Mary Queen of Scots was executed - On this day in history


08 February 2019
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Mary Queen of Scots was executed at Fotheringay Castle on 8 February 1587, after almost twenty years in captivity.

The execution of Mary Queen of Scots took place on 8 February 1587, at Fotheringay Castle in England.

Mary had been held prisoner in several different English castles on the orders of her cousin Queen Elizabeth of England since fleeing to England in 1568. During her years in captivity, Mary was the focus of various plots to bring about her release and to restore her to the throne of Scotland. 

The execution of Mary Queen of Scots took place in the Great Hall of Fotheringay Castle, in front of witnesses who included her maid servants Jane Kennedy and Elizabeth Curle. The two-foot high scaffold constructed for the execution was draped in black and the dukes of Shrewsbury and Kent accompanied Mary to the execution as witnesses, along with her companions

Mary's body was embalmed and her coffin was taken to Peterborough Cathedral following a Protestant service. Mary's son King James VI ordered her body to be exhumed in 1612 and she was reburied in Westminster Abbey.

QUICK LINK: History Scotland's ultimate guide to Mary Queen of Scots