25 February 1601 – Execution of Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex

| February 25, 2012

On this day in history, the 25th February 1601 at just before 8am on the 25th February 1601, Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex and former royal favourite, was escorted out of the Tower of London and up on to a scaffold on Tower Green. Unfortunately, it took three blows of the executioner’s axe to […]

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 […]

12 February 1590 – Death of Blanche Parry

| February 12, 2012

On this day in history, 12th February 1590, Elizabeth I’s former childhood nurse and chief gentlewoman of the privy chamber, Blanche Parry, died. She was in her early 80s. Blanche was buried in St Margaret’s Church Westminster, with funeral rites which were usually reserved for a baroness. She has a monument in St Margaret’s and […]

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 […]