Mary presented a challenge for Elizabeth. She did not want to establish a precedent in executing a Queen – particularly one who was related to her.
Elizabeth was reluctant to sign Mary’s death warrant. However, Mary’s involvement in the Babington Plot of 1586 led Elizabeth to believe that Mary was a threat to her while she lived.
Mary was arrested in September, 1586 and held at Fotheringhay Castle until her trial.
She was charged with treason.
In her defence, she claimed that she could not be accused of treason as she was not an English subject.
Despite this, she was convicted on the 25 October 1586 and sentenced to death. She was executed in the Great Hall of Fotheringhay Castle on 8 February 1587.