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29 October 2014
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Mary Queen of Scots

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Foreign Powers
Fact Files | Pocket Guide | Foreign Powers

Foreign powers: background information

Henry the VIII was the King of England. Henry II was the King of France

Since the 13th century, Scotland had been an ally of France and an enemy of England.

England feared Scotland being used as a base by the French for a military invasion. France found Scotland to be a useful ally when waging war against the English.

By the 1530's, England was a Protestant country and was therefore a religious enemy of France.

Scotland, a Catholic nation on the border of England was caught in the middle of a tussle between two super-powers.

The 'Rough Wooing'

The death of James V of Scotland left Mary as an infant queen. This provided an opportunity for England and France to control Scotland.

Henry VIII wanted Mary to marry his son, Edward. Henry II of France wanted Mary to marry his son, Francis.

Henry VIII tried to intimidate the Scots into a marriage alliance by sending his armies to repeatedly attack Scotland. Edinburgh was burned and many Border abbeys were destroyed.

The Scots eventually signed a treaty with France in an effort to rid themselves of the English.

The end of the Auld Alliance

Mary married the French prince, Francis, in 1558.

Many Scots feared that control of Scotland would be handed to the French. Effectively, Scotland would no longer be an independent country.

The increasing power of Scottish Protestants led to rebellion against French, Roman Catholic influence. Protestant England supported this.

English troops arrived to fight along side the Scots against the French.

The Regent of Scotland and mother of Mary, Mary of Guise, was the dominant French force in Scotland. Her death in 1560 brought an end to the fighting.

After The Treaty of Edinburgh in 1560, the English and French troops went home. Scotland's Auld Alliance with France had come to an end.

The Reformation Parliament in 1560 made Scotland officially a Protestant country.

The Scottish Protestant nobles, with strong ties to England, were now in control of Scotland.

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