Generally, people don't like Frances. They're certainly very passionate about her personality, though. Some call her a stuck-up bitch, some use worse adjectives. She was never one to deny that. If anyone could ever be fine with their own bitchiness, it's her. Her attitude has served her well through the years. When one wants to talk about politics openly in public, one has to be at peace with whatever others may describe them as. Another important characteristic of Frances' is her incredible ambition and dedication. Since her early childhood, she was taught she had to be the best. That didn't hurt or bother her, she enjoyed winning. Now, the outcomes of her upbringing are rather visible - she can be a sore loser. Her rare outbursts of rage are as terrifying as her usual cold exterior. She's also undeniably a snob, only enjoying the best items and company. All that may have been passed to some of her children - she doesn't watch them closely enough to notice nowadays.
11 Hours ago
Mary was born on 8 December 1542 at Linlithgow Palace, Scotland, to King James V and his French second wife, Mary of Guise. She was said to have been born prematurely and was the only legitimate child of James to survive him. She was the great-niece of King Henry VIII of England, as her paternal grandmother, Margaret Tudor, was Henry VIII's sister. On 14 December, six days after her birth, she became Queen of Scotland when her father died, perhaps from the effects of a nervous collapse following the Battle of Solway Moss, or from drinking contaminated water while on campaign.
A popular tale, first recorded by John Knox, states that James, hearing on his deathbed that his wife had given birth to a daughter, ruefully exclaimed, "It cam wi' a lass and it will gang wi' a lass!" His House of Stuart had gained the throne of Scotland by the marriage of Marjorie Bruce, daughter of Robert the Bruce, to Walter Stewart, 6th High Steward of Scotland. The crown had come to his family through a woman, and would be lost from his family through a woman. This legendary statement came true much later—not through Mary, but through her descendant Queen Anne.
Mary was baptised at the nearby Church of St Michael shortly after she was born. Rumours spread that she was weak and frail, but an English diplomat, Ralph Sadler, saw the infant at Linlithgow Palace in March 1543, unwrapped by her nurse, and wrote, "it is as goodly a child as I have seen of her age, and as like to live."
As Mary was an infant when she inherited the throne, Scotland was ruled by regents until she became an adult. From the outset, there were two claims to the regency: one from Catholic Cardinal Beaton, and the other from the Protestant Earl of Arran, who was next in line to the throne. Beaton's claim was based on a version of the king's will that his opponents dismissed as a forgery. Arran, with the support of his friends and relations, became the regent until 1554 when Mary's mother managed to remove and succeed him.
King Henry VIII of England took the opportunity of the regency to propose marriage between Mary and his own son and heir, Edward, hoping for a union of Scotland and England. On 1 July 1543, when Mary was six months old, the Treaty of Greenwich was signed, which promised that at the age of ten Mary would marry Edward and move to England, where Henry could oversee her upbringing. The treaty provided that the two countries would remain legally separate and that if the couple should fail to have children the temporary union would dissolve. However, Cardinal Beaton rose to power again and began to push a pro-Catholic pro-French agenda, which angered Henry, who wanted to break the Scottish alliance with France. Beaton wanted to move Mary away from the coast to the safety of Stirling Castle. Regent Arran resisted the move, but backed down when Beaton's armed supporters gathered at Linlithgow. The Earl of Lennox escorted Mary and her mother to Stirling on 27 July 1543 with 3,500 armed men. Mary was crowned in the castle chapel on 9 September 1543, with "such solemnity as they do use in this country, which is not very costly" according to the report of Ralph Sadler and Henry Ray.
Shortly before Mary's coronation, Scottish merchants headed for France were arrested by Henry, and their goods impounded. The arrests caused anger in Scotland, and Arran joined Beaton and became a Catholic. The Treaty of Greenwich was rejected by the Parliament of Scotland in December. The rejection of the marriage treaty and the renewal of the Auld Alliance between France and Scotland prompted Henry's "Rough Wooing", a military campaign designed to impose the marriage of Mary to his son. English forces mounted a series of raids on Scottish and French territory. In May 1544, the English Earl of Hertford (later Duke of Somerset) raided Edinburgh, and the Scots took Mary to Dunkeld for safety.
In May 1546, Beaton was murdered by Protestant lairds, and on 10 September 1547, nine months after the death of Henry VIII, the Scots suffered a heavy defeat at the Battle of Pinkie Cleugh. Mary's guardians, fearful for her safety, sent her to Inchmahome Priory for no more than three weeks, and turned to the French for help.
The French king, Henry II, proposed to unite France and Scotland by marrying the young queen to his three-year-old son, the Dauphin Francis. On the promise of French military help, and a French dukedom for himself, Arran agreed to the marriage. In February 1548, Mary was moved, again for her safety, to Dumbarton Castle. The English left a trail of devastation behind once more and seized the strategic town of Haddington. In June, the much awaited French help arrived at Leith to besiege and ultimately take Haddington. On 7 July 1548, a Scottish Parliament held at a nunnery near the town agreed to a French marriage treaty. With her marriage agreement in place, five-year-old Mary was sent to France to spend the next thirteen years at the French court. The French fleet sent by Henry II, commanded by Nicolas de Villegagnon, sailed with Mary from Dumbarton on 7 August 1548 and arrived a week or more later at Roscoff or Saint-Pol-de-Léon in Brittany.
In November 1558, Henry VIII's elder daughter, Mary I of England, was succeeded by her only surviving sibling, Elizabeth I. Under the Third Succession Act, passed in 1543 by the Parliament of England, Elizabeth was recognised as her sister's heir, and Henry VIII's last will and testament had excluded the Stuarts from succeeding to the English throne. Yet, in the eyes of many Catholics, Elizabeth was illegitimate, and Mary Stuart, as the senior descendant of Henry VIII's elder sister, was the rightful queen of England. Henry II of France proclaimed his eldest son and daughter-in-law king and queen of England, and in France the royal arms of England were quartered with those of Francis and Mary. Mary's claim to the English throne was a perennial sticking point between her and Elizabeth I.
When Henry II died on 10 July 1559 from injuries sustained in a joust, fifteen-year-old Francis and sixteen-year-old Mary became king and queen of France. Two of the Queen's uncles, the Duke of Guise and the Cardinal of Lorraine, were now dominant in French politics, enjoying an ascendancy called by some historians la tyrannie Guisienne.
In Scotland, the power of the Protestant Lords of the Congregation was rising at the expense of Mary's mother, who maintained effective control only through the use of French troops. The Protestant Lords invited English troops into Scotland in an attempt to secure Protestantism, and a Huguenot rising in France, called the Tumult of Amboise, in March 1560 made it impossible for the French to send further support. Instead, the Guise brothers sent ambassadors to negotiate a settlement. On 11 June 1560, their sister (Mary's mother) died, and so the question of future Franco-Scots relations was a pressing one. Under the terms of the Treaty of Edinburgh, signed by Mary's representatives on 6 July 1560, France and England undertook to withdraw troops from Scotland and France recognised Elizabeth's right to rule England. However, the seventeen-year-old Mary, still in France and grieving for her mother, refused to ratify the treaty.
Months later, on the fifth of december, King Francis II died. Whilst afterwards a tumultuous period ensued for Mary, leading to her ultimate demise, very few were aware of that period of uncertainty leading to the death of King Francis II. Conceived on a night where grief turned into angry passion, her pregnancy with Francis III wasn't discovered until after the father had passed. And, in fears of having tarnished her own reputation, the babe was swiftly given away just hours after his secret birth, several weeks prior to her arrival at Leith. Passed off as the child of two members of the middle class, Francis never truly struggled during his life, but was always left questioning just who he truly was - and it wasn't until years later, on his deathbed, that he discovered the truth about his heritage. But by then, it had been too late.
Centuries after the Francis III came Émeric Stuart. Seeking to honor the family lineage, the Stuart line lived on through both the men and women of the House of Stuart. Whilst having lost their claim to the throne via Francis III's secret birth, a fact reaffirmed at the appearance of magical blood in the lineage, pride over their family has never faltered. Though riddled with conflicts, the Stuarts have always regarded their history with respect, and though they've sought to learn from past mistakes, have become more politically inclined in recent times. Declared magical nobility upon the separation of the muggle and wizard monarchies, and being recognized as members of the previously lost House of Stuart, the family has always been regarded with respect by many of their class.
Honoring his ancestors' previous position of power, Émeric strived to become the next Minister. While wholly unsuccessful in his endeavors, achieving Head of Magical Law Enforcement ushered in a new era for the House of Stuart. Generation after generation, the family became renowned for its ambitious members, who, despite not receiving Lordship, have still managed to rise to power over and over, conceiving great warlocks. From Head Aurors to Undersecretaries to Department Heads, there has never come a point in time wherein the Stuart lineage has failed to make itself publicized and praised for its successful exploits in the Ministry. They were among the first to invest their wealth in the magical populace, funding the creation (and eventual revitalization) of landmarks such as Diagon Alley, Hogsmeade, and are rumored to be partof the reason why Hogwarts grew so much in the 19th century). Nevertheless, over and over they've proven themselves to be an iconic House whose goals are to support its Monarchy (and population) in every way possible.
Approaching more recent times, Renaud Stuart was no exception to the family's proclivity for positions of power. He rose through the ranks, achieving the position of Hit Wizard, Head Auror, Head of Law Enforcement, and ultimately staying as Senior Undersecretary until his eventual retirement. He contributed immensely during the World Wars, and the Wizarding Wars were no exception despite his advanced age. Like him, his firstborn James was successful in his mission to become an auror. Furthermore, it wasn't the kind of job he desired to have. Thus, he opened his own law firm, but was known mostly for pro bono cases that helped the less fortunate, regardless of the usual 'limitations' lawyers at the time imposed on their potential clientele (read: things they couldn't help). Being firm believers in equity, no Stuart ever treated everyone the same, but rather sought justice for all.
Frances Isabella Grey was the only daughter of Hugh and Janet Grey, a pair of well-off pure-blood wizards. They had previously experienced trouble conceiving, so a beautiful, healthy daughter was nothing less than a wonder, a miracle even, to them. However, their relationship troubles soon overshadowed the joy of having Frances. The two were never truly in love, having been betrothed since childhood instead of marrying after an actual romantic history. As such, they soon found out they simply could not bear to spend a lifetime together. All Frances can now remember about these earliest years is the constant shouting and crying. She couldn't possibly understand it then - she can now.
When she was five, all the fighting she could hear coming from her parents' room was enough for her. She felt a rage like never before, a rage children living in happy families don't experience. It felt like fire, but somehow cold. It was as powerful as it was unpredictable. Frances channeled this amazing and at the same time terrifying feeling into a tree she saw through her bedroom's open window. Next thing she knew, part of the family garden was on fire, gardeners rushing to save the rare plants. However, she didn't feel guily - because it got Hugh and Janet to stop yelling and join the staff in their attempts to extinguish the flames.
Soon after her eleventh birthday, Frances was already off on her very first journey to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Most children seek new acquaintances to sit in a compartment with aboard the Hogwarts Express, but Frances was not one of them. She simply found an empty one and stayed there for the entire ride. However, people tried to get into her compartment anyway. Her attitude pretty much stayed the same throughout the next seven years. She didn't try to gain any friends, but being as charismatic as she was scary, she managed to secure a rather sizeable group of... people attached to her in a way. Against all odds, she also managed to find love. Soon, she became engaged to the young, rich and handsome James Stuart.
Unlike his father, James didn't strive for greatness. He wanted to honor his family, like every other Stuart, but he wanted to do it in a less extraordinary way. He, to an extent, wanted to live an idyllic life - or at least as close as he could get, being the member of such a powerful family. Having been a particularly... odd Gryffindor, many were surprised to hear he ended up marrying Frances. Her, marrying the Charms professor? It was virtually impossible to believe, and the idea of them leading a successful marriage was almost worth laughing at, but to the surprise of many, they've been together for several decades now, conceiving several beautiful children along the way.