|A 1613-14 depiction by an unknown Dutch artist of the execution of Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots, and the subsequent destruction of her personal items (left). Image acquired through Wikimedia Commons. Image public domain.|
On this day in Elizabethan history in 1587, Mary Stuart, former Queen of Scotland was executed privately at
. She remained unrepentant of the
plots for which she had been found guilty, and defiant until her last moment when
the axe cleaved her head from her body. All personal articles of clothing worn
by the Queen on the scaffold (including her carefully chosen red dress, red
being the color of a Catholic martyr) were destroyed so that they could not be
fashioned into relics. Therefore, the chemise on display at Fotheringhay Castle Coughton Court (and all over Pinterest,
for that matter) that is said to be have been worn by Mary, Queen of Scots at
her execution is almost certainly a fake.
The execution of her cousin had a profound effect on
Elizabeth, both personally and politically, and provided
an acceptable catalyst for the invasion of England by Philip II’s Spanish
Armada in 1588.
You can read about the Babington Plot, Mary’s trial, her guilty verdict, and her execution in the following BeingBess posts…