Amongst items of news and business our President, Judith Walker, confirmed our Christmas meeting will be a meal at the Snitterfield Arms. Next month is the Annual Meeting and two new members have agreed to be co-opted on to the committee. More details of that next month.

The speaker for the evening was Gillian White and her talk was about Mary Queen of Scots. Gillian is a brilliant speaker, who is obviously very well informed about her subject. She, also, illustrated her talk, on our large drop down screen, with some beautiful original portraits of her subjects. 400 years on Mary`s story is a good ripping yarn. Given gaps in the historical evidence, Mary was either thoroughly wicked or an innocent victim! She was born on the 8th December 1542 in Linlithgow Castle where in those days all Queens went to give birth. . ,At only 6 days old her father, James Vth, died and she became Queen.Her coronation took place when she was 9 months old. Her mother carrying out her queenly duties. She was shortly moved to Stirling Castle, a fortress on a rocky outcrop, safe from the English invaders. At 5 years of age, she was sent to live with her mother`s family in France where she was raised alongside the Dauphin Francois, whom she eventually married when they were both 15 in Notre Dame Cathedral. Her father-in-law, Henry the Second, was killed in a jousting accident and she became Queen of France alongside her husband, who was now King.
Her husband Francis died and she was widowed at 18.
Mary, then, returned to Scotland and married again. Her second husband was Lord Darnley. Darnley was said to be involved in the murder of David Rizzio, who was a musician, but who had a very close relationship with Mary. Darnley was, then, murdered by Lord Bothwell, who subsequently became Mary`s third husband. After various intrigues, Bothwell, also, met his end and Mary was widowed for the third time at the age of 24.
Having fallen out of favour with the Scottish barons, Mary foolishly turned to her cousin Elizabeth in England for help. She spent the next 19 years a prisoner in various English houses. Elizabeth was loathed to have her killed, but, eventually, Mary was beheaded in Fotheringay Castle and layed to rest in Peterborough Cathedral. Her son became James 6th of Scotland and, at Elizabeth`s death, the First of England. He had his mother`s body reburied in Westminster Abbey.
As Gillian said, whatever your opinion of Mary Queen of Scots, her story still makes intriguing listening 400years on.
The next meeting November the 14th is the Annual meeting when the new committee is chosen. We are also promised a SURPRISE!