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Queen Elizabeth I Orders Cousin Mary Of Scots To Death

February 1, 2022

She had agonized over signing the death warrant for almost two decades. However, on Feb 1, 1587, Queen Elizabeth I ordered the execution of her cousin Mary, the rightful ruler of Scotland and arguably the English Crown. Mary, Queen of Scots, was beheaded on Feb 8, 1587. Nearly five centuries later, Mary’s death still captures our imagination. Questions surrounding her death shed light on one of history’s greatest stories of intrigue and perhaps paranoia.

Who Was Mary Queen of Scots?

Officially, Mary was executed for conspiracy to assassinate Queen Elizabeth I. Her trial records show Mary was included in the Babington Plot— a plan hatched to put Mary in power. Mary was writing letters to Roman Catholic nobleman Anthony Babington that were intercepted and then used as evidence. Mary was found guilty of treason and sentenced to death. There is only one problem—killing a royal family member was taboo.

Unfortunately for Mary, she was always going to be a leadership threat to Queen Elizabeth I because of who she was. Mary was a baby when she became Queen of Scotland. But she grew up in France as Scotland was ruled by regents. Mary married into French nobility, which among some was treacherous because of the politics of the day between France and England. This, when Mary returned to Scotland to claim her crown, she was defeated and forced to abdicate. Mary fled to England, where she spent about nineteen years imprisoned by Elizabeth I. Mary was imprisoned because she had the ability to inspire her followers.


  1. Frederick White

    The “article” concerning Elizabeth and Mary was awful. It explained nothing.

  2. Arthur T Coogan III

    Suspected typo: “This,” should read “Thus,”. The sentence in question; This, when Mary returned to Scotland to claim her crown, she was defeated and forced to abdicate.

  3. Rachael J Chapman

    Robert Blake- If you have Netflix you would enjoy the show ” Reign ” which is about Mary Queen of Scots and her ultimate demise by Elizabeth . It’s really great!

  4. Russ Roe

    I am a descendant of Mary Queen of Scotts and my family owns the land upon which sits “Radio City New York” from an original land grant from “Mary” The land was leased out for 99 years and was never recovered after the “Termsof the Lease” How ever it still “Legally” belongs to our family and the original land grant has been passed down through the generations of our family to this day.

  5. Jane Corbin

    I find the things you post to be very interesting.


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