21 Dec Scotland NowMary Queen
Scotland NowMary Queen of Scots’ last letter written hours before her execution goes on displayThe letter has been described as ‘one of the most powerful documents in Scottish history.’15:10, 8 FEB 2017Updated15:22, 8 FEB 2017Scotland NowExhibitions officer Ciara McDermott at the National Library of Scotland with last letter of Mary Queen of Scots (Image: PA) Get Scotland Now weekly updates directly to your inbox+ SubscribeThank you for subscribing!Could not subscribe, try again laterInvalid EmailThe last letter of Mary Queen of Scots, written just six hours before her execution, has gone on display to mark the anniversary of her death.The 430 year old handwritten letter is said to be one of the most powerful documents in Scottish history, and marks the end of a life that has since been immortalised in novels, film, poetry, drama and song down the centuries.For preservation reasons, the letter is only on display between 10am and 7pm on Wednesday, at the National Library of Scotland in Edinburgh.Stump of tree that Braveheart William Wallace was tied to found at Lidl branchThe last letter of Mary Queen of Scots is to go on display at the National Library of Scotland, EdinburghLong queues formed the last time the letter went on public display in 2009.The document was written at 2am on Wednesday February 8, 1587 as Mary, aged 44, prepared to meet her death at Fotheringhay Castle in Northamptonshire.Writing to Henri III, king of France and the brother of her first husband, she said: “I am to be executed like a criminal at eight in the morning.”Her “crime” was her loyalty to her Catholic faith which, together with her claim to the English throne, made her a threat to her cousin, Elizabeth I of England.Coatbridge 5 year old Irish dances in front of several thousand at Celtic Connections festivalShe also expresses concern for the servants she will leave behind who had loyally served her during her 19 year imprisonment in England.Towards the end of the letter, she asks King Henri to have “prayers offered to God for a queen who has borne the title Most Christian, and who dies a Catholic, stripped of all her possessions.”Although born in Linlithgow Palace, West Lothian, Mary spent the early part of her life in France and was given a French education.Dr John Scally, national librarian said: “The life of Mary Queen of Scots has fascinated people of all ages for generations. She is one of Scotland’s most famous monarchs.”The National Library is pleased to provide this opportunity to see the last letter she ever wrote only hours before her execution. This is a rare chance to see a remarkable piece of Scottish history.”Read MoreTop news stories todayScotland NowallMost ReadMost RecentOutlanderFirst look at Outlander season 4 trailer as Jamie and Claire hint at living the ‘American Dream’Season four follows the story of Diana Gabaldon’s fourth novel in the time travelling series, Drums of Autumn.HeritageRevealing photographs of Western Isles in 1970s donated by Swedish snapper Photographer Gsta Sandberg presented the collectionto the Museum nan Eilean at Lews Castle, Stornoway..
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