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(Impure daughter of Boleyn,
do you speak of dishonor?
Obscene and unworthy whore,
May my blush fall on you.
Profaned is the English throne
Vile bastard, by your foot!)
Mary Stuart was held captive in England for about 20 years. During that time, she secretly tried to regain liberty and her crown. While appearing to live a tranquil life, she was conspiring to be set free, corresponding with the ambassadors of France and Spain, with the Pope and with her supporters in Scotland and Holland. Secret signs and secret codes were invented that were changed monthly. She used these to correspond with all of Queen Elizabeth’s enemies. Letters were hidden in linens, books, hollow canes, the lids of jewelry boxes, sometimes even in mirrors. In books that Mary sent to Paris or London, a code was established to find letters on certain pages that spelled out messages. Lord Cecil however, ran a police state, and everyone was under surveillance. He eventually used a series of double agents to trick Mary into agreeing with a plot to overthrow Elizabeth. This was the Babington Plot, and it was what led to her execution.
It is customary for an executioner to ask forgiveness from his victim. This executioner did that, and Mary Stuart accepted it. Her ladies JANE KENNEDY and ELIZABETH CURLE undressed her, revealing her red dress underneath her other gown. She also had them help her put on arm length red gloves. The idea was not to have the blood ruin the look of her clothing. She knelt to be decapitated. The first ax blow missed her neck and sliced into her skull. The second reached her neck and she started to bleed, but she had to be struck a 3rd time in order to achieve the decapitation. The executioner seized her head by the hair to show that it had been detached….but the head rolled onto the platform. Her red hair was merely a wig….her head under the wig showed her gray hair was cut short. Her lips continued to move and her teeth to chatter for 15 minutes after her death. The public was terrified…a cloth was thrown over her body and head. When they finally moved her body, something moved under the cloth. Without anyone knowing it, her little dog had followed her to the execution and was cuddling next to her while she was being killed. He came out from her skirt, covered with blood, and ran around barking, screaming and biting….refusing to be taken away from her body. This little dog defended his mistresses with more courage than her own son did, and with more courage than any Scottish noblemen displayed to save their Queen.