As today is the anniversary of Elizabeth I agreeing to sentence Mary, Queen of Scots, to death, I thought I’d share this video recorded by Emma Casson, who was 19 at the time, and who was studying journalism in the Netherlands. Emma shows us some of the parts of Edinburgh that Mary would have known.[Read More...]
On this day in Tudor history, 28th November 1565, Francis Yaxley set sail for Scotland from Antwerp.
The member of Parliament and political agent was carrying gold to Scotland for Mary, Queen of Scots. However, his ship was wrecked in a storm and he never reached Scotland, and neither did the gold.
But why was Francis Yaxley carrying gold? Who was it from and what happened to it?[Read More...]
On this day in Tudor history, 20th September 1586, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, conspirators Anthony Babington, John Ballard, John Savage, Chidiock Tichborne, and three others, were executed near St Giles-in-the-Fields in London.
They were hanged, drawn and quartered after being found guilty of treason for the Babington Plot, which sought to assassinate Elizabeth I and replace her with Mary, Queen of Scots.
Find out more about Anthony Babington, the Babington Plot, the men involved, how it was discovered, and how it led to Mary, Queen of Scots’ execution…[Read More...]
On this day in Tudor history, 11th September 1561, Mary, Queen of Scots, set off on her first royal progress in Scotland.
Eighteen-year-old Mary had been in Scotland for less than a month, having returned from France following her husband Francis II’s death. Now, she wanted to see her homeland and her people, and show the people their queen.
This royal progress was to be an eventful one. It included a brush with death and a violent altercation!
Let me tell you more…[Read More...]
On this day in Tudor history, 9th September 1543, nine-month-old Mary, Queen of Scots, was crowned queen at the Chapel Royal of Stirling Castle.
It was the 30th anniversary of the Battle of Flodden and the death of Mary’s grandfather, King James IV of Scotland.
Find out more about how Mary came to the throne, her coronation ceremony, in which Mary howled, and how she was already promised in marriage to Henry VIII’s son, the future Edward VI…[Read More...]
On this day in Tudor history, 19th August 1561, Mary, Queen of Scots returned to her homeland, Scotland, from France. Her husband, King Francis II of France, had died in December 1560.
Let me explain the context of her return to Scotland, which would, of course, be the start of her troubles.[Read More...]
On this day in Tudor history, Sunday 29th July 1565, twenty-three-year-old Mary, Queen of Scots, queen regnant of Scotland, married her second husband, nineteen-year-old Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley, at Holyrood Palace.
I give details of their wedding and how the couple’s marital bliss was rather short-lived…[Read More...]
On this day in Tudor history, 24th July 1553, in the reign of Queen Mary I, merchant and conspirator Richard Hesketh was born in Lancashire.
Hesketh is known for the Hesketh Plot of 1593, when he urged Ferdinando Stanley, 5th Earl of Derby, to lead a rebellion to claim the throne of England.
But who was Richard Hesketh and why did he plot against Queen Elizabeth I?
What happened to him and what happened to Ferdinando Stanley?
And why did Stanley take bezoar stone and unicorn horn?[Read More...]
On this day in Tudor history, 23rd July 1543, or 24th according to some sources, Marie de Guise and her baby daughter, Mary, Queen of Scots, escaped from Linlithgow Palace.
They were helped by Cardinal David Beaton, who took them to Stirling Castle.[Read More...]
On this day in Tudor history, 20th June 1567, a silver casket of eight letters were allegedly found in the possession of James Hepburn, Earl of Bothwell, the third husband of Mary, Queen of Scots.
These letters, which became known as the Casket Letters, were instrumental in bringing down Mary, Queen of Scots.
Let me tell you a bit more about the Casket Letters and why they were “dynamite” for Elizabeth I’s advisors.[Read More...]
On this day in Tudor history, on 19th June 1566, in Scotland, Mary, Queen of Scots gave birth to a baby boy who would grow up to be King James VI of Scotland and King James I of England. He was baptised Charles James though.[Read More...]
On this day in Tudor history, 17th June 1567, in Scotland, Mary, Queen of Scots, was imprisoned at Loch Leven Castle.
She’d been taken prisoner following her surrender at the Battle of Carberry Hill on 15th June.
At Loch Leven, it was reported that she miscarried twins fathered by her third husband, the Earl of Bothwell, and she was also forced to abdicate. She did, however, escape, but her freedom was very short-lived.
Find out more about this time in Mary, Queen of Scots’ life…[Read More...]
Linda Porter is one of my favourite Tudor historians so for our Friday video this week I thought I’d share this talk she did for us back in 2014.
In “Three Tudor Queens”, Linda explores the lives of Katherine Parr, Mary I and Mary, Queen of Scots.[Read More...]
May 16 – Another prison for Mary, Queen of Scots, Sir Thomas More resigns, and the real “John Blackthorne” of Shōgun
On this day in Tudor history, 16th May 1568, following her escape from prison in Scotland, Mary landed on English soil and was taken prisoner once more, but this time by England.
Why was Mary taken prisoner? What happened?[Read More...]
May 15 – Two barons tried for treason, the trials of Queen Anne Boleyn and Lord Rochford, and a third marriage for Mary, Queen of Scots
On this day in Tudor history, 15th May 1537, Thomas Darcy, 1st Baron Darcy de Darcy, and his cousin, John Hussey, 1st Baron Hussey of Sleaford, were tried for treason at Westminster after being implicated in the Pilgrimage of Grace rebellion.
Both men may have been sympathetic to the rebel cause, but there was no actual evidence that they conspired against the king. Poor men!
Find out more about them and how they ended up being branded rebels, and what happened next…[Read More...]
On this day in Tudor history, 14th May 1571, the “Creeping Parliament” was held in Edinburgh, Scotland. Why was it called the “Creeping Parliament” and why were there actually two Parliaments meeting? What was going on and what happened next?[Read More...]
On this day in Tudor history, 13th May 1568, the forces of Mary, Queen of Scots, met those of her brother, the Regent Moray, at the Battle of Langside in Scotland.
Mary, Queen of Scots was defeated soundly, but what happened and why was she fighting against the regent acting on behalf of her son, King James VI? What had led to this moment?[Read More...]
On this day in Tudor history, 2nd May 1568, Mary, Queen of Scots, who had recently been forced to abdicate in favour of her son, King James VI, successfully escaped from Lochleven Castle.
How did she end up a prisoner at Lochleven?
How did she escape?
And what happened next?[Read More...]
How much do you know about the men linked to Mary, Queen of Scots?
Test your knowledge of this Scottish queen’s love life with this fun crossword.
Simply click on the link or image below to open and print out…[Read More...]
April 29 – From prisoner to Lieutenant of the Tower, Bothwell prepares to marry Mary, Queen of Scots, and Anne Boleyn, Henry Norris and Mark Smeaton
On this day in history, 29th April 1617, Sir Dru Drury died at the age of around 85 at his home, Riddlesworth Hall in Norfolk.
Drury may have died in the Stuart period, but he was a prominent Elizabethan. And he’s a man that went from being a prisoner to being Lieutenant of the Tower of London! Find out more about him…[Read More...]
On this day in Tudor history, 24th April 1558, fifteen-year-old Mary, Queen of Scots, got married for the first time. The groom was fourteen-year-old Francis, the Dauphin of France.
Find out more about the bride and groom, their wedding and what happened to them…[Read More...]
April 19 – A bookseller is executed in Elizabethan London, a betrothal for Mary, Queen of Scots, and Francis Drake saves the day for now
On this day in Tudor history, 19th April 1601, in Elizabeth I’s reign, bookseller James Duckett was hanged at Tyburn. Being a bookseller in Tudor times could be a risky business, particularly if you had the wrong kind of books on your premises![Read More...]
April 14 – Bothwell dies in appalling conditions, the birth of a magician, and a man who cheated the executioner
It’s a busy date in Tudor history today!
On this day in Tudor history, 14th April 1578, Mary, Queen of Scots’ third husband, James Hepburn, Duke of Orkney and 4th Earl of Bothwell, died at Dragsholm Castle in Denmark. He’d been held at the castle in appalling conditions and it was said that he’d gone insane.
Find out more about the life of this earl who’d risen to be the husband of Mary, Queen of Scots, but who’d died in prison, far away from home…[Read More...]
9 March – Frances Radcliffe, Countess of Sussex’s most rare gifts both of mind and body, and Mary, Queen of Scots’ secretary is murdered
On this day in Tudor history, 9th March 1589, Lady Frances Radcliffe, Countess of Sussex, and wife of Sir Thomas Radcliffe, Lord Fitzwalter and 3rd Earl of Sussex, died at her home in Bermondsey.
Frances is known for being the benefactor of Cambridge University’s Sidney Sussex College, but there is much more to her than that. Her enemies even turned her husband and Queen Elizabeth I against her at one point!
Find out all about Frances Radcliffe (née Sidney) in this talk…[Read More...]
17 February – Love at first sight for Mary, Queen of Scots? and Edward Seymour is made Duke of Somerset
Well, ok, perhaps love at second or third sight!
On this day in Tudor history, Saturday 17th February 1565, Mary, Queen of Scots, met and fell in love with Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley, at Wemyss Castle in Scotland. Just over 7 months later, the couple got married.
Find out more about the background of this meeting between Mary, Queen of Scots and Lord Darnley, Mary’s thoughts on Darnley, and what happened next, in this talk…[Read More...]
On this day in Tudor history, 14th December 1542, six-day-old Mary, daughter of King James V and his second wife, Marie de Guise, became Queen of Scotland – Mary, Queen of Scots.
King James V, who had ruled since 1513, was just 30 at his death.
Find out what happened to James V, and how Mary became queen at such a young age, in this talk…[Read More...]
8 December – The death of Sir William Coffin, master of the horses, and the birth of Mary, Queen of Scots
On this day in Tudor history, 8th December 1538, courtier and Master of the Horse to Queens Anne Boleyn and Jane Seymour, Sir William Coffin, died at Standon in Hertfordshire.
It is thought that he died of the plague because his wife Margaret wrote to Thomas Cromwell saying that Coffin had “died of the great sickness, full of God’s marks all over his body”.
Who was Sir William Coffin and what did the Master of the Horse do?
Find out in this talk…[Read More...]
5 December – Mary Queen of Scots’ husband dies of an ear infection and Anne Cecil’s unhappy marriage
On this day in Tudor history, 5th December 1560, King Francis II of France, died at the age of just 15. Francis was King Consort of Scotland, as the husband of Mary, Queen of Scots, and his father had also proclaimed him and Mary as King and Queen of England back in 1558!
He was taken ill in mid-November with what appears to have been an ear infection, and it led to him dying on this day in history. His death led to Mary, Queen of Scots, returning to her homeland of Scotland, a country she hadn’t seen for 13 years.
Find out more about Francis II of France, his marriage to Mary, Queen of Scots, his death and what happened next, in this talk…[Read More...]
2 December – Elizabeth I finally agreed to sentence Mary, Queen of Scots; to death and Henry Howard was arrested
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 this talk…[Read More...]
From books to exhibitions, to new discoveries and more. Every month we (Merel and Emma) will give you an update on all things new and exciting in the Tudor world. Starting with the first blog in which we look back on what has happened in November.