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Old November 17th, 2017, 11:51 PM   #1
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Mary Stuart's marriage to the Earl of Bothwell?


Mary's marriage to Bothwell confuses me the most.

Bothwell and Mary appeared to be chums for quite a while. Mary and Francis received him in Paris and as he put it "The Queen recompensed me more liberally and honourably than I had deserved", she kept him at court even when he proved to be little more than trouble with his open quarrel with Lord Arran and the Hamiltons, Mary attended his wedding to Lady Jean, and according to some historians she rode quickly to Hermitage Castle through the hills and the forests of the borders to visit him once she heard he was ill.

So all of that, combined with the fact that if the casket letters were to believed, they cooperated in Darnley's murder at the Kirk-o-Fields, leads me to question the truth regarding the theory that Bothwell abducted her and raped her in Dunbar.

I've read that Mary used this as a cover story to explain her marriage to Bothwell, a hated noble and a suspect of her husband's murder.

But then again it's hard to find non-partisan views regarding the story. Thoughts? Recommended reads on the subject?

Last edited by JaddHaidar; November 17th, 2017 at 11:53 PM.
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Old November 18th, 2017, 06:17 PM   #2

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I'm not an expert, but Antonia Fraser's 'Mary Queen of Scots' is a good basic biography. It's much easier reading than you'd think from the thickness, though not deep.
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Old December 7th, 2017, 11:02 AM   #3

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I second the suggestion of Antonia Fraser.
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Old December 9th, 2017, 04:42 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monoglot View Post
I'm not an expert, but Antonia Fraser's 'Mary Queen of Scots' is a good basic biography. It's much easier reading than you'd think from the thickness, though not deep.
I have a love-hate relationship with Fraser's biography of MQoS. It is undoubtedly well researched and written. It's certainly worth reading if you are interested in the subject. However, time and again Fraser gives MQoS the benefit of the doubt over just about everything. I read a biography on Elizabeth I too which did much the same thing. I wish I could remember if that was a biography also by Fraser.

When interpreting which narrative is right or wrong on a historical question it's best to assume the "murky middle" is usually most accurate.
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Old December 9th, 2017, 04:47 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JaddHaidar View Post
Mary's marriage to Bothwell confuses me the most.

Bothwell and Mary appeared to be chums for quite a while. Mary and Francis received him in Paris and as he put it "The Queen recompensed me more liberally and honourably than I had deserved", she kept him at court even when he proved to be little more than trouble with his open quarrel with Lord Arran and the Hamiltons, Mary attended his wedding to Lady Jean, and according to some historians she rode quickly to Hermitage Castle through the hills and the forests of the borders to visit him once she heard he was ill.

So all of that, combined with the fact that if the casket letters were to believed, they cooperated in Darnley's murder at the Kirk-o-Fields, leads me to question the truth regarding the theory that Bothwell abducted her and raped her in Dunbar.

I've read that Mary used this as a cover story to explain her marriage to Bothwell, a hated noble and a suspect of her husband's murder.

But then again it's hard to find non-partisan views regarding the story. Thoughts? Recommended reads on the subject?
I tend to think Mary was guilty. Guilty of what exactly im not quite sure, but guilty of something. I don't quite believe her claims of rape and abduction. If she was raped and abducted it was probably after a good dose of mutual plotting and intrigue.
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