Cultura y Literatura
All About History: Stuarts

All About History: Stuarts

All About History: Stuarts

n the All About History Book of the Stuarts, discover how the Scottish dynasty ascended the English throne, uncover why a king met his maker at the executioner’s block and find out why life was miserable under Cromwell. Elsewhere, read about the Restoration, delve into the dynastic disputes that cost a king his crown and learn about the royal schemes to reclaim a usurped throne.

United Kingdom
Future Publishing Ltd
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1 min.
welcome to all about history book of the stuarts

The axeman lifted his weapon and paused, assessing the bare neck before him. In one swift movement, he dealt the fatal blow, severing the head of his own king. As the life drained from Charles I, so too did the bitter dregs of absolute monarchism in Britain. After centuries of kings and queens, from the bloodthirsty to the benevolent, England became a republic, with Oliver Cromwell at the helm. But history wasn’t finished with the Stuarts. In barely more than a century, the Stuarts shaped Britain irrevocably. Ruling during the Great Fire of London, the devastating plague outbreak of 1665 and numerous religious plots and schemes, the Stuarts overcame catastrophe and conspiracy to unite Scotland and England into a European superpower. In the All About History Book of the Stuarts, discover…

14 min.
birth of a dynasty

Hailing from 11th-century Brittany, the Norman ancestors of the Stuart line came to Britain under King Henry I of England The royal house of Stuart is one of the most enduring and conflicting in British history. They propelled Scotland, a country on the outskirts of western life and politics, onto the European centre stage, where a dramatic turn of events saw them take the throne of England after the Tudor dynasty faded away. A common and sometimes confusing trait with the Stuarts, and many other royal families, is the repetition in their naming conventions. James and Mary are the most popular names, with monarchs often only differentiated by their place in the reigning order. Hailing from 11th-century Brittany, the Norman ancestors of the Stuart line came to Britain under King Henry I of…

2 min.
the unicorn and the lion

Almost since the countries’ inceptions, Scotland and England have been rivals. Nowadays this feud is mostly played out on rugby or football pitches, but its roots reach back for millennia. The intense warfare and tensions started when Edward I invaded Scotland in 1296, claiming overlordship over all the British Isles. From then on Edward’s successors would look to exert his claim over the country, and Robert the Bruce’s (the king who won the Wars of Scottish Independence) successors would look to frustrate their efforts. It was not until James VI united the crowns that any long-lasting and meaningful peace would exist between the countries. Another thorn in Anglo-Scottish relations was the Auld Alliance, a friendship and military pact between Scotland and France that had existed since Edward I’s invasion. Having England…

2 min.
the black douglases

The medieval history of Clan Douglas is one of ever- shifting fortunes — turning from swashbuckling heroes to the bitter enemies of the crown. During the Scottish Wars of Independence they became folk heroes of sorts. Sir James Douglas, the first ‘Black Douglas’, fought alongside Robert the Bruce and became a boogeyman figure to the English. And during the Second War of Scottish Independence, William Douglas, known as the ‘Flower of Chivalry’, proved the clan’s worth again by capturing the heavily defended Edinburgh Castle from the English in 1341. Using a tactic reminiscent of the Trojan Horse, Douglas and his men dressed as merchants, gained access to the castle and flung the gates open to allow the bloodthirsty citizens of Edinburgh to pour in. The defenders were slaughtered, many being hurled…

1 min.
keeping it in the family

As the two major royal lines inhabiting a small island, the chances of the Stuart and Tudor houses becoming related was extremely high. The royal houses of Scotland and England had always enjoyed royal ties, with princes and princesses married for prosperity, friendship and peace. The arrival of the Tudor dynasty saw Anglo-Scottish relations turn over a new leaf. The signing of the Treaty of Perpetual Peace saw an end to Scottish-English hostilities and the marriage of Margaret Tudor, Henry VII’s daughter, to James IV was part of it. The families had been indirectly linked before with James I being married to Joan Beaufort, Henry VII’s great-aunt, but James and Margaret’s marriage was the first direct marriage after the Tudors had gained the throne. While the Scottish royal family was secure…

4 min.
mary, queen of scots

Timeline 1542 A queen is born Mary, the only surviving child of James V of Scotland, is born. Desperate for a male heir, James is disappointed. Tragedy strikes six days later when he suddenly dies, making the young princess the new queen of Scotland. 8 December 1542 Mary’s coronation Barely nine months old, Mary is crowned at Stirling Castle. The Earl of Arran acts as her regent until 1554, when Mary’s mother takes over. 9 September 1543 Fulfilling her duty To cement an alliance with France, 15-year-old Mary marries the dauphin, Francis. She had been raised in France as part of the marriage agreement since 1548. Francis becomes king in 1559 after the death of his father, Henri II. 24 April 1558 A young widow Francis dies less than 18 months into his reign. Mary is left heartbroken by his loss, especially…