Letter from Mary of Guise to Antoine de Noailles, 1555.

Scope and Content

Letter, with signature of Mary of Guise, to Antoine de Noailles.

Concerning recent communications with Elizabeth I of England, a reported landing of the Danish army in Scotland, and various Protestant groups on the continent.Signed Marie.Dumfries, 28 July 1555.

Administrative / Biographical History

Mary of Guise (1515-1560) was married to James V, mother of Mary queen of Scots and regent of Scotland for her daughter. She was the daughter of the duc de Guise. She was married first to Louis, duc de Longueville, and then to the widowed James V in 1538. Her two sons died in infancy leaving only her daughter Mary, born just days before the death of James V. Mary of Guise became fully embroiled in the governance of Scotland, dealing with internal faction fighting, pacts with the French king Henri II and aggressive moves with the English. She reluctantly allowed her daughter to be brought up in France for her own safety, with a plan to marry her to the French king’s son. She became queen regent from 1554. She had a flair for diplomacy, where possible choosing conciliation and toleration, including with the advancing Reformation of the church in Scotland.

Antoine de Noailles (1504-1563) was a French soldier and diplomat, promoted at the French court by Francois I and sent as ambassador to England from 1553. He became involved in plots to prevent Mary I coming to the throne and then to stop her marriage to Philip II of Spain. He continued to encourage opposition to Mary and was recalled in 1556 after a conspiracy concerning the exiled Sir Henry Dudley was discovered. He claimed to be glad to leave, disliking the untrustworthiness of English court life.


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Call number used to be ms4347

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Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

Paper: 21x30cm

Archivist's Note

Description compiled by Maia Sheridan, Archives Hub project archivist, based on material from the Manuscripts Database

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