fact no.29

On this day, 431 years ago, Mary Queen of Scots was executed at the age of 44.

On the evening of February 7th 1587 Mary Queen of Scots was told she would be beheaded on the morning of February 8th. Mary spent her remaining time organising who the possessions of her household would be going too, she also spent a lot of time in prayer. Finally, she wrote a letter to the king of France and finalised her will.

On the morning of her execution there was two executioners waiting for her on her scaffold. One of her executers, Bull, proceeded to kneel before her and ask for her forgiveness, to which Mary replied “I forgive you with all my heart, for now, I hope, you shall make an end of all my troubles”. Helping her removed her garments she was then blindfolded by one of her executioners, Kennedy, the blindfold was white and embroidered gold. Mary then knelt down in front of the block, positioned her head and held out her arms.

Speaking only this before she died “into the hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit”. Unfortunately Mary’s beheading was incredibly bloody, it took two big strikes. The first went into the back of her head missing her neck and the next hit the neck but still needed the axe to cut off the last bit of sinew that remained. The body of Mary is now buried at Westminster Abbey.

With love, Charlotte x

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