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Mary Queen of Scots

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The 'Rough Wooing': 1544-48
This is the story of a power struggle between two powerful enemies, with Scotland as the prize.

Protestant England felt trapped by its Catholic neighbours, France and Scotland. Henry VIII feared that Scotland could be used by the French to invade England. However, if he could control Scotland, he could make it Protestant and protect England.
For France, Scotland was an important ally in its wars against England. It was desperate to secure this alliance by controlling Scotland.

Both kings had young sons, and both wanted them to marry Mary, the infant Queen of Scotland. Whoever married her would control Scotland.

Mary's family history is key to understanding her importance. Click your mouse on the two areas of the picture to find out more.

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