Welcome to the Intermediate History Mary Queen of Scots and the Scottish Reformation site. This site has been designed to cater for students at both intermediate 1 and intermediate 2 levels.
The site complements two television programmes of the same name, but is designed so that it can also be used as a stand-alone resource. For more details about the television programmes, see the Other BBC Resources section on this page.
This page includes links to technical help to view this site, details of the site structure and curriculum match details.
This site does not aim to tell the story of Mary's life. Nor does it try to cover every event from Mary's reign.
Instead, it explores in detail six key dates from the reign: the 'Rough Wooing', the Treaty of Edinburgh, the murder of Lord Darnley, Mary's abdication, Mary's captivity in England and the Catholic plots against Elizabeth I.
The site is also to a large extent skills-based and is designed to help students better their source-handling abilities through easy-to-use activities.
While the site does not aim to cover all of the outcomes for the unit it aims to meet the following learning objectives:
· Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of historical developments and events
· Explain historical developments and events
· Evaluate historical sources
· Evaluate historical sources with reference to their historical context
Historical Study: Scottish and British - Context 3
Mary Queen of Scots and the Scottish Reformation
The site features exam style questions appropriate for both Intermediate I and intermediate 2 students.
The main body of the site comprises three sections:
1) Mary's Minority:1542 - 1560
2) Mary in Scotland:1560 - 1568
3) Mary in England:1568 - 1587
Each of these sections features two key dates, or events, from that particular period of Mary's reign. Also, each key date has an accompanying source-handling skills section.
There is also a Fact Files section available in the site, featuring biographies of the major personalities from Mary's reign, a detailed timeline, and a guide to understanding what political and religious life was like in 16th century Scotland.
Furthermore, in each section, selected pages from the Fact File are available to view from the Info button at the bottom of the screen. This information is relevant to the particular period of Mary's reign, and is designed to provide more detailed knowledge and also to jog memories.
You will require the Flash plug-in of version 4 or higher to view the interactive Flash site. It can be downloaded from: -
For further guidance on how to do this, read: -
Other BBC Resources
This site is part of an integrated resource package that includes two television programmes, Mary Queen of Scots and the Scottish Reformation.
The two twenty-minute programmes will be transmitted back-to-back on BBC2 on Thursday 4th March at 04:00am.
The programmes will be available to purchase on video after this date from:
BBC Educational Publishing
PO Box 234
Tel: 0870 830 8000
This site was produced by BBC Scotland Education.
Principal Teacher of History,
Lochaber High School,
We appreciate knowing what you think of the site and welcome all comments and suggestions. If there's something in Intermediate Mary Queen of Scots you've found really useful, or a part of the site you found difficult to use, please let us know: - firstname.lastname@example.org.
The following images are copyright of third parties and may not be reproduced without express permission from the copyright holder. All images used are by kind permission of the copyright holders. Any copying or reproduction of these images is expressly forbidden.
Hulton Archive / Getty Images
John Knox circa 1560
Henry VIII circa 1540
Mary As Dauphine circa 1558
Mary Stuart circa 1585
Henry II circa 1550
Elizabeth I circa 1565
© Hulton Archive / Getty Images
Public Record Office/ National Archive
The Murder of Lord Darnley, Kirk O'Field near Edinburgh
Mermaid and Hare
Both reference number - MPF1/3666
© Courtesy of the National Archives
Edinburgh City Libraries and Information Service
View of Holyrood Palace from the North, 1544
© Edinburgh City Libraries and Information Service
Victoria & Albert Museum
Miniature portrait of Mary, Queen of Scots by Nicholas Hilliard (c 1547 - 1619)
© V&A Picture Library
CORBIS UK LTD
16th Century Rosary
© CORBIS UK LTD
Execution of Mary, Queen of Scots oil painting by Robert Herdman, 1867
© Glasgow Museums
Hunterian Art Gallery, University of Glasgow, Scotland
The Abdication of Mary Queen of Scots (1542-87) in 1568, c.1765-73 (oil on canvas) by Gavin Hamilton (1723-98)
© Hunterian Art Gallery, University of Glasgow, Scotland/Bridgeman Art Library
National Galleries of Scotland
Mary, Queen of Scots by an unknown artist after Francois Clouet PG186
Portrait of James Stewart, Earl of Moray, C1531-1570, Half-Brother of Mary, Queen of Scots, Regent of Scotland by Hugh Monro after an unknown artist PG1002
Falkland Palace, portrait of Henry Stewart, Lord Darnley PG 2279
James VI and I as a boy by Arnold Bronckorst PG992
Mary of Guise, Queen of James V of Scotland attributed to Corneille de Lyon PG1558
James Douglas, 4th Earl of Morton, Regent of Scotland attributed to Arnold Bronckost PG1857
Painting of James Hepburn, 4th Earl of Bothwell (c.1535 - 1578) and Lady Jean Gordon, Countess of Bothwell (1544-1629) by an unknown artist, dated 1566 PG869
All © Scottish National Portrait Gallery
19th century oil painting entitled 'John Knox preaching before the Lords of the Congregation' by Sir David Wilkie NG 950
© National Gallery of Scotland