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Tudor Minute June 20: The Casket Letters Discovered

Hey, this is Heather from the Renaissance English History Podcast, and this is your Tudor Minute for June 20.

Today in 1567 the famous Casket Letters, supposedly proving Mary Queen of Scots’ involvement in the murder of her husband, showed up – a gift to the prosecution against her. They were eight letters found in a silver casket that belonged to the Earl of Bothwell, allegedly written by Mary to Bothwell. These are the only evidence that implicates Mary in the murder of her husband, and they no longer exist for us to examine, but there is a great deal of skeptism about them now, just as there was then. We do still have the transcripts along with William Cecil’s notes – he believed that they would have provided adequate justification for an anointed queen to be deposed, and even killed, guaranteeing the safety of Queen Elizabeth without Mary there as a figurehead for Catholic rebels. Sadly, we’ll never know the validity of the casket letters, and the debate will likely continue for generations.

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.


Mary Queen of Scots episode