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Honored Contributor
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Registered: ‎11-08-2014

Just realized that it was the month of February that Mary died, in 1587.

 

I wonder if the date of her execution was a kind of spectral, gray and wettish February day like this one, or if it was sunny.

 

There have been so many rulers and monarchs who have been rather dim and incapable-- it's remarkable that two such brilliant monarchs as Elizabeth of England and Mary Stuart of Scotland (and briefly, France) were contemporaries, and relatives (cousins?)

 

But despite her smarts, her sophistication, her regal stature, Mary made so many mistakes.  She had to flee Scotland when the nobles there felt mistrust of her, and seek

refuge in Elizabeth's England.  But there she became the focus of so many plots to dethrone Elizabeth, that she spent much of her adult life "detained" in prisons, lest the threat to the English throne materialize.

 

A final plot, of which there were incriminating letters, helped convict her of treason, and caused a reluctant Elizabeth to agree to her execution.  What a decision to make!

 

There's some portrait somewhere, of a melancholy Elizabeth signing the papers for Mary's death warrent--  it's quite chilling.

 

No wonder there have been so many dramatizations of Mary's tumultuous life.  Let's see, if I were choosing someone to play her now,  Carey Mulligan might be an interesting choice.  She could show the pliancy, and also the hidden reserves of capricious will, I think.

Esteemed Contributor
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Registered: ‎02-07-2011

I have tix to see Mary Stuart at the Chicago Shakespeare theater in a couple of weeks.  Very much looking forward to it.

Esteemed Contributor
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Registered: ‎06-16-2015

Re: Mary Queen of Scots

[ Edited ]

@Oznellwrote:

Just realized that it was the month of February that Mary died, in 1587.

 

I wonder if the date of her execution was a kind of spectral, gray and wettish February day like this one, or if it was sunny.

 

There have been so many rulers and monarchs who have been rather dim and incapable-- it's remarkable that two such brilliant monarchs as Elizabeth of England and Mary Stuart of Scotland (and briefly, France) were contemporaries, and relatives (cousins?)

 

But despite her smarts, her sophistication, her regal stature, Mary made so many mistakes.  She had to flee Scotland when the nobles there felt mistrust of her, and seek

refuge in Elizabeth's England.  But there she became the focus of so many plots to dethrone Elizabeth, that she spent much of her adult life "detained" in prisons, lest the threat to the English throne materialize.

 

A final plot, of which there were incriminating letters, helped convict her of treason, and caused a reluctant Elizabeth to agree to her execution.  What a decision to make!

 

There's some portrait somewhere, of a melancholy Elizabeth signing the papers for Mary's death warrent--  it's quite chilling.

 

No wonder there have been so many dramatizations of Mary's tumultuous life.  Let's see, if I were choosing someone to play her now,  Carey Mulligan might be an interesting choice.  She could show the pliancy, and also the hidden reserves of capricious will, I think.


Elizabeth really had no choice but to execute Mary for treason. I don't think she made the decision lightly, but she did what any monarch in that time period would have done, amid so many plots to overthrow or assassinate her. As usual religion played a big part in the treason.  As a woman, men in her realm tried to manage her and actually demean her as weak. She proved them all wrong and is still today considered one of England's most powerful and strong monarchs. She never married or had any offspring, so the pendulum swung back to unify Scotland and England when James the 6th of Scotland became James the First of England.

Honored Contributor
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Registered: ‎11-08-2014

All this time later, Mary still makes news.  At some point, maybe last year, they discovered a portrait that underneath the countenance of the person painted, had a "ghost" portrait of Mary!   Would love to know the circumstances of it being painted over.

 

Agreed, @RainCityWoman,  Elizabeth would not have undertaken such an action lightly.  The stakes were so very high, and plotting against a throne, if proven to be true, the height of treason, and a threat to the very heart of the state...

 

Still, it must have been wrenching!

Honored Contributor
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Registered: ‎11-08-2014

How timely, @kaydee50.  I would love it if you would report back after seeing it.

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I've read a lot about Elizabeth I and it seems she was really devastated by her sister's execution. She tried to blame her advisors and cried and carried on for days/weeks afterward. But she also know what she had to do, despite her misgivings about killing a monarch, who in those days was considered anointed by God.

 

But Mary's continued existance was a threat to Elizabeth so she had to be eliminated. And Elizabeth had the guts to do it; there were a lot of people who wouldn't have.

Honored Contributor
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Registered: ‎08-19-2010

Mary didn't have smarts when it came to men. Whereas, Queen Elizabeth I

had been around her Father and all his wives and knew which way the wind was blowing.  She had Catholics all around her that was always causing her problems, trying to kill her, etc.

 

William Cecil her right hand had it in for Mary and wanted to get rid of her to keep her from inheriting the English throne and converting it back to Catholic

Bloody Mary, Elizabeth's sister and a strong Catholic had already burned at the stake lots of people who wouldn't convert. Phillip of Spain went to war with her and thankfully lost who wanted to impose his religion on every country.

 

People didn't have to worry about religious issues as much when QE I was Queen. She's my favorite, by the way.

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Posts: 1,602
Registered: ‎03-21-2010

@FuzzyFacewrote:

I've read a lot about Elizabeth I and it seems she was really devastated by her sister's execution. She tried to blame her advisors and cried and carried on for days/weeks afterward. But she also know what she had to do, despite her misgivings about killing a monarch, who in those days was considered anointed by God.

 

But Mary's continued existance was a threat to Elizabeth so she had to be eliminated. And Elizabeth had the guts to do it; there were a lot of people who wouldn't have.


Mary of Scotland was her cousin, not sister. I do not think it was a hasty decision to execute her, but Elizabeth had no choice. I think it haunted her for the rest of her life.

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There has been a fascinating series on all these rulers on PBS the last few weeks. Elizabeth's Spies,I think it's called.

Trees are the lungs of the Earth
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 Mary and Elizabeth were 'anointed' queens which meant that sacred oil (chrism) was applied to their head, hands and feet, indicating that they represented God on earth as rulers of their country.

 

Killing an anointed queen was sacrosanct; it also set a precedent for Elizabeth should she be overthrown. Mary was also her cousin. Mary was imprisoned in Fothringham for quite a few years before her death warrant was signed.

 

Henry VIII left England bankrupt w/crumbling defenses and a weaker military, esp. naval forces.

 

In the 40 years of the Elizabethan Golden Age, Elizabeth improved life for most of her subjects, managed to dodge her advisers arranged marriage attempts, stay alive (Francis Walsingham, her spy master helped), and survive the Spanish Armada.

 

Guess what my daughter's name is?

 

I find the Plantaganet, Tudor, and Elizabethan periods to be fascinating; also the Restoration period.