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Henry Lord Darnley

Mary Queen of Scots

The portrait of Mary, Queen of Scots is a copy of the original by Rowland Lockey, produced around 1894.


Painting of Mary Queen of Scots.  She is shown wearing a dark gown with ruffs at the cuffs and neck.  The background  is of dark red velvet.
Painting of Mary Queen of Scots

What Clues does this Portrait Contain?

  • In the portrait Mary is wearing expensive, dark-dyed clothing. Black was traditionally worn after a family member has died and some widows chose to wear it for the rest of their lives.
  • Mary also has a long veil covering her hair, which is trimmed with lace, along with the cuffs on her sleeves. She also wears a large ruff around her neck. 
  • If you look closely at this picture you can see several signs that Mary was trying to show that she was a religious woman. There is a cross around her neck and a rosary in her hand. Why might this have been important? At this time kings and queens of England had a lot of power over religion in the country. 


Who was Mary, Queen of Scots?

Mary, Queen of Scots was the daughter of James V and Mary of Guise. Mary married three times and Henry, Lord Darnley, who was born at Temple Newsam, was her second husband.

Lord Darnley was disliked by many Scottish nobles, and in 1567 he was murdered. There were many suspects, including Mary Queen of Scots, who was put on trial. Mary fled to England and was put under house arrest by her cousin, Queen Elizabeth I. Mary was a danger to Elizabeth because she was her heir and could inherit the throne if Elizabeth died. 

Mary, Queen of Scots was beheaded at the age of 44, after Elizabeth's government discovered she had been involved in a plot to murder Elizabeth I.


Behead - to cut off the head of a person or animal

Contain - to have or hold something

Cross - Christian symbol which represents the cross Jesus died on

Inherit to have something passed on from someone who died or left 

Noble - someone who, in the past, had a title and power over how the country was run

Original new or the first of something

Plot - a secret plan

Rosary - string of beads used in Roman Catholic prayers