Mary of Guise

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Mary of Guise (French: Marie de Guise) (22 November 1515 – 11 June 1560) was the Lorraine-born queen consort of Scotland as the second spouse of King James V. She was the mother of Mary, Queen of Scots, and served as regent of Scotland in her daughter's name from 1554 to 1560. She was a member of the powerful House of Guise, which played a prominent role in 16th century French politics.


Duchess of Longueville

Mary was born at Bar-le-Duc, Lorraine, the eldest daughter of Claude of Lorraine, Duke of Guise, head of the French House of Guise, and his wife Antoinette de Bourbon, herself the daughter of Francis, Count of Vendome and Marie de Luxembourg. Among her 11 siblings were Francis, Duke of Guise, Claude, Duke of Aumale, Charles, Cardinal of Lorraine, and Louis I, Cardinal of Guise.

On 4 August 1534, at the age of 18, she married Louis II, Duke of Longueville (born 1510), becoming the Duchess of Longueville, at the Louvre in a union that turned out to be happy but brief.[1] On 30 October 1535, Mary gave birth to her first son, Francis, but on 9 June 1537, Louis died at Rouen and left her a widow at the age of 21. For the rest of her life, Mary kept the last letter from her 'bon mari et ami,' her good husband and friend Louis, which mentioned his illness and explained his absence at Rouen, and it can still be seen at the National Library of Scotland.[2] On 4 August, Mary gave birth to their second son, who was named Louis after his deceased father. Louis died very young, but Francis wrote letters to his mother in Scotland; on 22 March 1545 he sent a piece of string to show how tall he was, and on 2 July 1546 he sent her his portrait.[3]

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