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Women and Scotland

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Marie-Odile Pittin-Hedon

Women in History and Myth

Marie of Lorraine-Guise and the idea of a « Franco-Scotland » (1548-1560)

Annette Bächstadt

Résumé

Marie of Lorraine-Guise (1515-1560), by her marriage to James V king of Scots a figure of the so-called “Auld Alliance”, saw after the birth of her daughter Mary Stewart in 1542 the former triangular Anglo-Franco-Scottish relationship convert to a fierce competition between England and France over the Scottish crown. This article discusses the political efforts by Marie of Lorraine, the duke of Guise’s eldest daughter and regent of Scotland since 1554, to safeguard and represent the Queen of Scots’ royal power in Scotland while complying first with king Henry II of France’s political objectives in Scotland, then with the dynastical ones of her two brothers, Francis duke of Guise and Charles cardinal of Lorraine. Rather than exercising personal power, Marie of Lorraine unsuccessfully tried to bring into accordance two peoples, two nations, two cultures and two religions.

Texte intégral

  • 1 Today, Bar-le-Duc is situated in the French department of the Meuse in the Grand Est region.

1The most famous queen of Scotland is, without a doubt, Mary Stuart or Stewart, the Queen of Scots (1542-1587). However, Mary left her native country at the age of five to spend the following thirteen years at the court of France. After a reluctant return to her Northern realm in August 1561, her personal reign lasted only six years before she became for almost twenty years a captive of her cousin, Queen Elizabeth I of England. Well before her violent death in February 1587, pamphleteers and historiographers, and later poets and painters, made Mary Stewart into this overwhelming figure that now outshines all other princesses in Scottish history. Among these overshadowed women ranks Mary’s mother, Marie of Lorraine or Mary of Guise (1515-1560). Born in the town of Bar, then situated in the eponymous duchy at the eastern frontier of the kingdom of France and part of the duchy of Lorraine,1 Marie became the second Queen Consort of James V King of Scots (1512-1542) in 1538. After the birth of her daughter Mary and the demise of her royal husband in December 1542, Marie played an increasingly important role in Scottish politics until her daughter, still absent in France, appointed her Queen regent of Scotland in April 1554.

2Marie of Lorraine made considerable efforts to shield her adopted country from English hegemony, modernize its medieval administration and promote the Arts and a refined French lifestyle. This eldest daughter of Antoinette of Bourbon (1494-1593) and Claude of Lorraine (1496-1550), first duke of Guise, was highly adaptable and universally respected. During the 1550s however, the increasing influence of the Reformation, the expanding power of the Anglophile part of the Scottish nobility and the Scottish resentment at her “French government” evolved into widespread uproar and civil war. The Queen dowager of Scotland, who had rather successfully co-governed and then ruled Scotland for over five years, was henceforth represented as a foreign usurper and female tyrant.

  • 2 Between 1480 and 1543, every French and Scottish monarch but Louis XI of France (1423-1483) signed (...)

3Did she indeed use her power out of dynastic and personal political motivations, as suggested by Pamela Ritchie in her 2002 study Mary of Guise in Scotland 1548- 1560. A Political Career, or was she rather compelled by the imperial designs of the French King Henry II or those of her increasingly powerful brothers Francis (1519- 1563), second Duke of Guise, and Charles (1524-1574), Cardinal of Lorraine? In any case, Marie of Lorraine was one of the key actors of the “Auld Alliance”, a more than two century-old treaty regularly updated by every new king of Scotland and France.2

Marie of Lorraine and the Auld Alliance

  • 3 In 1534, Marie of Lorraine had been married to Louis d’Orléans, duke of Longueville, who died in 15 (...)
  • 4 See Pollock, M. A., Scotland, England and France after the Loss of Normandy, 1204-1296: “Auld Amiti (...)
  • 5 “A casual glance at James IV’s published correspondence with foreign governments and individuals as (...)

4By her marriage to the King of Scots, the widowed duchess of Longueville3 became part of the intricate trilateral relationship between the kingdoms of France, England and Scotland, and entered the sphere of European royal dynastic politics. Marie of Lorraine’s mother-in-law Margaret Tudor (1489-1541), an elder sister to King Henry VIII of England, had herself married James IV of Scotland in 1503 who, prior to the betrothal, had signed a treaty of Perpetual Peace with Henry VII Tudor and renewed the Anglo-Scottish Auld Amitie dating back to the thirteenth century.4 Soon after Henry VII’s death in 1509, the new king of England resumed hostilities with France, thus reactivating the Franco-Scottish alliance. The disastrous battle of Flodden between the English and Scottish armies in September 1513 eliminated a major part of the Scottish nobility and killed their King who, in spite of his English Queen, had abandoned the English alliance in favour of France and Denmark.5

  • 6 Signed by King Philip IV of France and King John Baliol, this first treaty was ratified in Dunferml (...)
  • 7 Prior to Marie of Lorraine’s death in June 1560, three renewals of the treaty were signed, first by (...)
  • 8 See Bapst, Edmond, Les mariages de Jacques V, 1889, 309-327, for further details.

5In honour of James IV’s sacrifice on the battlefield, in 1517 King Francis I of France renewed the Franco-Scottish treaty that had been signed for the first time on 23 October 1295.6 Acting in the name of the infant James V, the duke of Albany confirmed this act of mutual military assistance and privileges, bestowed mostly upon Scottish merchants and soldiers in France.7 Having assumed his personal rule in 1528, King James V decided to reinforce the Auld Alliance by a French royal marriage. His first bride, King Francis I’s eldest daughter Madeleine of Valois (1520-1537), having unfortunately died within a month of her arrival in Scotland in the summer of 1537, the King of Scots superseded a year later with the eldest daughter of the celebrated war hero Claude of Lorraine, first Duke of Guise, one of the most powerful French nobles and a close ally of king Francis I. The marriage project of 1538,8 drawn up between Francis I and James V, was intended as “a continuation of the ancient friendship, sincere alliance, affinity and confederation” between the Kings of France and Scotland:

  • 9 “En continuant l’ancienne amityé, sincère alliance, affinité et confédéracion entre très Haulx, trè (...)

In continuation of the old amity, sincere alliance, affinity and confederation between the Most High, Most Excellent and Most Powerful Princes, the Most Christian King [King of France] and the King of Scotland, will be treated, agreed and granted the marriage between the said Lord King of Scotland and the illustrious Lady Margarita of Lorraine, daughter of the illustrious and powerful Prince Claude of Lorraine, Duke of Guise, and widow of the late Charles of Orleans, in his lifetime duke of Longueville.
author’s translation9

  • 10 The convoluted relation between the Duke of Lorraine and the German Emperor is discussed in Walter (...)

6Through the mere quantity of honorary titles, it is quite obvious which one of the two kings wielded the greater power. Nevertheless, James V brought home the eldest daughter of a French duke and niece of another powerful prince, Anthony Duke of Lorraine, who sustained a continuous yet ambiguous interrelation with the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V (1500-1558).10

  • 11 See Blakeway, Amy, Regency in Sixteenth Century Scotland, Woodbridge: The Boydell Press, 2015, 75-7 (...)

7James V’s second French Queen seems to have played no major part in Scottish politics until the early death of the King of Scots in December 1542, despite her diplomatic skills and privileged relations with the Continent. This changed in 1544 when the Queen dowager openly challenged the authority of one of the closest kinsmen of her daughter, James Hamilton (c.1516-1575) second Earl of Arran, the recently nominated governor of Scotland.11 A. M. Stewart believed that “after the 1544 meeting of the Estates Mary of Lorraine was ‘de facto’ Regent”, having the “virtual chief influence in the country” (Stewart xiv). By 1546, Stewart wrote, she had taken an even greater share in the administration of Scotland and consolidated her power the following year, when the “odium of the Scots’ defeat at [the battle of] Pinkie attached to the Hamilton’s” made the hope of the Scottish people turn to France, and to conclude that the “only escape from English occupation seemed to be French occupation” (Stewart xiv).

8If such a French supremacy over Scotland had indeed been established several years before the treaty of Haddington, can Marie of Lorraine still be considered a proponent of the Auld Alliance? In 1898, David Hay Fleming even suggested that “the resident French agents”, whose identity he does not specify, conspired with the Regent of Scotland to destroy the Franco-Scottish bond:

  • 12 John Lesley or Leslie, bishop of Ross (1527-1596), author of De origine, moribus, et rebus gestis S (...)

The Dowager began too soon, as the Bishop of Ross12 testifies, to follow the counsel of the resident French agents, rather than that of the Scots nobles, who from the first were thus made jealous of her government – a government which, instead of binding Scotland, as Henry the Second expected, more closely to France, was destined to be the means of breaking up the old alliance, and of throwing the Scots into the arms of the English
Fleming 20.

9In recent historiography, Marie of Lorraine’s part in the Franco-Scottish alliance has sometimes been overlooked. In The Auld Alliance, France and Scotland over 700 Years for example, her name is not even mentioned. Another frequently unnoticed fact is that from August 1548 to August 1561, for thirteen long years, the people of Scotland had to deal with the permanent absence of their monarch who, in addition to living at the French court, was not a king but a very young queen. Her mother, Marie of Lorraine, tried as best as she could to uphold her absent daughter’s authority in Scotland, but was unable to stop the decline in the Franco-Scottish relationship. Whereas Australian historian Elizabeth Bonner stated that Marie of Lorraine’s regency “clearly confirmed the Auld Alliance” (Bonner 76), French historian Eric Durot argued that the years between 1558 and 1561 represent its apogee, but also led to its end. I would contend that by her mere birth in December 1542, then later by her marriage to the Dauphin in April 1558, the person of Mary Stewart profoundly altered the former triangular Anglo-Franco-Scottish relationship, converting a century-old male-only military competition into a fierce battle over the possession of the crowns of Scotland and England. It so turned out that France would win the first round.

The emergence of a “Franco-Scotland” (1548-1558)

10In September 1541, by not appearing at a meeting with his uncle Henry VIII in York, James V engaged in a dangerous confrontation with the English King, who never forgave the insult. The ensuing conflict led to the calamitous battle of Solway Moss in November 1542, followed by the early death of the King of Scots one month later.

  • 13 See Merriman, Marcus, The Rough Wooings, East Linton: Tuckwell Press, 2000.
  • 14 The French duchy of Châtellerault, also spelled Châtelherault, Chateleraut or Chatelraud, was promi (...)

11Mary, his new-born daughter, was crowned Queen of Scots on 9 September 1543, and the governor and Three Estates of Scotland agreed to her betrothal to three-year old prince Edward Tudor (1537-1553), Henry VIII’s only son. This agreement was soon annulled by the Scots, and the two kingdoms entered a period of incessant war, the so-called Rough Wooings, where Henry VIII tried to impose the Anglo-Scottish marriage by military force.13 It was only in July 1548, a year after Henry VIII’s death, that the treaty of Haddington temporarily ended the war and established a new era of Franco-Scottish relations. King Henry II of France became protector and defender of Scotland and in August, Mary Stewart was sent to France. Her mother, the Queen dowager, came to act as an unofficial co-governor of James Hamilton, second Earl of Arran, governor of Scotland and tutor [i.e. guardian] of the young Queen, who had been awarded by King Henry II the title and duchy of Châtellerault on 12 February 1548.14

  • 15 “Mary of Guise’s trip to France is an area that requires much more investigation, especially in Fre (...)
  • 16 “From a French perspective, Guise dynastic ambition was synonymous with Henri’s imperial objectives (...)

12Two years later, Marie of Lorraine left for a visit to France. For Pamela Ritchie, her “celebrated trip to France in 1550-51 is one of the most misunderstood periods of her political career” (Ritchie 5).15 The reasons for this visit, and her returning to Scotland in 1551, remain open to further enquiry. According to Ritchie, Marie’s return marked “the beginning of her campaign to assume control of her daughter’s kingdom, supplant Châtellerault as Regent upon his stipulated resignation, and fulfil the dynastic and imperial objectives common to the houses of Guise and Valois” (Ritchie 61).16 The “imperial objective” of Henry II of France was to create a “Franco-British Empire” (Ritchie 68). However, the actual lack of evidence makes it difficult to prove that Marie of Lorraine indeed took an active part in this imperial project cherished by Henry II and, after the French King’s death in July 1559, by her two Guise brothers.

13Probably in mid-December 1553, several months prior to Marie of Lorraine’s nomination as Regent of Scotland, an important declaration on her daughter’s behalf was made not by the Three Estates of Scotland, but by the French Parliament in Paris. It declared that the Queen of Scots, in contemporary French documents entitled the Queen of Scotland ( “Reine d’Escoce”), had entered her twelfth year and therefore majority:

  • 17 « A esté advisé que, sans attendre la fin et perfection du XIIe an, ladicte Reine d’Escoce peut ent (...)

It has been advised that without awaiting the end and perfection of the 12th year, the said Queen of Scotland shall come into the administration of her realm in her own name, title and dignity of Queen, and the realm to be administered by the advice and council of such persons purposely chosen according to the King’s good pleasure.
author’s translation17

14In a patronizing if not authoritarian gesture, Henry II of France not only assumed the right to advance the majority of a royal princess of Scotland by a year, ipso facto ending her tutorship, but also to choose, for her council and the administration of Scotland, whichever person he pleased. A letter from Henri Cleutin, Sieur d’Oysel, written on 8 August 1553 to Marie of Lorraine, proves furthermore that Marie’s younger brother Charles, Cardinal of Lorraine, was not alien to these proceedings:

  • 18 « Monseigneur le Cardinal debatoyt obstinement a l’encontre de moy que la Royne vostre fille entroy (...)

My Lord Cardinal stubbornly argued with me that the Queen your daughter indeed came into her rights at eleven years and one day, and as this was the case, one plainly uncovered the governor’s ill-will towards her. Therefore, he considered that the sooner he would be deposed the better, to prevent him from gathering more friends around him, and to collect any information regarding this affair.18.
author’s translation

15Both documents seem to confirm that it was a decision of Henri II of France, as protector of Scotland, combined with the relentless efforts of Marie’s brother Charles of Guise, that swept away James Hamilton, Governor of Scotland, rather than Marie’s own desire for power.

16As a result, eleven-year old Mary Stewart, now declared a full adult and Queen in her own right, replaced on 12 April 1554 her former Governor by her mother, the Queen dowager. Throughout the months of April and May 1554, Marie of Lorraine sent out letters to the officers of the Scottish crown, declaring:

[O] ur derrest dochter the Quene of Scotland hes ta [k] ne the auctoritie, administration and gyding of this hir realme in hir awin handis, and maid and constitute ws hir Regent of the samin.
Masson 127

17Without going into a detailed discussion of this unprecedented situation in Scotland, it is important to stress that the Regency did not make Marie of Lorraine more powerful. As Amy Blakeway convincingly demonstrated, the “position as regent for an absentee monarch if anything limited Guise’s power”:

Guise represents an anomaly amongst the regents considered in this study since, technically, she was regent for an adult absentee monarch rather than a minor […]. [S] ince Mary was an adult, it was reasonable to expect that her consent could be secured, for example, on matters that directly affected the crown patrimony, even if this did entail a round trip to Paris.
Blakeway 23

18On 24 April 1558, when the Queen of Scots married Francis of Valois in Paris and became French dauphine, the Franco-Scottish alliance transformed into a dynastic union. However, despite the magnificent wedding ceremonies, sumptuous feasting and lavish presents, Mary Stewart was the losing part. As dauphine of France and Francis’ wife, she submitted to her husband who could henceforth style himself Rex Scotorum, King of the Scots.

  • 19 “Ainsi sont exempt du droit d’aubaine […] les Écossais (1513, 1547, 1558), tous servant dans la gar (...)

19Soon after the wedding of his eldest son and heir, King Henri II of France signed a letter patent in Villers-Cotterêts. It confirmed a grant, issued shortly after the battle of Flodden by his predecessor Louis XII, declaring all Scots serving in the Scottish Guard natifs or régnicoles, and exempting them from the droit d’aubaine (i.e. the forfeiture, principally to the French King, of the inheritance from a non-nationalized foreigner).19 Alexander Houston, a member of the Scottish Guard in France at the beginning of the seventeenth century, would have Henry II’s act of naturalization extend to every Scottish individual living in France:

  • 20 “Henry deuxiesme donna par le contract de marriage de son fils à tous les Ecossois de l’un et l’aut (...)

By the marriage contract of his son, Henry the Second granted all Scots of both sexes the right of naturalization and aubaine in France forever; the letters were ratified by the Court in July of the year 1550 [sic] with the one restriction that the grant shall apply as long as the Scots keep good friendship with the Kings of France, and that the French residing in Scotland shall receive the same privileges
author’s translation.20

  • 21 The French letters were renewed for the last time by King Louis XIV on 19 September 1646. After the (...)

20Published more than fifty years after the King’s 1558 letter patent, Houston’s tract shows its major importance for Scottish residents in France, who understandably supported the renewal of the Auld Alliance by every French and Scottish monarch.21 As a consequence of Henry II’s condition of reciprocity, Marie of Lorraine and the Three Estates, acting in the name of the Queen of Scots and the King of Scotland, granted on 29 November 1558 the said privileges and “letters of naturalitie” to all Frenchmen who had participated in Scotland’s struggle against the English invasions of the 1540s and 1550s.

The rise and fall of “Franco-Scotland” (1558-1560)

  • 22 Anglophiles existed amongst the Scots, too. In 1547, James Harrison published in London An Exhortac (...)

21Until the 1550s, Marie of Lorraine’s political role was sanctioned by the major part of Scotland’s ruling elite. As early as 1544, many had also given their consent to Henry II of France’s future position as protector of Scotland.22 Alexander Gordon, brother to the Earl of Huntly, writes that summer in a letter to the Queen dowager of an apparently rather forced collaboration of the Governor of Scotland:

  • 23 “[James Hamilton] assurand me of on thyng – that he suld debait the ald alliens of France and was d (...)

[James Hamilton] guaranteed me one thing: that he should defend the Auld Alliance of France and was determined, being harshly pushed, to deliver the castles of Scotland into the king’s Grace of France’s hands.
author’s translation23

22In the precarious situation of the Rough Wooings, the Auld Alliance guaranteed the Scots much-needed military support and money from France, and Marie of Lorraine was a direct link to the French King. For many Scots, she was also their preferred candidate for government. In the Epistil to the Quenis Grace preceeding the Complaynt of Scotland, its Scottish author hails the Queen dowager as an instrument of God to deliver her people from “the cruel voffis [wolves] of ingland” (Stewart 1). Her ancestors the dukes of Lorraine, he further writes, make this female descendant particularly fit for the position:

  • 24 “[Y] our foir grandscheir godefroid of billon kyng of iherusalem, hes nocht alanery kepit ande deff (...)

[Y] our fore-father Godefroy of Bouillon, King of Jerusalem, has not only shielded and defended his people and subjects of Lorraine from his neighbouring enemies that lie close to his country, but also, by his magnanimous prowess and warlike actions, has delivered the Holy Land of Judea out of the hands & possession of the infidel pagans […].
author’s translation24

23The Epistil consequently mentions Marie’s grandfather René II, Duke of Lorraine (1451-1508) who, on 5 January 1477, had successfully vanquished his mighty neighbour Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy:

  • 25 “[…] quhar for it aperis veil (illustir princes) that ye ar discendit doune lynyalye of them that h (...)

[I] t is evident, most (illustrious Princess), that you are descending from a line of those who have been defenders of the liberty of their country and subjects.25
 author’s translation

24This desire of making Marie of Lorraine a champion of Scottish independence was probably still extant when in April 1554, she was made Regent and head of the Scottish government. But Marie’s new position soon became a problem for a significant part of a budding nation that, like their young monarch, wished to leave an imposed tutorship.

  • 26 In December 1557, a group of Scottish nobles had pledged their lives to maintain, set forward, and (...)

25In 1527, The History and Chronicles of Scotland, King James V’s commission of Bellenden’s translation of Boece’s Scotorum Historiae into the vernacular Scots, had shown the invigorated Scottish pride in its ancient roots. The notion ‘auld’ had always been a cherished value in Scotland, but now its native language, the Scots, was closely linked to Scottish history. Protestantism had entered Scotland in the 1520s, and its influence had steadily grown. In the 1550s, pamphleteers and orators such as John Knox claimed the reformed religion as the one true religion of Scotland, thus reformulating Scottish history and identity. Now that Queen Mary had reached her “perfect age” (i.e. her majority), the Scots also wished an emancipation from exterior domination. Marie of Lorraine’s government was increasingly resented as a foreign and patronizing interference in Scottish internal affairs. The reforms that she and her French administration had attempted, in order to modernize a rather provincial and medieval Scotland, were rejected as new, foreign and un-Scottish. Her powerful Guise family as well as her sex, a political “weak spot” masterly exploited by John Knox who returned from exile to his homeland in May 1559, further degraded Marie of Lorraine’s image. The protestant faith now being presented as the native and genuine religion of Scotland, her “papist idolatry” added to this increasing rejection that lead to her deposition by the Lords of the Congregation26 on 27 October 1559.

26Frequently twinned with an Anglophile touch, this mid-sixteenth century Scottish protestant representation of Marie of Lorraine was destined for a long afterlife. In 1919, Scottish historian John Harrison writes in his History of the Monastery of the Holy-Rood:

She was a woman who commands respect for her high spirit and ability, but she was an autocrat at a time when the Scots were seeking after freedom, civil and religious; […] and like the noble Frenchwoman that she was, she held to the French Alliance, while the ruling class in Scotland had turned their eyes to England as the natural ally of Scotland.
Harrison 87

27From 1560 on, as England became “the natural ally of Scotland” and the Protestant faith the Scottish national faith, the name “Mary of Guise” progressively supplanted that of “Marie of Lorraine”, and her attachment to France and the Auld Alliance turned into an obstacle blocking Scotland as an independent nation. Marie herself always signed her letters “M. R.” for Maria Regina, Queen Marie, “Marie” or “Marie de Lorraine”. In fact, the apogee of the Guise family in France occurred at the exact moment when Marie of Lorraine’s Scottish Regency received its final blow. In July 1559, Henry II died from a jousting accident in Paris, and the mighty King of France and protector of Scotland was replaced by two teenage Royals. The sixteen-year old Mary Queen of Scots became Queen of France, and her fifteen-year-old husband Francis King of France and Scotland. The royal couple decided not to visit Scotland after Francis II’s coronation in Reims on 18 September 1559, thereby leaving the Scottish affairs with the Regent Marie of Lorraine, though her authority was already profoundly eroded in a country stricken with civil and religious wars. After her deposition by the protestant Lords of the Congregation in October 1559, Marie’s brothers Francis, Duke of Guise, and Charles, Cardinal of Lorraine, intended to replace their exhausted sister by their younger brother Claude, Marquis d’Elboeuf, who was to become viceroy. Although, Marie’s death in the night of 10th June 1560 put a temporary end to the Guise influence in Scotland.

Marie of Lorraine’s contribution to Scottish history

28Marie of Lorraine’s political role in Scotland remains controversial, depending mainly on the nationality, gender and religious conviction of the beholder. For French historian René de Bouillé, who wrote in 1846 the Histoire des ducs de Guise, Marie’s political motivations were triggered by her attachment to her native country:

  • 27 “Elle tenait du sang qui coulait dans ses veines un attachement sincère pour la France qu’elle s’ef (...)

Through the blood flowing in her veins, she held a sincere attachment to France, which she endeavoured to serve on every occasion.
author’s translation27

  • 28 “[Il] a tousjours desire que ce royaume icy fust sien” (Champollion-Figeac 6).

29But rather than by blood-ties, Marie’s political engagement might better be described as a faithful fulfilment of duty: duty towards her family, to her first husband the Duke of Longueville, to the kings of France, towards her second husband the King of Scots, and maybe most of all to her daughter Mary, Queen of Scots. As for Scotland, Marie of Lorraine was quite aware of King Henry II of France’s imperial designs. On 4 February 1549, she wrote to her brothers Francis, then still duke of Aumale, and Charles, then still cardinal of Guise: “[H] e has always desired that this realm would be his”.28

30However, it appears that Marie of Lorraine also tried to do her duty towards the country and people she ruled and knew so well: Scotland and the Scots. But her endeavours to raise Scotland to the continental standards of modernity - by instigating a college in Edinburgh, by attempting to reform the Royal administration or proposing the creation of a standing Scottish army - increasingly caused misunderstandings and rejection from the Scots.

  • 29 Margaret of Anjou (1430-1482) was a daughter of Marie’s great-grandfather René King of Naples (1409 (...)
  • 30 Lee, Patricia-Ann, “Reflections of Power: Margaret of Anjou and the Dark Side of Queenship”, 192, i (...)

31Much like her cousin and Queen Consort of King Henry VI of England, Margaret of Anjou,29 Marie of Lorraine was a faire-valoir, a representative of a more powerful person than herself. “Real as her power was in some respects”, writes Patricia-Ann Lee regarding Queen Margaret, “it was never really her own but only borrowed from and to be exercised in the name of husband or son”.30 Equally, it is only to be expected that Marie of Lorraine was aware that her power came from her daughter Mary, Queen of Scots. In her article about the Guise women of the second half of the sixteenth century, Penny Richards highlights the real challenge aristocratic women had to face:

  • 31 Richards, Penny, “The Guise women: Politics, war and peace”, p. 160, Jessica Munns and Penny Richar (...)

In fact, women who ruled negotiated a range of positions across the gender spectrum. In other words, the notion that women either fulfil traditional female roles or are monstrous, does not accord with contemporary actuality at either the highest levels, where women had to function in the public and political realms, or at lower levels where women toiled alongside men.31

  • 32 Blok, Anton, “Female Rulers and their Affinities”, p. 12-13, Verrips, Jojada (ed.), Transactions: E (...)

32Words such as “dutiful” and “functional” can indeed describe Marie of Lorraine’s Scottish Regency. As Anton Blok convincingly shows in his essay “Female Rulers and their Affinities”, a woman emphasizing her role of wife and mother would have difficulty in gaining recognition and acceptance as a leader32. On the other hand, a woman of the 1550s that fully embraces her leading role, as Marie de Lorraine undoubtedly did, faces the risk of being accused of tyranny and usurpation. It was a lose-lose situation from the start that, incidentally, is not confined to sixteenth century women.

33Marie of Lorraine’s contribution to Scottish history appears to be more complex than that of her daughter Mary Queen of Scots who, after only six years of a tumultuous personal rule, ended up a prisoner of her English cousin Queen Elizabeth I, and finally lost her head. For over fifteen years, her unlucky mother was relentlessly struggling to perform impossible tasks: to save her daughter’s authority as a ruling Queen, to bring the quarrelling Scottish nobles into accordance and finally and most unlikely, to transform the military alliance of two kings into an alliance of the people of France and Scotland.

Bibliographie

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Harrison, John, The History of the Monastery of the Holy-Rood and of the Palace of Holyrood House, Edinburgh and London: W. Blackwood and Sons, 1919.

Houston, Alexander, L’Escosse françoise. Discours des Alliances comme [n] cees depuis l’an sept cents septante sept, & continuees iusques à présent, entre les Couronnes de France & d’Escosse, Paris: P. Mettayer, 1608.

Laidlaw, James (ed.), The Auld Alliance, France and Scotland over 700 Years, Edinburgh: U of Edinburgh P, 1999.

Lee, Patricia-Ann, “Reflections of Power: Margaret of Anjou and the Dark Side of Queenship”, in Renaissance Quarterly, vol. 39, n° 2, 1986, 183-217.

[Leslie, John], The Historie of Scotland wrytten first in Latin by the Most Reuerend and Worthy Jhone Leslie Bishop of Rosse and translated in Scottish by Father James Dalrymple Religious in the Scottis Cloister of Regensburg, The Jeare of God, 1596, 2 vol., E. G. Cody et W. Murison (eds.), Edinburgh and London: William Blackwood and Sons, 1888-1895.

Macdougall, Norman, James IV. The Stewart Dynasty in Scotland, Edinburgh: John Donald, 2006.

Masson, David (ed.), Register of the Privy Council of Scotland, A.D. 1545-1625, vol. XIV, Addenda, Edinburgh: H. M. General Register House, 1898.

Merriman, Marcus, The Rough Wooings. Mary Queen of Scots, 1542-1551, East Linton: Tuckwell Press, 2000.

Mohr, Walter, Das Herzogtum Lothringen zwischen Frankreich und Deutschland (14.-17. Jahrhundert), Geschichte des Herzogtums Lothringen, vol. IV, Trier: Verlag der Akademischen Buchhandlung Interbook, 1986.

Pollock, M. A., Scotland, England and France after the Loss of Normandy, 1204- 1296: ‘Auld Amitie’, Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 2015.

Richards, Penny, “The Guise Women: Politics, War and Peace”, in Jessica Munns and Penny Richards (eds.), Gender, Power and Privilege in Early Modern Europe, London: Pearson, 2003, 159-170.

Ritchie, Pamela, Mary of Guise in Scotland, 1548-1560. A political career, East Linton: Tuckwell, 2002.

Stewart, A. M. (ed.), The Complaynt of Scotland (c.1550) by Mr Robert Wedderburn, Edinburg: The Scottish Text Society, 1979.

Sturges, Robert S., “The Guise and the two Jerusalems”, in Jessica Munns, P. Richards and J. Spangler (eds.), Aspiration, Representation and Memory. The Guise in Europe, 1506-1688, Farnham: Ashgate, 2015, 25-46.

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Notes

1 Today, Bar-le-Duc is situated in the French department of the Meuse in the Grand Est region.

2 Between 1480 and 1543, every French and Scottish monarch but Louis XI of France (1423-1483) signed a renewal of the alliance treaty. Louis is also the only French Royal who, as Dauphin, married a Scottish princess, Margaret Stewart (1424-1445), eldest daughter of King James I and Queen Joan Beaufort.

3 In 1534, Marie of Lorraine had been married to Louis d’Orléans, duke of Longueville, who died in 1537.

4 See Pollock, M. A., Scotland, England and France after the Loss of Normandy, 1204-1296: “Auld Amitie”, Woodbrige: The Boydell Press, 2015.

5 “A casual glance at James IV’s published correspondence with foreign governments and individuals associated with them reveals that he sent three times as much diplomatic mail to France and Denmark as to England”, (Macdougall 251).

6 Signed by King Philip IV of France and King John Baliol, this first treaty was ratified in Dunfermline on 23 February 1296, see Duchein, Michel, “Le traité franco-écossais de 1295 dans son contexte international”, in James Laidlaw 23-32. Scottish historiography consistently disregards John Baliol, King of Scots from 1292 to 1296, who had sworn fealty to King Edward I of England (1239-1307).

7 Prior to Marie of Lorraine’s death in June 1560, three renewals of the treaty were signed, first by Louis XII of France and James IV of Scotland in 1512, then by Francis I and James V in 1517 and again by Francis I and Mary Queen of Scots, represented by James Hamilton Earl of Arran and the Three Estates, in December 1543.

8 See Bapst, Edmond, Les mariages de Jacques V, 1889, 309-327, for further details.

9 “En continuant l’ancienne amityé, sincère alliance, affinité et confédéracion entre très Haulx, très Excellens et très Puissans Princes le Roy très Chrestien et le Roy d’Escosse, sera traicté, convenu et accordé le mariage d’entre ledict Seigneur Roy d’Escosse et de l’illustre Dame Marguerite de Lorraine, fille de l’illustre et puissant prince Claude de Lorraine, duc de Guyse, vevfe de feu Charles d’Orléans, en son vivant duc de Longueville” (Teulet Relations 115). Two odd mistakes occur in the contract: Marie of Lorraine is called “Marguerite”, and her deceased husband Louis d’Orléans, “Charles”.

10 The convoluted relation between the Duke of Lorraine and the German Emperor is discussed in Walter Mohr, Das Herzogtum Lothringen zwischen Frankreich und Deutschland (14.-17. Jahrhundert), 1986, 138-153.

11 See Blakeway, Amy, Regency in Sixteenth Century Scotland, Woodbridge: The Boydell Press, 2015, 75-76.

12 John Lesley or Leslie, bishop of Ross (1527-1596), author of De origine, moribus, et rebus gestis Scotorum (Concerning the origin, behavior, and achievements of the Scots) published in Rome in 1578. Translated into Scots by James Dalrymple in 1596, The Historie of Scotland was published in 1888-89 (see bibliography).

13 See Merriman, Marcus, The Rough Wooings, East Linton: Tuckwell Press, 2000.

14 The French duchy of Châtellerault, also spelled Châtelherault, Chateleraut or Chatelraud, was promised to the Earl of Arran by Francis I, king Henry II’s father, in the treaty of Châtillon of 27 January 1547, in exchange of the departure of the Queen of Scots to France and the delivery of the castles of Dunbar and Blackness into the French king’s hands, see: http://www.heraldica.org/topics/france/memoire_Hamilton.htm#mozTocId423914. Accessed 24 April 2019.

15 “Mary of Guise’s trip to France is an area that requires much more investigation, especially in French archives” (Ritchie 89, note 124).

16 “From a French perspective, Guise dynastic ambition was synonymous with Henri’s imperial objectives” (Ritchie 88). In 1927, Annie Cameron writes: “Mary of Lorraine was primarily interested in securing her own position, and her correspondence kept this definite, practical purpose in view” (Cameron ix).

17 « A esté advisé que, sans attendre la fin et perfection du XIIe an, ladicte Reine d’Escoce peut entrer en l’administration de son royaulme pour, en son nom, titre et dignité de Reine, le royaulme estre administré par l’advis et conseil de tels personnages qui seront à ceste fin esleuz selon le bon plaisir du Roy » (Teulet Papiers 261). Teulet gives the date 1552, when Mary Stewart was only ten years old.

18 « Monseigneur le Cardinal debatoyt obstinement a l’encontre de moy que la Royne vostre fille entroyt en ses droictz a unze ans et un jour, et que puis que ainsi soyt que l’on descouvroit evidemment la mauvaise volunte envers elle du Gouverneur qu’il lui sembloit que le plutost le deposer ce seroyt le meilleur pour luy donner tant de loysir de se fortisfier d’amys et recherché aucune intelligence […] » (Wood 304).

19 “Ainsi sont exempt du droit d’aubaine […] les Écossais (1513, 1547, 1558), tous servant dans la garde royale” (Audisio 46). See also Ephraim Chambers, Cyclopaedia, 1728, “ATT-AUD”, p. 175: “AUBAINE, in the French Customs, the act of inheriting after a Foreigner, who dies in a Country where he is not naturalized”. http://digicoll.library.wisc.edu/cgi-bin/HistSciTech/HistSciTechidx?type=turn&entity=HistSciTech.Cyclopaedia01.p0215&id=HistSciTech.Cyclopaedia01&isize=M&q1=aubaine. Accessed 24 April 2019.

20 “Henry deuxiesme donna par le contract de marriage de son fils à tous les Ecossois de l’un et l’autre sex, les droicts de naturalisation et aubeine et [sic] France à iamais, les lettres ont esté verifies à la Cour le mois de Iullet l’an 1550 [sic] auec ceste seule restriction, que cela s’entendoit pendant que les Escossois demeureront en bonne amitié auec les Roys de France, et que les François retirez en Escosse iouïssent de mesmes priuiliges” (Dunlop 6-7). See also Alexander Houston, L’Escosse françoise, Paris: P. Mettayer, 1608.

21 The French letters were renewed for the last time by King Louis XIV on 19 September 1646. After the Acts of Union of 1706-1707, the British nationality supplanted the Scottish, see http://questions.assemblee-nationale.fr/q11/11-65594QE.htm. Accessed 24 April 2019.

22 Anglophiles existed amongst the Scots, too. In 1547, James Harrison published in London An Exhortacion to the Scottes to conforme themselfes to the honourable, expedient, & godly Union betweene the two Realmes of Englande & Scotlande, which he dedicated to Edward Duke of Somerset, Lord protector of England and Regent during the minority of King Edward VI.

23 “[James Hamilton] assurand me of on thyng – that he suld debait the ald alliens of France and was determit, he beand sarply put at, to deliver the strenthis of Scotland in the kyngis grace of France handis” (Cameron 96).

24 “[Y] our foir grandscheir godefroid of billon kyng of iherusalem, hes nocht alanery kepit ande deffendit his pepil ande subiectis of loran, fra his prochane enemeis that lyis contingue about his cuntre: bot as veil be his magnanyme proues ande martial executione, he delyurit the holy land of iudia furtht of the handis & possession of the infideil pagans […]” (Stewart 3). To Godefroy of Bouillon and Jerusalem, see Sturges, Robert S., “The Guise and the two Jerusalems”, J. Munns, P. Richards and J. Spangler (eds.), Aspiration, Representation and Memory. The Guise in Europe, 1506-1688, Farnham: Ashgate, 2015, 25-46.

25 “[…] quhar for it aperis veil (illustir princes) that ye ar discendit doune lynyalye of them that hes been propungnatours for the libertee of ther cuntre ande subiectis […]”, ibid., p. 3. The Complaynt also mentions her “fadir broder Antonius (i.e. Anthony duke of Lorraine), duc of calabre loran ande of bar” who “hes kepit his landis in liberte” that “lay betwixt tua of the maist potent princes (i.e. emperor Charles V and Henri II of France)” (ibid., p. 4), her uncle Jean, cardinal of Lorraine, the “verteous captain” who has been “mediatour betuix diuers forane princis, to treit pace ande concorde in diuerse cuntreis”, and the “martial sciens” that Marie’s father Claude has shown in the battles of Saint Quentin, Peronne and Saverne (ibid., p. 5).

26 In December 1557, a group of Scottish nobles had pledged their lives to maintain, set forward, and establish the reformed religion in Scotland. This ‘common band’ or covenant was a protestant response to the increasing domination of Scotland by France in the second half of the 1550s.

27 “Elle tenait du sang qui coulait dans ses veines un attachement sincère pour la France qu’elle s’efforçait de servir en toute occasion” (Bouillé 176).

28 “[Il] a tousjours desire que ce royaume icy fust sien” (Champollion-Figeac 6).

29 Margaret of Anjou (1430-1482) was a daughter of Marie’s great-grandfather René King of Naples (1409-1480).

30 Lee, Patricia-Ann, “Reflections of Power: Margaret of Anjou and the Dark Side of Queenship”, 192, in Renaissance Quarterly, vol. 39, no. 2, 1986, 183-217.

31 Richards, Penny, “The Guise women: Politics, war and peace”, p. 160, Jessica Munns and Penny Richards (eds.), Gender, Power, and Privilege in Early Modern Europe, London: Pearson, 2003, 159- 170. Richards concentrates on Guise women of the second half of the Sixteenth century.

32 Blok, Anton, “Female Rulers and their Affinities”, p. 12-13, Verrips, Jojada (ed.), Transactions: Essays in Honor of Jeremy F. Bossevain, Amsterdam: Het Spinhuis, 1994, 5-33.

Auteur

A binational and trilingual researcher in History and Early English Literature, who also works as free-lance journalist, translator and picture researcher specializing in the arts, history and heritage, thus covering a broad visual spectrum. At present, she is completing her doctoral thesis on Marie de Lorraine-Guise, a contribution to cross-border, comparative and interdisciplinary studies. In 2015-2016, she initiated and co-organized the first French colloquium dedicated to this 16th century queen of Scotland born in France, but ignored in her native country. She co-edited a bilingual issue of the “Annales de l’Est”, Marie de Lorraine-Guise. Un itinéraire européen, published in 2018. A second article on Marie de Lorraine and a study on the crowning of Emperor Frederick III of Habsburg in 1452, are in preparation for printing in 2019.

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