Tell my friends that I died a true woman to my religion, and like a true Scottish woman and a true French woman.
Inmanus tuas, Domine, Inmanus tuas, Domine
Around 8am on 8 February 1587, Mary Queen of Scots was led to the scaffold in the great hall of Fotheringhay Castle.
There was a gasp as Mary removed her black dress to reveal a red petticoat that symbolised Catholic martyrdom. Mary believed that she was dying for her faith.
Mary knelt by the block. A cloth was tied across her eyes.
Mary , Queen of Scots
The executioner placed a hand on Mary for a moment then cut off her head with two blows of his axe. When he raised up her head, the head fell and he was left holding a wig. Her grey hair was cut short to her scalp.
There was some movement from the body, and Mary’s small dog was found hiding under the dead queen’s skirts, soaked in her blood.
Mary’s blood stained clothes were burned and she was laid to rest in Peterborough Cathedral.