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View Full Version : I need help from a history buff...namely Mary Queen of Scots



glendalough
06-14-2007, 04:35 AM
I am reading the Wikipedia entry on her and can't understand the four Mary's :

With her marriage agreement in place, five-year-old Mary was sent to France in 1548 to spend the next ten years at the French court. Henri II (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_II_of_France) had offered to guard her and raise her. On August 7 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/August_7), 1548 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1548), the French fleet sent by Henri II (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_II_of_France) sailed back to France from Dumbarton (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dumbarton) carrying the five-year-old Queen of Scotland on board. She was accompanied by her own little court consisting of two lords, two half brothers, and the "four Marys", four little girls her own age, all named Mary, and the daughters of some of the noblest families in Scotland: Beaton (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Beaton), Seton (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Seton), Fleming (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Fleming), and Livingston (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Livingston).

JenNipps
06-14-2007, 05:13 AM
I'm not much help, but I'll copy your question over to the story research board. Maybe between here & there, you'll get some info.

job
06-14-2007, 05:13 AM
Hi Glen --
Can't understand the four Mary's ... what?

(OK. Couldn't resist. Sorry.)

Could you say what it is about the four Marys you don't understand.

Mary of Scotland was sent to live in France, accompanied by four well-born girls of her own age. Since every third girl in Scotland was named Mary, it happend that all four of them were named Mary. To the best of my knowledge, they didn't try to pick a matched set or anything.

Or were you talking about the song maybe ... here (http://www.contemplator.com/scotland/4marys.html)

Cath
06-14-2007, 05:28 AM
Incidentally, you might find these sites more comprehensive than Wikipedia:

http://englishhistory.net/tudor/relative/maryqosbiography.html
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09764a.htm

Medievalist
06-14-2007, 05:31 AM
It's a reference to the Scots ballad, and also, a historical truth.

They were her ladies in waiting, and also, hostages, of a sort. See Antonia Fraser's biography.

Tsu Dho Nimh
06-14-2007, 11:22 PM
The four little girls her own age, all named Mary, who were the daughters of some of the noblest families in Scotland: Beaton (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Beaton), Seton (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Seton), Fleming (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Fleming), and Livingston (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Livingston).

There is a ballad from that era, "The Four Marys", although it gives a different set of four women.

http://www.contemplator.com/scotland/4marys.html

Last night there were four Marys
Tonight there'll be but three
There was Mary Seaton and Mary Beaton
And Mary Carmichael and me.

Oh, often have I dressed my queen
And put on her braw silk gown
But all the thanks I've got tonight
Is to be hanged in Edinborough Town