Share this story Share on Facebook icon Share on Twitter icon Share on Pinterest icon Share on Google Plus icon Share on Linked In icon Share via Email icon

Spotlight on the Marie Stuart Society - promoting the study of the life and times of Mary Queen of Scots


The Marie Stuart Society carries out a range of activities to promote awareness of the life and legacy of Mary Queen of Scots, as Elisabeth Manson, president of the society, explains.

The Marie Stuart (Mary Queen of Scots) Society was formed in 1992 to mark the 450th anniversary of her birth. Its aim is to promote further study of her life and times – we’re not an academic Society as such but a group of people who share an interest in the Stuart and Tudor periods, and of course the turbulent and controversial life of Mary herself.

Join the History Scotland community  
Follow us on facebook
Follow us on twitter
Sign up for our free e-newsletter

Discover History Scotland magazine

The Society holds an annual Ceremony in Westminster Abbey in December, around the time of Mary’s birthday; and we have an Annual Gathering in April –next year it will be in Carlisle, appropriate because 2018 marks 450 years since she began her time in captivity in Carlisle Castle. Memorial services have also been held during the last year in the church in Fotheringhay and Peterborough Cathedral.

The majority of our members are in Scottish Branch, and we have a programme of lectures and events taking place every couple of months, usually in Edinburgh but also visits to Marian places across the country. In the last couple of years we will have visited Dundrennan; St Andrews; Stirling; Glasgow; and Haddington. We also have an English Branch, reflecting the fact that Mary spent 19 years of her life in various castles in England including Bolton, Tutbury and Sheffield; and a number of international members particularly in the USA, France and Italy.

Mary Queen of Scots commemorative plaques

The Society funded the impressive statue of Mary at her birthplace at Linlithgow Palace, unveiled in 2015; and we have placed plaques and planted a tree at significant sites including Crail (where Mary’s mother Mary of Guise landed in Scotland in 1538); Dumbarton (where Mary departed Scotland for France in August 1548); Leith (where Mary landed when she came back to Scotland in 1561); Carberry (where Mary surrendered to the Confederate Lords in May 1567); Dundrennan Abbey (where Mary spend her last night in Scotland in May 1568); and Workington (where Mary landed in May 1568).

We have a small archive of rare publications available to borrow; and a Journal which is published three times a year and contains often little-known information about Mary, her people and the 16th century in general, as well as feedback on Society events, links to useful research sources and snippets about Marian items in the news. The Journal is highly respected and is increasingly valued as a reference resource.

Membership fees are very modest at only £15 for an individual or £20 for a couple and a concession rate of £2 for students in full time education. New members joining after 1 October pay a full subscription and this carries their membership through the remainder of the current year and the whole of the following year.

Our website provides information about Mary’s life as well as our Society events and how to join; and our Facebook Page has popular and thought-provoking ‘On This Day’ postings.

An ongoing debate

The Marie Stuart Society is very proud to contribute to the ongoing debate about the life and times of Mary, Queen of Scots. She continues to fascinate and inspire people –this year alone we have seen the premiere of ‘Glory on Earth’ by Linda McLean with Rona Morison as Mary; the unveiling of the Marian ‘Oxburgh Hangings’ tapestries at Edinburgh Castle; a two-day Mary Queen of Scots Festival in Kinross; a new crowd-funded Concert at the Edinburgh Fringe; a major new film in production with Saoirse Ronan, Margot Robbie, Guy Pearce and David Tennant; and of course this welcome online presence in History Scotland!

Mary’s motto certainly rings true: ‘In my end is my beginning’.

Elisabeth Manson, President   

For more on the Marie Stuart Society, visit their website.

Back to "Features" Category

13/09/2017 Share this story   Share on Facebook icon Share on Twitter icon Share on Pinterest icon Share on Google Plus icon Share on Linked In icon Share via Email icon

Recent Updates

Architect Sir Basil Spence died - On this day in Scottish history

Scottish architect Sir Basil Spence died on 19 November 1976.

Sir David Wilkie was born - On this day in Scottish history

Fife artist Sir David Wilkie was born on 18 November 1785.

On this day in history - John Balliol's claim to the Scottish throne was recognised

John Balliol's claim to the Scottish throne was officially recognised by England's King Edward I on 17 ...

Ten top tips for using the ScotlandsPeople website for family history

Looking for Scottish ancestors? Try these ten top tips for finding your Scottish kin on the ScotlandsPeople ...

Other Articles

Outlaw James Macpherson was hanged at Banff - On this day in Scottish history

Outlaw James Macpherson was hanged at Banff on 16 November 1700 for cattle and sheep stealing.

Launch of Litlong - free interactive Edinburgh app

A new walkabout app which allows users to take a tour of Edinburgh's literary history has been launched by ...

Where was Mary Queen of Scots imprisoned?

Mary Queen of Scots spent a total of nineteen years as a prisoner on the orders of Elizabeth I of England. ...

Previously... Scotland's History Festival 2017 - event highlights for Scottish history fans

The Previously... Scotland's History Festival runs from 17 to 26 November 2017. Take your pick from this ...