Mary’s involvement in Catholic plots

Elizabeth’s distrust of Mary continued and a number of plots against the English Queen were uncovered.

She was aware that many English Catholics wanted to depose her. Elizabeth knew that there were plots to kill her, to allow Mary to become Queen of England.

Mary was implicated in a number of plans against Elizabeth.

The Ridolfi plot 1571

This plot planned to depose Elizabeth and replace her with Mary as Queen.

The Duke of Norfolk was implicated and there were rumours of help from Spanish troops.

Norfolk was executed.

Throckmorton plot 1583

Similar to the Ridolfi plot, the Throckmorton plot planned the murder of Elizabeth and her replacement with Mary.

This plot contributed to the Act of Association of 1585 after which, Mary would be held responsible for any plot carried out in her name – whether she knew of it or not.

The Parry plot 1585

In 1585, yet another plot to assassinate Queen Elizabeth was uncovered.

William Parry had been working as a double agent for both the English Queen and Mary, Queen of Scots. Queen Elizabeth was informed that he had planned to kill her either in a private meeting or ambushing her. There were calls for Mary, Queen of Scots, to also be brought to justice –although there was no proof of her involvement in the Parry Plot.

Parry was arrested for treason and hanged at Westminster.

The Babington plot 1586

A year later, an English Catholic nobleman plotted to restore the Roman Catholic religion by placing Mary on the English throne. Anthony Babington had made Mary aware of his plans to kill Elizabeth and help Mary escape.

Mary replied to Babington in letters, she explained how she wanted France and Spain to help her become Queen by invading England.

However, these letters were intercepted by Elizabeth’s spy, Sir Francis Walsingham.

Siobhon Redmond describes some of the plots against Elizabeth in the video below.