1580-1599 Babington Plot and Execution of Mary Queen of Scots

1580-1599 Babington Plot and Execution of Mary Queen of Scots is in 16th Century Events.

Earldoms of Lennox and March Swapped

On 05 Mar 1580 Robert Stewart 1st Earl Lennox 1st Earl March (age 58) resigned Earl Lennox. On the same day he was created 1st Earl March. Elizabeth Stewart Countess Arran Countess Lennox and March (age 31) by marriage Countess March.

On the same day Esme Stewart 1st Duke Lennox (age 38) was created 1st Earl Lennox by King James I of England and Ireland and VI of Scotland (age 13) for being his favourite. Catherine Balsac Duchess Lennox by marriage Lord Aubigny.

Battle of Glenmalure

On 25 Aug 1580 the Irish forces ambushed the forces of Arthur Grey 14th Baron Grey of Wilton (age 44) at the Battle of Glenmalure fought at Glenmalure, County Wicklow. Around 800 English soldiers, including, Peter Carew were killed.

Siege of Smerwick

In Nov 1580 Edward Denny (age 33) led a company at Smerwick, County Kerry during the Siege of Smerwick. Walter Raleigh (age 26) was present at Smerwick. Arthur Grey 14th Baron Grey of Wilton (age 44) laid siege to the Smerwick garrison at Smerwick, County Kerry during the Siege of Smerwick.

The Papal commander parleyed and was bribed, and the defenders surrendered within a few days. The officers were spared, but the other ranks were then summarily executed on the orders of the English commander, Arthur Grey 14th Baron Grey of Wilton (age 44).

Raid of Ruthven

22 Aug 1582. The Raid of Ruthven was a plot by several nobles led by William Ruthven 1st Earl Gowrie (age 39) to kidnap the fifteen years old King James VI of Scotland (age 16), son of Mary Queen of Scots (age 39), (before he became King of England) to reform the government of Scotland.

The nobles included John Erskine 19th Earl Mar (age 20), Thomas Lyon Master of Glamis, Robert Boyd 5th Lord Boyd (age 65), Patrick Lindsay 6th Lord Lindsay of the Byres (age 61), and David Erskine Commendator of Dryburgh.

They were opposed by Esme Stewart 1st Duke Lennox (age 40) and James Stewart 1st Earl Arran who controlled the government.

King James VI of Scotland (age 16) was captured whilst hunting near Ruthven Castle.

The rebels were joined by Francis Stewart 5th Earl Bothwell (age 19) and James Cunningham 7th Earl Glencairn (age 30).

Esme Stewart 1st Duke Lennox (age 40) was exiled; he died a year later in Paris. James Stewart 1st Earl Arran was imprisoned.

In Jul 1583 the King (age 17) gained his freedom after nearly a year of being imprisoned. Most of the rebels appear to have been pardoned except William Ruthven 1st Earl Gowrie (age 40) who continued to plot against the King.

Robert Douglas Master of Morton and his brother-in-law Laurence Oliphant Master of Oliphant were exiled.

On 03 May 1584 William Ruthven 1st Earl Gowrie (age 41) was beheaded at Stirling Castle [Map] for continuing to rebel against the King. His son James Ruthven 2nd Earl Gowrie (age 8) succeeded 2nd Earl Gowrie

In Mar 1585 Robert Douglas Master of Morton and Laurence Oliphant Master of Oliphant drowned. They had been exiled for his part in the Raid of Ruthven. The ship in which they were travelling was lost at sea.

1583 Somerville Plot

In Dec 1583 John Somerville (age 23) committed suicide by hanging himself in his cell in which he was imprisoned for plotting the assassination of Queen Elizabeth I of England and Ireland (age 50).

On 20 Dec 1583 Edward Arden (age 50) was hanged, drawn and quartered at Smithfield [Map] for having plotted against Queen Elizabeth I of England and Ireland (age 50) with his son-in-law John Somerville (deceased) who had implicated him during torture. He was tried by Christopher Wray (age 59).

After 20 Dec 1583 the heads of John Somerville (deceased) and Edward Arden (deceased) were set on London Bridge [Map] next to the head of the Gerald Fitzgerald 14th Earl Desmond (deceased).

1586 Exeter Black Assizes

In Mar 1586 a virulent outbreak of gaol fever occurred during the Assizes in Exeter, Devon [Map]. The cause according to modern medical opinion was typhus transmitted by the human body-louse. Among the dead victims were eight judges, eleven of the twelve jurors, several constables, and the surrounding population which was ravaged by the disease for several months.

Edward Flowerdew died of gaol fever.

On 28 Mar 1586 Thomas Carew of Haccombe (age 70) died of gaol fever.

On 31 Mar 1586 John Chichester died of gaol fever.

On 01 Apr 1586 Robert Carey (age 71) died of gaol fever.

On 02 Apr 1586 Arthur Bassett (age 45) died of gaol fever.

On 10 Apr 1586 Bernard Drake (age 58) died of gaol fever.

Babington Plot

On 06 Jul 1586 Anthony Babington (age 24) wrote to Mary Queen of Scots (age 43), telling her that he and a group of friends were planning to assassinate Queen Elizabeth I of England and Ireland (age 52).

On 04 Aug 1586 John Ballard was arrested and, under torture, he confessd and implicated Anthony Babington (age 24).

After 04 Aug 1586 Christopher Wray (age 62) passed sentence of death on those implicated.

On 20 Sep 1586 Anthony Babington (age 24), John Ballard, Henry Donn, Thomas Salusbury (age 22) and Chideock Tichbourne (age 24) were hanged at St Giles' Field Holborn for their involvement.

On 21 Sep 1586 Robert Gage was executed for his involvement in the Babington Plot.

Battle of Zutphen

On 22 Sep 1586 Robert Sidney 1st Earl of Leicester (age 22) fought at the Battle of Zutphen. William Russell 1st Baron Russell (age 26) distinguished himself being noted for maintaining an effective fighting force in difficult circumstances.

On 17 Oct 1586 Philip Sidney (age 31) died from wounds received at the Battle of Zutphen.

Trial of Mary Queen of Scots

Before 14 Oct 1586 Walter Mildmay (age 65) went to Fotheringay Castle, Northamptonshire [Map] to inform Mary Queen of Scots (age 43) of her forthcoming trial in which he subsequently took part as one of the special commissioners.

On 25 Oct 1586 Mary Queen of Scots (age 43) was convicted and sentenced to death. Only Edward Zouche 11th Baron Zouche Harringworth (age 30) offered any dissent against the judgement.

Execution of Mary Queen of Scots

The Letter Books of Amias Paulet Keeper of Mary Queen of Scots Published 1874 Marys Execution. Poulet (age 54), as has already been said, was made Chancellor of the Garter in April, 1587, but he did not retain this preferment for a whole year. He continued in the Captaincy of Jersey up to his death, but he appears to have resided in and near London. In the British Museum are two letters from him of small importance. One, addressed to the Lord High Admiral, is dated, "From my poor lodging in Fleet Street [Map], the 14th of January, 1587," about "right of tenths in Jersey, belonging to the Government." The other, "From my little lodge at Twickenham, the 24th of April, 1588," "on behalf of Berry," whose divorce was referred by the Justices of the Common Pleas to four Doctors of the Civil Law, of whom Mr. Doctor Caesar, Judge of the Admiralty, to whom the letter was written, was one.

His name also occurs in a letter, from Walsingham to Burghley, dated May 23, 1587, while Elizabeth still kept up the farce of Burghley's disgrace for despatching Mary Stuart's death-warrant. "Touching the Chancellorship of the Duchy, she told Sir Amias Poulet that in respect of her promise made unto me, she would not dispose of it otherwise. But yet hath he no power to deliver the seals unto me, though for that purpose the Attorney is commanded to attend him, who I suppose will be dismissed hence this day without any resolution." And on the 4th of January following, together with the other lords of the Council, he signed a letter addressed by the Privy Council to the Lord Admiral and to Lord Buckhurst, the Lieutenants of Sussex, against such Catholics as "most obstinately have refused to come to the church to prayers and divine service," requiring them to "cause the most obstinate and noted persons to be committed to such prisons as are fittest for their safe keeping: the rest that are of value, and not so obstinate, are to be referred to the custody of some -ecclesiastical persons and other gentlemen well affected, to remain at the charges of the recusant, to be restrained in such sort as they may be forthcoming, and kept from intelligence with one another." On the 26th of September, in the year in which this letter was written, 1588, Sir Amias Poulet died.

Poulet was buried in St. Martin-in-the-Fields, London. [Map]. When that church was pulled down to be rebuilt, his remains, with the handsome monument erected over them, were removed to the parish church of Hinton St. George. After various panegyrics in Latin, French, and English inscribed on his monument, a quatrain, expressive apparently of royal favour, pays the following tribute to the service rendered by him to the State as Keeper of the Queen of Scots: Never shall cease to spread wise Poulet's fame; These will speak, and men shall blush for shame: Without offence to speak what I do know, Great is the debt England to him doth owe.Execution of Mary Queen of Scots.

On 01 Feb 1587 Queen Elizabeth I (age 53) signed the Death Warrant of Mary Queen of Scot's (age 44) (her first cousin once-removed). Elizabeth gave orders of Mary's jailor Amyas Paulett to complete the task. He refused.

On 07 Feb 1587 Mary Queen of Scots (age 44) having been informed that she was to be executed the next day wrote her will ...

From The Last Days of Mary Stuart, Samuel Cowan, 1907 ...

In the name of the Father, son, and Holy Ghost, I, Mary, by the grace of God, Queen of Scotland and Dowager of France, being on the point of death and not having any means of making my will, have myself committed these articles in writing, and I will and desire that they have the same force as if they were made in due form:-.

In the first place, I declare that I die in the Catholic Apostolic and Romish faith. First, I desire that a complete service be performed for my soul in the Church of St. Denis in France, and another in St. Peter's at Rheims [Map], where all my servants are to attend in such manner as they may be ordered to do by those to whom I have given directions and who are named therein.

Further, that an annual obit be founded for prayers for my soul in perpetuity in such place and after such manner as shall be deemed most convenient. To furnish funds for this I will that my houses at Fontainebleau be sold, hoping that the King will render me assistance, as I have requested him to do in my memorandum.

I will that my estate of Trespagny be kept by my cousin de Guise for one of his daughters, if she should come to be married. In these quarters I relinquish half of the arrears due to me, or a part, on condition that the others be paid, in order to be expended by my executors in perpetual alms. To carry this into effect the better, the documents shall be looked out and delivered according to the assignment for accomplishing this.

I will also that the money which may arise from my lawsuit with Secondat, be distributed as follows:- First, in the discharge of my debts and orders first place mentioned and which are not yet paid; in the first place, the 2000 crowns to Curle, which I desire to be paid without any hesitation, they being a marriage portion, upon which neither Nau nor any other person has any claim, whatever obligation he may hold, inasmuch as it is only fictitious, and the money is mine, not borrowed, which since I did but show him, and afterwards withdrew it; and it was taken from me with the rest at Chartley [Map]; the which I give him, provided he can recover it agreeably to my promise in payment of the four thousand francs as promised at my death, one thousand as a marriage portion for an own sister, and he having asked me for the rest for his expenses in prison.

As to the payment of a similar sum to Nau it is not obligatory, and therefore it has always been my intention that it should be paid last, and then only in case he should make it appear that he has not acted contrary to the conditions upon which I gave it him, and to which my servants were witnesses. As regards the 1200 crowns which he has placed to my account as having been borrowed by him for my use - 600 of Beauregard, 300 from Jervis, and the remainder from I know not whom, he must repay them out of his own money, and I must be quit and my order annulled, as I have not received any part of it, consequently it must be still in his possession, unless he has paid it away. Be this as it may, it is necessary that this sum should revert to me, I having received nothing; and in case it has not been paid away, I must have recourse to his property.

I further direct that Pasquier shall account for the moneys that he has expended and received by order of Nau, from the hands of the servants of Mons. de Chateauneuf, the French Ambassador.

Further, I will that my accounts be audited and my treasure paid.

Further, that the wages and sums due to my household, as well for the last as for the present year, be paid them before all other things, both wages and pensions, excepting the pensions of Nau and Curle, until it is ascertained what there is remaining, or whether they merited any pensioning from me, unless the wife of Curle be in necessity or be ill-treated on my account; the wages of Nau after the same manner.

I will that the 2400 francs which I have given to Jane Kennedy (afterwards married to Sir Andrew Melville; and was drowned by the upsetting of a boat, the year of the marriage of James VI,) be paid to her in money, as it was stated in my first deed of gift, which done, the pension of Willie Douglas shall revert to me, which I give to Fontenay (Nau's brother) for services and expenses for which he has had no compensation.

I will that the 4000 francs of that banker's be applied for and repaid; I have forgotten his name, but the Bishop of Glasgow will readily recollect it; and if the first order be not honoured, I desire that another may be given in the first money from Secondat.

The 10,000 francs which the ambassador has received for me, I will that they be distributed among my servants who are now going away, viz-.

First, 2000 francs to my physician; 2000 francs to Elizabeth Curle; 2000 to Sebastian Page; 2000 to Mary Page, my goddaughter; 1000 to Beauregard; 1000 to Gourgon; 1000 to Jervis.

Further, that out of the rest of my revenue with the remainder of Secondats and all other casualties, I will that:

5000 francs be given to the Foundling Hospital at Rheims; to my scholars 2000 francs. To four mendicants such sum as my executors may think fit, according to the means in their hands; 500 francs to the hospitals; to Martin escuyer de cuisine, 1000 francs; 1000 francs to Annibal, whom I recommend to my cousin de Guise, his godfather, to place in some situation for his life, in his service. I leave 500 francs to Nicholas, and 500 francs to his daughters when they marry. I leave 500 francs to Robert Hamilton, and beg my son to take him and Monsieur de Glasgow, or the Bishop of Ross. I leave to Didier his registership, subject to the approbation of the King. I give 500 francs to Jean Lauder, and beg my cousin of Guise, or of Mayne, to take him into their service, and Messieurs de Glasgow and de Ross to see him provided for. I will that his father be paid his wages and leave him 500 francs; 1000 francs to be paid to Gourgon for money and other things with which he supplied me in my necessity.

I will that if Bourgoyne should perform the journey agreeably to the vow which he made for me to St. Nicholas, that 1500 francs be paid to him for this purpose.

I leave according to my slender means, 6000 francs to the Bishop of Glasgow, and 3000 to the Bishop of Ross.

And I leave the gift of casualties and reserved seigneurial rights to my godson the son of Monsieur de Ruissieu.

I give 300 francs to Laurenz, and 300 to Suzanne; and I leave 10,000 francs among the four persons who have been m y sureties and to Varmy the solicitor.

I will that the money arising from the furniture which I have ordered to be sold in London shall go to defray the travelling expenses of my servants to France.

My coach I leave to carry my ladies, and the horses, which they can sell or do what they like with.

There remain about 300 crowns due to Bourgoyne for the wages of past years, which I desire may be paid him,.

I leave 2000 francs to Sir Andrew Melville, my steward.

I appoint my cousin the Duke of Guise (age 36), principal executor of my will; after him, the Archbishop of Glasgow, the Bishop of Ross, and Monsieur de Ruissieu, my chancellor.

I desire that Le Preau may without obstacle hold his two prebends.

I recommend Mary Page, my goddaughter, to my cousin, Madame de Guise, and beg her to take her into her service, and my aunt de Saint Pierre to get Mowbray some good situation or retain her in her service for the honour of God.

Done this day 7th February, 1587. Execution of Mary Queen of Scots.

On 07 Feb 1587 Mary Queen of Scots (age 44) was informed she was to be executed the following day. During the course of the night she wrote to her former brother-in-law Henry III King France (age 35) ...

To the most Christian king, my brother and old ally,.

Royal brother, having by God's will, for my sins I think, thrown myself into the power of the Queen my cousin, at whose hands I have suffered much for almost twenty years, I have finally been condemned to death by her and her Estates. I have asked for my papers, which they have taken away, in order that I might make my will, but I have been unable to recover anything of use to me, or even get leave either to make my will freely or to have my body conveyed after my death, as I would wish, to your kingdom where I had the honor to be queen, your sister and old ally.

Tonight, after dinner, I have been advised of my sentence: I am to be executed like a criminal at eight in the morning. I have not had time to give you a full account of everything that has happened, but if you will listen to my doctor and my other unfortunate servants, you will learn the truth, and how, thanks be to God, I scorn death and vow that I meet it innocent of any crime, even if I were their subject. The Catholic faith and the assertion of my God-given right to the English crown are the two issues on which I am condemned, and yet I am not allowed to say that it is for the Catholic religion that I die, but for fear of interference with theirs. The proof of this is that they have taken away my chaplain, and although he is in the building, I have not been able to get permission for him to come and hear my confession and give me the Last Sacrament, while they have been most insistent that I receive the consolation and instruction of their minister, brought here for that purpose. The bearer of this letter and his companions, most of them your subjects, will testify to my conduct at my last hour. It remains for me to beg Your Most Christian Majesty, my brother-in-law and old ally, who have always protested your love for me, to give proof now of your goodness on all these points: firstly by charity, in paying my unfortunate servants the wages due them - this is a burden on my conscience that only you can relieve: further, by having prayers offered to God for a queen who has borne the title Most Christian, and who dies a Catholic, stripped of all her possessions. As for my son, I commend him to you in so far as he deserves, for I cannot answer for him. I have taken the liberty of sending you two precious stones, talismans against illness, trusting that you will enjoy good health and a long and happy life. Accept them from your loving sister-in-law, who, as she dies, bears witness of her warm feeling for you. Again I commend my servants to you. Give instructions, if it please you, that for my soul's sake part of what you owe me should be paid, and that for the sake of Jesus Christ, to whom I shall pray for you tomorrow as I die, I be left enough to found a memorial mass and give the customary alms.

Wednesday, at two in the morning.

Your most loving and most true sister.

Mary R.

08 Feb 1587. Robert Beale (age 46) was an eye-witness to the Execution of Mary Queen of Scots. Those indicated include 1 George Talbot 6th Earl of Shrewsbury (age 59), 2 Henry Grey 6th Earl Kent (age 46), 3 Amyas Paulett. The drawing appears to show three events rather than a moment in time: her being led into the Hall, her being disrobed and being beheaded.

On 08 Feb 1587 Mary Queen of Scots (age 44) was beheaded in the Great Hall at Fotheringay Castle, Northamptonshire [Map].

George Talbot 6th Earl of Shrewsbury (age 59), Henry Grey 6th Earl Kent (age 46), Richard Knightley (age 54) and Henry Wriothesley 3rd Earl of Southampton (age 13) witnessed her execution.

There are few extant original sources describing Mary's execution. Those that do exist are somewhat contradictory. They include The letter-books of Sir Amias Poulet, Keeper of Mary Queen of Scots, the Calendar of State Papers, Spain (known as the Simancas), Volume 4, 1587-1603 and Beale's sketch of the execution. The most reliable primary source appears to be Jebb's De vita et rebus gestis serenissimæ principis Mariæ Scotorum Reginæ published in French.

The Death of Mary Queen of Scots. 08 Feb 1587. Her Majesty (age 44), as well as her attendants, thought that they intended to sever her head in the French manner, with a sword. Thus, while she was sitting, assuming that this was how they would proceed, she held herself rigidly, extending her neck with joined hands, without being bound in any way. Clutching her crucifix, which she never let go of, she recited aloud, "In te, Domine speravi," and so on, with great fervor. Then, the two executioners took her, one on each side, by the shoulders, and made her kneel. Wanting to lay her down, and she, expecting the blow, extended her neck as if singing, continuously praying to God. They continued to lay her down on her stomach the length of her body, making her place her neck on a block prepared for this purpose, towards the end of the scaffold. Having placed their hand under her chin, perhaps to allow her to speak freely, it was removed for fear that it might be cut off with her head. The master executioner, wielding a wide axe with a blade like those used to split wood, delivered a blow as she loudly said, "In manus tuas." This poorly aimed blow only touched the back of her head and did not penetrate deeply. He struck again for the second time, cutting a significant portion of the neck, which he finished severing on the third attempt.

Original Letters Illustrative of English History Second Series Volume III. Ellis notes that "the present narrative is from the Lansdowne MS. 51. art. 46. It is indorsed in Lord Burghley's hand, "8 Feb. 1586. The Manner of the Q. of Scotts death at Fodrynghay, wr. by Ro. Wy. [Possibly Richard Wigmore?]

A Reporte of the manner of the execution of the Sc. Q. performed the viijth. of February, Anno 1586 [modern dating 1587] in the great hall at Fotheringhay [Map], with relacion of speeches uttered and accions happening in the said execution, from the delivery of the said Sc. Q. to Mr Thomas Androwes Esquire Sherife of the County of Northampton unto the end of said execution..

THE READER shall now be presented with the Execution of the Queen of Scots (age 44) which was to the Court or three Statements of this Transaction were There was a Short one copies of which are Manuscripts Jul F vi foll 246 266 b and b Another a Copy of the Account of the Earl to the Lords of the Council dated on the day is MS Calig C ix fol 163 And there is a Office somewhat longer said to have been drawn evidently one of her servants present Narrative is from the Lansdowne MS in Lord Burghley s hand 8 Feb 1586 of Scotts death at Fodrynghay wr by Ro Wy Queen s death have been dressed up from writers but it is here given accurate and entire.

First, the said Scottish Queen, being carried by two of Sir Amias Paulett's (age 54) gentlemen, and the Sheriff (age 46) going before her, came most willingly out of her chamber into an entry next the Hall [Map], at which place the Earl of Shrewsbury (age 59) and the Earl of Kent (age 46), commissioners for the execution, with the two governors of her person, and divers knights and gentlemen did meet her, where they found one of the Scottish Queen's servants, named Melvin [NOTE. Possibly Andrew Melville of Garvock Steward], kneeling on his knees, who uttered these words with tears to the Queen of Scots (age 44), his mistress, "Madam, it will be the sorrowfullest message that ever I carried, when I shall report that my Queen (age 44) and dear mistress is dead." Then the Queen of Scots, shedding tears, answered him, "You ought to rejoice rather than weep for that the end of Mary Stuart's (age 44) troubles is now come. Thou knowest, Melvin, that all this world is but vanity, and full of troubles and sorrows; carry this message from me, and tell my friends that I die a true woman to my religion, and like a true Scottish woman and a true Frenchwoman. But God forgive them that have long desired my end; and He that is the true Judge of all secret thoughts knoweth my mind, how that it ever hath been my desire to have Scotland and England united together. Commend me to my son, and tell him that I have not done anything that may prejudice his kingdom of Scotland; and so, good Melvin, farewell;" and kissing him, she bade him pray for her.

Then she turned to the Lords and told them that she had certain requests to make unto them. One was for a sum of money, which she said Sir Amyas Paulet (age 54) knew of, to be paid to one Curle her servant; next, that all her poor servants might enjoy that quietly which by her Will and Testament she had given unto them; and lastly, that they might be all well entreated, and sent home safely and honestly into their countries. "And this I do conjure you, my Lords, to do.".

Answer was made by Sir Amyas Paulet (age 54), "I do well remember the money your Grace speaketh of, and your Grace need not to make any doubt of the not performance of your requests, for I do surely think they shall be granted.".

"I have," said she, "one other request to make unto you, my Lords, that you will suffer my poor servants to be present about me, at my death, that they may report when they come into their countries how I died a true woman to my religion.".

Then the Earl of Kent (age 46), one of the commissioners, answered, "Madam, it cannot well be granted, for that it is feared lest some of them would with speeches both trouble and grieve your Grace, and disquiet the company, of which we have had already some experience, or seek to wipe their napkins in some of your blood, which were not convenient." "My Lord," said the Queen of Scots, "I will give my word and promise for them that they shall not do any such thing as your Lordship has named. Alas! poor souls, it would do them good to bid me farewell. And I hope your Mistress (age 53), being a maiden Queen, in regard of womanhood, will suffer me to have some of my own people about me at my death. And I know she hath not given you so straight a commission, but that you may grant me more than this, if I were a far meaner woman than I am." And then (seeming to be grieved) with some tears uttered these words: "You know that I am cousin to your Queen (age 53) [NOTE. They were first-cousin once-removed], and descended from the blood of Henry the Seventh [NOTE. She was a Great Granddaughter of Henry VII King England and Ireland 1457-1509], a married Queen of France [NOTE. She had married Francis II King France King Consort Scotland], and the anointed Queen of Scotland.".

Whereupon, after some consultation, they granted that she might have some of her servants according to her Grace's request, and therefore desired her to make choice of half-a-dozen of her men and women: who presently said that of her men she would have Melvin, her apothecary, her surgeon, and one other old man beside; and of her women, those two that did use to lie in her chamber.

After this, she being supported by Sir Amias's (age 54) two gentlemen aforesaid, and Melvin carrying up her train, and also accompanied with the Lords, Knights, and Gentlemen aforenamed, the Sheriff (age 46) going before her, she passed out of the entry into the Great Hall [Map], with her countenance careless, importing thereby rather mirth than mournful cheer, and so she willingly stepped up to the scaffold which was prepared for her in the Hall, being two feet high and twelve feet broad, with rails round about, hung and covered with black, with a low stool, long cushion, and block, covered with black also. Then, having the stool brought her, she sat her down; by her, on the right hand, sat the Earl of Shrewsbury (age 59) and the Earl of Kent (age 46), and on the left hand stood the Sheriff (age 46), and before her the two executioners; round about the rails stood Knights, Gentlemen, and others.

Then, silence being made, the Queen's Majesty's Commission for the execution of the Queen of Scots (age 44) was openly read by Mr. Beale, clerk of the Council (age 46); and these words pronounced by the Assembly, "God save the Queen." During the reading of which Commission the Queen of Scots (age 44) was silent, listening unto it with as small regard as if it had not concerned her at all; and with as cheerful a countenance as if it had been a pardon from her Majesty (age 53) for her life; using as much strangeness in word and deed as if she had never known any of the Assembly, or had been ignorant of the English language.

Then one Doctor Fletcher, Dean of Peterborough (age 42), standing directly before her, without the rail, bending his body with great reverence, began to utter this exhortation following: "Madam, the Queen's most excellent Majesty," &c, and iterating these words three or four times, she told him, "Mr. Dean (age 42), I am settled in the ancient Catholic Roman religion, and mind to spend my blood in defence of it." Then Mr. Dean (age 42) said: "Madam, change your opinion, and repent you of your former wickedness, and settle your faith only in Jesus Christ, by Him to be saved." Then she answered again and again, "Mr. Dean (age 42), trouble not yourself any more, for I am settled and resolved in this my religion, and am purposed therein to die." Then the Earl of Shrewsbury (age 59) and the Earl of Kent (age 46), perceiving her so obstinate, told her that since she would not hear the exhortation begun by Mr. Dean (age 42), "We will pray for your Grace, that it stand with God's will you may have your heart lightened, even at the last hour, with the true knowledge of God, and so die therein." Then she answered, "If you will pray for me, my Lords, I will thank you; but to join in prayer with you I will not, for that you and I are not of one religion.".

Then the Lords called for Mr. Dean (age 42), who, kneeling on the scaffold stairs, began this prayer, "O most gracious God and merciful Father," &c, all the Assembly, saving the Queen of Scots (age 44) and her servants, saying after him. During the saying of which prayer, the Queen of Scots (age 44), sitting upon a stool, having about her neck an Agnus Dei, in her hand a crucifix, at her girdle a pair of beads with a golden cross at the end of them, a Latin book in her hand, began with tears and with loud and fast voice to pray in Latin; and in the midst of her prayers she slided off from her stool, and kneeling, said divers Latin prayers; and after the end of Mr. Dean's (age 42) prayer, she kneeling, prayed in English to this effect: "For Christ His afflicted Church, and for an end of their troubles; for her son; and for the Queen's Majesty (age 53), that she might prosper and serve God aright." She confessed that she hoped to be saved "by and in the blood of Christ, at the foot of whose Crucifix she would shed her blood." Then said the Earl of Kent (age 46), "Madam, settle Christ Jesus in your heart, and leave those trumperies." Then she little regarding, or nothing at all, his good counsel, went forward with her prayers, desiring that "God would avert His wrath from this Island, and that He would give her grief and forgiveness for her sins." These, with other prayers she made in English, saying she forgave her enemies with all her heart that had long sought her blood, and desired God to convert them to the truth; and in the end of the prayer she desired all saints to make intercession for her to Jesus Christ, and so kissing the crucifix, and crossing of her also, said these words: "Even as Thy arms, O Jesus, were spread here upon the Cross, so receive me into Thy arms of mercy, and forgive me all my sins.".

Her prayer being ended, the executioners, kneeling, desired her Grace to forgive them her death; who answered, "I forgive you with all my heart, for now, I hope, you shall make an end of all my troubles." Then they, with her two women, helping of her up, began to disrobe her of her apparel; she never changed her countenance, but with smiling cheer she uttered these words, "that she never had such grooms to make her unready, and that she never put off her clothes before such a company.".

Then she, being stripped of all her apparel saving her petticoat and kirtle, her two women beholding her made great lamentation, and crying and crossing themselves prayed in Latin; she, turning herself to them, embracing them, said these words in French, "Ne criez vous; j'ay promis pour vous;" and so crossing and kissing them, bade them pray for her, and rejoice and not weep, for that now they should see an end of all their mistress's (age 44) troubles. Then she, with a smiling countenance, turning to her men servants, as Melvin and the rest, standing upon a bench nigh the scaffold, who sometime weeping, sometime crying out aloud, and continually crossing themselves, prayed in Latin, crossing them with her hand bade them farewell; and wishing them to pray for her even until the last hour.

This done, one of the women having a Corpus Christi cloth lapped up three-corner ways, kissing it, put it over the Queen of Scots' (age 44) face, and pinned it fast to the caul of her head. Then the two women departed from her, and she kneeling down upon the cushion most resolutely, and without any token or fear of death, she spake aloud this Psalm in Latin, "In te, Domine, confido, non confundar in eternum," &c. [Ps. xxv.]. Then, groping for the block, she laid down her head, Putting her chin over the block with both her hands, which holding there, still had been cut off, had they not been espied. Then lying upon the block most quietly, and stretching out her arms, cried, "In manus tuas, Domine," &c, three or four times. Then she lying very still on the block, one of the executioners holding of her slightly with one of his hands, she endured two strokes of the other executioner with an axe, she making very small noise or none at all, and not stirring any part of her from the place where she lay; and so the executioner cut off her head, saving one little grisle, which being cut asunder, he lifted up her head to the view of all the assembly, and bade "God save the Queen." Then her dressing of lawn falling off from her head, it appeared as grey as one of threescore and ten years old, polled very short, her face in a moment being so much altered from the form she had when she was alive, as few could remember her by her dead face. Her lips stirred up and down a quarter of an hour after her head was cut off.

Then Mr. Dean (age 42) said with a loud voice, "So perish all the Queen's enemies;" and afterwards the Earl of Kent (age 46) came to the dead body, and standing over it, with a loud voice said, "Such end of all the Queen's and the Gospel's enemies.".

Then one of the executioners pulling off her garters, espied her little dog which was crept under her clothes, which could not be gotten forth but by force, yet afterward would not depart from the dead corpse, but came and lay between her head and her shoulders, which being imbrued with her blood, was carried away and washed, as all things else were that had any blood was either burned or clean washed; and the executioners sent away with money for their fees, not having any one thing that belonged unto her. And so, every man being commanded out of the Hall, except the Sheriff (age 46) and his men, she was carried by them up into a great chamber lying ready for the surgeons to embalm her.

Calendars. 28 Feb 1587. Paris [Map]. Bernardino De Mendoza (age 47) to the King (age 59). Note. Assumed to be the Spanish King Philip II.

The English ambassador sent the confidant (i.e., Charles Arundel (age 54)) to me this morning to say that as it was so important that your Majesty (age 59) should be informed instantly of the news he had received last night from England, that he sent to tell me of it, and openly to confess me his anxiety to serve your Majesty (age 59). He offered himself entirely through me, in the assurance that your Majesty (age 59) would not order him to do anything against the interest of his mistress the Queen (age 53), who however, he could plainly see, had not long to live now that she had allowed the execution of the Queen of Scotland (deceased). It happened in this way. The Lord Treasurer (age 66) being absent through illness, the earl of Leicester (age 54), Lord Hunsdon (age 60), Lord Admiral Howard (age 51) and Walsingham (age 55), had represented to the Queen (age 53) that the Parliament would resolutely refuse to vote any money to maintain the war in Holland, or to fit out a naval force to help Don Antonio, unless she executed the Queen of Scotland (deceased). Under this pressure she consented to sign a warrant, as they called it, that the Parliament might see, but which was not to be executed, unless it were proved that the Queen of Scotland (deceased) conspired again against her life. As Secretary Walsingham (age 55) was ill this warrant was taken to the Queen (age 53) for her signature by Davison (age 46), and after she had signed it she ordered him not to give it to anyone unless she gave him personally her authority to do so. Davison (age 46), who is a terrible heretic and an enemy of the Queen of Scotland (deceased), like the rest of the above-mentioned, delivered the warrant to them. They took a London executioner and sent him with the warrant to the justice of the county where the Queen of Scotland (deceased) was. The moment the justice received it, on the 8th [NOTE. Appears to be a typo; original says 18th], he entered the Queen of Scotland's (deceased) chamber with Paulet (age 54) and Lord Grey (age 46), who had charge of her, and there they had her head cut off with a hatchet in the presence of the four persons only. The Queen (age 53) orders her ambassador to inform this King (age 59) of it, and assure him, as she will more fully by a special envoy, that the deed was done against her will, and although she had signed the warrant she had no intention of having it carried out. She cannot avoid blaming herself for having trusted anyone but herself in such a matter. The ambassador is begging earnestly for an audience and is keeping the matter secret until he tells the King. In order that no time may be lost in informing your Majesty, I send this special courier in the name of merchants, by way of Bordeaux, whence he will go post to Irun; and as God has so willed that these accursed people, for His ends, should fall into "reprobrium sensum," and against all reason commit such an act as this, it is evidently His design to deliver those two kingdoms into your Majesty's hands. I thanked the ambassador in general terms for his offer, saying that I would give an account thereof to your Majesty. As I have formerly said, it will be most advisable to accept it, and pledge him to give us notice of any machinations here and in England against us. He reports that the fitting out of ships continues but in no greater number than he previously advised, although the rumour is current here that there would be 60 English, besides the Hollanders, but that the crews, etc. were not raised and no time fixed for the departure. The ambassador says he will have full information on the point when a gentleman of his has arrived whom he had sent to England to gain intelligence, as Cecil only writes now to say that the execution of the Queen of Scotland has been against his will, as he, the ambassador knew; and that the King, her son, was in great danger of suffering a similar fate. The execution was known in London on the 20th when the executioner returned, and great bonfires had been lit for joy all over the countryside. They did not even give her time to commend her soul to God. .

Singeing the King of Spain's Beard

On 12 Apr 1587 an English fleet commanded by Francis Drake (age 47) left Plymouth, Devon [Map].

On 29 Apr 1587 the English fleet commanded by Francis Drake (age 47) entered the Bay of Cádiz Spain in the evening to discover sixty Spanish and twenty French ships. The Spanish ships, under the command of Pedro de Acuña, sailed out to meet the English fleet but were forced to retire back to Cadiz before the superiority of the English. Gun positions on the shore opened fire, shelling the English fleet from the coast with little effect. During the night of the 29th and all the following day and night the battle raged in the bay. At dawn on 1 May, the English withdrew having destroyed around thirty-two Spanish ships, with a combined capacity of 10,000 tons, and captured four other ships, laden with provisions.

On 08 Jun 1587 the English fleet commanded by Francis Drake (age 47) sighted a Portuguese carrack, the São Filipe, twenty leagues from the Island of São Miguel, returning from the Indies laden with treasure. After a brief exchange of fire it was captured, the first ship to be so on the return run from the Indies. Its enormous fortune of gold, spices, and silk was valued at £108,000 (of which 10% was to go to Francis Drake (age 47)); the fleet returned to England, arriving on 06 July 1587. The expedition led by Francis Drake (age 47) was a resounding military success: over one hundred Spanish vessels of different tonnages were destroyed or captured during the expedition. Economic and material losses caused to the Spanish fleet by the English attack ensured that Spanish plans for the invasion of England had to be postponed for over a year. It was not until Aug 1588 that the Armada was ready to leave for the British Isles.

Spanish Armada

On 25 Jul 1588 Thomas Howard 1st Earl Suffolk (age 26) was captain of the Golden Lion in the attack on the Spanish Armada.

On 26 Jul 1588 Roger Townshend (age 44) was knighted.

"Day of the Dagger" Assassination of Henry 1st Duke Guise

On 23 Dec 1588 Henry 1st Duke Guise (age 37), leader of the Catholic League, was assassinated at the Château de Blois by the King's bodyguard whilst Henry III King France (age 37) looked on.

Trial of Philip Earl of Arundel

On 14 Apr 1589 Philip Howard 20th Earl of Arundel (age 31) was condemned to death. He was attainted and his titles Earl Arundel Sussex, Earl Surrey, Baron Maltravers and Baron Arundel forfeit. Elizabeth I never signed the death warrant; Howard was never told. Henry Stanley 4th Earl of Derby (age 57) was present.

On 18 Apr 1589 Christopher Wray (age 65) acted as judge during the Trial of Philip Earl of Arundel.

1591 Elizabeth's Royal Progress

On 02 Aug 1591 Queen Elizabeth I of England and Ireland (age 57) left at Nonsuch Palace [Map] to commence her Royal Progress. She travelled south to Mansion House Leatherhead, Surrey [Map]; the home of Edmund Tilney (age 55).

After 02 Aug 1591 Queen Elizabeth I of England and Ireland (age 57) arrived at East Horsley, Surrey [Map] where she stayed with Thomas Cornwallis 1518-1604.

On 15 Aug 1591 Queen Elizabeth I of England and Ireland (age 57) arrived at Cowdray House [Map] the home of Anthony Browne 1st Viscount Montagu (age 62) and Magdalen Dacre Viscountess Montague (age 53). She was welcomed by a breakfast for some 300 guests. George Browne (age 36) was knighted. Henry Browne organised the hunting. Elizabeth stayed until the 21 Aug 1591.

On 22 Aug 1591 Queen Elizabeth I of England and Ireland (age 57) arrived in Chichester [Map] as a guest of John Lumley 1st Baron Lumley (age 58).

On 22 Oct 1591 Queen Elizabeth I of England and Ireland (age 58) arrived in Elvetham Hall, Hampshire [Map] where she was entertained in magnificent style by Edward Seymour 1st Earl Hertford (age 52).

1591 Siege of Rouen

In 1591 Walter Devereux (age 21) died at the 1591 Siege of Rouen.

Battle of Flores

On 10 Sep 1591 Richard Grenville (age 49) died from wounds received at the Battle of Flores whilst serving on the The Revenge.

1593 Creation of Garter Knights

1593 Great Plague

Pepy's Diary. 24 Dec 1662. This evening Mr. Gauden sent me, against Christmas, a great chine of beef and three dozen of tongues. I did give 5s. to the man that brought it, and half-a-crown to the porters. This day also the parish-clerk brought the general bill of mortality, which cost me half-a-crown more1.

Note 1. The Bills of Mortality for London were first compiled by order of Thomas Cromwell about 1538, and the keeping of them was commenced by the Company of Parish Clerks in the great plague year of 1593. The bills were issued weekly from 1603. The charter of the Parish Clerks' Company (1611) directs that "each parish clerk shall bring to the Clerks' Hall weekly a note of all christenings and burials". Charles I in 1636 granted permission to the Parish Clerks to have a printing press and employ a printer in their hall for the purpose of printing their weekly bills.

Battle of Glenlivet

On 03 Oct 1594 Archibald Campbell 7th Earl Argyll (age 19) commanded during the Battle of Glenlivet.

Sack of Cádiz

On 13 Jun 1596 Robert Devereux 2nd Earl Essex (age 30) departed from Plymouth, Devon [Map] with a fleet of 150 English and Dutch ships divided into four squads with 6,360 private soldiers, 1,000 English volunteers, and 6,772 sailors.

Charles Howard 1st Earl Nottingham (age 60) was admiral in command. Robert Devereux 2nd Earl Essex (age 30) commanded the land forces. Edward Conway 1st Viscount Conway (age 32) commanded a foot Regiment.

Thomas Howard 1st Earl Suffolk (age 34), Walter Raleigh (age 42), Francis de Vere (age 35) each commanded a squadron.

Anthony Ashley 1st Baronet (age 35) represented Queen Elizabeth (age 62).

Toby Caulfeild 1st Baron Caulfeild (age 30) was present.

On 27 Jun 1596 William Hervey 1st Baron Hervey (age 31) was knighted at Cádiz by Robert Devereux 2nd Earl Essex (age 30) at the Sack of Cádiz.

On 29 Jun 1596 the fleet arrived in Cádiz Spain. In the Bay of Cádiz some 40 Spanish ships, ranging from galleys to galleons, as well as 16 other vessels from the Spanish convoy, which were disarmed and ready to depart for the West Indies. These unarmed vessels immediately fled to Puerto Real for refuge.

On 30 Jun 1596 at two in the morning the Anglo-Dutch fleet could be seen from Cádiz Spain, but it could not enter the bay due to bad weather. At five o'clock in the morning, both sides commenced an intense artillery barrage. After two hours, the Spanish fleet, outnumbered by the English, had to retreat to the interior of the bay. In the fray, the Spanish galleons San Andrés and San Mateo were captured, while the San Felipe and Santo Tomás sank, set fire by their captains in the face of possible capture by the Anglo-Dutch forces. They entered the bay at eight o'clock in the morning.

On 14 Jul 1596 the English burned Cádiz and the next day they left the bay, taking the hostages with them since the Spanish authorities had not been able to pay the ransom. The sacking of Cádiz in 1596 was one of the worst Spanish defeats in the course of the war, together with the attack on Cádiz of 1587 and the loss of the Armada in 1588. The economic losses produced by the Earl of Essex's expedition against the city and the anchored fleet in the port, estimated at 5 million ducats,contributed to the bankruptcy of the royal treasury that same year. The city of Cádiz remained devastated; in addition to the churches and hospitals, 290 out of a total of 1,303 houses burned.

Robert Radclyffe 5th Earl of Sussex (age 23) was knighted by Robert Devereux 2nd Earl Essex (age 30) for the taking of Cadiz.

Governor Thomas Gates was knighted by Robert Devereux 2nd Earl Essex (age 30) for his bravery.

King Henry IV of France invested in the Order of the Garter

In 1596 William Segar (age 42) accompanied Gilbert Talbot 7th Earl of Shrewsbury (age 43) on his trip to invest Henry IV King France (age 42) with the Order of the Garter.

Death of Henry Carey 1st Baron Hunsdon

On 23 Jul 1596 Henry Carey 1st Baron Hunsdon (age 70) died at Somerset House [Map]. Queen Elizabeth I of England and Ireland (age 62) was present. She, apparently, proposed he be made Earl of Wiltshire. He refused saying ... "Madam, as you did not count me worthy of this honour in life, then I shall account myself not worthy of it in death". His son George Carey 2nd Baron Hunsdon (age 49) succeeded 2nd Baron Hunsdon. Elizabeth Spencer Baroness Hunsdon and Eure (age 44) by marriage Baroness Hunsdon.

Battle of Carrickfergus

In Nov 1597 John Chichester was beheaded by Randal "Arranach" Macdonnell 1st Earl Antrim at Carrickfergus, County Antrim.

Robert Devereux Earl Essex loses the Plot

On 24 Sep 1599 Robert Devereux 2nd Earl Essex (age 33) sailed from Ireland reaching London four days later.

On 28 Sep 1599 Robert Devereux 2nd Earl Essex (age 33) presented himself to Elizabeth (age 66) in her bedchamber at Nonsuch Palace [Map] where he found the queen newly up, the hair about her face. Elizabeth had just a simple robe over her nightdress, her wrinkled skin was free of cosmetics and, without her wig. Essex saw her bald head with just wisps of thinning grey hair 'hanging about her ears'. The Queen confined the Earl to his rooms with the comment that "an unruly beast must be stopped of his provender.".

On 29 Sep 1599 Robert Devereux 2nd Earl Essex (age 33) was compelled to stand before the Council during a five-hour interrogation. The Council, which included his uncle William Knollys 1st Earl Banbury (age 55), took a quarter of an hour to compile a report, which declared that his truce with O'Neill was indefensible and his flight from Ireland tantamount to a desertion of duty. He was committed to the custody of Sir Richard Berkeley (age 68) in his own York House [Map] on 1 October.