The Tudor Society
  • February 7 – Mary, Queen of Scots’ death warrant arrives at Fotheringhay

    On this day in Tudor history, 7th February 1587, the warrant for the execution of Mary, Queen of Scots, arrived at Fotheringhay Castle in Northamptonshire, where Mary was being held.

    Mary had been tried for treason in October 1586 after being implicated in the Babington Plot, a plot to depose Queen Elizabeth I and to replace her with Mary. She had been found guilty and sentenced to death, but Elizabeth would not sign the execution warrant, not wanting the responsibility of killing an anointed queen. However, Mary’s gaoler, Sir Amias Paulet, would not agree to quietly doing away with Mary, and after pressure from her council and petitions from Parliament, Elizabeth finally signed the warrant, although she later said she had asked for it not to be sent to Fotheringhay yet.

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  • 2 December – Elizabeth I relents and agrees to execute Mary, Queen of Scots

    On this day in Tudor history, 2nd December 1586, following a joint petition from the Houses of Lords and Commons, Elizabeth I finally agreed to a public proclamation of sentence against Mary, Queen of Scots: death.

    Mary had been found guilty of high treason back in October 1586, but Elizabeth had not wanted to contemplate regicide. However, Parliament believed that if Mary, Queen of Scots, was not executed, that she’d continue to plot against Elizabeth and would utterly “ruinate and overthrow the happy State and Common Weal of this most Noble Realm”. She was too much of a danger and needed dealing with once and for all.

    Find out what Parliament said and what happened next in today’s talk.

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  • 26 September – The man Elizabeth I wanted to murder Mary, Queen of Scots

    On this day in Tudor history, 26th September 1588, Sir Amias (Amyas) Paulet, administrator, diplomat, Governor of Jersey and gaoler of Mary, Queen of Scots died. He was buried in St Martin-in-the-Fields, Westminster.

    Sir Amias Paulet acted as gaoler to Mary, Queen of Scots, and it was while he was doing this that Elizabeth wanted him to abide by the Bond of Association and assassinate Mary, Queen of Scots, so that she didn’t have to sign her death warrant.

    What was the Bond of Association and what did Paulet do?

    Find out in today’s talk…

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  • 3 February – Elizabeth I signs a death warrant

    In today’s video, I read an excerpt from my book “On This Day in Tudor History” about an event which happened on 3rd February 1587 and which was connected to Mary, Queen of Scots.

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  • Elizabeth I and Mary, Queen of Scots – True or False quiz

    Happy Sunday! The trailer for the new Mary, Queen of Scots movie has caused lots of controversy amongst history lovers so I was inspired to make this Mary, Queen of Scots and Elizabeth I quiz. So, grab your favourite beverage and snack, make yourself comfortable and let’s get those little grey cells working!

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  • Elizabeth I and the fall of Mary, Queen of Scots Part 2

    In today’s Claire chats I continue my examination of the fall of Mary, Queen of Scots, by looking at the controversy surrounding the death warrant and examining the Bond of Association and the Act for the Queen’s Safety.

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  • Elizabeth I and the fall of Mary, Queen of Scots

    In this week’s Claire Chats I start a two part series on Elizabeth I and the fall of Mary, Queen of Scots. Today, I focus on what led to Mary, Queen of Scots’ execution and next week I will examine the controversy surrounding her death warrant.

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  • 1 February 1587 – Elizabeth I signs the death warrant of Mary, Queen of Scots

    On this day in history, 1st February 1587, Elizabeth I called her secretary, William Davison, to her and asked him to bring her Mary, Queen of Scots’s death warrant. She then signed it.

    Mary, Queen of Scots, had been tried in October 1586 for her involvement in the Babington Plot, a plot to assassinate Queen Elizabeth I. As the trial closed, Mary demanded that she should be heard in front of Parliament or the Queen, but she was fighting a losing battle. Sentence was delayed as long as possible, by order of Elizabeth, but on 25th October the commission reconvened and found Mary guilty. On 29th October, Parliament met to discuss Mary, the Babington Plot and her role in Lord Darnley’s murder, and it was decided that they should petition Elizabeth to execute Mary. This put Elizabeth in a difficult position as she did not want to be accused of regicide. On the 4th December, Mary was publicly proclaimed guilty.

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