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Francis II (19 January 1544 – 5 December 1560, King-consort of Scotland (1558–1560), and King of France (1559 – 1560), was born at the Royal Chateau at Fontainebleaumarker, the son of Henry II, King of France (31 March 1519 – 10 July 1559) and Catherine de' Medici (13 April 1519 – 5 January 1589).

He was the grandson of Francis I, King of France, and of Claude of France, and the brother of Charles IX, King of France, and of Henry III, King of France. He was also the first husband of Mary, Queen of Scots.

King consort of Scots

Following the death of her father, James V, King of Scots, Mary Stuart had been crowned Queen of Scots, in Stirling Castlemarker, on 9 September 1543, at the age of nine months. The marriage between Mary, Queen of Scots, and Francis, Dauphin of France, was arranged by Henry II of France in 1548, when Francis was just four years old. Once the marriage agreement had been formally ratified, the now six-year-old Mary was sent to France, to be raised in the royal court until the marriage.

Despite the fact that Mary Stuart was tall for her age and fluent in speech, while Francis was abnormally short and stuttered, Henry II commented that "from the very first day they met, my son and she got on as well together as if they had known each other for a long time".

On 24 April 1558, the fourteen-year-old Dauphin was married to the Queen of Scots in a union that would have given the future kings of France the throne of Scotland and also a claim to the throne of England through Mary's great-grandfather, King Henry VII of England. However, Mary and Francis were to have no children during their short lived marriage, possibly due to Francis' illnesses or his undescended testicles.

King of France

A year after his marriage, Francis's father, Henry II, died, and Francis, still only fifteen years old, was crowned king at Reims. The crown was so heavy that nobles had to hold it in place for him. His mother, Catherine de' Medici, was appointed regent, but it is considered that Mary's uncles François de Guise and Charles de Guise may have held the real power in that period.

Francis II, who had always been a sickly child, died on 5 December 1560 in Orléansmarker, Loiretmarker, at the age of sixteen, when an ear infection worsened and caused an abscess in his brain. He is buried in Saint Denis Basilicamarker.

He was succeeded by his brother, Charles IX (27 June 1550 – 30 May 1574).

References

  1. Rose, Hugh James, Henry John Rose and Thomas Wright, A new general biographical dictionary, Vol. 7, (London, 1857), 436.
  2. Guy, John, My Heart is my Own, London, Fourth Estate, 2004, ISBN 0–00–71930–8:47
  3. Farquhar, Michael (2001). A Treasure of Royal Scandals: The Shocking True Stories History's Wickedest, Weirdest, Most Wanton Kings, Queens, Tsars, Popes, and Emperors, p.81. Penguin Books, New York. ISBN 0739420259.
  4. Guy:102.
  5. Rose, 436.


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