17th June 1567 Mary, Queen of Scots was Imprisoned

Mary Stuart (8 December 1542 – 8 February 1587) was Queen regnant of Scotland from 14 December 1542 to 24 July 1567. In some lists of Scottish monarchs, she is recognised as Mary I.

Mary, Queen of Scots (reigned 1542–1567) and first visited Loch Leven Castle in 1565 as a guest of Sir William Douglas of Lochleven. She held an interview here with the Calvinist preacher John Knox.


Mary Queen of Scots                      Coin of 1553: Mary shilling 

Mary returned to Loch Leven as a prisoner, from 17 June 1567 until her escape on 2 May 1568. At the “battle” of Carberry Hill on 15 June, Mary surrendered to her noblemen, who opposed her marriage to the Earl of Bothwell. She was taken to Loch Leven and given into the custody of Sir William Douglas of Lochleven, spending most of her captivity living in the early 16th-century Glassin Tower, at the south-east corner of the castle. Mary fell ill on arrival, and sometime before 24 July she miscarried twins. Only a few days later she was forced to abdicate as Queen of Scots, in favour of her infant son James. On the night of the escape, Willie Douglas stole the keys and let Mary, dressed as a servant, out of the castle. She was rowed across the lake to where George Douglas and others awaited her, and they fled to Niddry Castle in Lothian.

                              Lochleven Island

               Loch Leven Castle

Mary was put on trial for treason by a court of about 40 noblemen, after being implicated in the Babington Plot by her own letters, which Sir Francis Walsingham had arranged to come straight to his hands. From these letters it was clear that Mary had sanctioned the attempted assassination of Elizabeth. Mary denied this and was spirited in her defence. One of her more memorable comments from her trial was:

“Look to your consciences and remember that the theater of the whole world is wider than the kingdom of England”.

She drew attention to the fact that she was denied the opportunity to review the evidence or her papers that had been removed from her, that she had been denied access to legal counsel and that she had never been an English subject and thus could not be convicted of treason. The extent to which the plot was fabricated by Sir Francis Walsingham and the English Secret Services remains open to conjecture.
Mary was convicted of treason and was sentenced to beheading.


 Tomb of Mary at Westminster Abbey                  Mary’s Royal arms c.1565

Mary’s personal breviary, which she took with her to the scaffold, is preserved in the National Library of Russia of St. Petersburg.

If you would like to learn more, have a look here:-

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14 Responses to 17th June 1567 Mary, Queen of Scots was Imprisoned

  1. Rebekah says:

    Very interesting piece of history. Beautiful island …

  2. malc50 says:

    My father told me that the Royal Stewarts were mortal enemies of our clan, and I found on the net where one of our clan was unjustly beheaded by James V (Mary’s father) in Edinburgh in 1529. However, our clan were ardent supporters of Mary Queen of Scots, with one clan member appointed by Mary as keeper of Edinburgh Castle in 1567. Another of the clan was one of the commissioners to England for Mary Queen of Scots. Anything rather than English rule?

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi Mal,
      How very interesting, and intriguing as well. It truly is amazing what can be in our past. I know you have had a few trips o/seas, but have you managed to go and see some of the places your Family lived in that period of history? I really think from what I have read in history books it was very frightening times.

      • malc50 says:

        Haven’t made it to Scotland yet, Mags. It will be NZ next (this year), and my wife wants to visit China in 2012. I’m a “mongrel”, with a Scottish surname, but also of Danish and English descent (and probably a few others mixed in somewhere). The Danes in my ancestry came to Australia to avoid being conscripted into the German army. The area they lived in was annexed by the Germans so, even though they considered themselves Danes, others might call them Germans. I’m interested in my heritage but consider myself, above all else, an Australian.

        I’ve got another 3 or 4 (5 at most) days of marking exam papers, then a break until second semester (for post-grad students) commences on 4 July. I’ll have a lighter load in second semester, with only two post-grad students and 75 under graduates.

        Over the winter vacation, I’m looking to take both my son and grandson over to Magnetic Island to the “Fort” (Observation Post) where my father served in the signals corps during World War II. Magnetic Island was considered a war zone at the time, and this service qualified Dad to join the RSL, but he didn’t feel right about claiming to be a “returned serviceman” (returning from a resort island!) and never joined the RSL.

        Cheers, Mal.

        • magsx2 says:

          A very interesting Family history indeed Mal.
          I haven’t been to Magnetic Island for years. Would love to go back for another visit, a very interesting place, and from what I can remember, it was so peaceful as well, a beautiful Island with a lot of history.

          For anyone that is interested to know a little bit about Magnetic Island there is a really good article on the Island in Wikipedia, also some good information about the Fort.

  3. souldipper says:

    What a great deed that you bring honour to Mary Queen of Scots. Thank you for bringing this anniversary to my attention.

  4. travelrat says:

    This bit of history could, I feel, have been more clearly explained at school … for a long time, I thought Mary I of England (aka ‘Bloody Mary’, because she was so fond of vodka and tomato juice! :D) and Mary, Queen of Scots were one and the same person.

    As it happens, my daughter’s partner’s surname is Stuart … of people named Stewart, he says ‘They cannae spell it right!’

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi travelrat,
      I can see how easily you could mix the 2 up, sometimes things are not explained right.
      Vodka and tomato juice, would never have even thought a women of that era would even like something like that, obviously I watch too many TV shows. 🙂

      • malc50 says:

        It’s interesting that “Stewart” was the spelling of Mary’s father (James V) surname. According to Wikipedia, “Mary was the first member of the royal House of Stuart to use the Gallicised spelling Stuart, rather than the earlier Stewart. Mary adopted the French spelling Stuart during her time in France. Her descendants also used the spelling “Stuart”, deriving it from the name of her husband, Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley.”

  5. Pingback: Barracuda Jumps into Boat (Video) | Magsx2's Blog

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