Monday, February 8, 2010

The Death of a Queen

It was on this day in 1587 that Her Majesty Mary I, Queen of Scots, went to her eternal reward, being executed by her cousin and fellow monarch Queen Elizabeth I of England. I must confess the is something I have never been able to forgive the celebrated 'Good Queen Bess' for. It was not simply that the evidence against her have been pretty much universally accepted to have been forgeries, a classic case of entrapment, but more so because of the dangerous precedent it set. It is at least to the credit of Elizabeth that she agonized over the decision, most for that very reason; being a reigning queen herself she was not enthusastic about sending one her fellow monarchs to the chopping block.

Of course, monarchs have long made war against each other, unfortunate but often unavoidable, but this was something different. Having a court sit in judgement on an anointed queen, a sovereign monarch, even in a different country, was quite an unheard of thing. Sadly, only one generation would pass before such a fate befell another monarch of the House of Stuart. For a monarchist like myself such a thing is unthinkably ghastly, that any monarch should be made to answer to any court of law, that any collection of jurists should judge the guilt or innocence of someone chosen by birth, anointed by God as the sovereign of the realm. Their persons should be regarded as sacred, inviolable and given the situation even at the time it still seems tragically useless to me. The Church may not have judged Queen Mary a martyr (at least they havn't yet) but she is still a martyr for monarchy just as much as her grandson Charles I or King Louis and Queen Antoinette in France.

May the Queen of Scots rest in peace forever in the light of God's Holy Face.


  1. Its the aw of intentended COnsequences, I'm afraid. Its how one event flows intot he next, and how one idea takes hold and spreads, mutating.

    If we coudl but see the ends of our actions, then we'd all have lead different lives, I'm sure.

  2. The fact that Elizabeth agonized over it makes me think she knew it was wrong but finally gave in and signed the death warrant. It seems also useless to me since Mary, at that point, had no country, not a blade of grass to her name, and regardless of her fate everyone expected her son to become King of England eventually because Elizabeth would never marry so it is not as though some huge upset could have been carried out.

  3. What an awful business this was. I recall reading a rather scornful article (or maybe several) on her execution and her 'theatrical' behavior (eg. wearing a red dress, the color of martyrdom, under her cloak). Honestly... whatever one's opinion of Mary, there is no denying she had a strong faith and was very brave in meeting her gruesome fate. Why does even that have to be cast in a negative light and dismissed as being 'theatrical'?

  4. I never understood that either. She certainly was making a statement but I wouldn't call it being theatrical. She wore the red for martyrdom because, in a way, she was being killed for her religion -which was what made her a threat to the Protestant rule of England. I also think alot of the talk of her being a "woman" rather than a "monarch" in comparison to Elizabeth is unfair. She was unlucky at love true -but that's easy for Elizabeth to say who never tried; never married at all. I would say Mary was showing more concern by trying to marry and produce an heir to the throne than Elizabeth who refused what most view as the foremost duty of any monarch -produce an heir to secure the succession.

  5. What sources do you recommend on monarchy and the Reactionary Right?


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