Some Objects

Mary, Queen of Scots Home Page

Below are some objects related to various periods of Mary's life. Click on the thumbnails to see larger pictures.
@ owner, Public Record Office, London This insulting image appeared on the Mercat Cross (which can still be seen today on Edinburgh's famous High Street, "The Royal Mile") soon after Darnley's murder. Mary is represented by the initials M R on each side (Maria Regina) of a mermaid which was itself a synonym for a prostitute. The hare refers to Bothwell's coat of arms and the surrounding daggers point to him as the murderer.
@ owner, The Duke of Hamilton This silver casket which is kept at Lennoxlove House in East Lothian (Scotland) is believed to have contained the "Casket Letters", love letters written by Mary to Bothwell. This object played a crucial role in the accusations directed at Mary and Bothwell regarding Darnley's murder. When Mary fled to England to seek her English cousin Elizabeth I's help, the latter refused to assist her until Mary had cleared herself of the murder of her second husband. The story goes that Bothwell sent his page to recover the letters but he was intercepted by the Protestant Lords. Later, at the York Inquiry, the letters were produced but these were not originals. It is doubtless that the letters were heavily forged or manipulated to incriminate Mary by proving that she was already having an affair with Bothwell before Darnley's death, and that she knew about, and was perhaps a party to, the plot to murder him. Mary was not allowed to attend the Inquiry herself. In the end Elizabeth decided that neither side had proved their case adequately, but Mary's reputation was sufficiently sullied to justify keeping her captive. There have been been many investigations and books written on the subject but the mystery remains unsolved.
Mary's Shoe One of Mary's possessions which can be seen at Traquair House (see places to visit in this site). The shoe is remarkably small for such a tall woman. Traquair House has confirmed that this shoe as well as two other items, were donated by a lady who had always held the items in her family for generations. Her connections were with Mary Seton, a lady-in-waiting to Mary Queen of Scots.
@ owner, David Henrie The Crown, Sceptre and Sword used at Mary's Coronation. These can be admired at Edinburgh Castle. The Crown is a replica of an older model and was used for the first time on that occasion. It is the oldest Crown in the UK.
@ owner, Her Majesty the Queen Also displayed at Holyrood Palace is Mary's Pomander. This item was commonly used in the 16th Century to hold fragrant herbs in order to protect from outside stenches.
@ owner, Duke of Norfolk and Baroness Herries Rosary and prayer book given to Mary by Lord Herries during her flight to England.
@ owner, P. Jooste This beautiful dress is a modern reconstruction of a dress worn by Mary, it can be seen in Stirling Castle

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