Hey, this is Heather from the Renaissance English History Podcast, and this is your Tudor Minute for February 8.
Today marks the execution of Mary Queen of Scots. The day before a warrant had arrived for her execution, and she was informed of her sentence. She said she was very happy to die a martyr for God. She asked for her chaplain, which was denied, and spent the day writing her will, distributing her belongings, and writing letters. Her final letter, written at 2am – just six hours before her death – was to her brother in law, Henry III of France, and she wrote,
“Tonight, after dinner, I have been advised of my sentence: I am to be executed like a criminal at eight in the morning. I have not had time to give you a full account of everything that has happened, but if you will listen to my doctor and my other unfortunate servants, you will learn the truth, and how, thanks be to God, I scorn death and vow that I meet it innocent of any crime, even if I were their subject.
The Catholic faith and the assertion of my God-given right to the English crown are the two issues on which I am condemned, and yet I am not allowed to say that it is for the Catholic religion that I die, but for fear of interference with theirs. The proof of this is that they have taken away my chaplain, and although he is in the building, I have not been able to get permission for him to come and hear my confession and give me the Last Sacrament, while they have been most insistent that I receive the consolation and instruction of their minister, brought here for that purpose. As for my son, I commend him to you in so far as he deserves, for I cannot answer for him. I have taken the liberty of sending you two precious stones, talismans against illness, trusting that you will enjoy good health and a long and happy life. Accept them from your loving sister-in-law, who, as she dies, bears witness of her warm feeling for you.”
So Mary, dying a martyr to Catholicism, left the world today, February 8.That’s your Tudor Minute for today. Remember you can dive deeper into life in 16th century England through the Renaissance English History Podcast at englandcast.com where there is an episode on Mary Queen of Scots.
Mary Queen of Scots Episode