Mary Queen of Scots' last days
by contributor Allan Mott
The borders of Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire hold many links to the executed Mary Queen of Scots. Fotheringhay, Oundle and Connington hide artefacts which led the Queen to her death. Does she still haunt some of them?
Mary Stewart had led the most tumultuous of lives. Born in 1542 in West Lothian, Scotland, she became Mary Queen of Scots at only six days of age.
All that's left of Fotheringhay Castle
Spending almost 20 of her 45 years of existence imprisoned or on the run she was supposedly raped, captured and attacked by enemies and supposed allies throughout her life.
She also served as Queen of France and her son would become the first Stuart (changed to the French form of Stewart) King of England as James I.
Her relationship with Elizabeth I of England had been fraught with failed arrangements and would later prove to be the cause of her execution.
Are the Talbot Hotel stairs haunted?
Believing Mary to be plotting her murder Elizabeth tried the Queen of Scots at Fotheringhay Castle, a few miles southwest of Peterborough. She was found guilty and was beheaded on February 8th, 1587 at the same place.
As Allan Mott shows in this film, all that remains of the castle (also where Richard III was born) is a small mound and large stone, but there are items which are believed to share a history with Mary.
The staircase at the Talbot Hotel in Oundle is rumoured to be the very stairwell which Mary descended before her execution - some even believe she still haunts them.
Inside Fotheringhay Church
Fotheringhay Church, which still survives, homes a carved wooden chair which is reputedly the seat from which Mary rose before her head was removed.
The hapless Queen's connection to the area continued as she was buried at Peterborough Cathedral, although her son, King James I, later had her remains moved to Westminster Abbey.
last updated: 02/05/2008 at 15:34
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