Mary Queen of Scots Essay
It can be argued that a member of individuals contributed to death of
Mary Queen Scots; Elizabeth, her advisers, foreign powers and Mary
herself. To what extent was Mary responsible for her own death?
In 1567 Scotland rebelled against their Catholic Queen, Mary. She was imprisoned at Loch Leven castle where she remained until her escape in May 1568 when she fled to England. This was the action which triggered a series of events leading to her eventual execution on February 8th 1587.
Before her arrival in England, Mary's reputation had already been tarnished by allegations of her involvement in the murder of her husband, Lord Darnley. This, coupled with the fact that she was Elizabeth's cousin and heir to the throne made her arrival potentially problematic. Her religion also posed a threat to Elizabeth. Catholics regarded Mary as the rightful Queen ( '[we] accept her for the true and right Heir apparent of this Realm of England') and were ready to serve her.
After taking these points into careful consideration the Privy Council advised Elizabeth to keep her as a prisoner until she could explain why she had previously claimed to be Queen of England and account for the death of Darnley. Elizabeth agreed and Mary was kept at various places such as Carlisle, Bolton and Sheffield. However, it was obvious that imprisonment could not be a long term solution and so Elizabeth and her government evaluated their alternatives carefully.
Foreign powers and influences limited Elizabeth's options; Mary could not be allowed to return to France because of the danger that she might raise support for her earlier claim to be Queen. She could not be sent back to Scotland, either, because any attempt Mary made reassert herself was doomed to failure and result in the Protestant Lords executing her. This effectively forced Elizabeth to allow Mary to remain in England either under imprisonment or as at citizen.