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Eldorado

Child's bones hidden in Edinburgh Castle wall

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Eldorado

In Victorian times, the tour guides at Edinburgh Castle had quite a startling story to tell: in 1830, a coffin had been found immured in one of the walls of the Royal Palace: it contained the skeleton of a new-born babe, wrapped in a velvet cloth embroidered with the letters ‘JR’.

Since it was well known that Mary Queen of Scots had given birth to the future James VI in these very apartments, this extraordinary discovery would imply that the true child of Mary had died in infancy, and that the little prince was a changeling introduced into the royal crib.

Full story at the Scotsman: Link

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susieice

This is really weird because right now I'm reading Alison Weir's Mary Queen of Scots and I just got to the part where Mary discovers she's pregnant, though it isn't public knowledge yet, and Lord Darnley is not happy because she consistently refuses to give him the Crown Matrimonial, which would give him the crown if she died without issue. He was desperate to get it and fought with her constantly. According to Weir, Mary may have feared for her life if she did. The nobles didn't like Lord Darnley. I know later he will be murdered. Now I'm going to think about this.

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Eldorado

Part 2 of the OP article.

At the Scotsman: Link

Edited by Eldorado
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susieice
11 minutes ago, Eldorado said:

This is really interesting El. I've gotten further along in my book and it seems many of the nobles and a lot of the populace at the time believed the father of Mary's baby was her secretary, David Rizzio, and not her husband, Lord Darnley. I knew Rizzio will be murdered but I didn't know where in the book this would happen. Your article says Mary was still pregnant when this happened, so it should be soon. This book is really thick with small print. Most of Alison Weir's books are like that. 

Just wondering. Do you think this story is feasible?

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Eldorado
3 minutes ago, susieice said:

 

Just wondering. Do you think this story is feasible?

Yes, I do.  But I'm a sucker for gossip and conspiracy.

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susieice
1 minute ago, Eldorado said:

Yes, I do.  But I'm a sucker for gossip and conspiracy.

It does seem there was a lot of controversy about this baby. Like I said in my first post, Mary Queen of Scots did not like her husband and may have even feared him. Weir says she spent most of her time with Rizzio because she trusted him and that she and Darnley spent little time together. Her nobles felt Rizzio was an Italian usurper who was in cahoots with the Pope to bring Scotland back to Catholicism. I know they didn't like Darnley either. He was out for the crown. He gets murdered too somewhere down the line.

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Eldorado

Part 3

The Scotsman

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susieice

I haven't gotten to Rizzio's death yet. Just some of the plotting. Apparently there was a Lord named Moray who backed the Protestants and was in exile in England along with some other Lords. Weir wrote that reports from the time puts Lord Moray in Edinburgh during or immediately after Rizzio's murder. These people were masters at intrigue. 

Alison Weir is a pretty good historian who bases her books on research done on writings from the time. It's not like she's telling a story where people are having conversations that no one could possibly know what was said. So far it's all been based on these old documents. Now I can't wait to see what she says about the birth of the baby. I'm sure it was recorded in diaries and journals that survived. Especially ones from Ambassadors to her court. It most definitely would be in surviving church records. 

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HollyDolly

Now Antonia fraiser wrote a Biography of Mary , Queen of Scots.  Have to get the book again  from the library. In it she mentions that a maid to the Queen, and the Queen's apothocary (druggeist)  supposedly had a affair that produced a  child. These two were caught because they  murdered the child. Anyhow, they were if I recall according to what i read, tried and hung for the death. It could have been their child, and not the queen's. As a roman catholic, I doubt the relic was some infant saint. Mary would have kept it or passed it onto maybe Mary Seton one of her ladies in waiting, who if I'm correct, entered a convent  in France or Belgium after Mary's execution.

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susieice

I have her book Six Wives of Henry VIII. Really enjoyed it. 

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susieice
Posted (edited)

I've gotten through the part of Rizzio's murder and Mary Queen of Scots' escape from Holyrood Palace. It seems she will spend most of her life being held captive and fleeing from castle to castle. I googled to see more about places and what was happening and I really feel sorry for her. 

She was made Queen when her father died and she was six days old. She married a French King and was widowed two years later when she was fourteen. She never had anyone to teach her how to be a ruler. No one to really guide her. She was surrounded by Lords of their own persuasion out only to serve their own agendas and increase their power. Her husband was weak and offensive who only wanted power himself. He managed to alienate just about everyone. He didn't want this baby and demanded the Lords murder Rizzio in front of Mary. Even the Lords feared this would bring on a miscarriage but they agreed to it anyway. According to Weir, after the murder, Mary was confined to her bedchamber and said she was suffering pains. She was unable to eat for several days. Lord Darnley told Mary if she lost the baby they could always have another later. Lord Bothwell helps her escape to Dunbar Castle but nothing I could find has them in a relationship until after the death of Lord Darnley. Then he makes his move. They would marry and Bothwell would be charged and aquitted for Darnley's murder, but their reputations were damaged. He would flee to Denmark. Mary seems to play into the actions of Lords and plotting even after fleeing to England. This would lead eventually to her own death. Elizabeth had tried to help her and I found in one of the google searches where Elizabeth said some of her councilors had carried out Mary's execution against her orders. I'm far from reading this part of the book yet. I can't wait to see what Weir has to say about all of this.

After what I've read, I wouldn't be surprised at all if something had happened to this baby. I wish there was a way to examine what was found. I'm willing to say it's possible.

Edited by susieice
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susieice
Posted (edited)

I've read the part of the baby's birth now. Weir says the birth was difficult and long for Mary but she and the baby pulled through well. She said that at the time of the birth, a popular rumour went around that the baby was stillborn or died at birth and a changeling had been substituted. Some said they saw a basket being lifted to the Queen's window. Back then, they believed the changeling to be the son of the Earl of Mar. This explains where the story originates. She even mentions this story about the bones found in Edinburgh Castle and says it was debunked in 1944 but doesn't say how.

Lord Darnley's behavior was, of course, horrendous. This dashed any hope he had of securing the crown but he chose not to try and deny the child. Something Mary took notice of and she forgave but could not forget all his constant scheming and plotting against her. It seems at this time he was plotting with two English brothers, Arthur and Edward Pole, who were descendants of the Royal House of Plantagenet, to overthrow Mary and take over as King of the Scots. Then Elizabeth.   

Mary sent a messenger to Elizabeth I right after the birth, telling her the news of her son. James VI would succeed to the throne after his mother abdicated. He was 13 months.

This is really a good book.

Edited by susieice
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susieice

No kidding El. I'm watching a Lucy Worsley documentary and she's talking about this story. She says it came back to haunt James after he became King of England and did so much damage, it could have contributed to why he abdicated the throne. He was Catholic, which wasn't to his benefit to begin with. She has him being smuggled into Mary's bedchamber in a bed warmer, which no infant could fit into really.

The documentary is Tales From The Royal Bedchamber.

Edited by susieice
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