Scottish Rebellion 1559-1560

A.) Prehistory

In previous years, a protestant (Calvinist) party had formed in Scotland, which wanted all of Scotland to accept the new faith. Scotland's Queen, Mary Queen of Scots, was in France, where she was married to King Henri II.; Scotland was ruled by Regent Marie de Guise, the Queen mother (Regent since 1554).
The Protestant Party was encouraged by the victory of Protestantism in England after the death of Bloody Mary in 1558, and they hoped for support from England in favour of their cause. Regent Marie de Guise, however, held on to the French alliance and to Catholicism.

B.) The Conflict

An iconoclastic wave had spread over Scotland (Perth, St. Andrews, 1559); the new local Protestant regime forbade the celebration of holy mass. Practically, significant parts of Scotland were in open rebellion.
In secret negotiations, Queen Elizabeth promised to support the Scottish Protestants (1559), and to this end the Treaty of Berwick (Feb. 1560) was concluded. The Scottish Diet enacted laws implementing the reformation. In early 1560 an English fleet appeared off Edinburgh. An Anglo-Scottish army laid siege to the French forces loyal to Marie de Guise. After holding out for six months, Marie de Guise died. The withdrawal of both English and French troops from Scotland was agreed upon; Marie was buried in France.

C.) The Legacy

The rebellion of 1559-1560 challenged Regent Marie de Guise, and established Protestantism as state confession in Scotland. Yet in 1561, Mary Queen of Scots returned from France to reclaim her throne. While she respecyed Protestantism as state confession, both her Catholic faith and her lifestyle alienated many influential Scots and caused yet another rebellion, which ousted the Queen (1567-1568).

Biography of Marie de Guise, from Wikipedia
Scottish Reformation Parliament, 1560, from BBC History
Scottish History Timeline 1542-1587 (Mary Queen of Scots), from
Protestant insurrection in Scotland, from Thomas Graves Law, Mary Stewart, posted by MATEO
REFERENCE Fitzroy MacLean, Scotland : a Concise History, London : Thames and Hudson, 1993

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on June 9th 2003, last revised on November 17th 2004

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