Monthly Archives: February 2015

1587 – The Execution of Mary, Queen of Scots

It was on the 7th of February that a scaffold was erected at Fotheringhay Castle in Northamptonshire, where Mary Stuart of Scotland had been imprisoned for nearly twenty years.  The very next morning, after an entire night spent in prayer and hastily composing her will, Mary was brutally beheaded as punishment for treason, playing a part in a plot to assassinate her cousin, England’s Elizabeth I, and take England’s throne for herself.  She wore a gown of red – the color of martyrdom – and a velvet petticoat, her blue eyes covered by a veil of white and gold when she met her death at the age of forty-four.  The execution did not go very smooth, and it took three strikes of the executioner’s axe to sever her head from her six-foot tall body, after which, she was entombed at Peterborough Cathedral, though she was exhumed and reburied in Westminster Abbey on orders of her son, England’s James I (pictured above), in 1612.  The picture above depicting both mother and son was not taken from life – in fact, Mary never saw James again after he turned ten months old.

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Posted by on February 8, 2015 in Uncategorized