England and Scotland at the time of Elizabeth I
England and Scotland are two nations on the same island. Together with Northern Ireland and Wales, these two nations constitute the British Isles. In this document, we will look at England and Scotland during the time of queen Elizabeth I. The stories of Elizabeth I and Mary II have fed a myth that has accumulated over the years. These two kingdoms were ruled by two different queens, who were cousins i.e. Elizabeth I and Mary II. Elizabeth I ruled England and Mary II ruled Scotland. Though these queens were descendants of the same lineage, they were rivals. The bone of contention between them was the throne of England. Elizabeth I ascended the throne of England as queen, only as the Tudor dynasty ended without a direct male descendant. Elizabeth I was the last monarch of the Tudor dynasty, as she did not marry and had no children of her own.
Mary, a Scottish princess, had been married off to the prince of France. She had become the queen consort after the death of her husband. But she returned to Scotland later and became the queen. She also claimed the throne of England stating that she was the legitimate heir. This was because Elizabeth's mother had been executed, and she had been declared illegitimate. Since Mary was the legitimate grand-daughter of Margaret Tudor, it gave her the right to claim the throne. Apart from this, her marriage to Henry Staurt, Lord Darnley, only doubled her claim to the throne as both of them were grandchildren of Margaret Tudor. So, Mary and her children would have a direct claim on the throne of England. Mary gave birth to a son, James VI. After a series of events that turned Mary's life topsy-turvy, she fled to England and sought protection from Elizabeth I. Elizabeth I got her arrested as she was still scared that Mary would usurp the throne. Finally, Mary was executed as she was believed to have authorized the assassination of Elizabeth I.
Both queens were rivals, and had different ideologies and diplomatic faces. They were equally concerned about the legitimacy of their sovereignty, the reorientation of the political culture and their supremacy. Together with Wales, England and Scotland had been the seat of Renaissance. This along with an analysis of the geopolitics and the history of the region is important to understand the Anglo-Scottish relationship. The years between 1550-1600 are hence pivotal years in the history of Europe.