Saturday, December 5, 2009

Francis II of France

Francis, the Dauphin of France, married Mary, Queen of Scots in 1558. Both were extremely young at the time; Francis just 14, and Mary 16. The marriage was arranged 10 years earlier, by Francis' father, King Henry II of France. Mary was four at that time, and had just been crowned Queen of Scotland, following the death of her father James V, King of Scots. Through this marriage, any offspring would inherit the Scottish throne, and also have a potential claim to the English crown through Mary's great-grandfather Henry VII of England.

Francis acceeded to the French throne in 1559, but there were to be no children to pursue future French acquisition. Francis was a sickly child all his life, and he died a year after taking the reins due to an infection that impacted his brain. He died on December 5, 1560.

Sir Walter Scott includes reference to Francis in Kenilworth. After Francis' death, Mary returned to Scotland, and Scott uses a suggestion made by Elizabeth I that Mary could Leicester, with whom she was extremely close, could gain a thone through marrying Mary.

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