On this day 1587: Mary Queen of Scots was beheaded

The death mask of Mary Queen of Scots. 'Picture: Jane Barlow
The death mask of Mary Queen of Scots. 'Picture: Jane Barlow
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ON this day in 1587 Mary Queen of Scots was beheaded at Fotheringay Castle.

Mary Stuart or Mary I of Scotland was most commonly known by the title Mary Queen of Scots, the only surviving child of James V, she acceded the throne when she was just six-years-old. Briefly Queen consort of France after she married the Dauphin, Francis. Mary longed to return to her homeland and finally arrived at Leith in 1561 following the death of her husband.

It was not long before the politics of her homeland found her imprisoned and forced to abdicate by a plot to see her removed from the throne.

She fled south to seek refuge in the home of her cousin Queen Elizabeth I.

Mary had previously claimed Elizabeth’s throne as her own and was considered the legitimate sovereign of England by many English Catholics.

This led to her being imprisoned in England for the best part of twenty years. A plot was discovered in 1586 which would involve a Catholic revolt and the assassination of Elizabeth. This sealed Mary’s fate. Mary was 44 at the time of her death.

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