Thursday, September 16, 2021

Mary Queen of Scots: A Renaissance Queen

 From The Mary Queen of Scots Project:

 There are few known physical relics of Mary. At her execution in Fotheringhay Castle, a fire was burning, and her clothing was immediately consigned into it. The English state was determined to suppress the memory of Mary, any proliferation of material relics, and her mortal remains were swiftly buried. However, over the longer term these Elizabethan measures proved ineffective against the perpetuation of her memory.

Instead – what has achieved huge currency are the objects associated with her, her jewellery and tapestry-work (often of dubious provenance), the beds she slept in, the gifts she made, the things she might have touched; and mementoes, particularly jewellery, created to memorialise her.  

In this process Mary herself was active: throughout her life she gave presents to seal alliances, in the royal tradition of gift-giving, often objects with her own image which acted as physical representations of Mary in her bodily absence. As she approached her death, these gifts were made consciously to project that presence beyond her mortal life, to secure a lasting reputation as a royal martyr. We have some of these objects here at National Museums Scotland. (Read more.)


1 comment:

Fire@Will said...

My sister commissioned a replica of MQoS rosary (the one recently stolen). So sad we don't have more!