Posted by by Janet Dooley on 4 January 2012 in category in Elizabeth I - 0 0 Comments

On February 10th, 1567 Lord Darnley, husband of Mary, Queen of Scotts was murdered. Guess who the chief suspect was?


Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley, was the second husband of Mary, Queen of Scots. An English citizen of royal descent, Darnley had married without permission from his sovereign, Queen Elizabeth I. The marriage had royal lineage implications, and Elizabeth was not amused. Darnley was the grandson of Margaret Tudor, sister to Henry VIII. While Henry had specifically excluded Margaret's line from the Act of Succession, Darnley's royal bloodline was still important. The fact that he married Mary, Queen of Scots, who held her own claim to the English throne, made their marriage a matter of concern.

But Elizabeth didn't have to worry long. Darnley was horrible. He was a narcisistic drunk, who essentially abandoned his wife soon after their marriage. When Queen Mary was six month's pregnant with their heir, Lord Darnley burst into her room and stabbed her Italian secretary, a friend and confidant of Mary's and a source of extreme jealousy for Darnley. Mary had her husband imprisoned at Kirk o'Field in Edinburgh. Although she had imprisoned him, Mary had been visiting her estranged husband regularly...perhaps to mend marital affairs? Or perhaps to appear innocent in the actualization of planned events?

At any rate, Darnley died in a fiery explosion at Kirk o-Field. (A matter of debate. Some say he survived the explosion and was later strangled). Nevertheless, Mary of Scots was under a cloud of suspicion. His death was investigated, and Mary was never convicted of any crime. She would give birth to her and Darnley's son, James VI or Scotland--later James I of England--but her life went downhill from there. Unfortunately, Mary had terrible taste in men. Each worse than the last. And her third husband would be the ruin of her, eventually having her overthrown by her subjects and pleading for mercy from her cousin, Queen Elizabeth. Queen Elizabeth was not in a merciful mood. Read more about the historic rivalry between Elizabeth I and Mary, Queen of Scots. 

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