland immediately
on landing at Liverpool.]

Mary was escorted from the island where she had been living, across
the country to Dumbarton Castle, with a strong retinue. She was now
between five and six years of age. She was, of course, too young to
know any thing about the contentions and wars which had distracted
her country on her account, or to feel much interest in the subject
of her approaching departure from her native land. She enjoyed the
novelty of the scenes through which she passed on her journey. She
was pleased with the dresses and the arms of the soldiers who
accompanied her, and with the ships which were floating in the river,
beneath the walls of the Castle of Dumbarton, when she arrived there.
She was pleased, too, to think that, wherever she was to go, her four
Maries were to go with her. She bade her mother farewell, embarked on
board the ship which was to receive her, and sailed away from her
native land, not to return to it again for many years.

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