[Epub] ➡ Mary, Queen of Scots, and the Murder of Lord Darnley ➢ Alison Weir – Turboville.co.uk

Mary, Queen of Scots, and the Murder of Lord Darnley From The Acclaimed New York Times Bestselling Historian Comes A Brilliant Investigation Of A Notorious Unsolved Mystery I ve been re reading this over the last month.Weir does a good analysis of the whole murder of Darnley, and while she believes Mary to be innocent, she doesn t show the Scots Queen as truly a white sheep The last 100 hunderd pages, however, are a little slow. En Ma Fingit Mon CommencementIn my end is my BeginningMary had this saying embroidered on her cloth of estate while in prison in England Mary was 6 days old when her father died and she was crowned Queen of the Scots At age 15 she married Francis, dauphin of France, and he ascended the throne a year later Just when events seemed to be going in Mary s favor Francis died after only 18 months as King Mary was not that welcome in France due to fears she would make a play for the throne She En Ma Fingit Mon CommencementIn my end is my BeginningMary had this saying embroidered on her cloth of estate while in prison in England Mary was 6 days old when her father died and she was crowned Queen of the Scots At age 15 she married Francis, dauphin of France, and he ascended the throne a year later Just when events seemed to be going in Mary s favor Francis died after only 18 months as King Mary was not that welcome in France due to fears she would make a play for the throne She returned to Scotland to assume her birthright as Queen Mary was the ultimate bachelorette She launched a assiduous search across all of Europe searching for a suitable candidate She tried several alliances, all of which fell through for various reasons In the end she was left with Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley, and as discombobulated as she felt her life was before, it was about to take a severe turn for the worse Darnley on the surface seemed the perfect catch He was tall, handsome, debonair, young man of culture and good breeding A man not that far removed from having his own claim for the throne He pressed Mary hard from the beginning to grant him crown matrimonial that would allow him to ascend to the throne of Scotland in the event of Mary s death without issue Mary was already starting to see cracks in the veneer of her relationship with Darnley He was not well liked He was vindictive, arrogant, vain, violent, and immature and all of those unlikable qualities were magnified by a drinking problem Mary, though fairly innocent politically, understood the danger of granting Darnley what he wanted and kept coming up with reasons to delay Rumors were soon circulating that Darnley was not only being unfaithful lock up your wives, daughters, sisters, grandmothers and great grandmothers when Darnley was in the neighborhood , but also plotting treason After their son James was born Mary did try to repair her relationship with Darnley She wanted Elizabeth, Queen of England, to recognize her as her heir To reduce the controversy already swirling around her reign she decided that she needed to make things work with Darnley.All that fornicating had taken it s toll on Darnley and he was suffering from the late stages of syphilis Darnley s skull resides at the Museum of the Royal College of Surgeons why and the bone of the skull is actually pitted from the disease When Mary does finally meet up with him again after a long separation his face is disfigured and his health is deteriorating The first thing Darnley wants to do is hop in the sack, but Mary of course finds his condition repugnant, and probably knows enough about the contagion to know that she would be putting her future health in jeopardy She leaves him resting at Kirk O Field with his attendants to attend a dance at Holyrood At 2AM the house at Kirk O Field is blown to smithereens, not one stone left on top of another Bodies are pulled from the wreckage, but the King is not among them Only after searching farther a field do they find him in a garden nearbyThey found the bodies of the twenty year old King and his valet, Taylor, lying sixty to eighty steps from the house Both were nearly naked, being clad in short nightshirts, and neither body had a mark on it Darnley was stretched out on his back, under a pear tree, with one hand draped modestly on his genitals, while Taylor lay a yard or two away, curled up, with his night shirt rucked up around his waist and his head resting face down on his crossed arms he had on a nightbonnet and one slipper The were no burns, no marks of strangulation or violence on the bodies Near to the bodies lay a chair, a length of rope, a dagger Darnley s furred nightgown.A spy, put in place by the great spymaster Robert Cecil of England, made a drawing of the event for his master The drawing still exists And one of the grand historical mysteries of all time begins Who killed Darnley Why wasn t he blown up in the house He may have heard the movement of barrels of gunpowder being moved into the floor below him He may have smelt the burning of the fuse used to light the gunpowder The chair and the rope could have been tools used to help him and his valet escape the house probably through a window Once he left the house he must have been discovered by the conspirators and suffocated in such a way as not to leave any marks The lords of the land quickly begin to jockey for position They accuse each other of involvement in this murder most foul James Hepburn Bothwell, an ambitious man, who is close to Mary is the most likely candidate to have played a hand in Darnley s death He makes a play for power by kidnapping Mary and raping her, putting her in jeopardy of having a pregnancy that would forever mar her reputation She does later miscarriage twins She in desperation agrees to marry him He is already married which for a man as ambitious as Bothwell is barely a hurdle He offers his wife the choice of divorce or poison Agreeing to marry Bothwell turns out to be one of the many disastrous decisions that leads to Mary s demise A supportive Elizabeth turns away from her The Scottish people are in an uproar, accusing her of involvement in Darnley s death The lords choose sides and a civil war insures Bothwell escapes to Norway Mary is locked up in a castle and the lords begin to put pressure on her to abdicate in favor of her son The Casket letters surface, letters supposedly written by Mary that are later determined to be forgeries None of the letters had signatures, dates or addresses Some of her own letters were mixed with the forgeries to try to lend credence to the whole The evidence against Mary was always sketchy at best Mary escapesto England Why, why England Mary She still coveted the English crown Elizabeth at first treats her with deference, but as accusations continue to surface Elizabeth becomesanduneasy about her association with her cousin Mary James Stewart, Earl of Moray, bastard brother of Mary, lacking half the genetic code he needed to be King, is named regent and baby James is crowned King His head so small the crown had to be held over his head Trials are conducted, servants are hanged and quartered The real criminals continue to via for position We all know what eventually happens to Mary Alison Weir saysIn the circumstances, she must, with justice, be regarded as one of the most wronged women in historyI agree few things went right for Mary, Queen of Scotts, but she also made several terrible mistakes She did not vet Darnley She needed a strong man to help her control the conniving, scheming, eager lords of her realm Darnley was nothingthan a boy and too dedicated to his personal pleasures She herself needed to bepurposeful in her decisions The traitors that conspired with Darnley to oust her from power needed to be dealt withfirmly She should never have agreed to marry Bothwell The Protestant marriage conflicted with her Catholicism and lost her support from all quarters When she had the chance to leave Scotland she needed to go anywhere, but England As it turns out I believe most of the top royalty of Scotland was involved in the killing of Darnley through participation, knowledge of the event, or part of the cover up afterwards I do believe that Mary was innocent With her goal to be Queen of England she needed Darnley to have a chance at accomplishing that aspiration Killing him, as satisfactory as that would be, would keep her from what she wanted most The conspirators never escape the specter of Darnley s death either Bothwell dies in prison in Norway Moray is assassinated Others are poisoned, hanged, stabbed, and bludgeoned Payment for the murder of Darnley continued to be exacted for twenty years after his death Alison Weir books are compelling and meticulously researched Her writing style and presentation make history not only accessible, but enjoyable Weir s rendition of the evidence is balanced and even though it is hard for us not to have sympathy for Mary given that she is so fatefully conspired against from the beginning, the victim of royal paranoia, and deceived by those that she needed to trust, Weir makes a case that part of Mary s downfall can be attributed to her own lofty ambitions Had I known the degree of excruciating research that must have stood at the base of this book and the arduous account it produced, I don t think I would have purchased this book.But chance guides ones life, including that delicious part of it our books and our reading I used to live in a place where bookstores rarely offered the books one sought instead they presented surprises Visiting these shops was twice as fun I always came out with treasured and unexpected purchases This was one of Had I known the degree of excruciating research that must have stood at the base of this book and the arduous account it produced, I don t think I would have purchased this book.But chance guides ones life, including that delicious part of it our books and our reading I used to live in a place where bookstores rarely offered the books one sought instead they presented surprises Visiting these shops was twice as fun I always came out with treasured and unexpected purchases This was one of them.It has sat however, for several years in my bookshelves, but as I am in dire need of book space I am pulling out and giving priority to the bulkier ones Once read, I will give them away So, I finally took this big tome out.I must confess that I have been about to abandon the readthan once, for I found the extremely detailed account in excess to what I wanted to learn Neurotic that I am, however, I persevered, and am glad because I could then come to admire Alison Weir s extraordinary feat.First, there is the extraordinary research she has conducted on what must be one of the most intractable episodes in Western renaissance history, the assassination of Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley, second husband of Mary Stuart Weir has done so in great order, presenting us the succession of events literally on a day by day basis, questioning, at every node of a decision tree, the alternatives, the sources, the interpretations, etc I don t understand how she did not lose her wits.And the second reason to hold Weir in high esteem is that she undertook the investigation believing one thing but as she advance in examining and questioning the evidence she changed her mind This open mindedness and flexibility in her reasoning are highly commendable.If she had first thought that Mary was guilty of the assassination of her husband, she ended up absolving her This book is thus her exculpation.It would have suited my interest better a biography that had dealt with Mary s complete life, rather than concentrate so much on this ghastly episode and also one that presented a broader look at Mary s world Nonetheless, Weir does succeed in portraying a convincing Mary My idea of her now is of a too idealistic and foolish woman, inept at politics and for whom becoming Queen was a fatal tragedy And it felt disheartening to see her embroiling herselfandinto a trap that grew as a spider web, trapping her further and further This book is essentially an exploration and whodunnit of the murder of Mary, Queen of Scot s second husband, Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley, rather than a biography of Mary herself.Mary was certainly an interesting and tragic figure.The book itself is essentially a very interesting expose, and Weir certainly has researched her work and presented her conclusions as to the evidence painstakingly well.The first three chapters of this work are concerned with Mary s early life, her growing up in the Fr This book is essentially an exploration and whodunnit of the murder of Mary, Queen of Scot s second husband, Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley, rather than a biography of Mary herself.Mary was certainly an interesting and tragic figure.The book itself is essentially a very interesting expose, and Weir certainly has researched her work and presented her conclusions as to the evidence painstakingly well.The first three chapters of this work are concerned with Mary s early life, her growing up in the French court where she was sent to be educated.Weir touches on the moral laxity of the French court, which she actually go s as far as to refer to as a moral cesspit in which Mary was exposed from an early age to it s promiscuity and corruption.Interestingly there are two paintings that show the teen aged Mary, later to be Queen of France, in the nude.In 1558 the 16 year old Mary was married to the Dauphin who succeeded his father as Francis II the following year.When Francis died in 1560, his mother, the vindictive Catherine de Medici, made it clear that Mary was no longer welcome at the French court, so she returned to her native Scotland, where John Knox was playing a dominant role The Reformation was in full swing but Mary made no attempt to interfere with the new religion, merely insisting that she was to be free to worship as a Catholic.At this stage she had the peoples support.Renowned for her beauty, she was charming, intelligent and talented but she was surrounded by vicious and scheming lords, hungry for power, and got caught up in their intrigues and plots She never had a trustworthy and wise counsellor, like her cousin Elizabeth, to whom she could turn for advice.After a number of princes were considered for her, she eventually agreed to marry her cousin Lord Darnley, the nearest heir after her to the thrones of Scotland and England Beneath his courtly veneer, Darnley was spoiled, wilful, petulant, immature, spiteful, arrogant and uncouth.He seems to have had bisexual tendencies, and Weir premises that he had a homosexual relationship with the Italian courtier and Mary s secretary, David Rizzio.Weir provides evidence that he suffered from syphilis.Further there is evidence that Mary s bouts of ill health were the result of attempted poisoning.Darnley was a key player, perhaps manipulated by a cabal of lords, in the assassination of Rizzio.Of course the main of the book involves Darnley s murder and who was responsible I do believe that Mary was innocent and that her relationship with Bothwell does not in any way implicate her in Darnley s assassination.It is records of meetings with other lords that seem to incriminate Bothwell.Nonetheless Darnley had deeply unpopular figure and was miraculously rehabilitated after his death, only his youth and his cruel end remembered His own crimes and cruelty were forgotten Ironically, he a Catholic who had plotted the overthrow of the Protestant establishment became a figurehead after his death in the propaganda campaign by Protestant Lords against Mary and Bothwell.Many later came to see how badly Mary had been calumniated.While Weir s detailed proof that the casket letters were forged, can be tedious to read, it is a vital part of Weir s detective work in proving Mary s innocence

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