[MR] Wikipedia: Treaty of Berwick and Treaty of Edinburgh (Both 1560)

Garth Groff and Sally Sanford mallardlodge1000 at gmail.com
Sat Feb 27 04:06:11 PST 2021

Noble Friends, Especially Fellow Scots,

On this date in 1560 a group of rebelling Scottish Protestants known as the
Lords of the Congregation signed the Treaty of Berwick with Queen Elizabeth
I's representative, the Duke of Norfolk, to join forces and expel the
French from Scotland. Now all this takes some background to understand, but
it is among the more important events in 16th century Scottish history.

Back in 1538, King James V of Scotland married Mary of Guise in an attempt
to cement relations with the French, and further the "Auld Alliance", a
mutual defense pact against England. Their only surviving child, Mary
(later Queen of Scots) was born 8 December 1542. James died on 14 December
1542. As Queen Dowager, and from 1554 to 1560 as regent of Scotland, Mary
of Guise fought a rear-guard action to preserve Catholicism in Scotland and
defend the throne for her daughter. She was backed by French troops who
occupied many strong points in Scotland, and by many ministers in the
Scottish government who were French. Mary of Guise died of dropsy on 11
June 1560. Her importance to Scottish history is often overlooked, and a
good summary is here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_of_Guise .
Besides, she employed two female fools, which is interesting in its own

Now back to Mary Queen of Scots. Henry VIII had forced the Scots to sign
the 1543 Treaty of Greenwich, which promised Mary Queen of Scots to his son
and heir Edward. The Scottish Parliament rejected the treaty. Henry then
launched an invasion and occupation of Scotland called "The Rough Wooing",
lasting until 1551. For her safety, Mary was spirited away to France, where
she was married off in 1558 to the Dauphin Francis. He became King of
France (under a regency) a year later when his father Henry II died in a
jousting accident. Mary Queen of Scots was now also Queen of France. Mary
staked her claim to the English throne by quartering their arms with those
of England, much to Queen Elizabeth's anger.

Powerful Scottish Protestants, now dominating Parliament, were still at war
with the recalcitrant Catholics and their French backers. The Lords of the
Congregation were largely running the country, but couldn't eject the
French forces by themselves. In 1560, Queen Elizabeth stuck in her oar. The
Treaty of Berwick was signed in February 1560. It promised to send an army
north to back the Protestants, and also a large English fleet to blockade
Firth of Forth and keep the French from landing more troops or supplies.

With the death of Mary of Guise, the French lost heart on holding Scotland.
They were having their own problems with Huguenots at home, and could no
longer support the Scottish venture. On 5 July 1560, the Treaty of
Edinburgh was signed by representatives of the Lords of the Congregation,
the English and the French. All foreign troops were to be removed. Mary
Queen of Scots and Francis II were recognized as the rightful rulers of
Scotland, but by terms of the treaty, they were to remove the English
quartering from their arms, symbolically renouncing Mary's direct claim to
the English throne.

This was not to last though. Within a few months Francis II was dead of an
ear/brain infection, and Mary was now an unwelcome dowager in France. She
returned to Scotland on 19 August 1561 to begin her reign in Scotland, and
caused a whole mess of her own problems, including two ill-starred
marriages and renewing her claim to Elizabeth's throne. That's for another
post though. The Treaty of Edinburgh did, however, officially end attempts
by the English to conquer Scotland, and except for lawlessness along the
border, Scotland and English were more or less at peace until the English
Civil War.

Wikipedia summarizes the Treaty of Berwick here:

And here is their page on the Treaty of Edinburgh:

Yours Aye,

Lord Mungo Napier, Laird of Mallard Lodge  🦆

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