Mary, from the 'Rough Wooing' to becoming Queen of France, to 1559

Mary, from the ‘Rough Wooing’ to becoming Queen of France, to 1559

The ‘Rough Wooing’ (1544-1551)

  • The term ‘Rough Wooing’ refers to the aggressive marriage negotiations dubbed as such by the English to force an alliance between England and Scotland through the marriage of Henry VIII’s son Edward and Mary.
  • Henry VIII’s death in 1547 saw Edward VI become King of England. The ‘Rough Wooing’ continued under Edward’s guardians, as they were still interested in the proposed marital alliance.
  • In 1548, Mary was sent to France for her safety and to pave the way for her promised marriage to Francis, the Dauphin of France, an event contributing to the failure of the ‘Rough Wooing’.

Mary, Queen of France (1558-1559)

  • Mary married Francis, the Dauphin of France, in April 1558. Francis became King of France (Francis II) in 1559, making Mary the Queen of France.
  • This marriage strengthened the alliance between France and Scotland, deeply unsettling the Protestant England.
  • The early death of Francis in December 1559 ended Mary’s short reign as Queen of France and facilitated her eventual return to Scotland.

Religious Influences

  • In France, Mary was brought up as a staunch Roman Catholic. Her time in France hugely influenced her religious beliefs, which would later conflict with the increasingly Protestant Scotland.
  • The Catholic education and upbringing that Mary received in France greatly contrasted with the newly Protestant direction that Scotland was taking during this period.

Political Influences

  • Mary’s French upbringing also influenced her political outlook. She was familiar with the more sophisticated French court and style of government, versus the comparatively tribal and feudal system operational in Scotland.
  • Adapting to the Scottish system of governance became a critical challenge for Mary upon her return.