The Four Marys
A most enjoyable visit to Linlithgow on Thursday catching up with some other members of the Society, including two our
London members in for
the New Year celebrations. Scotland
After walking round and admiring (yet again) the splendour of the Palace where Mary was born, a meal in the 'Four Marys' restaurant in the High Street which much enjoyed.
Needless to say some discussion as to the identity of the four Marys and what became of them. Agreed these were;
1. Mary Seton who never married and the only one of the four to accompany Mary into captivity. Because of declining health she was released from service in 1583 and retired to
2. Mary Beaton daughter of Robert Beaton of Creich and nephew of Cardinal Beaton. Regarded as the most classically beautiful of the four. Married Lord Ogilvie of
3. Mary Livingston - known as 'Lusty' - married John Semple of Belries son of Lord Semple. May be buried in Linlithgow Churchyard.
4 Mary Fleming - married William Maitland of Lethington. On his death following the fall of
in 1573 she
married George Melrum of Fyvie. Edinburgh
Needless to say we then tried to make sense of the traditional Scots ballad the "Four Marys".
"Yestreen the Queen had Four Maries
The nicht she'll have but three
There was Marie Seton and Marie Beaton
and Marie Carmichael and me"
While there was a Mary Carmichael, daughter of John Carmichael of that ilk who was for a while warden of the west marches there is no record of her ever serving at Court.
Who then is the "Me?
It is believed that this may refer to a Mary Hamilton who has absolutely no connection with Mary or her period. but a Mary Hamilton who was executed by Czar Peter the Great in
A ballad was written in
Russia about the death and it is believed this
found its way to
and adapted to suit a Scottish audience Scotland