scottish executive


February 8th 1587: Mary, Queen of Scots executed

On this day in 1587, Mary, Queen of Scots, was executed at Fotheringhay castle aged 44. Born in 1542, Mary was the only child of King James V of Scotland and Mary of Guise. Just six days after Mary was born, James died and the infant became queen, with her mother acting as regent. Mary was initially betrothed to Edward, son of King Henry VIII of England, but her Catholic family broke off the engagement, much to the anger of the English king. Mary was instead sent to France, at the court of Henry II, and married to his son Francis. However, Francis died soon after their marriage, aged sixteen, and Mary returned to Scotland to rule. She married the Earl of Darnley, but their turbulent marriage ended in bloodshed when Darnley murdered. Mary waited just three months before marying her close adviser, the Earl of Bothwell, who was suspected of killing Darnley. The Catholic Mary had long been opposed by the nobility of predominantly Protestant Scotland, and suspicions that she was involved in her husband’s murder finally severed their relationship. Mary was forced to abdicate in July 1567 in favour of her son, James. The former queen was imprisoned, but she managed to escape and fled to England seeking the protection of her cousin, Elizabeth I. However, Mary’s claim to the English throne - as great-granddaughter of Henry VII - threatened Elizabeth, whose eligibility was questioned by those who did not recognise Henry VIII’s divorce from Catherine of Aragon and marriage to Elizabeth’s mother Anne Boleyn. Elizabeth thus decided to imprison the former Scottish queen, who was held for 19 years. English Catholics conspired for many years to assassinate Elizabeth in order to seat Mary on the throne. In 1586, Elizabeth’s spies intercepted correspondence between Mary and one of the plotters, leading Elizabeth’s advisers to convince her to have Mary tried for treason. Mary was sentenced to death, and, while initially reluctant, Elizabeth ultimately signed the death warrant and Mary was executed in February 1587. Just before her beheading, Mary removed her black dress to reveal a red dress, symbolising Catholic martyrdom. Upon Elizabeth’s death in 1603, Mary’s son James ascended to the English throne, uniting the thrones of Scotland and England. The new king had his mother’s body exhumed and buried in Westminster Abbey.

“So long as there is life in her, there is hope; so as they live in hope, we live in fear”
- Elizabeth I’s advisers


January 30th 1649: Charles I executed

On this day in 1649, King Charles I of England, Scotland and Ireland was executed in London aged 48. He was born in 1600 the son of James VI of Scotland, who in 1603 became King James I of England and Ireland, in addition to Scotland, when Queen Elizabeth I died. Charles succeeded to the throne in 1625 when his father died, becoming the second Stuart monarch. Charles inherited from his father a firm belief in the divine right of kings to absolute rule, which led to conflict between the King and Parliament. These tensions lay in part due to debates over money and religion, with Charles’s Anglicanism alienating Puritans in England. Charles dissolved Parliament three times, and in 1629 resolved to rule the nation alone, without Parliament. During this period his actions appeared increasingly tyrannical, raising taxes and cracking down on Puritans and Catholics, leading to an exodus of the former to the American colonies. Personal rule ended when the King attempted to interfere with the Scottish Church, and had to restore Parliament to raise the funds to fight the Scottish. The English Civil War broke out in the last years of his reign, which pitted the crown against Parliament and occurred after he attempted to arrest members of Parliament. Charles’s Royalist supporters were defeated in 1646, and the King himself was eventually captured. The Parliamentarians, including general Oliver Cromwell, put the King on trial for treason, which resulted in his execution in 1649 outside the Banqueting House in Whitehall. The monarchy was then abolished, leading to the short-lived Commonwealth of England. A leading figure of this republic was Oliver Cromwell, though his rule as Lord Protector became increasingly authoritarian. Cromwell died of natural causes in September 1658, but on January 30th 1661, on the anniversary of Charles’s death, Cromwell’s remains were ritually executed. The monarchy was restored in 1660 with Charles’s son in power ruling as King Charles II.

Survivors, Chapter 6: Reunion

Directly follows this chapter, which can also be found on my Master List of fanfics. In this universe, which started with Taken, Claire was stopped as she tried to return through the stones before Culloden. 

Every minute that Jamie was gone felt like an hour. In my mind’s eye, I kept watching him ride away from me, surrounded by a company of redcoats. It played in a continuous loop. I hoped against hope that it would not be my last sight of him.

A different memory came to me, of my first husband standing upon a wooden platform, staring after me as a train carried me off to war. Was this how Frank had felt? Was this what he experienced? This gnawing pain in the pit of the stomach, the weight upon the chest, this visceral fear? I had now experienced separation on both sides: I had left, and I had been left behind. The latter was infinitely worse. I would have given anything to join Jamie on his dangerous journey, to be able to do something. To be at his side. To help. But I could do nothing but watch, and wait.

Angus had reassured me, “He’ll be fine. He’ll do what he must, and then he’ll be back for ye.“

"For us,” I had corrected him distractedly. At that moment, Jamie had turned in his saddle to look at me, and I was captured by his intense gaze. I had hardly noticed Captain Foster touching my other elbow. When I realized he was speaking, I had no idea what he had said. “I’m sorry, what was that?”

The young captain had repeated, “Please don’t fret, Mistress. You will be well cared for no matter what happens. I’ll make sure of it.”

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