1542 - Mary Queen of Scots born at Linlithgow

'It came wi' a lass'

James V, father of Mary Queen of Scots, presided over a court at which Scottish poetry and drama flourished. Writers such as David Lindsay and George Buchanan owed their advancement to the king. Despite being a devout Catholic, James did not scruple to enrich himself at the expense of his church, using the spectre of the English break with Rome to encourage the church to pander to him. His private life, with its succession of mistresses, was not exactly in line with church teaching either. On the other hand he passed severe statutes against heresy and several Lutherans, including the talented young courtier and preacher Patrick Hamilton, were burnt at the stake in his reign. As noted above, he pursued a pro-French foreign policy through his marriages and diplomacy.

Cuming to the Hallyards [he] was humainlie ressavit of the Ladie
Coming to the Hallyards the King was kindly received by Lady
of Grange, ane antient and godlie Matrene (the Laird at his cuming
Grange, a godly old matron (the Laird was absent at the time).
was absent). In his Cumpany was only with him William Kirkaldie,
In his company was only William Kirkcaldy, now
now Laird of Grange, and sum uther that waytit upoun his Chalmer.
Laird of Grange, and some others from his bedchamber.
The Ladie at Supper, persaving him pensive, begane to comfort him,
At supper the Lady, seeing him pensive, began to comfort him
and willed him to take the Ward of God in gud Parte. My Portioun
and willed him to take the Word of God in good part. My portion
of this Warld, said he, is schorte, for I will not be with you 15 Dayis.
of this world, said he, is short, for I will not be with you 15 days.
His Servand repaired unto him asking, Quhair he wald have
His servant came and asked him where he wanted
Provision maid for his Yuill, quhilk than aprochit? He answerit,
preparations to be made for Yule, which was approaching. He answered
with at disdainfull Smirk, I cannot tell, chuse ye the Plaice; but this
with a disdainful smirk. I cannot tell, you choose the place, but this
I can tell you, or Yulle-Day ye will be Maisterless, and the Realme
I can tell you, by Yule you will be Masterless, and the realm
without a King. Becaus of his Displesur, no Man durst mak
without a king. Because of his temper, no man dared
Contradictioun unto him. Sa efter he had visitit the Castell of
contradict him. So after he had visited the Castle of Carnie,
Carney, perteining to the Erle of Craufurde, quhair the said Erle's
belonging to the Earl of Crawford, where the said Earl's daughter
Dochter was, ane of his Huiris, he returnit to Falkland, and tuk Bed.
was one of his mistresses, he returned to Falkland and took to bed.
And albeit thair apearit unto him na Signs of Deyth, yit he
And although no signs of death appeared on him, yet he
constantlie affirmit, Befair sick a Day I sal be deid. In this mein
constantly affirmed 'Before such a day I shall be dead.' In the mean-
Tyme was the Quein, upoun the Point of hir Deliverie in Linlythgow,
time the Queen was about to give birth in Linlithgow,
vquha was deliverit the aucht Day of December, in the Yeir of God
and was delivered of a daughter on the 8th December,
1542 Yeiris, of Marie that then wes borne, and now dois reigne for
1542, of Mary who was born then and now reigns as a
a Plague to this Realme, as the Progres of hir haill Lyif had to this
plague to this realm, as the progress of her entire life to this day
Day declars. The Certaintie that a Dochter was borne unto him,
declares. The certainty that a daughter was born to him,
cuming to his Eris, he turnit frome sick as spak with him, and said,
coming to the ears of the king, he turned from such as spoke to him and
The Devil ga with it, it will end as it begane; it come frome a
said 'The Devil goe with it, it will end as it began, it came from a woman
Woman, and it will end in a Woman. Efter that he spak not mony
and it will end in a woman.' After that he spoke not many words which
Wordis that war sensibill.
were intelligible.

John Knox, Historie of the Reformatioun of Scotland, Edinburgh, 1732.

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