Mary, Queen of Scots - IMPACT of the BABINGTON PLOT

Mary, Queen of Scots, should have followed the advice of her advisors. 

No matter how desperate she was to escape house arrest, she had failed to discourage Babington from plotting to kill the British Queen.  A prosecutor could argue her failure to to dissuade anyone from "dispatching" Elizabeth was tacit approval of a murder plot.

Mary was arrested and charged with plotting to kill Queen Elizabeth. Since Parliament had just passed a law making such actions punishable by death, Mary would have to stand trial as a traitor. A conviction would mean the end for her.

The castle of Fotheringhay was the next stop for Mary during her British sojourn.  She had no counsel representing her since even a queen was subject to the ancient tradition of "no lawyer allowed" if the charge was treason.

Had a lawyer spoken for Mary, he would surely have questioned the legality of the whole proceeding.  She had been a Queen since the sixth day of her life.  What gave Elizabeth - the sovereign of a different country - the right to charge Mary with high treason?  Mary was, in fact, the heir to Elizabeth's throne.  Why did Mary have no right to counsel?

Perhaps Mary's abdication lessened her status, but even that would have been subject to legal scrutiny by her lawyer: 

  • Did Mary, for example, sign the abdication with her personal name ("Marie") or with her official name ("Marie R")? 
  • What if she had only signed personally ("Marie") and not officially ("Marie, the Queen")? 
  • Would that lack of official action render the abdication null-and-void? 
  • If the abdication were null-and-void, was Mary still the sovereign of her country?

And ... if that were the case ... what authority did Britain have to try Scotland's Queen?

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5190stories and lessons created

Original Release: Aug 01, 2003

Updated Last Revision: Feb 16, 2015

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"IMPACT of the BABINGTON PLOT" AwesomeStories.com. Aug 01, 2003. Feb 26, 2020.
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