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The Queen's Maries

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Mary Seton (about 1541 - after 1615)

(also spelled Seaton)

Mary Seton's mother was Marie Pieris, a lady-in-waiting to Mary of Guise. Marie Pieris was the second wife of George Seton, a Scottish lord. Mary Seton was sent to France with Mary, Queen of Scots, in 1548, as a lady-in-waiting to the five year old queen.

After the Maries returned to Scotland with Mary Stuart, Mary Seton never married, but remained a companion to Queen Mary. She and Mary Livingston were with Queen Mary during her imprisonment after Darnley died and Mary Stuart married Bothwell. When Queen Mary escaped, Mary Seton put on Mary Stuart's clothes to hide the fact of the Queen's escape. When the Queen was later captured and imprisoned in England, Mary Seton accompanied her as a companion.

While Mary Stuart and Mary Seton were at Tutbury Castle, held by the Earl of Shrewsbury on the orders of England's Queen Elizabeth, Mary Seton's mother wrote a letter to Queen Mary inquiring about the health of her daughter, Mary Seton. Mary Pieris was arrested for this act, released only after the intervention of Queen Elizabeth.

Mary Seton accompanied Queen Mary to Sheffield Castle in 1571. She turned down several marriage proposals, including one from Andrew Beaton at Sheffield, claiming she had taken a vow of celibacy.

Sometime about 1583 to 1585, in ill health, Mary Seton retired to the Convent of Saint Pierre in Rheims, where an aunt of queen Mary was the Abbess, and where Mary of Guise had been buried. The son of Mary Fleming and William Maitland visited her there and reported that she was in poverty, but her will indicates that she had wealth to bestow on heirs. She died in 1615 at the convent.

 

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