[MR] Wikipedia: Execution of Mary Queen of Scots

Garth Groff and Sally Sanford mallardlodge1000 at gmail.com
Fri Feb 8 03:22:55 PST 2019

Noble Friends, Especially Fellow Scots,

On 8 February 1587, Mary Queen of Scots was beheaded at Fotheringhay Castle
in England.

The charge against Mary was treason for sanctioning the Babington Plot, an
attempt by some Catholic Englishmen to assassinate Queen Elizabeth and put
Mary on the English throne. Mary's coded letters had been intercepted,
deciphered, and read by Elizabeth's spymaster Sir Francis Walsingham. The
letters showed that Mary knew about the plot and gave her approval.

It occurs to me that treason was a poor charge against Mary, since she was
not an English subject. That ploy didn't work for William Wallace, and it
didn't work for Mary either. At least Elizabeth treated her cousin with
some dignity in death, and didn't have her head stuck on a pike at London
Bridge, as was usual with traitors.

Despite what is often depicted in films and books, Elizabeth willingly
signed her cousin's death warrant though she did dither for quite a while.
She even considered having Mary's jailer off her by extra-judicial means
(he refused for moral reasons). The business of sacking Walsingham for
supposedly slipping the warrant in among other papers to be signed either
didn't happen, or was a ploy by Elizabeth to defuse charges of regicide by
shifting the blame to an underling. Elizabeth was too shrewd to have signed
something she hadn't read.

If you aren't suffering from a serious case of Mary fatigue from weepy
films, posts about the casket letters, etc., you can read her story (again)
at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary,_Queen_of_Scots . It is a tragic tale
from the inept Stewart dynasty, a family that made a habit of bungling
their way through history, but still managed to win most of the marbles
(for a while, at least).

Yours Aye,

Mungo Napier, Laird of Mallard Lodge  🦆

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