Marriage to Bothwell 1567

Within three months, the Earl of Bothwell had married Mary in Edinburgh. The wedding was a Protestant one. Many reports say she was kidnapped and forced to marry him, while others said that she pretended to be kidnapped.

The speed with which this had occurred and the unpopularity of Bothwell amongst the nobles, led to Mary being accused of being part of the conspiracy to murder her husband.

Mary’s apparent closeness to Bothwell before the murder of Darnley heightened suspicion of her involvement.

The marriage to Bothwell was regarded as scandalous and proved central to Mary’s downfall.

The reasons people were against the marriage were:

  • Although a Protestant, Bothwell was not popular with many of the nobles.
  • The Protestant Lords were angered by the marriage.
  • Catholics within the country and overseas were concerned about Mary’s apparent lack of commitment to her faith.

Siobhon Redmond describes the events leading to Mary's abdication in the video below.

On 15 June 1567 the Protestant Lords raised arms against Queen Mary, and faced her and Bothwell at Carberry Hill near Edinburgh.

Bothwell was allowed to escape but Mary was taken prisoner and marched to Edinburgh where she was paraded through the streets.

She was then imprisoned in Lochleven Castle.

Siobhon Redmond describes Mary's escape from Lochleven in the video below.

On 14 July 1567, Mary was forced to abdicate, her son James became King with the Earl of Moray as his Regent.

1567-1568As civil war developed, tension between the King’s Party and the Queen’s Party increased. Both sides sought help from Elizabeth
2 May 1568Mary escaped from Lochleven Castle
13 May 1568Mary and her supporters were defeated at the Battle of Langside
16 May 1568Mary fled to England where she hoped that Elizabeth would help her and provide her with troops
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