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Wednesday, October 14, 2015

On October 14, 1587, Mary Stuart, queen of Scotland (1542-1587), was tried for treason.  She was accused of plotting to kill English Tudor queen Elizabeth I.  That Mary was found guilty was a foregone conclusion based on the powers gathered against her. She was an unrelenting thorn in Elizabeth's side for decades and it's interesting that Elizabeth didn't excise the thorn long before she did.  Elizabeth's father, King Henry VIII would have made short work of Mary's threat. Or not.  He battled with Rome for seven years rather than having Catherine poisoned, suggesting concern for his immortal soul.

Wikipedia and other sites do a fine job of presenting Mary Stuart's bio and the complex web of special interests and history that led to her imprisonment and execution so I thought I'd go for sophomore simple summary of the trial.

36 Noblemen: You committed treason by consenting to the murder of your cousin, queen Elizabeth in order to take the throne of England.  (Unsaid: we don't really give a fig whether or not you plotted; your mere existence makes you a Cause Célèbre for prospective rebels.)
Mary: Lies!  (Unsaid: Yup.  Wench has kept me in prison for 17 years and I'd love to see her head in a basket.)  [Author's note: Mary wanted power.  Had Galadriel been Mary, she would have chewed off Frodo's finger to get the ring.]
36 Noblemen: Your letters prove it.  (Unsaid: that we snitched while you were out of the castle and trusting the wrong fellow.)
Mary: You're taking my written words out of context and, besides, I cannot be guilty of committing treason against a country of which I'm not a citizen.  (Unsaid: you have our code alllll wrong!)
36 Noblemen: Your maids confirm that you want to kill the queen.  (Unsaid: and the footman, the chef and as many other servants as we need to bribe.)
Mary: Lies!  You didn't even provide me with legal counsel.
36 Noblemen: Off with her head!  (Unsaid: Let's get this done while Elizabeth looks like she's looking the other way.)

Mary's trial at Fotheringhay Castle.  Conviction: October 25, 1586

Have to hawk something to pay the bills so here's a pitch:
Set of three Mary Queen of Scots fridge magnets
Set of three Mary Queen of Scots fridge magnets $9.50

Elizabeth and her advisers (William Cecil, etc.) weren't the only ones who saw Mary as a Grasper.  Philip II, king of Spain rejected Mary's attempts to arrange a marriage between she and his son, Don Carlos. 

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