Front Matter Early Times The Druids The Britons Caesar in Britain Queen Boadicea The Great Walls The Great Irish Saint The Anglo-Saxons Brave King Arthur The Laws of the Saxons The Story of St Augustine Three Great Men The Danish Pirates King Alfred and the Cakes Alfred conquers the Danes A King's Narrow Escape The King and the Outlaw The Monasteries An Unlucky Couple St Dunstan King Canute and the Waves A Saxon Nobleman Lady Godiva's Ride The Battle of Hastings The Conquest Lords and Vassals Death of William The Brothers' Quarrels Arms and Armour The "White Ship" Matilda's Narrow Escapes Story of Fair Rosamond Thomas a Becket Murder of Thomas a Becket Richard's Adventures Richard and the Saracens The Faithful Minstrel Death of Richard The Murder of Arthur The Great Charter The Rule of Henry III A Race Persecution of the Jews The Conquest of Wales A Quarrel with France The Coronation Stone The Insolent Favourite Bruce and the Spider Death of Edward II The Murderers punished The Battle of Crecy The Siege of Calais The Age of Chivalry The Battle of Poitiers The Peasants' Revolt Richard's Presence of Mind A Tiny Queen Henry's Troubles Madcap Harry A Glorious Reign The Maid of Orleans The War of the Roses The Queen and the Brigand The Triumph of the Yorks The Princes in the Tower Richard's Punishment Two Pretenders A Grasping King Field of the Cloth of Gold The New Opinions Death of Wolsey Henry's Wives The King and the Painter A Boy King Lady Jane Grey The Death of Cranmer A Clever Queen Elizabeth's Lovers Mary, Queen of Scots Captivity of Mary Stuart Wreck of the Spanish Armada The Elizabethan Age Death of Elizabeth A Scotch King The Gunpowder Plot Sir Walter Raleigh King and Parliament Cavaliers and Roundheads "Remember" The Royal Oak The Commonwealth The Restoration Plague and Fire The Merry Monarch James driven out of England A Terrible Massacre William's Wars The Duke of Marlborough The Taking of Gibraltar The South Sea Bubble Bonny Prince Charlie Black Hole of Calcutta Loss of the Colonies The Battle of the Nile Nelson's Last Signal The Battle of Waterloo First Gentleman of Europe Childhood of Queen Victoria The Queen's Marriage Wars in Victoria's Reign The Jubilee

Story of the English - Helene Guerber

Mary, Queen of Scots

When Mary reached Scotland, she was disgusted at the rude manners of the Scotchmen. She was beautiful and charming, loved dancing and music, dressed elegantly, and wished to have a gay court, such as she had seen in France. But the Scotch had become so strict that they looked upon dancing as a crime, and fancied that such a queen must be very wicked.

The Scotch Protestants tried to make Mary change her religion, and Knox fiercely reproved her for her gaiety; but she would not listen to him, and went on hearing mass, saying that her people might worship as they chose, provided they let her do the same. As Mary had no children, the Scotchmen soon urged her to marry again; and she, hoping to make Elizabeth her friend, begged the Queen of England to find her a suitable husband.

Elizabeth, who was jealous of Mary because the latter was younger and prettier than she, now proposed several husbands whom she knew Mary would not accept. Among these was her favourite Leicester, who, despairing of ever winning her, was willing to marry Mary.

But she would not accept him, and finally chose her cousin, Lord Darnley, a Roman Catholic and the next heir to the thrones both of England and of Scotland.

Mary Stuart and Rizzio.


This marriage displeased the Protestants and Elizabeth, and Darnley proved so fickle and bad-tempered that Mary soon ceased to find pleasure in his company. To amuse herself she used to spend hours in her own room, with her ladies and her secretary Rizzio, a gallant young musician who pleased her by accompanying her gay French songs on his lute.

Before very long Darnley became so jealous of Rizzio that he burst into his wife's rooms one day, accompanied by several nobles. There Rizzio was murdered, in spite of all her entreaties. This crime so angered Mary that we are told she soon dried her eyes, muttering, "No more tears; let's think of revenge."

But although she now hated Darnley, she pretended to be on good terms with him; and once, when he was ill with smallpox, and could not stay in Holyrood Palace lest he should give the disease to their little son James, she went to nurse him in a cottage. One day, when he was nearly well, the queen went back to the palace, to see the wedding of one of her servants. That same night, while Mary slept at Holyrood, the Edinburgh people were awakened by a terrific explosion. They ran outdoors, and soon found out that Darnley's cottage had been blown up with gunpowder, and that he and his servant were dead.

It was, of course, perfectly clear that Darnley had been murdered, and the people began to mutter that the crime had been committed by the Earl of Bothwell. As he had been a favourite of the queen, some of them added that Mary had had a share in contriving the murder.

But when the case was tried, a few days later, and Bothwell came riding into the city with a large bodyguard of hired soldiers, no one dared accuse him openly, and he was acquitted. Shortly after, he suddenly appeared with a thousand men and carried off the queen to the Castle of Dunbar. There he kept her a prisoner until she consented to marry him, three months later.