Mary Queen of Scots Being Led to Execution, by Laslett John Pott, 1871. This 19th century portrait is one of the more celebrated 'history paintings' about Mary's tragic life. Paul Delaroche's portrait of Jane Grey's execution is another example of this genre. Such paintings, which capture celebrated moments in national history, are rarely works of art in their own right. Their primary appeal comes from illuminating a darkened corner of the past.
Portrait of Queen Mary I of Scotland, known as Mary Queen of Scots, who was executed by Anne and Henry's daughter Elizabeth I in 1587. Mary was the daughter of James V, who was a cousin to and enemy of Henry VIII.
December 8, 1542: Mary, Queen of Scots born. Six days later, she inherited the throne of Scotland. Her father, being told of her birth while on his deathbed, reportedly said of the Stewart reign, "It began with a lass, it will end with a lass." He was right -- but not in the way that he intended. (Anne of Great Britain was the last of the Stewart monarchs.)