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Mary of Guise

Mary of Guise (gēz) [key], 1515–60, queen consort of James V of Scotland and regent for her daughter, Mary Queen of Scots. The daughter of Claude de Lorraine, duc de Guise, she was also known as Mary of Lorraine. Before her marriage (1538) to James V she had been married (1534) to Louis d'Orléans, 2d duc de Longueville, who died in 1537. When James died (1542), shortly after his daughter's birth, James Hamilton, 2d earl of Arran, became regent. He negotiated (1543) the betrothal of the infant Queen Mary to Prince Edward (later Edward VI) of England, but the queen mother persuaded the Scottish Parliament to repudiate the agreement. After the outbreak of war with England, Mary of Guise arranged the betrothal of her daughter to the French dauphin, and the young queen was sent to France. By 1554, with French aid, Mary of Guise had replaced the ineffectual Arran as regent, and she made no secret of her desire to bring France and Scotland together. Meanwhile, Protestantism was spreading rapidly in Scotland, and Mary, though at first conciliatory toward the reformers, began a campaign of suppression. In 1559 the Protestants, exhorted by John Knox, rose against the regent and declared her deposed. Mary received French aid, but the Protestants, allied with the English, proved the stronger force. The civil war was concluded shortly after Mary's death by the Treaty of Edinburgh (1560), which ended the French domination of Scotland and opened the way for the establishment of the Protestant church.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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