Mary


Mary
/mair"ee/, n.
1. Also called Virgin Mary. the mother of Jesus.
2. the sister of Lazarus and Martha. Luke 10:38-42; John 11:1,2.
3. See Mary, Queen of Scots.
4. (Princess Victoria Mary of Teck) 1867-1953, Queen of England 1910-36 (wife of George V).
5. Slang (often offensive). a male homosexual.
6. a female given name.
[bef. 1000; ME Marie, OE Maria < LL < Gk < Heb Miryam]

* * *

I
or St. Mary or Virgin Mary

flourished beginning of the Christian Era

Mother of Jesus.

According to the Gospels, she was betrothed to St. Joseph when the archangel Gabriel appeared to her to announce the coming birth of Jesus. Other incidents in the Gospels in which she appears include the visit to Elizabeth, mother of John the Baptist; the birth of Jesus and his presentation in the Temple; the coming of the Magi and the flight to Egypt; the marriage at Cana in Galilee; the attempt to see Jesus while he was teaching; and watching at the cross. Eastern Orthodoxy, Roman Catholicism, and most Protestant denominations hold Jesus to have been divinely conceived and Mary to have remained a virgin. The Roman Catholic church also holds to the doctrine of her Immaculate Conception and her bodily assumption into heaven. Catholics pray to Mary as an intercessor. See also Mariology.
II
(as used in expressions)
St. Mary
Baylis Lilian Mary
Bethune Mary Jane McLeod
Mary Jane McLeod
Blyton Enid Mary
Cartland Dame Mary Barbara Hamilton
Cassatt Mary
Chesnut Mary
Mary Boykin Miller
Christie Dame Agatha Mary Clarissa
de Havilland Olivia Mary
Dodge Mary Mapes
Mary Elizabeth Mapes
Earhart Amelia Mary
Eddy Mary Baker
Mary Morse Baker
Mary Ann Evans
Elizabeth Alexandra Mary
Evans Dame Edith Mary
Haas Mary Rosamond
Hodgkin Dorothy Mary
Dorothy Mary Crowfoot
Jones Mary Harris
Mary Harris
Vivian Mary Hartley
Lyon Mary Mason
Legion of Mary Church
Martin Mary Virginia
Mary Magdalene Saint
Mary Queen of Scots
McCarthy Mary Therese
Montagu Lady Mary Wortley
Lady Mary Pierrepont
Moore Mary Tyler
Anna Mary Robertson
O'Connor Mary Flannery
Pickford Mary
Gladys Mary Smith
Price Mary Violet Leontyne
Quant Mary
Retton Mary Lou
Robinson Mary
Mary Bourke
Rowlandson Mary
Mary White
Victoria Mary Sackville West
Shelley Mary Wollstonecraft
Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin
Smyth Dame Ethel Mary
Mary Louise Streep
Mary Mallon
Ward Barbara Mary Baroness Jackson of Lodsworth
William and Mary College of
Williams Mary Lou
Mary Elfrieda Scruggs
Wollstonecraft Mary
Mary Kathryn Wright
House of the Hospitallers of Saint Mary of the Teutons

* * *

      city and administrative centre of Mary oblast (province), Turkmenistan, on the Morghāb River, at the intersection of the Karakum Canal and the Türkmenbashy—Tashkent railway. It was founded in 1884 on the site of a former Turkmen fort, 19 miles (30 km) west of the ruined city of Merv, and was known by that name until 1937. It is now a centre for the huge Shatlyk gas field and a transport junction. It also has a large gas-fired power station, a plastic works, and various food-processing and light industries. Pop. (1991 est.) 94,900.

▪ duchess of Burgundy
also called  Mary Of Burgundy,  French  Marie De Bourgogne 
born Feb. 13, 1457, Brussels
died March 27, 1482, Brugge [Bruges], Flanders
 duchess of Burgundy (1477–82), daughter and heiress of Charles the Bold, duke of Burgundy; her crucial marriage to the archduke Maximilian (later Maximilian I), son of the Habsburg emperor Ferdinand III, resulted in Habsburg control of the Netherlands.

      Betrothed to Maximilian in 1476, Mary found herself faced with French invasion when she became duchess of Burgundy on her father's death at Nancy early in 1477. She resisted French pressure to marry the future Charles VIII and became Maximilian's wife on August 18, 1477. Through her own marriage and the subsequent match that was made between her son, Philip the Handsome, and Joanna the Mad of Spain, daughter of Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile, the Netherlands came to be joined with Spain and with the Habsburg's own Austrian possessions in the hands of her famous grandson, the emperor Charles V.

▪ mother of Jesus
Introduction
also called  Saint Mary , or  Virgin Mary 
flourished beginning of the Christian Era
 
 the mother of Jesus (Jesus Christ), an object of veneration in the Christian (Christianity) church since the apostolic age, and a favourite subject in Western art, music, and literature. Mary is known from biblical references, which are, however, too sparse to construct a coherent biography. The development of the doctrine of Mary can be traced through titles that have been ascribed to her in the history of the Christian communions—guarantee of the incarnation, virgin mother, second Eve, mother of God, ever virgin, immaculate, and assumed into heaven.

      The New Testament account of her humility and obedience to the message of God have made her an exemplar for all ages of Christians. Out of the details supplied in the New Testament by the Gospels about the maid of Galilee, Christian piety and theology have constructed a picture of Mary that fulfills the prediction ascribed to her in the Magnificat (Luke 1:48): “Henceforth all generations will call me blessed.”

Biblical references
      The first mention of Mary is the story of the Annunciation, which reports that she was living in Nazareth and was betrothed to Joseph (Joseph, Saint) (Luke 1:26 ff.); the last mention of her (Acts 1:14) includes her in the company of those who devoted themselves to prayer after the ascension of Jesus into heaven. She appears in the following incidents in the Gospels: the Annunciation; the visit with Elizabeth, her kinswoman and the mother of John the Baptist, the precursor of Jesus (Luke 1:39 ff.); the birth of Jesus and the presentation of him in the Temple (Luke 2:1 ff.); the coming of the Magi and the flight to Egypt (Matthew 2:1 ff.); the Passover visit to Jerusalem when Jesus was 12 years old (Luke 2:41 ff.); the marriage at Cana in Galilee, although her name is not used (John 2:1 ff.); the attempt to see Jesus while he was teaching (Mark 3:31 ff.); and the station at the cross, where, apparently widowed, she was entrusted to the disciple John (John 19:26 ff.). Even if one takes these scenes as literal historical accounts, they do not add up to an integrated portrait of Mary. Only in the narratives of the Nativity and the Passion of Christ is her place a significant one: her acceptance of the privilege conferred on her in the Annunciation is the solemn prologue to the Christmas story; not only does she stand at the foot of the Cross, but in the Easter story “the other Mary” who came to the tomb of Jesus (Matthew 28:1) is not she—according to traditional interpretations, because, having kept in her heart what he was to be, she knew that the body of Jesus would not be there. On the other hand, the three incidents that belong to the life of Jesus contain elements of a pronouncedly human character, perhaps even the suggestion that she did not fully understand Jesus' true mission.

      Since the early days of Christianity, however, the themes that these scenes symbolize have been the basis for thought and contemplation about Mary. Christian communions and theologians differ from one another in their interpretations of Mary principally on the basis of where they set the terminal point for such development and expansion—that is, where they maintain that the legitimate development of doctrine may be said to have ended. To a considerable degree, therefore, a historical survey of that development is also an introduction to the state of contemporary Christian thought about Mary.

Dogmatic titles
      Probably the earliest allusion to Mary in Christian literature is the phrase “born of woman” in Galatians 4:4, which was written before any of the Gospels. As parallels such as Job 14:1 and Matthew 11:11 suggest, the phrase is a Hebraic way of speaking about the essential humanity of a person. When applied to Jesus, therefore, “born of woman” was intended to assert that he was a real man, in opposition to the attempt—later seen in various systems of Gnosticism, a 2nd-century dualistic religion—to deny that he had had a completely human life; he was said by some Gnostics to have passed through the body of Mary as light passes through a window. It seems unwarranted to read anything further into the phrase, as though “born of woman” necessarily implied “but not of a man and a woman.” Thus, the phrase made Mary the sign or the guarantee that the Son of God had truly been born as a man. For the ancient world, one human parent was necessary to assure that a person was genuinely human, and from the beginning the human mother of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, has been the one to provide this assurance. Some scholars have even maintained that the primary connotation of the phrase “born of the Virgin Mary” in the Apostles' Creed was this same insistence by the church upon the authentic manhood of Jesus. That insistence has been the irreducible minimum in all the theories about Mary that have appeared in Christian history. Her role as mother takes precedence over any of the other roles assigned to her in devotion and in dogma. Those who deny the Virgin Birth usually claim to do so in the interest of true humanity, seeing a contradiction between the idea of Jesus as the human son of a human mother and the idea that he did not have a human father. Those who defend the virgin birth usually maintain that the true humanity was made possible when the Virgin accepted her commission as the guarantee of the Incarnation (Luke 1:38): “Let it be to me according to your word.” This is the original source of the title Coredemptrix—indicating some participation with Christ in the redemption of mankind—assigned to Mary in Roman Catholic (Roman Catholicism) theology, though the term has come to connote a more active role by her; the precise nature of this participation is still a matter of controversy among Catholic theologians.

      By far the most voluminous narratives about Mary in the New Testament are the infancy stories in the Gospels of Matthew (Matthew, Gospel According to) and Luke (Luke, Gospel According to). In their present form, both accounts make a point of asserting that Jesus was conceived in the womb of Mary without any human agency (Matt. 1:18 ff.; Luke 1:34 ff.); yet the many textual variants in Matt. 1:16, some of them with the words “Joseph begat Jesus,” have caused some scholars to question whether such an assertion was part of Matthew's original account. The passages in Matthew and in Luke seem to be the only references to the matter in the New Testament. The Apostle Paul nowhere mentions it; the Gospel According to Mark begins with Jesus as an adult; and the Gospel According to John (John, Gospel According to), which begins with his prehistorical existence, does not allude to the virgin birth, unless a variant of John 1:13, which reads “. . . who was born” rather than “. . . who were born,” is followed. Matthew does not attach any theological significance to the miracle, but it is possible that the words of the angel in Luke 1:35 are intended to connect the holiness of the child with the virginity of the mother. In postbiblical Christian literature the most voluminous discussions of Mary have been those dealing with her virginity. On the basis of the New Testament, it was the unanimous teaching of all the orthodox Fathers of the Church that Mary conceived Jesus with her virginity unimpaired, a teaching enshrined in the early Christian Creeds and concurred in by the 16th-century Reformers as well as by most Protestant (Protestantism) churches and believers since the Reformation.

      One of the interpretations of the person and work of Jesus Christ in the New Testament is the formulation of parallels between him and Adam (Adam and Eve): “As in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive” (First Corinthians 15:22). Decisive in the parallel is the contrast between the disobedience of Adam, by which sin came into the world, and the obedience of Christ, by which salvation from sin was accomplished (Romans 5:12–19). Whether or not the story of the Annunciation in the first chapter of the Gospel According to Luke is intended to suggest a similar parallel between Eve and Mary, this did soon become a theme of Christian reflection. Writing at about the end of the 2nd century, the Church Father Irenaeus (Irenaeus, Saint) elaborated the parallel between Eve, who, as a virgin, had disobeyed the word of God, and Mary, who, also as a virgin, had obeyed it;

for Adam had necessarily to be restored in Christ, that mortality be absorbed in immortality, and Eve in Mary, that a virgin, become the advocate of a virgin, should undo and destroy virginal disobedience by virginal obedience.

      Irenaeus did not argue the point; he seems rather to have taken the parallel for granted, and this may indicate that it was not his own invention but belonged to tradition, for which he had a high respect. In any case, the parallel did ascribe to Mary and to her obedience an active share in the redemption of the human race: all men had died in Adam, but Eve had participated in the sin that brought this on; all men were saved in Christ, but Mary had participated in the life that made this possible.

      The first widespread theological controversy over Mary had to do with the propriety of applying to her the title of Theotokos, meaning “God-bearer” or “mother of God.” The title seems to have arisen in devotional usage, probably in Alexandria, sometime in the 3rd or 4th century; it was a logical deduction from the doctrine of the full deity of Christ, which was established as a dogma during the 4th century, and those who defended that dogma were also the ones who drew the inference. Perhaps, as the 19th-century English theologian Cardinal John Henry Newman (Newman, John Henry) supposed, the determination of the Council of Nicaea (Nicaea, Council of) in 325 that Christ was not merely the highest of creatures but belonged on the divine side of the line between Creator and creature was even responsible for the rapid growth of devotion and speculation attached to Mary as the highest of creatures. By the end of the 4th century, the Theotokos had successfully established itself in various sections of the church. Because it seemed to him that the supporters of the title were blurring the distinction between the divine and the human in Christ, Nestorius, the patriarch of Constantinople, objected to its use, preferring the less explicit title Christotokos, meaning “Christ-bearer” or “mother of Christ.” Along with other aspects of his teaching, Nestorius' objections were condemned at the Council of Ephesus (Ephesus, councils of) in 431.

      Various corollaries could be deduced from the New Testament's assertion of Mary's virginity in the conception of Jesus, including the doctrine that she had remained a virgin in the course of his birth (the virginitas in partu) and the doctrine that she had remained a virgin after his birth and until the end of her life (the virginitas post partum). The Apostles' Creed appears to teach at least the virginitas in partu when it says “born of the Virgin Mary.” Although this teaching about how Mary gave birth to Jesus occurs for the first time in the 2nd-century apocryphal, or noncanonical, Protevangelium of James, its origins and evolution are not easy to trace, and Roman Catholic and Protestant historians have come to contradictory conclusions. The growth of the ascetic ideal in the church helped to give support to this view of Mary as the model of the ever virgin. The doctrine is neither asserted nor denied but is simply ignored in the New Testament, and Old Testament passages adduced in support of it by Church Fathers (such as Ezekiel 44:2 and Song of Solomon 4:12) were probably convincing only to those who already accepted the doctrine.

      As the doctrine of the perpetual virginity of Mary implied an integral purity of body and soul, so, in the opinion of many theologians, she was also free of other sins (sin). Attempting to prove the universality of sin against Pelagius (whose teaching was condemned as heretical by the Christian Church but who did maintain the sinlessness of Mary), Augustine (Augustine, Saint), the great theologian and bishop from northern Africa, spoke for the Western Church when he wrote:

We must except the holy Virgin Mary. Out of respect for the Lord, I do not intend to raise a single question on the subject of sin. After all, how do we know what abundance of grace was granted to her who had the merit to conceive and bring forth him who was unquestionably without sin?

      It was, however, the distinction between original sin (i.e., the sin that all humans are born with) and actual sin (i.e., the sins that men commit during their life), firmly established in Western theology by the same Augustine, that eventually compelled a further clarification of what the sinlessness of Mary meant. Certain Eastern theologians in the 4th and 5th centuries were willing to attribute actual sins to her, but most theologians in both East and West came to accept the view that she never did anything sinful, a view that found expression even among the 16th-century Reformers. But was she free from original sin as well? And if so, how? Thomas Aquinas (Aquinas, Thomas, Saint), the most important medieval theologian in the West, took a representative position when he taught that her conception was tarnished, as was that of all humans, but that God suppressed and ultimately extinguished original sin in her, apparently before she was born. This position, however, was opposed by the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, systematized by Duns Scotus (Duns Scotus, John), a 13th-century British Scholastic theologian, and finally defined as Roman Catholic dogma by Pope Pius IX in 1854. According to this dogma, Mary was not only pure in her life and in her birth, but

at the first instant of her conception was preserved immaculate from all stain of original sin, by the singular grace and privilege granted her by Almighty God, through the merits of Christ Jesus, Saviour of mankind.

      When the Immaculate Conception was promulgated, petitions began coming to the Vatican for a definition regarding the Assumption of the Virgin into heaven, as this was believed by Roman Catholics and celebrated in the Feast of the Assumption. During the century that followed, more than 8,000,000 persons signed such petitions; yet Rome hesitated, because the doctrine was difficult to define on the basis of Scripture and early witnesses to the Christian tradition. No account of the place and circumstances of Mary's death was universally accepted in the church (although paintings depicting her “dormition,” or “falling asleep,” in the ancient Ionian city of Ephesus were quite common); no burial place was acknowledged (although there was a grave in Jerusalem that was said to be hers); and no miracles were credited to relics of her body (although the physical remains of far lesser saints had performed many). Such arguments from silence, however, did not suffice to establish a dogma, and on the positive side even the earliest doctrinal and liturgical testimony in support of the idea has appeared relatively late in history. Finally, in 1950 Pope Pius XII made the dogma official, declaring that “the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, when the course of her earthly life was run, was assumed in body and soul to heavenly glory.”

Cultural importance
 In addition to these official prerogatives and titles given to her by Catholic Christianity, the Virgin Mary has achieved great cultural importance. Popular devotion to Mary—in such forms as feasts, devotional services, and the rosary—has played a tremendously important role in the lives of Roman Catholics and the Orthodox; at times, this devotion has pushed other doctrines into the background. Modern Roman Catholicism has emphasized that the doctrine of Mary is not an isolated belief but must be seen in the context of two other Christian doctrines: the doctrine of Christ and the doctrine of the church. What is said of Mary is derived from what is said of Jesus: this was the basic meaning of Theotokos. She has also been known as “the first believer” and as the one in whom the humanity of the church was representatively embodied.

Jaroslav Jan Pelikan Ed.

Additional Reading
Hilda Graef, Mary: A History of Doctrine and Devotion, 2 vol. (1963–65), is especially instructive about the early development of the doctrine. Juniper Carol (ed.), Mariology, 3 vol. (1955–61), deals successively with the sources of Marian doctrine, theology, and devotions. Raymond E. Brown et al. (eds.), Mary in the New Testament: A Collaborative Assessment by Protestant and Roman Catholic Scholars (1978), reports many matters on which agreement was reached. Modern theological treatments by Roman Catholics include René Laurentin, La Question mariale (1963; The Question of Mary, 1965); and E. Schillebeeckx, Maria, moeder van de verlossing, 3rd rev. ed. (1957; Mary Mother of the Redemption, 1964). Critical but sympathetic treatments by Protestants are Giovanni Miegge, La Vergine Maria (1950; The Virgin Mary, 1955); and Max Thurian, Marie, Mère du Seigneur, figure de l'Eglise (1962; Mary, Mother of All Christians, 1964).

      oblast (province), southeastern Turkmenistan, having an area of 33,500 square miles (86,800 square km). It includes the basin of the Morghāb River, which diminishes in the Karakum Desert in the north. In the south, on the Afghanistan frontier, are spurs of the Selseleh-ye Safīd Kūh (Paropamisus Mountains). The climate is continental and dry. The economy is based on irrigated agriculture, particularly cotton cultivation, in the Morghāb oasis and along the Karakum Canal; the breeding of Karakul sheep in the desert; and the Shatlyk natural-gas deposit, which is one of the largest in Central Asia and the entire continent. The cities are Mary, the oblast centre, Bayramaly, Yolöten, and Gushgy. In 1979 the population was one-third urban. Pop. (1991 est.) 859,500.

▪ queen of Scotland
Introduction
byname  Mary Queen of Scots,  original name  Mary Stuart  or  Mary Stewart  
born December 8, 1542, Linlithgow Palace, West Lothian, Scotland
died February 8, 1587, Fotheringhay Castle, Northamptonshire, England
 queen of Scotland (1542–67) and queen consort of France (1559–60). Her unwise marital and political actions provoked rebellion among the Scottish nobles, forcing her to flee to England, where she was eventually beheaded as a Roman Catholic threat to the English throne.

Early life
      Mary Stuart was the only child of King James V of Scotland and his French wife, Mary of Guise. The death of her father six days after her birth left Mary as queen of Scotland in her own right. Although Mary's great-uncle King Henry VIII of England made an unsuccessful effort to secure control of her (Mary inherited Tudor blood through her grandmother, a sister of Henry VIII), the regency of the kingdom was settled in favour of her mother.

      Her mother saw to it that Mary was sent to France at age five. There she was brought up at the court of King Henry II and his queen Catherine de Médicis with their own large family, assisted by relations on her mother's side, the powerful Guises. Despite a charmed childhood of much luxury, including frequent hunting and dancing (at both of which she excelled), Mary's education was not neglected, and she was taught Latin, Italian, Spanish, and some Greek. French now became her first language, and indeed in every other way Mary grew into a Frenchwoman rather than a Scot.

      By her remarkable beauty, with her tall, slender figure (she was about 5 feet 11 inches), her red-gold hair and amber-coloured eyes, and her taste for music and poetry, Mary summed up the contemporary ideal of the Renaissance princess at the time of her marriage to Francis (Francis II), eldest son of Henry and Catherine, in April 1558. Although it was a political match aimed at the union of France and Scotland, Mary was sincerely fond of her boy husband, though the marriage was probably never consummated.

 The accession of Elizabeth (Elizabeth I) Tudor to the throne of England in November 1558 meant that Mary was, by virtue of her Tudor blood, next in line to the English throne. Those Roman Catholics who considered Elizabeth illegitimate because they regarded Henry VIII's divorce from Catherine of Aragon and his marriage to Anne Boleyn invalid even looked upon Mary as the lawful queen. Mary's father-in-law, Henry II of France, thus claimed the English throne on her behalf. The death of Henry in 1559 brought Francis to the French throne and made Mary a glittering queen consort of France, until Francis's premature death in December 1560 made her a widow at the age of 18.

Queen of Scotland
      Returning to Scotland in August 1561, Mary discovered that her sheltered French upbringing had made her ill-equipped to cope with the series of problems now facing her. Mary's former pretensions to the English throne had incurred Elizabeth's hostility. She refused to acknowledge Mary as her heiress, however much Mary, nothing if not royal by temperament, prized her English rights. While Mary herself was a Roman Catholic, the official religion of Scotland had been reformed to Protestantism in her absence, and she thus represented to many, including the leading Calvinist preacher John Knox, a foreign queen of an alien religion. Most difficult of all were the Scottish nobles; factious and turbulent after a series of royal minorities, they cared more for private feuds and self-aggrandizement than support of the crown. Nevertheless, for the first years of her rule, Mary managed well, with the aid of her bastard half-brother James, earl of Moray (Moray, James Stewart, 1st Earl of, Earl Of Mar, Lord Abernethy), and helped in particular by her policy of religious tolerance. Nor were all the Scots averse to the spectacle of a pretty young queen creating a graceful court life and enjoying her progresses round the country.

      It was Mary's second marriage in July 1565 to her cousin Henry Stewart (Darnley, Henry Stewart, Lord) (Stuart), earl of Darnley, son of Matthew Stewart, 4th earl of Lennox, that started the fatal train of events culminating in her destruction. Mary married the handsome Darnley recklessly for love. It was a disastrous choice because by her marriage she antagonized all the elements interested in the power structure of Scotland, including Elizabeth, who disapproved of Mary marrying another Tudor descendant, and her half brother James, who, jealous of the Lennox family's rise to power, promptly rebelled. Nor did Darnley's character measure up to the promise of his appearance—he was weak, vicious, and yet ambitious. The callous butchery of her secretary and confidant, David Riccio (Riccio, David) (Rizzio), in front of her own eyes, in March 1566, by Darnley and a group of nobles, convinced Mary that her husband had aimed at her own life. The birth of their son James in June did nothing to reconcile the couple, and Mary, armed now with the heir she had craved, looked for some means to relieve an intolerable situation.

      The next eight months constitute the most tangled and controversial period of Mary's career. According to Mary's detractors, it was during this period that she developed an adulterous liaison with James Hepburn, 4th earl of Bothwell (Bothwell, James Hepburn, 4th earl of, Duke Of Orkney And Shetland), and planned with him the death of Darnley and their own following marriage. There is, however, no contemporary evidence of this love affair, before Darnley's death, except the highly dubious so-called Casket Letters, poems and letters supposedly written by Mary to Bothwell but now generally considered to be inadmissible evidence by historians. But Mary did undoubtedly consider the question of a divorce from Darnley, after a serious illness in October 1566, which left her health wrecked and her spirits low. On the night of February 9, 1567, the house at Kirk o' Field on the outskirts of Edinburgh where Darnley lay recovering from illness was blown up, and Darnley himself was strangled while trying to escape. Many theories have been put forward to explain conflicting accounts of the crime, including the possibility that Darnley, plotting to blow up Mary, was caught in his own trap. Nevertheless, the most obvious explanation—that those responsible were the nobles who hated Darnley—is the most likely one.

      Whatever Mary's foreknowledge of the crime, her conduct thereafter was fatally unwise and showed how much she lacked wise counselors in Scotland. After three months, she allowed herself to be married off to Bothwell, the chief suspect, after he abducted and ravished her. If passion is rejected as the motive, Mary's behaviour can be ascribed to her increasing despair, exacerbated by ill health, at her inability to manage the affairs of tempestuous Scotland without a strong arm to support her. But in fact Bothwell as a consort proved no more acceptable to the jealous Scottish nobility than Darnley had been. Mary and Bothwell were parted forever at Carberry Hill on June 15, 1567, Bothwell to exile and imprisonment where he died in 1578, and Mary to incarceration on the tiny island of Loch Leven, where she was formally deposed in favour of her one-year-old son James (James I). After a brief fling of liberty the following year, defeat of her supporters at a battle at Langside put her once more to flight. Impulsively, Mary sought refuge in England with her cousin Elizabeth. But Elizabeth, with all the political cunning Mary lacked, employed a series of excuses connected with the murder of Darnley to hold Mary in English captivity in a series of prisons for the next 18 years of her life. In the meantime, Mary's brother Moray flourished as regent of Scotland.

Captivity in England
      Mary's captivity was long and wearisome, only partly allayed by the consolations of religion and, on a more mundane level, her skill at embroidery and her love of such little pets as lap dogs and singing birds. Her health suffered from the lack of physical exercise, her figure thickened, and her beauty diminished, as can be seen in the best-known pictures of her in black velvet and white veil, dating from 1578. Naturally, she concentrated her energies on procuring release from an imprisonment she considered unjustified, at first by pleas, and later by conspiracy. Unfortunately for her survival, Mary as a Catholic was the natural focus for the hopes of those English Catholics who wished to replace the Protestant queen Elizabeth on the throne. It was the discovery in 1586 of a plot to assassinate Elizabeth and bring about a Roman Catholic uprising that convinced Queen Elizabeth that, while she lived, Mary would always constitute too dangerous a threat to her own position.

 Despite the fact that she was the sovereign queen of another country, Mary was tried by an English court and condemned; her son, James, who had not seen his mother since infancy and now had his sights fixed on succeeding to the English throne, raised no objections. Mary was executed in 1587 in the great hall at Fotheringhay Castle, near Peterborough; she was 44 years old. It was a chilling scene, redeemed by the great personal dignity with which Mary met her fate. Her body ultimately came to rest in Westminster Abbey in a magnificent monument James I raised to his mother, after he finally ascended the throne of England.

      A romantic and tragic figure to her supporters, a scheming adulteress if not murderess to her political enemies, Mary aroused furious controversy in her own lifetime, during which her cousin Queen Elizabeth aptly termed her “the daughter of debate.” Her dramatic story has continued to provoke argument among historians ever since, while the public interest in this 16th-century femme fatale remains unabated.

Lady Antonia Fraser

Additional Reading
Antonia Fraser, Mary Queen of Scots (1969), comprehensive biography taking into account modern research, replaces T.F. Henderson, Mary Queen of Scots, 2 vol. (1905); Prince Labanoff (ed.), Lettres et mémoires de Marie, Reine d'Ecosse, 7 vol. (1844), collected edition of the letters, also a useful reference book; P. Stewart Mackenzie, Queen Mary's Book (1905), text and translation of all Mary's writings; Claude Nau, Memorials of Mary Stewart, ed. by J. Stevenson (1883), Mary's own story dictated to her secretary while in captivity; D. Hay Fleming, Mary Queen of Scots from Her Birth till Her Flight into England (1898), a well-documented account, extremely hostile; S. and M. Tannenbaum, Marie Stuart: Bibliography, 3 vol. (1944), in which references to more specialized studies may be found.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

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  • Mary — f English: originally a Middle English Anglicized form of French MARIE (SEE Marie), from Latin MARIA (SEE Maria). This is a New Testament form of MIRIAM (SEE Miriam), which St Jerome derives from elements meaning ‘drop of the sea’ (Latin stilla… …   First names dictionary

  • Mary II — may refer to:*Mary II of England, Scotland and Wales (1662–1694), wife of William III and daughter of James II *Mary I of Scotland (1542 1587), usually referred to as Mary, Queen of Scots (recognized as Mary II of England by English… …   Wikipedia

  • Mary I — Mary I, Queen also Mary Tudor (1516 1558) the queen of England from 1553 until her death. She was the daughter of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon, and she married the king of Spain, Philip II. Mary tried to make England return to the Catholic… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Mary' s B&B — (Пиза,Италия) Категория отеля: Адрес: Via Corte Case Medicee 29, 56122 Пиза, Италия …   Каталог отелей

  • Mary — (Carbognano,Италия) Категория отеля: Адрес: Via XX Settembre 142, 01030 Carbognano, Италия …   Каталог отелей


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