DAILY BRIEFINGMary, Bloody Mary
Jul. 24 - Mary of Guise, the French wife of Scotland's King James V, gave birth to a daughter named Mary in 1542. A week later King James died and the very young Mary became the Queen of Scotland.
Prince Edward of England proposed marriage to the Queen immediately and his proposal is therefore known as "the Rough Wooing." While the pedophile Prince waited for the Queen to acquire the verbal skills necessary to reply, the Scottish parliament annulled the engagement.
Edward's father, the English King Henry VIII, considered this an insult and declared war. Following an especially nasty Scottish defeat in 1547, Mary was sent to France. It was hoped she would learn to read and write there, or at least reach puberty.
She was raised in the court of Henry II, which ought to have taught her some manners, but instead inspired her to marry a dolphin. Eventually the dolphin became king and died, leaving Mary the dowager queen of France. She was 18.
Her mother had meanwhile died in Scotland, which caused the Protestants to rebel. They imported the Reformation and banned the Pope. Mary, being Catholic, returned to Scotland to work out a compromise: the country could be Protestant as long as she was allowed to be Catholic.
Four years later she married her cousin, Lord Darnley, a Two-Door Steward. Unfortunately he turned out to be disgusting, and even the birth of a son could not induce Lord Darnley to behave. He was therefore struck by an explosion the following year and subsequently died of strangulation.
Mary was then kidnapped by one of the men suspected of strangling Lord Darnley, a certain Earl of Bothwell, whom she therefore made a Duke and married.
This angered the Protestants, who rose up against her and, on this very day in 1567, made her abdicate in favor of her son, who was immediately crowned as James VI.
She then escaped, raised an army, and was promptly defeated. She became a guest (or, in English, "prisoner") of Queen Elizabeth, until she was caught writing letters asking friends to support (or, in Scottish, "kill") the English Queen.
Mary Queen of Scots was therefore beheaded and remains dead to this day.
302 years ago today, Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac founded a trading post at Fort Pontchartrain, which eventually became Detroit. This earned Mr Cadillac the handsome sobriquet, "the Rolls Royce of settlers."
Today is the birthday of Jennifer Lopez (1970), Lynda Carter (1951), Ruth Buzzi (1936), Amelia Earhart (1898), Raymond Chandler (1880), and Simon Bolivar (1783).
Simon Bolivar's Birthday is a national holiday in Ecuador, and today is also Commonwealth Day in Puerto Rico.
© 2003, The Moron's Almanac