Mary Stuart

Cover of book Mary Stuart
Categories: Fiction » Drama

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AGE WITH THE DAUPHIN April 1558?December 1560 AS early as 1557 when Mary was only fifteen and the Dauphin younger, the French king was eager for the marriage. During the whole sixteenth century the external policy of France knew one principal aim, to counterbalance the power of Spain. Now Philip of Spain by his marriage with Mary Tudor had added strength to his position. It secured him a safe passage at all times to his possessions in the low countries, it placed the ships and armies of England at the disposition of Spain. The French king was forced to find a counterweight in a closer alliance with Scotland. Ignoring the passionate jealousy of the Scots of all foreign domination, Frenchmen were slipping into the habit of looking on Scotland as an appanage of the French crown. Mary of Guise had her instructions to rule on this supposition. When in 1551 she paid her one visit to her own country, she was received with enthusiasm as a good soldier might be who was holding a dangerous frontier post. Before the year was out her proud, irritable, suspicious Scotch following were quarrelling with their French hosts and the king was weary of a guest whose affairs required so much help financial and diplomatic. It was the last time Mary of Guise saw her daughter. In 1554 Mary, having been declared of age, appointed her mother Regent in Scotland. Arran, the governor had accepted the affront, at the price of various bribes. The French king had bestowed on him the title of the Duke of Chatelherault . Henceforth we shall hear him generally styled "the Duke." The queen-mother's rule failed as signally in its best right endeavours as in its worst mistakes. She lost popularity by her efforts to enforce law and order. " The people used to love me and now they wis...

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