Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Letters of Mary Stuart

An archive containing some letters of Mary Queen of Scots will soon be made available to the public. According to The Scotsman:
Deep in an archive, more than two dozen letters written by Mary, Queen of Scots, lie largely unseen for centuries.

Many are written in a secret code as Mary fought to preserve and protect the Catholic faith in Scotland after the 1560 Reformation which saw the country break with Rome.

But soon the letters, which in recent years have only been seen by a select group of historians, will be available to view on-line.

Visitors to the Scottish Catholic Archives website will be able to examine the letters, which also contain details of Mary's power struggle with her Protestant cousin, Queen Elizabeth, who was on the throne in England. The struggle eventually led to Mary's execution in 1587.

Most of the documents are diplomatic letters exchanged between Mary and Archbishop Beaton, who became her ambassador to France.

He was her "eyes and ears" in Paris after her return to Scotland on the death of her first husband, Francis.

The letters, written in French and often penned by her staff but signed by Mary, also express her concerns over the growing political turmoil in Scotland in the wake of the Reformation, which led to the celebration of Mass being declared illegal.

The letters are part of a treasure trove of 250,000 items on the origins and history of the Catholic Church in Scotland.

(Via Enchanted by Josephine and History Buff) Share

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