8 February 1587 – The Execution of Mary, Queen of Scots

| February 8, 2013

On this day in history, on the morning of the 8th February 1587, Mary, Queen of Scots, was escorted to the great hall of Fotheringhay Castle and executed by beheading. You can read more about Mary’s execution in my article “The Execution of Mary Queen of Scots” and about Mary herself in the following articles: […]

18 February 1612 – Death of Roberto di Ridolfi

| February 18, 2012

On this day in history, the merchant and conspirator Roberto di Ridolfi died at the grand old age of eighty at his hometown of Florence in Italy. The name “Ridolfi” may sound familiar to you and this is because of the Ridolfi Plot, a plot to assassinate Elizabeth I and to replace her with Mary […]

10 February 1567 – Murder of Lord Darnley, Husband of Mary Queen of Scots

| February 10, 2012

At 2am on the 10th February 1567, Kirk o’Field, the house where Henry Stewart, Lord Darnley, was lodging, was blown to smithereens by an explosion which could be heard throughout the city of Edinburgh. Lord Darnley was killed, but his body was not found in the rubble, it was found in a neighbouring garden with […]

8 February 1587 – Mary Queen of Scots is Executed

| February 8, 2012

On the morning of the 8th February 1587, Mary Queen of Scots was executed at Fotheringhay Castle. It was a brutal death, taking three blows of the axe (some say that it was two blows followed by the executioner sawing her neck!) to decapitate this ill-fated queen. As the executioner held up her head to […]

Mary Queen of Scots

| December 9, 2011

Those of you who clicked on The Anne Boleyn Files Advent Calendar yesterday – 8th December – will have read that it was Mary Queen of Scots’s birthday yesterday. I’m sorry not to have posted it on here, seeing as she was Elizabeth I’s nemesis for many years, but you can read all about Mary […]

14th October 1586 – Trial of Mary Queen of Scots

| October 14, 2011

On this day in history, 14th October 1586, the trial of Mary Queen of Scots began at Fotheringhay Castle in Northamptonshire. You can read all about this in my article “The Trial of Mary Queen of Scots”. Also on this day in history, in 1565, the statesman and poet Sir Thomas Chaloner died – see […]

20 June 1567 – The Casket Letters Discovered

| June 20, 2011

On the 20th June 1567, a few days after Scottish rebels apprehended Mary Queen of Scots, servants of James Douglas, 4th Earl of Morton, allegedly found a silver casket of eight letters, two marriage contracts (which apparently proved that Mary had agreed to marry Bothwell before his divorce) and twelve sonnets in the possession of […]

24 April 1558 – Mary Queen of Scots Marries the Dauphin

| April 24, 2011

On this day in history, Mary Queen of Scots married Francis, the Dauphin of France, at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Mary was 15 and Francis was 14. Francis became King Consort of Scotland at the marriage and then he became King of France and Mary Queen Consort of France on the death of Francis’s […]

Death of James Hepburn, 4th Earl of Bothwell – 14 April 1578

| April 14, 2011

On this day in history, 14th April 1578, James Hepburn, 1st Duke of Orkney and 4th Earl of Bothwell, died aged 44 at Dragsholm Castle after being imprisoned and  held in appalling conditions by Frederick, King of Denmark, It is said that the imprisonment caused Bothwell to go insane. Here is a factfile on James […]

The Murder of David Rizzio – 9 March 1566

| March 9, 2011

On this day in history, 9th March 1566, David Rizzio, the private secretary of Mary Queen of Scots was assassinated in front of Mary, who was heavily pregnant. But who was David Rizzio and what led to his murder? David Rizzio John Guy, historian and author of “My Heart is My Own: The Life of […]