My favorite subject at school is history, so the history of England is
very interesting for me too. Elizabeth the First and Mary Stuart
are very important persons in the history of England. The struggle of
Queen Elizabeth and the Queen of Scots often is told in literature,
theater, and it is very famous. This moment was very dramatic and made the
future of England.
I have seen a perfromance about Mary Stuart and Elizabeth the First,and it
made me curious in this part of history of England. It seemed to me the
most interesting part in the English history.
I wanted to know more about Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots, Queen Elizabeth, her rival; about those times, in which Mary Stuart lived.
I was interested in: who was Mary Stuart, what was the story of her life,
why wasn’t she the Queen of England, what did she struggle for; why was she
Working with this materials, I wanted to answer my questions and find new
of interesting facts Mary’s biography.
The beginning of Elizabeth’s career
Weary of the barbarities of Bloody Queen Mary’s reign, the people looked
with hope and gladness to the new Sovereign. The nation seemed to wake up
from a horrible dream.
Queen Elizabeth was twenty- five years old when she rode through the
streets of London, from the Tower to Westminster Abbey to be crowned.
She was not beautiful, but she was well enough, and looked all the better
for coming after the gloomy Mary. She was well educated, clever, but
cunning and deceitful, and inherited much of her father’s violent temper.
She began her reign with the grate advantage of having a very vise and
careful minister, Sir. William Cecil.
2. Mary’s appearens and the story of the conflict The one great trouble of this reign was Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots. She
was the daughter of the Queen Regent of Scotland, Mary of Guise. She had
been married, when a mere child to Dauphin, the son and heir of the
King of France. The Pope, who pretended that no one could rightfully wear
the crown of England without his gracious permission, was strongly opposed
to Elizabeth, as the Roman Church had never recognized the marriage of
Henry the Eight’s and Ann Boleyn, Elizabeth’s the First mother. And as Mary
Queen of Scots would have inherited the English crown in right of her
birth, supposing the English Parliament not to have altered the succession,
the Pope and most of his followers maintained that Mary was the rightful
Queen of England, and Elizabeth the wrongful Queen. After her marriage to
Dauphin Mary became closely connected with France, and France was jealous
of England, so there was far greater than it would have been without her
alliance with the great power. And after death of her husband’s father
Dauphin became Francis the Second, King of France, and the matter grew very
serious. The young royal couple wanted to be English King and Queen, and
the Pope was disposed to help them.
1. 3. Political situation in Scotland
Now, the reformed religion, under the guidance of a stern and powerful
preacher, named John Knox, had been making progress in Scotland. It was
still a half-savage country, where there was a great deal of murdering and
rioting continually going on, and the Reformers instead of reforming this
evils as they should have done, went to work in the ferocious old Scottish
spirit, laying churches and chapels waste, pulling down pictures and
The Scottish reformers secretly represented to Elizabeth that, if the
reformed religion failed in their country , it would be the same in
England. Thus, Elizabeth, though she had a high notion of the rights of
Kings and Queens to do anything they liked, sent an army to Scotland to
support the Reformer, who were in arms against their sovereign. Mary and
her young husband renounced their assumed title of King and Queen of
England. But this treaty they never fulfilled.
4. Struggle alone Soon, the young French King died, living Mary a young widow. She was then
invited by her old Scottish subjects to return home and reign over them.
She wasn’t happy in France after her husband’s death, so she left for
Scotland. It happened in 1561. Elizabeth had been Queen for three years
when Mary Queen of Scots embarked at Calais for her own country. She was
very fond of France, and set on the deck, looking back and weeping
«Farewell France! Farewell France! Is hall never see you again!»
1. Elizabeth obtained her own way
When Mary came to Scotland and settled at the palace of Holyrood in
Edinburg, she find herself among strangers and wild customs, very different
from the court of France .John Knox himself often lectured her, violently
and angrily, and did much to make her life unhappy. All this reasons con-
firmed her old attachment to the Romish religion.
Thus, from the moment of Mary’s coming to England she began to be the
center of plots and miseries. A rise of the Catholics in the north was the
next of these, and it was only checked by many executions and much
bloodshed. It was followed by a great conspiracy of the Pope and some
Catholics sovereign of Europe to depose Elizabeth, place Mary on the
throne, and restore the unreformed religion. At last, one great plot was
discovered, and it ended the career of Mary. Her letters were found. Queen
Elizabeth had been warned long ago that in holding Mary alive, she held the
«wolf, who would devour her.» The question was: what to do with her? The
Earl of Leicester wrote a little note, recommending to poison her. His
advice was disregarded, and Mary was brought to trial at Fotheringey
Castle in Northamptonshire, before a tribunal of forty, composed of both
religions. The Queen Elizabeth asked to consider some means of saving
Mary’s life. The Parliament answered: «No». They supposed that all the
troubles would be ended by the death of the Queen of Scots.
Elizabeth wished one thing more than Mary’s death, and that was to keep of
blame of it.
Only on the 1 of February, 1587, the Queen signed the warrant for the
execution. So, on the 7 of February, the Earls of Kent and Shrewsbery, with
the Sheriff of Northamptonshire, came with the warrant to Fotheringey, to
tell the Queen of Scots to prepare for death.
When the messengers were gone, Mary made a frugal supper, read over her
will, went to bed, slept for some hours, and then passed the reminder of
the night saying prayers.
While the sentence was being read, Mary sat upon a stool, and, when it was
finished, she again denied her guilt, as she had done before.
Some say, her head was struck off in two blows, some say in three. When it
was held up, streaming with blood, the real hair beneath the false hair she
had long worn was seen to be as gray as that of a woman of seventy, though
she was only in her 46 years.
So, the life of Mary Stuart was very tragic and romantic, full of
adventures and evils. Her struggle for crown cost her life. When I was
looking for materials, I read books, saw a performance, and now I know more
about Mary Stuart Queen of Scots and not only about her. I know more about
Queen Elizabeth, her rival in struggle for the crown of England.
Mary had full rights for crown of England, she fought for it, and she
failed in this struggle. This fact is often in literature because it is
the first moment in history when the person of royal blood was executed.
We don’t know what could be, if Mary Stuart stay alive and became the Queen
of England. Of course, the history would develop in other way. But the
reign of Elizabeth was the glorious one, and is made for ever memorable.
Apart from the great voyages, statesmen and scholars, whom it produced, the
names of Francis Bacon, Spencer, Shakespeare, will be always remembered in
the civilized world. It was good reign for commerce, discovery, and for
England in whole.
The beginning of Elizabeth’s career
3. Mary’s appearance and the
story of the conflict 3. Political situation in Scotland