Introducing Robert Stedall's groundbreaking two-volume history of
Mary Queen of Scots and her son James I of England.

"...can rightly claim to be among the definitive accounts of the most written about and turbulent periods of Scottish history. "

- The Stewart Society, Edinburgh

The Challenge to the Crown

Volume I: The Struggle for Influence in the Reign of Mary Queen of Scots 1542-1567


The Survival of the Crown

Volume II: The Return to Authority of the Scottish Crown following Mary Queen of Scots' Deposition from the Throne 1567-1603

The Author

Based on a decade of extensive research into the characters surrounding Mary Queen of Scots, genealogist and historian Robert Stedall has unearthed compelling new evidence to explain the alliances and switching loyalties within the Scottish Nobility that led to her downfall. His meticulously researched two-volume history provides a fresh understanding of the events, and paints a vivid portrait of this critical chapter in British history.

"A valuable addition to the extensive bibliography on one of the most intriguing characters in the history of the British Isles... Pertinent, succinct, elegantly expressed and riveting. "

Ian McGaw, Amazon.co.uk (Volume I)

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"Robert Stedall's deeply-researched, intricately-drawn account of the pivotal struggle to provide a protestant heir to Elizabeth I, provides striking evidence of the divisive effects of the religion of the late 16th century."

John Wybrew, Amazon.co.uk (Volume II)

Mary Queen of Scots

Marie Stuart (1542 – 1587), better known as Mary Queen of Scots, was Queen of Scotland from 1542-1567 and consort of Francis II of France from 1559-1560. One of history's more tragic figures, Mary's complicated personal life and political immaturity were her undoing. She was unjustly implicated in the murder of her second husband, Lord Darnley, after she was persuaded to marry his known murderer, the Earl of Bothwell. After being imprisoned and forced to abdicate in favour of her son James, she escaped, and fled to England throwing herself at the mercy of her cousin Elizabeth I. She spent the next 17 years as Elizabeth's prisoner, until, after being implicated in the Babington plot to place herself on the English throne, was executed at Fotheringhay Castle in 1587.

James VI of Scotland

Mary Queen of Scots' son James (1566-1625), had few advantages, but managed to balance the power of opposing factions in Scottish Government to establish the authority of his Kingship. With native cunning he was able to garner sufficient respect to drive him on a wave of popular enthusiasm to inherit the English throne from Elizabeth I. As King James I of England, he became the first Monarch to unite both England and Scotland under one rule.