The Execution of Mary, Queen of Scots

Many if not most of our Royal ancestors came to grievous ends.  Such was the caseMary_Stuart_Queen for cousin, Mary, Queen of Scots.   Mary was the daughter of James V, King of Scotland and his wife Mary of Guise.

The original document that details her execution reads as follows:

On Wednesday the viii of February in 1586 there assembled at the Castle of Fordringham the Earles of Shrewsbuty & Kent, with divers Knightes & gentlemen Justices of the peace of the yeare in those Countries. About viii of the clocke, the Earles & Sherifes of the Shire went upp to the Scottish Queene, whom they fownde prayinge on hir knees, with hir gentlewomen & men. And the Sherifes rememberinge hir that the time was at hand, she answered & sayde she was readie. Then she was ledde by the armes from hir chamber into the chamber of presence, where with many exhortacions to hir people to feare God, & to live in obedience, kissinge hir women, she gave hir hande to hir men to kisse: prayinge them all not to sorowe, but rejoice & pray for hir. She was brought downe the stayers by two Souldiers: Then beinge belowe she stayed, & lookinge backe she sayed she was evill attended, & desired the Lordes she might for woman hoodes sake, have two of hir women to wayte uppon hir. Then they sayde, they were onely withholden for that it was feared, by their passionate cryinge they would disquiet hir Spirit, & disturbe the execution. She sayde, I will promise for them that they shall not doe so. Then two of them whom she willed were brought unto hir. Then she spake muche unto Welbin hir man, & charged him as he woulde answere before God, to deliver hir Speache & message to hir Sonne in suche sorte as she did speake them, all which tended onely to will him to governe wisely, in the feare of God, & to take heede to whom he betooke his chiefest trust; & not to geve an occasion to be evill thought of by the Queene of Inglande, hir good sister, to certefie him she dyed a true Skotte, a true Frenche, & a true Catholique. About X of the clocke she was brought downe into the greate hall, where in the middest of the howse, & agaynste the chimnie (wherein was a greate fire) was a skaffolde sett upp of twoe foote height, & xii foote broade, havinge two steppes to come upp; about the scaffold went a rayle halfe a yarde highte rownde covered with black cotten: So was hir stoole, the Lordes forme, the blocke, & a pillowe for hir to kneele uppon. There did sitt uppon the skaffolde the two Earles, the Sheriff stoode there, & the two executioners. When they were sett, Mr. Beale, Clerke of the Councell did reade hir Majesties Commission for hir execution, under the broade Seale, after which the Deane of Peterborowe beinge directed by the Lordes to speake unto hir, for the better preparation to dye a penitent Christian, in the true faythe of Christ, began at the motion of the Earle of Shrewsbury his exhortation, which as sone as he had begonne, she sayde with a lowd voice, peace Mr Deane, I will not heare you. I say nothinge sayde he, but that I will justifie before the majestie of the most highest. So proceedinge, she cryed alowde agayne, peace Mr Deane, I will not heare you, you have nothinge to doe with me, nor I wyth you. Then was he willed to silence, for any further molestinge hir mynde. She sayed, so it is best, for I am fully setled & resolved to dye in the Catholique Romishe faythe. Which when the Lordes hearde; the Earle of Kent sayde, albeit Madam, you refuse the offered mercies of the most highest, yet we will offer our prayrs to God for you; hopinge he will heare us. And if it might stande with his good will, he would vouchsafe to open your eies, & to lighten your hearte, with the true knowldege of his will, & to dye therin. She sayd, doe, & I will pray. Then the Deane pronounced a prayer, which the standers by folowed; all which while she havinge a crucifixe betwene hir handes prayed much lowder in latin. The prayer being done, she kneeled downe, & prayed to this effect: for Christ his afflicted Churche, & for an ende of their troubles, for hir Sonne that he might rule uprightly, & be converted to the Catholique Romishe Churche. She prayed that the Queenes Majestie might longe reigne peaceably, might prosper, & serve God. She confessed she hoped to be saved onely by the bloude of Christe, at the foote of whose picture presented on the crucifixe she would willingly shedd hir bloude. She prayed to all the Sayntes of heaven to pray for hir, & that the God of heaven woulde of his goodnes averte his plagues from this silly Ilande, & that God would geve hir life, & forgeve hir sinnes, & that he woulde receave hir Soule into his heavenly handes. And then she rose upp, & was by two of hir women, & the two executioners disrobed into hir peticoote. Then she sayed, she was not wont to be undressed before such a number, nor by such gromes. Then she kissed hir women, & one of them began to crye, to whom she sayd, peace, cry not, I have promised the contrarie: Crye not for me, but rejoice, & lifted upp hir handes & blessed them, & likewise hir men not farre of. Then sodenly she kneeled downe most resolutly, & with the least token of any feare of deathe that might be. And after that one of hir women had knitte a kertcher about hir eyes, she spake alowde this psalme in latin — In te Domine confido, ne confundar in aetrnum. Then lay she downe very quietly stretchinge out hir body, & layinge hir necke over the blocke, cryed, in manus tuas Domine, &c. One of the executioners helde downe hir two handes: & the other did at two strokes with an axe cutt of hir head, which fallinge out of hir atyre appeared very graye, & neare powlde. So houlding it upp, the people sayed, God save the Queene, & so perishe all hir enemies, & the enemies of the gospell. All thinges about hir, & belonginge to hir, were taken from the executioners, & they were not sufferd so much as to have their aprons before them till they were washed. The bloudy clothes, the blocke, & whatsoever els bloudy, was brent in the chymny fire. The body was caryed up into the chamber, hir boweles taken out, embawmed, seared, & resteth to the buriall.

it was later noted that:

She was first roiallie buried in the Cathedrall Churche of Peterborroughe. But afterwardes shee was brought from thence to Westminster, & buried in Kinge Henry the Seventhes chapple, where a princely tombe was made over her, by the Kinges majestie her Sonne in the [blank] yere of his reigne of Great Britayne, &c.
The saide Queene of Scotts was the daughter & sole heire of James the 5. Kinge of Scotts, & was borne the 8 daye of December, 1542, beinge but 5 daies olde when her father died. She was first maried to Francys the eldest sonne of Henry the Seconde, Kinge of France, who reigned 2 yeres after his father, by whom shee had no issue. Then shee retourned into Scotlande, & maried Henry the lorde Darly, the eldest sonne unto Mathewe, Erle of Lenox, by whom shee had issue the Kinges majestie James the 6 who was but a yere olde when his father was slayne, & his mother fled into Englande, where shee remained prisoner till she died, which was the 8 daie of February, 1586, in the 44 yere of her age, & in the 29 yere of the reigne of Queene Elizabethe.

Copyright (c) Lee Drew 2013-05-18 07:00:00
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