How did Mary Queen of Scots die

The Scottish Queen Mary Queen of Scots

On arrival in Scotland, the strict Catholic Queen is said to have been greeted with joy, but also treated with a lot of skepticism and suspicion by the Protestant rulers. (► more about the Reformation in Scotland) Despite several attempts at mediation, Maria had an ongoing conflict with one of the leading figures, John Knox. One of several meetings took place in the Lochleven Castle, held at William Douglas of Lochleven, 1565. The castle, located on an island in Loch Leven in the Fife region, will be of importance again in the further course.

Escape in your own country

Palace of Holyroodhouse (Holyrood Palace) in Edinburgh was the main residence of Mary, even if she traveled a lot during her reign, including the Falkland Palace (► more about Castles, Bugen and Schlösser) resided in the Fife region. On July 29, 1655 she married a second time. The marriage at Holyrood Palace with her half-cousin Henry Stuart (Lord Darnley), with whom she is said to have fallen in love immediately, had a significant impact on her fate. That he was primarily interested in the title and the crown turned out relatively quickly. Maria later also considered the possibility of a divorce.

As in her childhood, she was forced to change her whereabouts frequently due to hostility, especially from the Protestant camp. After her personal secretary David Rizzio was stabbed to death in front of her eyes at dinner together at Holyrood Palace, in which Henry Stuart was also involved, Mary and her husband had to follow in 1566 Dunbar Castleto the south of Scotland. In the Middle Ages, this was one of the most important fortifications in the country. From there they went to the one overlooking the city Edinburgh Castle. On June 19, 1566, their first son and only child James (later King James VI. Of Scotland and James I of England and Ireland ► more about the founding of the United Kingdom) was born there.

Other places of residence of the Queen in Scotland this year were Jedburghwhere they in Herimitage Castle visited the ailing Earl of Bothwell. Rumor has it that he was a secret lover of the Queen. Furthermore, the queen stayed in Craigmillar Castle near Edinburgh, where her husband was supposed to be murdered in a plot. In January 1567, Lord Darnley fell ill and was im Kirk o’Field Monastery housed in the old town of Edinburgh, where Mary is said to have visited him every day. There was an explosion on the night of February 9th to 10th and Lord Darnley was found dead in the garden the next morning with strangleholdings.

The murder has not been solved to this day, but Queen Mary of Scotland was among the suspects.

What made her more popular in her own country was that she played golf in St. Andrews just a few days later and showed no signs of grief.

The third marriage and its consequences

After seeing her son in Stirling was visited by James Hepturn, 4th Earl of Bothwell, on the way back to Edinburgh Dunbar Castle brought. It is not known whether willfully or not, but it is often assumed that a kidnapping was carried out. It is documented that the two of them were born on May 15, 1567 in Holyrood Palaceor in Holyrood Abbey got married. This led to further conflicts with the nobility and a military conflict followed on June 15, 1567, which resulted in the capture of Mary on June 17 in Lochleven Castle ended. The place where she was received as a guest two years earlier. Maria is said to have spent most of the time in the Glassin Tower on the south-east side of the castle. In July of the same year, the queen suffered another stroke of fate and lost twins in a miscarriage and had to abdicate in the same month with the help of her son James, who then became King James VI. has been crowned by Scotland.

Capture and escape

But Maria did not let herself get down that easily and made several attempts to escape until she managed to escape from Lochleven.

On the first attempt, it is said, she disguised herself as a washing maid and her lady-in-waiting remained in prison in the queen's clothes.

Unfortunately, the boatswain recognized Maria and brought her back to the castle. On another attempt, she disguised herself as a servant. But while overcoming the wall, her lady-in-waiting was injured and this attempt had to be broken off. In the end, Georg Douglas, the castle owner's brother, was able to steal the keys and helped her escape successfully. When she arrived back on the mainland, Maria arrived on May 2, 1568 Niddry Castlein the Scottish Borders - rumor has it that their spirit can still be felt here today - and tried to regain power from there. Maria managed to win 6,000 men for her cause, but lost the Battle of Langside on May 13th and had to go south Dunedrennan Abbey flee. There she spent her last night in Scotland before moving over Port Mary crossed the Solway Firth and in Workington in England landed.

Captured and sentenced in England

However, the hoped-for protection from her cousin, the Queen of England, was not granted. Instead, she was captured because Elizabeth saw her as a competitor for the crown. Now Maria was again confronted with the charge of murdering her husband, Lord Darnley. After 18.5 years in relatively comfortable custody, she was accused of a plot against Elizabeth I on August 11, 1587 based on letters allegedly originating from her Fortherinhay Castle and found guilty in another trial on September 25th. The death sentence followed on October 25, which was carried out on February 8, 1568.

A tragic end

If it was not easy for the queen all her life, the execution was not without complications.

The executioner is said to have needed two attempts for the beheading.

The first blow with the ax missed the neck and hit the back of the head instead. The second blow did not separate the head from the rest of the body, so a third was necessary. Since Maria was wearing a wig, her head also fell from the hangman's hand when he held it up after the execution. So that no cult could arise around the relics, the things that Mary carried with and on that day were burned.