Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Question from Stacey - Mary Queen of Scots and her son James

Are there any records anywhere that talk about how Mary, Queen of Scots felt about her son James? I've read/seen information that she refused to kiss him because he was Darnley's son. Is this true?


kb said...

That sounds like a stretch to me. Where did you read that?

Something to think about would be that James was the symbol of Mary's reign and should have provided a sense of security to the realm. Having a healthy and legitimate male heir was a huge deal that in most monarchs engendered affection - if not for the baby, at least for the security it brought to the monarch. That Scotland was not politically stable despite a legitimate male heir has to do with other reasons.

During James' youth and Mary's incarceration in England there was some strain between them over religion. Mary was quite definitely Catholic. Much of her foreign support for her claim to the English throne stemmed from her religious affiliation. Her son James though was being raised as a strict Presbyterian under the direction of George Buchanan. Buchanan might be considered a zealous reformer and quite anti-Mary. It did James no good to express affection towards an absent parent he probably barely remembered.

Some other things to consider: It was considered wrong for a royal mother to nurse her babies. The job was given to a wet nurse. Royal babies frequently were established in their own households at a very young age. This put physical distance between parents and infants. It was also considered the responsible and healthy thing to do.

Mary signed an order of abdication in favor of her son when he was just over 1 year old. When he was two Mary fled to England and did not see her son again.

Maria said...

I believe James had more contact with Queen Elizabeth than his own mother. I remember reading that Elizabeth often sent gifts for him, and would not be good for him if his mother returned to Scotland where she could try to control him. She was very angry with him after so many years in "prision", angry that he had not done anything to try to "save" her from there and stuff. I remember she even had signed something related to not recognize him more as her son and heir, which obviously did not have any political support, as it has not been approved by the council, parliament, or anything (Stefan Zweigh wrote this). She had no control over him, and do not believe he loved her too.