Sunday, October 12, 2008

Should she stay or should she go...

There's an interesting story in some of today's Scottish papers, focussing on a suggestion made by Christine Grahame, the SNP MSP for the South of Scotland, that the remains of Mary Queen of Scots should be disinterred from their current resting place in Westminster Abbey and repatriated to Scotland.

She is supported in her view by a composer named James McMillan (of whom, I must confess, I have never heard) various historians and the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland.

What intrigues me is that Mary was so unpopular during her reign, punctuated as it was by at least one allegation of murder, that she was forced to abdicate in 1567, in favour of her then one-year-old son, James and flee to England to save her own life.

Unable to resist the usual attack on the perfidious English, Ms Grahame describes Mary as an iconic figure from Scottish history (no arguments so far) who was ultimately the victim of English plotting...

Err, no Christine, Mary was caught red handed plotting to overthrow Elizabeth and to seize the English throne and that is why a very, very reluctant Elizabeth had to order her execution.

Frankly, I have no strong feelings either way about Mary's final resting place. However, as all schoolboy historians now know, the infant son who succeeded her as James VI of Scotland subsequently inherited the throne of England on Elizabeth's death, becoming James VI and I and it was at his direction - the direction of (no pun intended) the last king of Scotland - that his mother's remains were interred in Westminster Abbey.

Perhaps he - her son - should have the final word as to where his mother's remains spend eternity.

1 comment:

Mad king george said...

England's bastard Queen was reluctant yes but only because she couldn't get her scape-goat (his name escapes me at the moment) to do the very, very, very dirty work on her behalf.