Author Topic: Mary, Queen of Scots....was she really....  (Read 35771 times)

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Offline JamesAPrattIII

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Re: Mary, Queen of Scots....was she really....
« Reply #30 on: March 03, 2014, 05:05:44 PM »
Mary Queen of Scots it can be said she was the wrong woman in the wrong job at the wrong time.  Her life reads like a very tragic historical romance novel. She went from the teenager who had it all , to the woman who spent most of her adult life a prisoner and was beheaded in her petticoat and bodice in a room full of men.  I understand some feminists are embarasted by her but, it should be pointed out Scotland was then a backward almost ungovernable country who during the 1500s was often governed by regents who often ended up dead before their time. Even if Mary had grown up in Scotland and was a protestant she would have had a very difficult time. Note she managed to outlive most of the people who ousted her from power.

Some books of interest:
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Edinbrugh during the Restoration Michael Lynch about the city of Edinburg during this period they have a chapter on Mary she was successful in dealing with city

All the Queens men Gordon Donaldson deals with her supporters in Scotland. It's been awhile since I read it but I believe it points out she didn't really have to flee to England because most of the lords ect of Scotland were joining or about to join her side.


Thomas Howard Fourth Duke of Norfolk Neville Williams a bio of the Duke that lost his head literaly over Mary see also 'The Dukes of Norfolk" which has a chapter on this man

Offline Kalafrana

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Re: Mary, Queen of Scots....was she really....
« Reply #31 on: March 04, 2014, 04:17:09 AM »
Scotland had an unparallelled run of minorities from 1406 to 1566. What is interesting is that all Mary's predecessors (James I - James V), with the exception of James III, managed to p;ut aside their regents, reduce the power of the leading noble families and rule reasonably effectively on reaching their majorities, though James I was murdered by his political enemies. Mary's son James VI did the same. Mary did not, though her circumstances on her return to Scotland were really no worse than those of any of the Jameses when they reached adulthood.

She was certainly the wrong person for the job. Antonia Fraser claims that her troubles only started when she married Darnley, but she did, after all, marry Darnley in defiance of all advice and resolved to marry him before she even met him! I think of her as one of those people with a good academic brain, but very little common sense.

Ann

Offline JamesAPrattIII

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Re: Mary, Queen of Scots....was she really....
« Reply #32 on: March 05, 2014, 04:37:47 PM »
Right on Ann, of Darnley being so tall and handsome ect. covered up him being a real jerk. It looks like Mary falls into the category "Smart Women Foolish choices"  and "With Friends like this who needs enemies?" also "If it wasn't for bad luck I'd have no luck at all"

For those who are interested I will attempt to explain why Mary took her dress off before she knelt down to be beheaded. First of all it had a ruff around the neck which would have made it difficult to lay her head on the block and it would have made it for the executioner to hit her neck. Men who where beheaded took there jackets off during this period. Also the execution got whatever was on the body of the victim. The dress mary was wearing according to "mary Queen of scots by lady Antonia Frasier was: " Her satin dress was all in black, embroidered with black velvet, and set with black acorn buttons of jet trimmed with pearl; but through the slashed sleeves could be seen inner sleeves of purple...". According to  the book "Daily life in Elizibethian England Satin cost 3 to 14 shillings a yard and velvet was 31 shillings a yard. Working people back then made about 4 pounds a year so this was a rather expensive dress for the time no wonder she didn't want the executioner to have it.

Offline Kalafrana

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Re: Mary, Queen of Scots....was she really....
« Reply #33 on: March 06, 2014, 01:24:57 AM »
Charles I was beheaded in his shirt, and wore two on the scaffold so that he would not shiver and appear afraid.

Ann

Offline ivanushka

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Re: Mary, Queen of Scots....was she really....
« Reply #34 on: March 06, 2014, 04:48:11 PM »
Charles I was beheaded in his shirt, and wore two on the scaffold so that he would not shiver and appear afraid.

He was luckier than his grandmother as at least his head was removed with a single blow.  Beheading with an axe could be a very hit and miss affair - if you'll forgive the terrible pun!

Offline Kalafrana

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Re: Mary, Queen of Scots....was she really....
« Reply #35 on: March 07, 2014, 03:01:15 AM »
Apparently, it was best to have a low block, so that the head was bent forward, which exposed the maximum amount of neck to the headsman. Mary had a high one, charles a low one.

The Duke of monmouth was the unluckiest. It took five chops!

Ann

Offline JamesAPrattIII

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Re: Mary, Queen of Scots....was she really....
« Reply #36 on: March 11, 2014, 06:37:00 PM »
Some accounts the Duke of Monmouth taking 7 or 8 blows. On archive.org there is a bio of him and other books on Mary Queen of Scots and other Stuart monarchs.

The site the Axis history Forum has a section Holocaust and 20th century war crimes where there is a posting Beheadings in the third Reich. In Germany the Ax was used to behead people until the 1930s. Two of its last victims were women: Beita Von Falkenhayn/ Baroness von berg and Renate Von Natzmer both beheaded with an ax in 1935 for treason and spying. Some scenes may be a little graphic.

Offline CountessKate

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Re: Mary, Queen of Scots....was she really....
« Reply #37 on: March 12, 2014, 03:40:15 PM »
Quote
For those who are interested I will attempt to explain why Mary took her dress off before she knelt down to be beheaded. First of all it had a ruff around the neck which would have made it difficult to lay her head on the block and it would have made it for the executioner to hit her neck. Men who where beheaded took there jackets off during this period. Also the execution got whatever was on the body of the victim. The dress mary was wearing according to "mary Queen of scots by lady Antonia Frasier was: " Her satin dress was all in black, embroidered with black velvet, and set with black acorn buttons of jet trimmed with pearl; but through the slashed sleeves could be seen inner sleeves of purple...". According to  the book "Daily life in Elizibethian England Satin cost 3 to 14 shillings a yard and velvet was 31 shillings a yard. Working people back then made about 4 pounds a year so this was a rather expensive dress for the time no wonder she didn't want the executioner to have it.

I think Mary taking off her 'dress' might perhaps give a slightly false impression, insofar as she effectively took off the equivalent of a male jacket rather than a great deal in the way of clothing generally.  According to the account of Robert Wynkfield, she took off her clothes 'saving her petticoat and kirtle'.  The kirtle consisted of a sleeveless bodice and full skirt which would have been worn over a chemise (usually called a smock or a shift, or possibly was the 'petticoat' referred to). She would have removed her partlet, which was a sort of shirt covering the bust and neck up to the throat, to which the ruff and under-sleeves were attached.  Mary apparently put back on, with her own hands, some sleeves which had been removed, presumably when her partlet and ruff were taken off.  The main gown of black satin and velvet which was removed would have consisted of another bodice and skirt which usually opened in the front to show a 'forepart' which was like a sort of grand false front to the kirtle and presumably was removed, and over-sleeves, since inner sleeves of purple were described in Fraser's account.  She therefore would have been wearing quite a lot of clothes though not the top and most valuable layer and none around her neck; Wynkfield explained that the executioners were given money in place of the clothes she had been wearing when executed which were either burnt, if too bloody, or washed. I don't know if these clothes were then given to her household. 

Offline JamesAPrattIII

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Re: Mary, Queen of Scots....was she really....
« Reply #38 on: March 18, 2014, 05:19:13 PM »
As they would have said back then:

Madam
I thank you for correcting my error.

I believe in frasiers book it mentions most of the artifacts dealing with her execution were burned.

Black was a expensive color back then

Mary's executioner may have been a little unnereved by her hence his less than great permormance. She was 5' 11" and there were very few men or women around back then that were that tall. I think the average height back then was something like 5'6" for men. She was also a queen. I believe people mentioned how calm even cheerfull she was. One also wonders how many people the executioner beheaded beforehand.

Offline ivanushka

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Re: Mary, Queen of Scots....was she really....
« Reply #39 on: March 18, 2014, 08:00:22 PM »
I agree that her executioner must have been unnerved.  Mary was a Queen which had an infinitely greater status than it does today.  The idea of beheading one must have been absolutely shocking - even for a professional executioner!