Our Mary Queen of Scots guide Jane Collier takes her research very seriously.
Read her blog from Fotheringhay on 8 February 2017 with the MQS Society of which she is now the Chair of the English branch.
“A very moving and uplifting service was held in Fotheringhay church in English, French and Latin which involved local school children, the Friends of Fotheringhay and the MQS society.
I have attached a link to the ITV piece ⭐️ starring my back!
Our President Elisabeth Manson read the prayers, Jerry Ozaniec Journal editor read the English translation of Mary’s prayer and I read the gospel reading.
It was an altogether fitting remembrance followed by a very animated long lunch which Mary would have thoroughly approved of!
I had spent the night before at the Talbot Hotel in Oundle. The hotel is famous for its New Street and inner courtyard facades, which were built with stone from Fotheringhay Castle in 1630. The stone mullion windows and timber staircase overlooking the inner courtyard are, reputedly, also from Fotheringhay Castle. The staircase is believed to be that which Mary Queen of Scots famously descended on route to her execution at the castle on 8 February 1587. Local history has it that a mark on one of the staircase’s newel posts is an imprint of the queen’s ring.
They put me, fittingly enough, in the Mary Queen of Scots room. Was I spooked? Yes! I didn’t think I had a twitchy disposition but I slept with the light on most of the night…. but no apparitions thankfully. It was a great place to get in the mood for all things Mary and I met all sorts of people, some of whom visit the castle remains at 6 am every 8th February. It’s very moving.
Mary’s lead coffin remained at Fotheringhay for 6 months before they moved her to Peterborough Cathedral
Old Scarlet the gravedigger, buried her the night before the funeral service, in case there was any trouble during the ceremony.
Was it a ceremony fit for a Queen ? Well yes and no. A full Royal service yes, but attended by secondary nobles and the City fathers which paid lip service to her status just as they had for Katherine of Aragon by burying them both in Peterborough away from London.
The new Cathedral Visitor centre is now open and displays the letter from Mary’s son James 1st England & 6th Scotland asking for ‘his mother back’ in 1612, when she was disinterred and taken to London and reinterred in the Lady Chapel, Westminster Abbey.
The Lady Chapel has the tombs of Margaret Beaufort, Margaret Countess of Lennox and Mary Queen of Scots, James’s Great, great, great, Grandmother, Grandmother and Mother, and only across the aisle from Elizabeth 1st and Mary 1st. The closest Mary Stuart and Elizabeth Tudor would ever come to be.
Some people feel animosity and ill will towards her, but this maligned and misrepresented Queen engenders a great admiration and love from those who make the time to learn about this very ‘human’ Queen and the times in which she lived.”