1558 - Mary Queen of Scots marries

Mary's Wedding

Mary, aged five, was sent off to the French court on 29 July 1548. On Sunday 24 April 1558, aged fifteen, her dream marriage to the Dauphin of France finally took place (given the shifting diplomacy of her new father-in-law Henri II of France, it had never been a foregone conclusion). This account of the wedding was apparently written by a Scots student in Paris, and it survives only as a fragment recovered from the binding of a work by David Lindsay the poet. As at most traditional Scottish weddings, a 'poor oot' - coins being thrown to crowds in the street - was in order.

[They scattered] gold and silver amang the pepill
They scattered gold and silver amongst the people
on every side of the scaffald within the kirke. Whar
on every side of the platform within the kirk. Where
with qui potest capere capiat was sik yalping and
with 'who could seize, let him seize it' there was
yeoling, sik calling and crying as, as the like (I
such yelping and yowling, such calling and crying,
think) was never hard. Ther gentillmen tint [lost]
as the like, I think, was never heard. There
their clokis, gentilwemen ther fartingales,
gentlemen lost their cloaks, ladies their
merchantmen ther gownes, maisters in art ther
farthingales, merchants their gowns, masters of
hudis, studentis ther cornet cappis, and religious
arts their hoods, students their cornered caps and
men had ther scapilliries violently riven fra ther
clerics had their scapularies violently torn from
shulders. Whar also amang the rest was a stout
their shoulders. Amongst the rest was a stout young
yong baire futed freir of Sainct Francis ordir, the
bare-footed Franciscan friar, who got more of the
whilk freir gat mair of the cast money than four of
'poor-oot' than four of his companions. Being
his cumpanions. The whilk beand demandid
challenged what he was doing handling money
wharfor he did handill money contrary to his
contrary to his vows of poverty, he answered
profession: he answerid, hola my freindis hola,
'Hola, my friends, Hola! Content yourselves, for if
content your selves, for gife [if] Sanct Francis him
St Francis himself was present here this day, who
self war heir present this day whilk was the chief of
was the chief of our order, he would put out his
our profession, he wald put to his hand, as I have
hand as I have done and my companions in
done, and my com[pan]ions, in handling and
handling and keeping this alms money (thereby
keping this [almis] m[on]ey (therby mening na
meaning that he was not being greedy)
cuvetou[snes]) to the laude of God, and honour of
to the praise of God and honour of this most godly
[this] maist godly and triumphant marriage . . .
and triumphant marriage . . .
[To see the merchantmen in ther] doublettis,
To see the merchants in their doublets without their
gounles, maisters in art hudles, and studentis with
gowns, the masters of arts hoodless, and students
many uthers caples, it was a merie sport for him
with many others capless, it was a merry sport for
that tint nathing. And thane to heir thare
him who lost nothing. And then to hear their
lamentation, it was na les sport. Some saing, I have
lamentation, it was no less sport, some saying 'I
tint my cloke wurth ten crownes and gat but a
have lost my cloak worth ten crowns and got only a
teston. Ane uther sais, alace my gowne was
teston (about a shilling). Another says alas my gown was
pluckide fra my bak wurth six crownes, and gat but
plucked from my back worth six crowns and I got but 5 sous
5 sous. The third sais my purs is gane and 50
(roughly pennies). The third says my purse is gone and 50
crowns in it and gat nathinge. I have gotine quod
crowns in it and I got nothing. I have gotten,
ane uther a cuppill of gud crownes of the sonne and
said another a couple of good crowns of the sun and
tint nathinge. Wharfor I heringe and seing this gud
lost nothing. Wherefore, I hearing and seeing these good
fellowes having sike gret tinsell [loss] for gredines
fellows having such great loss for greediness
in getting of few pecis of monie, and specialy him
in getting a few pieces of money, and particularly him
that tint his purs and 50 crownes in it and gat
who lost his purse and 50 crowns in it and got
nathing: I was forced, not alanerly to say with the
nothing. I was forced, not alone, to say with the
poet Virgil Quid non mortalia pectora cogis, auri
poet Virgil 'Accursed greed for gold, what dost thou not drive
sacra fames
hearts of men to do?'. Aeneid III, 55.

The Marriage of Mary Queen of Scots to the Dauphin: a Scottish Printed Fragment, ed. Douglas Hamer, The Bibliographical Society, London, 1932. Reproduced by permission of The Bibliographical Society.

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