Thursday, November 19, 2015

S is for Scotland GLORIANA! The ABC's of the Reign of Our Most Gracious Sovereign Elizabeth


Elizabeth I:
  • never visited Scotland
  • her people on the English/Scottish border frequently clashed with Scots
  • faced the very real threat that Mary Queen of Scots would replace her on England's throne
    Scotland: very very north indeed.
  • had to, on occasion, send her representatives to derail uprisings in the north
 
To England, Scotland during the years 1485-1603 was the type of neighbor who makes 'spite fences' seem like a good idea.
"What, you don't like the look of the new fence? That was the whole idea."

Contrary and combative to one another, if England was Catholic, Scotland spoke favorably of Protestantism.
If England was Protestant, Scotland hankered for Catholicism.
From 1544-1548, those along the Scottish border experienced what is adorably called the 'rough wooing' from Henry VIII after backing out on negotiations for Henry VIII's son to marry Mary Queen of Scots (while both potential bride and groom were young children.)
Henry VIII sent bands of English ruffians in to Scotland to terrorize, burn the homes of, and otherwise harm and harass, Scots unlucky enough to get in the way.
The Rough Wooing
"You want rough wooing? You're gonna get rough wooing."

The rough wooing.

Get it? 

Prior to the rough wooing, the history between England and Scotland wasn't any more tranquil; in 1513 while Henry VIII was off waging war on France, leaving Queen Catherine of Aragon all alone in England.
James IV of Scotland made a move to invade his southern neighbor while England's king was away.
Queen Catherine of Aragon was the daughter of a warrior mother.
James IV should've taken that into consideration.
Before the invasion was quelled, James IV was killed and Catherine of Aragon sent his bloody coat to Henry VIII in a little care package from home. Care Package
Understandably, Scotland did not especially like its neighbor to the south.
Scotland *did* however, like its neighbor across the English Channel; France and Scotland had a bond that, even in the sixteenth century was called the 'auld alliance.' 
That 'auld alliance' threatened Henry VIII's daughter, Elizabeth I, throughout the entirety of her reign.
France and Scotland loved double-teaming England, their common 'frenemy,' but in time, Scotland found France to be a little too enthusiastically Catholic for the freedom-loving Scots.
UPTOWN_frenemy
Yup, we're right in that grey area.

When Mary Queen of Scots dallied with her second and third husbands she used up her goodwill chips with the Scottish people - sure, she was a complete babe of a queen, but her impulse control issues when it came to marriage and her wrongheaded approach towards whom it was safe to trust had her on the run from Scotland which she'd formerly ruled (not well, though.) 

Mary Queen of Scots left behind a little boy-king, James VI,
James VI as a boy. Ignore the ruffled neckline and the velvet britches.

when she skedaddled to England - and right into the butterfly net intrigue net 
 
of her cousin Elizabeth I.
Once Mary Queen of Scots set her size nine feet on English soil in 1568, she never left it; Elizabeth I kept her under house arrest for nineteen years.
During that nineteen years, Mary Queen of Scots grew old and chubby and spent her days indoors doing embroidery and stirring up trouble with the man of whichever house in which she was held.
A still-beautiful (despite the extra weight) and charming woman, Mary worked non-stop to drum up support for her ultimate goal of offing her cousin Elizabeth.
"Would I conspire against you?"

Too quick to trust, though, Mary was caught out in one of her many cloak-and-dagger schemes to topple the English throne and claim it for her own.
The result of Mary's misplaced trust (well, she had the disadvantage of being intellectually a lightweight when it came to skullduggery - and her rival on the side of Elizabeth I was Francis Walsingham, an experienced spymaster) was her incredibly poignant and then stomach-turning execution in 1587.

Scotland's James VI, who'd never spent time with his mother, not in any practical mother-son relationship manner, was a bit put out by her execution.
After a fairly short time, he got over it.

If Elizabeth I, whose throne would be as good as his if he didn't screw things up with her, said the execution had been carried out kinda-sorta against her explicit wishes, James VI decided that was good enough for him.
He and Elizabeth I had a wary relationship, but in the end, Elizabeth I left James VI her throne when she died.


Scotland, uneasy neighbor to the north of England, must've been delighted in 1603  to learn their king was also England's king.
Years later, in 1707, Scotland  and England were united under one monarch, which is where things stand today - in spite of the Scots unsuccessful vote for independence in 2014.
Queen at Balmoral Scotland wearing the Order of the Thistle. The motto ...
"LOL Scotland! Not on my watch you don't."