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Tudor Minute March 9, 1566: The Assassination of David Rizzio

Hey, this is Heather from the Renaissance English History Podcast, and this is your Tudor Minute for March 9.

Today in 1566 Mary Queen of Scots’ secretary, David Rizzio, was assassinated in her presence while she was pregnant with the future James VI. At about 8pm on the night of the 9th, about 80 men, including Mary’s husband Lord Darnley, went through the palace of Hollyroodhouse to the Queen’s rooms where she was having dinner with Rizzio. First Darnley came in, and went to Mary, telling her everything would be okay. Then another Lord in full armor came in, told Mary that Rizzio had offended her honor, and Mary asked him to leave. Darnley held on to Mary, who also had a pistol pointed at her, and dragged Rizzio from the room. Mary said that he had been stabbed 56 times. When she asked Darnley why he had done it, he said that he suspected she had an affair with Rizzio. Of course, things wouldn’t end well for anyone who was part of this entire event, except possibly James, who was, of course, in her belly at the time.

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.