Mary Queen of Scots Introducing Thesis

Excerpt from Thesis :

Then she suffered them, with her two women, to disrobe her of her chain of pomander beads and all other her apparel most willingly, and with joy rather than sorrow, helped to make unready herself, putting on a pair of sleeves with her own hands which they had pulled off, and that with some haste, as if she had longed to be gone.

All this time they were pulling off her apparel, she never changed her countenance, but with smiling cheer she uttered these words, 'that she never had such grooms to make her unready, and that she never put off her clothes before such a company.'

Then she, being stripped of all her apparel saving her petticoat and kirtle, her two women beholding her made great lamentation, and crying and crossing themselves prayed in Latin. She, turning herself to them, embracing them, said these words in French, 'Ne crie vous, j'ay prome pour vous', and so crossing and kissing them, bade them pray for her and rejoice and not weep, for that now they should see an end of all their mistress's troubles.

Then she, with a smiling countenance, turning to her men servants, as Melvin and the rest, standing upon a bench nigh the scaffold, who sometime weeping, sometime crying out aloud, and continually crossing themselves, prayed in Latin, crossing them with her hand bade them farewell, and wishing them to pray for her even until the last hour.

Then lying upon the block most quietly, and stretching out her arms cried, in manus tuas, Domine, etc., three or four times. Then she, lying very still upon the block, one of the executioners holding her slightly with one of his hands, she endured two strokes of the other executioner with an axe, she making very small noise or none at all, and not stirring any part of her from the place where she lay: and so the executioner cut off her head, saving one little gristle, which being cut asunder, he lift up her head to the view of all the assembly and bade God save the Queen.... Her lips stirred up and down a quarter of an hour after her head was cut off.

Then Mr. Dean [Dr. Fletcher, Dean of Peterborough] said with a loud voice, 'So perish all the Queen's enemies,' and afterwards the Earl of Kent came to the dead body, and standing over it, with a loud voice said, 'Such end of all the Queen's and the Gospel's enemies.'... (Execution)

As James, Mary's son, had not seen Mary since his infancy and wanted to succeed to the English throne, he did not object to his mother's condemnation. Following Mary's execution, after he ascended the throne of England, James I erected a monument to her. (Fraser)

Review of Mary's Life in his review of My Heart is My Own: The Life of Mary Queen of Scots, the book by John Guy, Adamson writes: "When Mary Queen of Scots was executed in 1587, she died almost universally reviled: a failure as Queen of Scotland; an alleged adulteress, complicit in her husband's murder; and the promoter of a plot to assassinate Elizabeth I..." He purports that Mary's crime ultimately contributed to her condemnation to the scaffold. Whether Mary, Queen of Scots was a "romantic and tragic figure..., a scheming adulteress or a murderess as her political enemies insisted, continues to be a contemporary matter of debate. The truth of Mary's life, as well as her demise, this researcher, as Fraser, contends, is not as simple as some accounts contend. According to Fraser, "Mary did plot against Elizabeth's life; and Elizabeth did consistently reject petitions to execute Mary over the 19-year course of her imprisonment." Adamson reports that Guy convincingly absolves Mary from any involvement in Darnley's murder. He does, albeit, as numerous other historians, judge her guilty of "serious errors of judgment."

While some in history judge Mary a failure, some consider her a heroine who was victimized by politically inspired slander. Some insist she lived a life of courage and displayed principles of her Catholic faith. Some say Mary, Queen of Scots died as a martyr to monarchy. May's choice of husbands, some contend, led to her downfall.

Perhaps her greatest accomplishment, according to Marshall (127) relates to her "birthright" to the time when she was six days old and the English were poised to invade Scotland after the disaster at Solway Moss. If Mary, Queen of Scots had died as an infant or Henry VII had controlled her as he planned, he would have most likely stepped in as king-maker, just as Edward I of England had done. Instead, during this time, due to her position at the beginning of her life, Mary served as the symbol of Scotland's continuing independence. (Marshall 127)"


Colburn; Strickland)

Works Cited

Adamson, John. "The queen ruled by others Traitor to some, martyr to others - John Adamson on the extraordinary life of Mary Queen of Scots," the Sunday Telegraph London, January 4, 2004. 22 July 2008

Colburn H.; Strickland, Mary Agnes. 1845; Digitized Sep. 6, 2005. Letters of Mary, Queen of Scots: Now First Published from the Original. Harvard University. 22 July 2008,+ueen+of+Scots.

The Columbia World of Quotations. New York: Columbia University Press, 1996. 22 July 2008

Fraser, Lady Antonia, 2008.. "Mary Queen of Scotland." Encyclopedia Britannica 22 July 2008 -- %20Britannica%20Online%20Encyclopedia.


Marshall, Rosalind K. Scottish Queens, 1034-1714. East Linton, Scotland: John Donald, 2007. Questia. 22 July 2008

Mary Queen of Scots," Encyclopedia of World Biography, January 1, 2004. 22 July 2008

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