Blogging from A to Z Challenge: W is for (Rough) Wooing


a-to-z-letters-wI’m in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge for the month of April.  I need your help!  To meet this challenge, I’ll be doing one post a day, working through the alphabet.

Your job is to comment and keep me motivated!  Let me know you’re out there and following along.  Can she make it?  Will she?  Of course she will!  With you as my cheering section, I won’t be stumped by J or Q or even X.

So without further ado, here is today’s post.

Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots as a young girl

Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots as a young girl

W is for Wooing.  The Rough Wooing, that is – the conflict between Scotland and England and sometime civil war within Scotland.

Henry VIII wanted James V to break the Auld Alliance with France and to turn Protestant.  James refused, so Henry declared war.  James died after the Scottish defeat at Solway Moss in 1542.  

His daughter, now Mary, Queen of Scots, was just days old. Henry attempted to force the Scots to agree to a marriage between his son Edward and the infant Mary.  The Protestant faction in Scotland even signed the Treaty of Greenwhich, agreeing to the marriage.  

stirling castle2   But Scotland’s regent, the Earl of Arran, aided by the Cardinal at St. Andrews, took Mary to Sterling Castle, out of Henry’s reach.  Henry broke the Treaty of Greenwich and went to war.

Mary of Guise, Second wife of Henry IV

Mary of Guise, Second wife of James V

France aided Scotland under the Auld Alliance as Scotland rejected Henry’s advances. After Henry’s death, Edward VI continued the war, but the French-born Queen Mother, Mary of Guise, betrothed her daughter to the heir to the French throne and Mary was absent from Scotland for thirteen years, until after she was widowed. 

All of Henry VIII’s ambitions to control Scotland had failed.  Edward eventually signed a peace treaty with France (and thereby, Scotland) in 1550. It was the last major conflict between Scotland and England before the Union of the Crowns in 1603.

In Scotland, the war was called the “Nine Year’s War.”  The term “rough wooing” comes from a famous remark attributed to George Gordon, 4th Earl of Huntly. “We liked not the manner of the wooing, and we could not stoop to being bullied into love,” or, as historian William Patten reported, “I lyke not thys wooyng.”  

Interested in finding the other nearly 2000 blogs participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge?  Click on the title, then scroll down to find the sign-up list.

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2 comments on “Blogging from A to Z Challenge: W is for (Rough) Wooing

  1. Cathrina Constantine says:

    I had to laugh when my kids didn’t know what the word woo meant. I should have them read your post to understand rough wooing. Good one.

  2. Nancy Jardine says:

    Great post, Willa. Haven’t thought of that term for a long while – though not new to me it’s been ages since I’ve done anything regarding that period of Scottish history. ( also doing A to Z .Nancy at Welcome to she said, he said )

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