MARY, QUEEN OF SCOTS
Page 2 : 1570-1587
Sheffield Manor House Turret
Sheffield Manor House (South Yorkshire)
October 1570 to November 1570: When Queen Mary was first taken to Sheffield, she was lodged in the Turret House (also called Queen Mary's Tower) of Sheffield Manor House, another property belonging to the Earl of Shrewsbury. The Queen's entourage was also lodged at the manor. Legend has it that the Queen tried to escape while residing here but failed. Her ghost is said to haunt the turret.
Sheffield Castle (South Yorkshire)
28 November 1570 until September 1584: Queen Mary was moved to Sheffield Castle, a 300 year old castle belonging to the Earl of Shrewsbury, in the autumn of 1570. It was highly secure, having been built on a bedrock and surrounded by two rivers, and was the preferred residence of the Earl of Shrewsbury, who lived in fear of Catholic plots to liberate the Scottish Queen. This castle was made the Queen's main residence and she spent most of the next fourteen years here, only leaving it briefly to spend time at the Earl's other properties nearby, including Sheffield Manor and Chatsworth House. The Queen was also given permission to visit Buxton in Derbyshire on several occasions to take the healing waters there due to ill-health. The Queen continued to spend her time embroidering and set up an aviary at Sheffield Castle that housed beautiful and exotic birds.
Wingfield Manor (Derbyshire)
September 1584 until January 1585: George Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury, was released from the charge of Queen Mary's custodian in the summer of 1584 and her new keeper, Sir Ralph Sadler, returned the Scottish Queen to Wingfield Manor, where she remained for several months.
Tutbury Castle (Staffordshire)
January 1585 until December 1585: Queen Mary spent most of 1585 at her most hated castle, Tutbury. In the April of that year Sir Ralph Sadler was replaced by Sir Amias Paulet, a devout Protestant who was her harshest keeper yet, who added to the Queen's grief by removing her chair and royal cloth of state.
Chartley Manor (Staffordshire)
December 1585 until August 1586: It was at Chartley Manor, a moated mansion near the ruins of Chartley Castle, that Queen Mary was staying when she became embroiled in The Babington Plot to kill Queen Elizabeth I and place her (Queen Mary) on the English throne. A letter written by Queen Mary, endorsing Queen Elizabeth's murder, was intercepted by Francis Walsingham, Elizabeth I's spymaster, and doomed the Scottish Queen. She was arrested on 11 August 1586 while out riding.
Tixall Hall (Staffordshire)
August 1586: Following her arrest for involvement in The Babington Plot, Queen Mary was taken to this mansion, home of Sir William Aston, while her rooms at Chartley were searched.
Chartley Manor (Staffordshire)
August 1586 until September 1586: After Queen Mary's rooms had been searched, she was returned to Chartley by Sir Amias Paulet. However, Queen Elizabeth wanted the Scottish Queen moved to Fotheringhay Castle in Northamptonshire.
Fotheringhay Castle (Northamptonshire)
21 September 1586 until 8 February 1587: This medieval castle, the birthplace of King Richard III, was to be Queen Mary's final residence. On 14 October 1586 the Scottish Queen was put on trial at the castle for treason and, after a delay ordered by Queen Elizabeth I (who was in a great dilemma over what to do), was finally found guilty on 25 October. Parliament wanted the Scottish Queen executed, but Queen Elizabeth was in great turmoil over the matter, and further delays followed. It was not until 1 February 1587 that Queen Elizabeth finally signed the death warrant. On 8 February 1587 the ill-fated Queen of Scotland was executed in the great hall of Fotheringhay Castle. Within years the great castle had become a ruin and now very little remains.