Monday, 13 October 2008

Plea for remains of Mary Queen of Scots to be moved to Scotland

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by Kathryn Hadley

The Nationalist South of Scotland MSP, Christine Grahame, has recently issued an appeal for the remains of Mary Queen of Scots to be removed from her tomb in Westminster Abbey and returned to Scotland. She will present a motion to the Scottish parliament later this week demanding the repatriation of the body.

Following her flight to England in May 1568, Mary I was imprisoned for almost twenty years by her cousin Elizabeth I. She was tried, found guilty of treason and executed at Fortheringhay Castle in Northamptonshire on 8th February 1587. She was initially buried in Peterborough Cathedral in 1588, but following her son, James I’s, accession to the throne of England, in 1612 her body was moved to Westminster Abbey.

As a “victim of English plotting”, Christine Grahame has proposed that Mary Queen of Scots’ remains should be relocated to Falkland Palace in Fife, one of the Stuart’s main retreats. It is believed that her appeal will find sympathy among Catholics in Scotland, for whom Mary I is an icon of religious devotion and fidelity.

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