On this day in Tudor history, 29th April 1567 (some sources suggest 26th), James Hepburn, Earl of Bothwell, who had recently abducted and allegedly “ravished” Mary, Queen of Scots, had a suit of divorce made against him by his wife, Lady Jean Gordon.
Lady Gordon was persuaded by Bothwell to make this divorce suit as he was planning to marry Mary, Queen of Scots, which he did on 15th May 1567.
In this talk, I explain what led up to this day, what happened next, and also what a truly horrible man Bothwell was.
On this day in Tudor history, 19th April 1558, fifteen-year-old Mary, Queen of Scots and fourteen-year-old Francis, the Dauphin, son of King Henry II of France, were formally betrothed at the Louvre Palace in Paris.
This betrothal was just five days before their wedding and was a lavish affair, celebrated with a ball.
Find out more about the betrothal, the bride and groom, and arrangements for their marriage, in today’s talk.
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 today’s talk.
On this day in Tudor history, 1st February 1587, Queen Elizabeth I called her secretary, William Davison, to her and asked him to bring her the death warrant of Mary, Queen of Scots. She then signed it. However, she didn’t want it to be sent to Fotheringhay, where Mary was held, until she said so. But it was sent.
Elizabeth wanted someone else to take responsibility for Mary’s death, she even wanted her gaoler to assassinate her!
Find out all about this, and how Mary DID end up being executed in February 1587, in today’s talk.
Today, 7th December, is the traditional date given for the birth of Henry Stuart (Stewart), Duke of Albany and Lord Darnley, in 1545.
Lord Darnley was the son of Margaret Douglas and grandson of Margaret Tudor, Queen of Scotland, and her second husband, Archibald Douglas, 6th Earl of Angus, but he is more known as the second husband of Mary, Queen of Scots.
Find out about Lord Darnley’s rather colourful life, his unhappy marriage, his role in a murder, AND his own sticky end, in today’s talk.
Here’s the transcript of the lively livechat that we had with Gayle Hulme over the weekend. All full members are welcome to join us at these events and you can either just watch or join in as you wish.
This month’s expert talk is by Gayle Hulme, taking us to some of the important places in the life of Mary, Queen of Scots. Gayle has travelled the length of the UK to give us this informative talk, including: Linlithgow Palace, Stirling Castle, the Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh Castle, Kirk o’field, and even Westminster Abbey.
On this day in Tudor history, 29th September 1564, Michaelmas, the queen’s favourite, Robert Dudley, was made Earl of Leicester and Baron Denbigh in front of the Scottish ambassador, Sir James Melville.
Elizabeth I made Dudley an earl so that he’d be suitable as a potential bridegroom for Mary, Queen of Scots, but she couldn’t refrain from a display of affection during the ceremony, tickling him on the neck!
In today’s talk, I explain why Elizabeth I was prepared to marry her favourite off to Mary, Queen of Scots, what happened on this day in 1564, and what happened next.
On this day in Tudor history, 11th September 1561, eighteen-year-old Mary, Queen of Scots, began her first royal progress in Scotland. Mary had been in Scotland for less than a month, having returned from France, and so wanted to see her homeland and her people, as well as showing her people their queen.
But this royal progress was to be an eventful one for Mary, Queen of Scots – a brush with death and a violent altercation were included! I tell all in today’s talk.
On this day in Tudor history, 19th August 1561, Mary, Queen of Scots returned to her homeland, Scotland, from France following the death of her first husband, King Francis II of France.
In today's talk, I explain the context of her return to Scotland, which would, of course, be the start of her troubles.
Also on this day in history:
1531 – Burning of Thomas Bilney, Protestant martyr, at Lollard's Pit, just outside Bishopsgate. Although he was burned as a heretic, he actually denied his reformist views and affirmed his Catholic faith at his execution.
1551 – Princess Mary, the future Mary I, wrote to her brother Edward VI regarding the instructions the officers of her household were given about forbidding her chaplains to say Mass and any of her household to hear Mass.
1578 – Death of John Harpsfield, humanist, scholar and Roman Catholic priest, in London. He was buried in St Sepulchre Church, London. Harpsfield is known for his leading role in the Marian persecutions of Protestants and his nine sermons, which appear in Edmund Bonner's 1555 “Homilies”.
1591 – Death of Welsh clergyman and Bible translator Thomas Huet at Tŷ Mawr, Llysdinam, Brecknockshire. He was buried in the chancel of Llanafan Fawr church. Huet helped Richard Davies and William Salesbury translate the “New Testament” into Welsh in 1567.
1601 – Death of William Lambarde, writer, antiquary and lawyer, at Westcombe in East Greenwich. He was buried in St Alphege Church, East Greenwich, but in 1710 his monument was moved to the Lambarde chapel in St Nicholas's Church, Sevenoaks. Lambarde's works included his 1570 “Perambulation of Kent”, the 1581 “Eirenarcha: or of the Office of the Justices of Peace” and the 1591 “Archeion, or, A Discourse Upon the High Courts of Justice in England”.
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.
In today’s video, I give details of the wedding and how the marriage turned out. It wasn’t happy for long!
On this day in Tudor history, 24th July 1567, twenty-four-year-old Mary, Queen of Scots, who was imprisoned at Lochleven Castle, and who was recovering after miscarrying twins, was threatened with violence and forced to abdicate. Her young son, James, became King James VI of Scotland in her place.
I share a contemporary account from Mary’s private secretary regarding what happened that day and how Mary was forced to abdicate.
On this day in Tudor history, 20th June 1567, a silver casket of eight letters, which have become known as the Casket Letters, were allegedly found in the possession of James Hepburn, Earl of Bothwell, the third husband of Mary, Queen of Scots.
These letters were instrumental in bringing down Mary, Queen of Scots, so in today’s video, I tell you a bit more about these letters and why they were “dynamite” for Elizabeth I’s advisors.
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, in today’s “on this day in Tudor history” video.
On this day in history, 9th March 1566, a pregnant Mary, Queen of Scots witnessed the murder of her private secretary, David Rizzio. He was stabbed fifty-six times and one of the gang responsible was her own husband, Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley.
What happened? Why was Rizzio murdered? How was Darnley involved? What happened next? All of these questions are answered in today’s video.
As Friday was the anniversary of the execution of Mary, Queen of Scots on 8th February 1587, I thought I would test your knowledge on the Scottish queen who was the nemesis of Queen Elizabeth I. Good luck!
Today is the anniversary of the birth of Mary, Queen of Scots, on 8th December 1542. She was the daughter of James V of Scotland and his second wife, Marie de Guise, and the granddaughter of Margaret Tudor (Henry VIII’s sister) and James IV of Scotland.
One of the mottos associated with Mary, Queen of Scots, is “En ma Fin gît mon Commencement” , or “In my End is my Beginning”, and she is more famous for her brutal end at the hands of the axeman on 8th February 1587.
On this day in history, 29th September 1564, Robert Dudley was made Earl of Leicester, an earldom which had been planned earlier in the year to make him more acceptable as a bridegroom to Mary, Queen of Scots. This earldom was an important one, having previously been held by royal princes like John of Gaunt and Henry of Bolingbroke (Henry IV). Although Dudley behaved impeccably at the ceremony, the queen did not. As she put the chain of earldom around Dudley’s neck, she “could not refrain from putting her hand in his neck to kittle him smilingly.” A loving gesture and perhaps one that was meant to reassure Dudley that he was still hers.
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!