St Andrews was the centre of the Church in Scotland and home to Cardinal Beaton, the Archbishop of St Andrews. The Cardinal was also the leader of the pro-French party and responsible for the execution of protestant preachers. Henry VIII saw him as a threat to his policy in Scotland and wanted him dead. In 1546, a group of assassins talked their way into St Andrews castle and murdered Beaton.
A year later, the Battle of Pinkie saw heavy defeat for the Scots, and an English army left in the Scottish Borders. Scotland looked to France for help. In return, the 5 year-old Mary was sent to France to marry Francis, heir to the King of France.
Students could make a balance sheet of Scottish gains from the bargain with France to be set against the sacrifices made to French influence