Mary, Queen of Scots (Mary Stuart) was Elizabeth I’s cousin, and Queen of Scotland after her father died. She also hoped to inherit the throne of England, and was considered by many English Catholics to be the legitimate ruler. After a Scottish uprising against her, Mary was imprisoned in Loch Leven Castle and forced to abdicate the Scottish throne in favour of her son James VI, then only one year old. Mary attempted to regain the throne, but the battle was unsuccessful. She fled to England, seeking protection from Elizabeth. Elizabeth saw her as a threat and had her arrested, keeping her prisoner in various castles and houses for 19 years. Many Catholics believed that Elizabeth was illegitimate (see Setting) and therefore not the rightful heir to the throne. Mary Stuart consequently became the focus for Catholic plots against Elizabeth.