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Women in History of Scots Descent
Mary Fleming


(nicknamed La Flamina)

This Mary's ancestry was not only noble but royal as well. James IV was her grandfather, as well as Mary Stuart's grandfather. There is confusion about her grandmother who was a mistress of James IV. Some say it was Jane Kennedy and some say Lady Agnes Stewart who became the Countess of Bothwell. Lady Janet Fleming, the mother of Mary Fleming, had six children by her husband and
a son by the King of France while she was governess to the young Queen Mary. The story goes
that because of this indiscretion she was sent home to Scotland - not so much because of the child that she bore, but because she flaunted her condition in public. La Flamina was the only one of the four who would take Mary's dares and could outdo her in mischief. And she was the only one of the four who was pure Scots. The other three Marys had Scottish fathers, but French mothers. Mary Fleming
married a noble-witted man, Maitland of Lethington, the queen's secretary and a very subtle politician. After the queen's marriage to Bothewll, Maitland deserted her cause and joined the rebelling lords. However, he returned to the queen's side and was one who held Edinburgh Castle for her until it fell to the English. Upon his capture, he chose suicide instead of the executioner's axe. Mary Fleming was purported to have inherited the Stewart beauty and charisma. She was described as the flower of the
flock. The Englishman Randolph called her a Venus for beauty, a Minerva for wit, and a Juno in wealth. When Maitland courted this lovely woman, there was much joking at the court. He was in his 40's and a widower. She remained loyal to Maitland even after his death and raised her children in somewhat impoverished conditions.

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