MSP's battle for body of Mary, Queen of Scots

NATIONALIST MSP Christine Grahame is leading a campaign to repatriate the body of Mary, Queen of Scots, from Westminster Abbey.

The South of Scotland MSP is to lodge a motion in Parliament calling for the monarch's remains to be buried in Scotland. She will also write to culture minister Linda Fabiani, urging the Scottish Government to support her campaign, which is already being backed by the composer James MacMillan, along with historians and the Catholic Church in Scotland.

Mary, who was born at Linlithgow Palace, fled to England after she was forced to abdicate in 1567. She was held prisoner by her cousin Elizabeth I, found guilty of treason, and executed at Fotheringhay Castle in Northamptonshire 20 years later.

She was initially buried at Peterborough Cathedral, but her body was exhumed in 1612 when her son, King James I of England and VI of Scotland, ordered that she be reinterred at Westminster Abbey.

Grahame said she believed Mary should be buried at Falkland Palace in Fife, where her father died shortly after she was born.

She said: "She was an iconic historical Scots figure and ultimately the victim of English plotting. Given the House of Stuart's association with Falkland Palace, a place where Mary is believed to have spent her happiest days, that would appear to be an appropriate place to inter her remains."

The campaign also has the backing of Hugh O'Donnell, the Liberal Democrat MSP.

Alan MacInnes, professor of history at Strathclyde University, agreed Mary's final resting place should be at Falkland Palace.

He said: "She shouldn't be in England under any circumstances."

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