Regicide: Mary, Queen of Scots - PALACE INTRIGUES

Home to palace intrigues, during the reign of Mary Queen of Scots, Holyrood Palace is located in Edinburgh.  In this image, we see the stately residence (which is still used by the royal family) from Carlton Hill.  This image, by James Valentine, is from 1878 (or earlier).  Online, courtesy Wikimedia Commons.  PD


By this time, Princess Elizabeth had become Elizabeth I - The Virgin Queen. Although she was the daughter of Henry VIII, many people - including most Catholics - thought Elizabeth was not the rightful heir to the throne.

Worse ... as the daughter of the discredited, beheaded Anne Boleyn, Elizabeth was thought to be illegitimate.

To strengthen her personal claim to the English throne, Mary decided to marry her cousin, Lord Darnley (Henry Stuart) who himself was an heir to the English throne. Mary and Darnley married (this is their marriage certificate), but the strategic alliance carried a high price. Darnley was no Francis. The marriage was unhappy.

Notwithstanding all of his own scheming and philandering, Darnley was a jealous husband. When he thought Mary was having an affair with her secretary, David Rizzio, Darnley may have engineered Rizzio's murder.

Darnley and his compatriots stormed into Mary's private quarters, at Holyroodhouse, and killed Rizzio in her presence. (The murder took place in the northwest tower.) Even though Mary was expecting Darnley's child, a son, the marriage was doomed from that point forward. Perhaps it had been doomed all along.

Darnley was ill with syphilis. He was murdered within two years. Many people pointed to Mary as the engineer of the plot to kill Darnley. Since her current lover - and later husband - James Hepburn, the 4th Earl of Bothwell, was accused of planning Darnley's death, circumstantial evidence against Mary initially seemed strong.

But as the investigation continued, there was no solid evidence against Mary, Queen of Scots. Not - that is - until someone found a small, silver casket containing letters ostensibly written by Mary. Those letters seemed to point a guilty finger in her direction.

Even though the letters were alleged to be forgeries, many people continued to believe the Queen had ordered Darnley's death. And ... even after a trial formally cleared Bothwell, most folks continued to believe he was the one behind Darnley's murder.

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

Original Release: Jul 01, 2007

Updated Last Revision: Jul 15, 2019

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"PALACE INTRIGUES" AwesomeStories.com. Jul 01, 2007. Jan 19, 2020.
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