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
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
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!