Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Mary Queen Of Scots' Last Letter.

When I was in Edinburgh, Scotland, I visited the Edinburgh Castle and saw Mary Queen Of Scots' bed. Several years later, I read "Mary Queen Of Scots" (1969) by Lady Antonia Fraser and it took me back to the Edinburgh's trip and feeling of absolute awe, of wonder, of humility.

FILE - In this June 2006 file photo, visitors, some with audio guide headsets, learn all about Edinburgh Castle in Scotland.
(AP Photo/Jeannette Goldstein, file)

Here is another story reminding me of the cold summer days in Edinburgh in 1965.

Last letter of Mary Queen of Scots appears briefly
Wed Sep 16, 2009 7:17am ED

By Ian MacKenzie

EDINBURGH (Reuters Life!) - At 2 a.m. on a frigid February morning in 1587, Mary Queen of Scots sat at her table and penned a last letter before her execution in the great hall of Fotheringhay Castle in the English midlands.

"Tonight, after dinner, I have been advised of my sentence: I am to be executed like a criminal at eight in the morning," she wrote to her brother-in-law, the king of France.

Fragile with age but in remarkably good condition, the letter by one of the great tragic figures of Scottish history is making a rare appearance until Sept 21 at the National Library of Scotland.

Library spokesman Bruce Blacklaw said the library wanted to promote a new visitors' center and bring to public view treasures tucked away in the library's vaults.

"What we wanted to do is bring people in...There's no better way than to get one of the real iconic treasures from Scottish history out to be seen," he said.

He added Mary's last letter was unlikely to emerge again from its dark air-conditioned safe for "a long time."

In 1603, Mary's son James VI of Scotland acceded to the English throne as James I on the death of Elizabeth I, thus uniting England and Scotland under one monarch.

Mary's remains lie in London's Westminster Abbey, conveyed there by her son. Continued...

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