The Court of Mary, Queen of Scots
The Court of Mary, Queen of Scots: David McGuinness visits Stirling Castle and the Palace of Holyrood House to learn about music which may have been performed during Mary's reign.
David McGuinness visits Stirling Castle and the Palace of Holyrood House in Edinburgh, to trace the story of Mary Queen of Scots' reign, and the music which surrounded her. From the devotional masses and motets by Robert Carver - so popular with Mary's father, King James V, to the jolly French dances she would have enjoyed during her first marriage to Francis Dauphin of France, Mary remained a music lover throughout her short life. Queen Mary's favourite attendant and confidante during her second marriage to her cousin, Lord Henry Darnley, was an Italian musician called David Rizzio. Darnley and David Rizzio spent long hours together on the tennis court at Falkland Palace, but Darnley's jealousy grew at the Italian's familiarity with his new wife, and he planned to do away with Rizzio at the earliest opportunity. The political assassination that followed was carefully staged, with 500 armed men keeping the Palace of Holyrood House secure while Lord Ruthven and his accomplices burst in to Mary's chamber, where she and Rizzio were sharing supper with guests. Rizzio was dragged from the dinner table and stabbed more than 50 times in front of the Queen.