It was 430 years yesterday since the execution of Mary, Queen of Scots at Fotheringhay Castle, on the orders of Elizabeth I.
It was suspected that she had been involved in a plot to murder Elizabeth, who had kept the Scots queen prisoner for almost nineteen years.
Hours before her death, Mary wrote to her former brother-in-law Henri, King of France. This letter spoke of her death in the Catholic faith at the hands of the reformers.
Amazingly this letter has survived down the centuries and was on display in Edinburgh yesterday.
It was written in French, the language that Mary had learned as a child in the French court. She was sent there around the age of 5 to be the promised wife of the then Dauphin Francois.
The fact that this letter has survived so long and in such relatively good condition is a true gift to a history geek. To see the actual handwriting of Mary is mindblowing.
I write about her in my current work in progress, and the third part of my current trilogy will be written from Mary’s perspective. Though as anyone knows who follows my work, they will guess that she will not die by the axe!!
When you think about this letter and it’s survival, you wonder what other written material has survived the years and may not yet have been discovered. What treasures could be out there to find………..