2nd June, 1572: Thomas Howard Is In The Shit.

On June 2nd, 1572, the 4th Duke of Norfolk, Thomas Howard, was executed for treason under the order of Elizabeth I. Thomas was born into one of the noblest families in England. Thomas’ family had been powerful for some time. His Grandfather, (also called Thomas Howard since the Tudors only had about 3 names), was a powerful politician during Henry VIII’s reign. This overambitious prick was the uncle of Anne Boleyn, and one of the main reason she found herself in the mix with the fat, spousicidal twat of a king in the first place.

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Thomas Howard,4th Duke of Norfolk…

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…who, to my utter amusement, looks like my friend Oisin.

Thomas’s Dad, Henry Howard, was a bit more vanilla than his father. However, he was still executed under Henry VIII’s orders for suspected treason. Thomas Boleyn senior was also due to be beheaded, but as luck would have it Henry VIII died the day before the order was to be carried out, so he managed to dodge his sentence… and still it was only women who were accused of witchcraft!

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Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk (the Grandad)

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Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey (the Dad)

Anyway, after the king’s death, his daughter, Mary Tudor, took the throne with her very catholic and very Spanish, dick of a husband, Phillip of Spain. Mary had Thomas Howard Snr. released from the Tower and reinstated as Duke of Norfolk, a title which passed to his grandson on his death in 1554. Thomas junior was now the 4th Duke of Norfolk and in royal favour, which was still the case when Elizabeth I inherited the throne upon Mary’s death.

Elizabeth thought very highly of Thomas, she referred to him as ‘her cousin’, (Anne Boleyn and Henry Howard were first cousins, and Elizabeth liked to think that she and Thomas were also very close). Thomas might have been close to the queen, but he was still no comparison to Elizabeth’s favorite, Robert Dudley. It was said that Thomas Howard was jealous of Dudley because Dudley could influence the queen’s decisions, whereas he could not, despite being the richest bloke in the country. That aside, she still relied on him to do her bidding, and sort out the unholy shit storm that her cousin, Mary Queen of Scots, had caused when she came to England to seek refuge.

The catholic Queen Mary had basically run away from all kinds of mess that she had been tied up in back in Scotland. She was hoping that her cousin would help her, but Elizabeth, quite rightly, saw her as a threat to her throne. Mart was catholic, the country had just reformed, Mary had a family link to the English throne, ergo she was a massive threat, and she now being in England brought about the threat of rebellion against Liz. So off went Thomas Howard to sort it out.

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Mary Queen of Scots – doing the ‘shady moon’ face.

Howard was all for laying some smackdown on Mary, until he met her Secretary of State, a slimy dude called Maitland. Maitland not only convinced Howard that Mary was innocent of any ill intent towards Elizabeth, but he also convinced Howard that it would be a good idea if he married Mary and then tried to blag Elizabeth into naming Mary as her successor to the English throne upon her death. Talk about being played like a fiddle, but Howard was stupid enough to go for it. The problem was that he didn’t have the bollockss to actually put the idea to Elizabeth, so, like a deluded fuckwit, he kept it a secret and but carried on making plans to wed the Scottish Queen regardless.

Because Howard suspected Elizabeth wouldn’t go for the idea, and because he shat himself at the prospect of being the one to put it to her, Maitland and Howard decided that Maitland would approach Elizabeth and make the suggestion. After all he had been able to chat shit to Howard and convince him of the shit idea in the first place. In the meantime, the plans for Howard and Mary to wed continued to be hatched.

When Elizabeth found out,  was had none of it. Why the fuck would she hand the throne to her knob head cousin, who had literally THE WORST track record with men in History*, and who would seek to restore England back to Catholicism with the help of that snivelling cunt, and  Elizabeth’s sworn enemy, Prince Philip of Spain? So as you can imagine, Howard’s plans started to look a tat premature, and a lot ridiculous.

For acting like a knob and going behind her back, Elizabeth had Howard was arrested and imprisoned in the tower. Elizabeth didn’t quite have the same blood thirst as her father and didn’t want the PR nightmare that sending Howard to trial would cause, so when shit settled down, he was eventually released from the tower. However, this is not where the story ends, because like an utter fucking spafftool, Howard continued to write to Mary, who wrote back chatting all kinds of love shit, and kissing him up via letters. This eventually lead to Howard getting himself involved in a fucking stupid idea with the shitehawk, Phillip of Spain and his cunt faced, London based banker pal, (yep, they were around being fuckheads in Tudor England too), Roberto Ridolfi.

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Phillip of Spain: Elizabeth’s ex bro-in-law and a right cunt.

The ‘Ridolfi Plot’, as it is now known, was basically a plan hatched by the men to free Mary, marry her to Howard, boot Elizabeth off the throne and restore England to its catholic glory with the help of Spain. Can you imagine?! What a misled knobweasle Howard had become.

The perpetrators of the plot had not counted on three things: firstly, Howard’s incompetence, Secondly, the pure badassness of Elizabeth’s spymaster, Walsingham (think Varys from Game of Thrones),  and finally, the fact that Howard’s servant sang like a bunch of shitbirds when put to the rack.

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Walsingham the spymaster, like a boss

Howard had also mistrusted one of his servants to convey messages between himself, Phillip and Ridolfi. The servant had then found a merchant to do the dirty work, taking letters and money between the parties. The merchant was found out pretty sharpish as his sacks weighed more than they were supposed to, arousing the suspicion of the port guards, so he was arrested and questioned and he too spilled the beans on Howard.

Meanwhile, back at home, Howard’s servants had been arrested and tortured, during which time they told their captures that Howard had been squirrelling away letters about the plot under one of his roof tiles at one of his many properties.

Elizabeth was beside herself when she found out. How the fuck did Thomas Howard find himself mixed up in all this bullshit? He had always maintained his loyalty to Elizabeth and, to a certain extent, she believed him. She did not want to condemn him to death, signing and retracting his death warrant several times, until eventually parliament stepped in and insisted she should stop fannying about and just get it over and done with.

Thomas Howard’s death warrant was eventually signed and he was sent to his death for being a treasonous prick, just like his father and Grandfather, on June 2nd, 1572. He is now buried in the church of St Peter and Vincula at the Tower of London, a dumping ground for headless Tudor traitors. ‘And what of Mary?’ I hear you cry. Well she continued to plot and scheme once she found out that Elizabeth would not name her as heir to the throne. In 1586, Walsingham uncovered enough evidence to have her sentenced to death, and in 1587 she met a very sticky end.

*If you need proof of Mary’s terrible choice in men, or you want to know more about her rather shitty execution, you may be interested in this plots-execu:https://thetudorials.com/2015/07/17/july-17th-1586-tions-treason-and-the-dick-end-men-in-mary-queen-of-scots-life/

 

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25th may 1553: Lady Jane grey is forced to marry a proper dick

Today is the 463rd wedding anniversary of lady Jane Grey and Guilford Dudley. The pair were palmed off and forced to marry in 1553 by their parents, (as many were back then), in order to seek a strong claim to the throne upon the death of Edward VI. Jane was NOT happy with the arrangement; Guilford and his power hungry family were dickheads and out for their own gain, and Jane didn’t want to be queen at all, she wanted to read and prey and certainly not marry.

Guilford was a massive tosser who did little but drink and whore, whereas Jane was a refined gentle character who would have been happy in a nunnery with her books. Their marriage was a mere political convenience.

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The absolute cockweasle that is Guilford Dudley

It came about because Jane’s mother, Francis, was next in line to the throne when Henry VIII’s only son, Edward, was king. Francis was Henry VIII’s niece, and since his two other children, (Elizabeth and Mary), had been declared bastard, she was his next kin by blood. She was a cunt too. She was an utter botch to Jane, and manipulated her through cruelty and neglect. She decided that if she could forfeit her claim to the throne (after all she had no sons so there was very little point of her inheriting the crown), it would pass to Jane and Francis and John Dudley (1st Duke of Northumberland and Guilford’s Dad), could essentially rule through their children.

Since the king was young and sickly, and Northumberland was his chief counsellor, (therefore already the most powerful man in the country), he was in prime place to notice when your Edward was past his sell by. He moved quick to get to work putting his son in the throne and secure his power, and block out Mary and Elizabeth’s claim for good (well that was the plan).

The pair were married on 25th May. The marriage was so rushed that Jane had to borrow a gown from the Royal wardrobe. Edward died in July of the same year, naming Jane as his heir (she was the same religion as him, as was his sister Elizabeth, but Edward knew that by reinstating Elizabeth’s claim to the throne would mean that the crown fell to his catholic sister, Mary. Edward did not like Catholics so left the crown to his cousin Jane). All was falling in line for Jane and Guilford’s parents.

The marriage was short and most likely unhappy, (there is little evidence to suggest otherwise but a stack to suggest there was no love lost between the two). The couple were married in the May and by the November both were dead.

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Lady Jane Grey

Mary came after just 9 days of Janes reign and took the throne with an army of supporters. She was after all said and done Henry VIII’s first child, and bastard or not the people would rather have seen the morally correct thing being done, than see some cheeky little bastards steal the throne… even if that ‘morally right’ thing was Mary.

Mary arrested all concerned, and promised to be forgiving to Jane as she knew none of this was her doing. In the end, what actually happened was that Francis was pardoned and Northumberland and Guilford executed at Tower Hill. It looked as though Jane would get her pardon, but since she refused to convert to the catholic faith, Mary had Janes body relived of its head. The night before their execution, Guilford asked to meet his wife for a final time. Jane refused saying it would be too distressing and they should wait to meet in heaven. I like to think she had her final revenge on Guilford, blowing him out in style and leaving him snivelling in the tower like a snot faced idiot with donated pride.

Some historians think that Mary would’ve executed Jane anyway, despite her promise of keeping Jane safe. Marys new soon-to-ben husband, Phillip of Spain, was a strong supported of the Catholic faith and wanted to see jane dead, partly because she was of the reformed faith, partly to send a message not to fuck with the Queen, but mostly because he was an utter bastard. Mary was smitten with this tit faced Pillock and desired nothing more than to marry him, so if doing away with jane was the answer then this is what she would do. Some think Mary wanted her to convert so her soul would be saved in the afterlife. Whatever the reason, Jane was so brave and headstrong that she refused to repent and was executed at the tower.

I love the tragic story of Jane Grey and Guilford Dudley. No matter what you think of Guilford, both children, (because essentially that’s what they were: Guilford was 19 and poor Jane only 17), were horrifically manipulated by their greedy parents, with dire consequences.

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Out of all the images that depict Tudor life and events, this is my absolute favorite. It is the execution of Jane grey painted by Paul Delaroche.

February 8th, 1587: The Undignified Death of Mary Queen of Scots

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Mary Queen of Scots

At around 3 pm on 7th of February, 1587 Mary Queen of Scots was told she was to be executed the following morning. This was a bit wank because not only was tea AND breakfast ruined, but Mary was denied permission to delay her execution in order to get her shit together prior to her death, (one famous account suggests that the English council member who told Mary she was to die followed her appeal for time to prepare with the comeback, “No No madam, you must die”… that is some cold shit right there).

Mary had been imprisoned for 19 years and her life was one massive turd storm of disaster after disaster. She had been forced to flee Scotland as a catholic, where her rule had been interesting (this is about the best word I could come up with to describe it), in order to seek protection from her English and protestant cousin, Queen Elizabeth I. Elizabeth wasn’t very happy about it and inevitably it all kicked off (you can read about it here), So in the end Mary had to go.

Elizabeth didn’t really want Mary dead but since Mary had pulled off a few dick moves, she had kind of sealed her own fate, and so her death warrant was signed. If Mary was bothered she never showed it. She welcomed death and only wished for the county to be reverted back to its old Catholic ways and so on the morning of February 8th at Fotheringhay castle, she was led to the block.

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Mary being led to the block, looking a little more like a date than an execution

Like a big antagonist bastard, Mary had decided that crimson underskirts were the attire of choice that day. Red was the colour of martyrdom and since Mary believed she yet another Catholic Martyr to die at the hands of a protestant queen (and not the fact that she had taken the absolute piss and conspired to have Elizabeth assassinated), she deemed it an appropriate choice. Who just has crimson underskirts in their wardrobe to wear at a moments notice? Mary Queen of Scots, that’s who. She must have known and planned her dress in advance like a Tudor period Gok Wan.

Her whole execution was a disaster. Her ladies in waiting helped her remove her veil and head dress. When the executioner decided that her needed to help she gave him a bit of a bollocking shouting “Nay, my good man touch me not!”. To be fair, what the fuck was he thinking. He begged Mary’s forgiveness, which she gave, but proceeded to cock up the execution anyway (I like to imagine it was because he was in a mood and being told off and so wasn’t concentrating properly). Mary’s dress was pulled down to her waist so the executioner could have a clear aim, and as she was being pulled about Mary commented that this probably didn’t look as graceful as it should have since she wasn’t accustomed to being stripped off in from of four to five hundred people. A fair point I would say. One of her ladies covered her eyes and she was placed on the block.

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Mary prayed and the executioner swung his axe. Like a massive chump he failed to sever her head from her body so had to have another go. Imagine the faces her ladies in waiting. What a tit. Eventually he managed to detach it and lifter it in the air shouting “God save Queen Elizabeth”, when right on cue the head fell leaving Mary’s wig in his hand. Mary was only 31 and had been loosing her hair, a fact she had hidden well until this prick got a hold of her head.

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Mary’s creepy as balls death mask. She ain’t fooling anyone with that hair

It didn’t stop there. Her decapitated body lay on the scaffold lifeless until a few seconds later it began to move. The superstitious crowd upfront must have shat out a brick, but it wasn’t evil spirits or calls from the afterlife, it was Mary’s pet dog which she had decided to take to her execution as a nice little day out for it. The terrier went and lay in the blood at the end of his masters headless neck and refused to move until he was shifted away when the body was taken for embalming. What a massive fuck up this day had been. Some historians think that it was the execution of Mary queen of Scots that was the deciding factor in Phillip II launching the armada. He was a massive twat too.

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One of the tapestries that Mary made. T Yes, its a dog. The clues were all there

In 1603, Elizabeth I died and named Mary’s protestant son, James as her heir. James had already been ruling since he was a baby when his Mum was forced to give up her crown and flee to England. In 1612, James decided to move his mothers body to Westminster Abbey and give her a big showy tomb.  Poor Mary, she has a shitty end to a shitty life. Elizabeth was said to regret the decision to have her cousin executed for the rest of her life.

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Mary’s tomb in Westminster

 

 

29th November 1530: Suicide, Illness or Divine Intervention?

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The death of Cardinal Wolsey

Cardinal Thomas Wolsey was, at one time, Henry VIII’s right hand man. He was the Pope’s representative in England, held a ridiculous amount of power and influence, and was the second richest man in the country next to the King, (Hampton Court Palace was actually commissioned by, and built for Wolsey – not Henry VIII, as most people believe). This dude was untouchable.

He died in 1530 after what can only be described as a ‘fucking nightmare’. Henry decided that Wolsey was to blame for everything that was going wrong with Henry’s love life, and that the only way to rectify this matter was to execute him. A common and predictable theme in Henry’s life.

It all started when Henry decided he had had enough of his wife of almost 24 years, and wanted to bin her off. He had found some bullshit clause in the bible which he reckoned made his marriage to Katherine of Aragon null and void in the eyes of God. The fact that Katherine had failed to give him a male heir, and that Henry was (almost)  wetting his end in the cock-tease Anne Boylen, had driven Henry’s desire to push for this annulment. His theory was that because Katherine had been married to his brother before him, the couple were doomed for failure and living in sin in the eyes of the Catholic church. Henry now needed Wolsey to pop and see the Pope and get an annulment.

Wolsey was rather stupidly confident that he could get this sorted so off he went. The Pope inevitably said something along the lines of ‘are you fucking mental? It’s not happening my friend’ (paraphrasing slightly), so Henry’s annulment was denied. Knowing what we know about Henry, you can just imagine how this went down. To cap it off Anne was now spouting a load of bollocks about Henry wasting the best of her youth by keeping her hanging on at the promise of marriage. Henry was not a happy chappy.

The problem was that the Pope was Wolsey’s boss, so Wolsey had to do as he was told, and the Pope was in turn told what to do by his boss, the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V…Katherine’s nephew. There is no way that Charles was having it that a bell end like Henry was going to screw over his fab Aunt Katy and use Gods name as an excuse to do it. Wolsey could only do as he was told, and so sided with Katherine, Charles and the Pope. It was a bit of a rock and a hard place situation for the poor bloke.

wolsey  Anne now hated Wolsey, so decided that she would chip away at Henry in order to take matters into their own hands. Henry, who was now desperate to bend it up the manipulative genius that was Anne, was all about this and so decided that Wolsey was going down. How dare he fail to get the annulment and make him look a mug!

Henry had decided that because Wolsey could not secure the annulment, had cock-blocked him from Anne and had been a bit too chummy with Katherine, he should be accused of treason. Wolsey, who was now in York, was sent for. He was to come to London to explain why he couldn’t deliver the goods (and to ultimately be put to death).

At this time Wolsey had a new best pal, a bright young thing who went by the name of Thomas Cromwell. They were travelling together to London when Wolsey took ill. He rested in Leicester and it was quickly becoming apparent that he wouldn’t be able to continue the journey. Wolsey died of a bowel infection and was laid to rest in the Abbey at Leicester. Cromwell,  gutted at the death of his friend, still carried on to London to protest Wolsey’s innocence.

The curious thing about Wolsey’s death was that it happened just before he was obviously about to walk into a massive shit storm. If Wolsey had of made it to London he would have been greeted with accusations & public ridicule; his reputation pulled to shreds by the King’s concubine, a long stretch in the Tower and ultimately a humiliating and painful execution. In a lot of ways his death was conveniently well-timed. I don’t for one minute think that Wolsey would have committed suicide: he was devout Catholic after all. So was it illness, or something else all together? What if Wolsey’s death was the act of a kind friend  sparing the Cardinal his reputation at court, and preventing his public execution?

Before coming into Wolsey’s service, Cromwell was a mercenary who had travelled extensively, fought in wars and was ultimately a freaking genius. He was a lawyer and a badass, and exceptionally loyal to Wolsey. Its not implausible to think that he could’ve poisoned the Cardinal in order to maintain his innocence. By doing this he would also ensure the cardinal was comfortable in his remaining days and still able to get his affairs in order? Now I’m just speculating and there is pretty much no evidence for this, but a man like Cromwell was well-placed to protect his friend and take away the grief and worry the Cardinal would’ve undoubtedly had felt. It would also remove the need for suicide and bowel infections are synonymous with poisoning after all.

Whether it was illness or mercy that killed Wolsey, one thing remains for sure, Cromwell deeply missed the Cardinal and maintained his innocence for the rest of his life. Of course, it was Cromwell that later brought abut the downfall of Anne Boylen, and what happened to Henry in all of this? Well he just carried on being Henry.

 

If you fancy reading a bit more about Cromwell give this one a go: A Massive Fall Out

July 17th 1586- plots, executions, treason and the dick end men in Mary Queen of Scots life.

July 17th 1586. The Babington plot and Mary’s final fuck up

Mary Queen of Scots

Mary Queen of Scots

It always seems to be cousins at war when you read about the Tudors, but to be fair they were all a bit incestuous and so had about a million cousins a piece; with that number it’s inevitable that you’re going to annoy a few of them along the way. With so much deceit and scandal that they all hated each other, though I suppose that’s families for you isn’t it?

However for these particular cousins things got really bad, (well second cousins to be precise). Both were Queens in their own right, both well-educated and formidable, both had shady pasts and both wanted the English throne: Welcome to the battle arena Mary Queen of Scott’s and Elizabeth I.

Elizabeth I had been on the English Queen for 27 years. Everything was going sweet. There had been a couple of assassination attempts but nothing major and besides, Liz had the best spy master around, Francis Walsingham. Mary’s social standing is not so easy to explain so we have to go back to the beginning; I will keep it brief because we all have stuff to do.

Mary Stuart was born to James V of Scotland and his wife Mary of Guise (James was Henry VIII nephew, Henry was Elizabeth’s dad, hence second cousins…complicated isn’t it). Anyway Mary’s Dad died when she was 6 days old making her an infant Queen. She was betrothed to a French Prince and sent to French court until she was married. In marrying Mary her husband, Francis II, became king of France and Scotland but kicked the bucket 2 years later. Her mother in law shipped her back to Scotland after this but Mary was catholic and Scotland was protestant, not that she wasn’t unpopular at this point, but it made things a bit tricky for her. Loads of the Scottish public thought that Mary would inherit the English throne, Elizabeth had no kids so it put Mary as close as you can get without being executed.

Elizabeth I

Elizabeth I

Anyway, Mary eventually married her cousin Lord Darnley, who was a complete fucktard. This dick had Mary’s best friend stabbed to death (accusing him of being her lover), he drank and beat her and was just in general a giant twat. Mary had also grown very close the handsome young chap, The Earl of Bothwell. This dude was Mary’s closest advisor and there was much speculation about the pair. They made matters worse for themselves when Lord Darnley was killed in suspicious circumstances, not long after Mary had given birth to hers and Darnley’s son, James. There was an explosion at their house and his body was found outside, though not burned or anything like that but strangled, indicating murder (Full on CSI, Tudor style).

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Bothwell then abducted and allegedly raped Mary and forced her to marry him a mere 3 months after Darnley’s death, as she was on her return form visiting her infant son, (though it’s always possible that Mary was in on the whole business). By this point Mary and Bothwell were accused of Darnleys murder and the Queen now found herself in the deepest of all shit. Their marriage was ridiculously unpopular. They had been married under Protestant law which pissed off the Catholics no end. The pair were caught and Mary surrendered and abdicated in return for Bothwells safe exile. This prick just fucked off and was never seen again, he died 10 years later in a Danish prison like a massive chump.

Whilst in prison Mary gave birth to his stillborn twins and was branded a whore, adulteress and murder by her people. Shitting herself massively, she managed to escape and head to England seeking the protection of her Cousin, Queen Elizabeth, who wasn’t happy about the whole thing:

Elizabeth was a protestant Queen and Mary was her catholic heir. Having finally got rid of Mary Tudor, the most mentalist of Catholics, Elizabeth didn’t really want another Catholic Queen in the country compromising her throne and was worried about loyal Catholics revolting against her and giving Mary the crown. Nobody was happy and so bringing us up to speed on the background checks.

So back to the events of 1586 and the Babington plot. As I have mentioned there were a couple of plots to murder Elizabeth but all failed. This one however was to be Mary’s undoing. Mary had been imprisoned at Elizabeth leisure for the past 19 years. Her son James was now king of Scotland and had no contact with his mother. Mary had decided that she was going to hatch a plot with King Philip II of Spain: A strict Catholic and previous king of England (he was married to Mary Tudor, Elizabeth’s sister, when she was Queen, then did one back to Spain when Elizabeth inherited the throne and told him to cock off). The plan was to assassinate Liz and put Mary on the throne, thus restoring England back to its Catholic ways. Philip would provide the muscle for this to happen and my guess is at some point try and worm his way back in. He didn’t like Elizabeth: she had refused to marry him after her sister’s death, refused to convert to Catholicism and taken the country back to its new, more liberal protestant ways after her sister and his wife had gone on a killing spree of Protestants. The Spanish armada! That was him. He was a bell end. The messanger of this whole thing was a dude called Anthony Babington.

Mary's second dick of a husband, the earl of Bothwell

Mary’s second dick of a husband, the earl of Bothwell

The plot started with a bloke called Gilbert Gifford who was a well sketchy character. He was British born but became a deacon in France in 1585 after being expelled from college in Rome. When in Rome he became pally with some dude who was involved in the plot to assassinate Elizabeth and agreed to help. After travelling back to England to do this he was caught and arrested by Walsingham and agreed to be a double agent for him. Gifford’s job was to take letters between Mary who was imprisoned (well, living the life of Riley in Stately homes around England and Wales), and her accomplice Anthony Babington. He did this by shoving the letters that the two wrote to each other in beer barrels and taking the correspondence between the pair. The letters were obviously then taken to Babington who had them all decrypted and basically knew everything. Babington has already managed to convince Elizabeth that he was a Protestant and worm his way into court but he was a massive secret Catholic working to overthrow the Queen.

Walsingham had enough evidence on Babington to convict him of treason but he wanted the bigger prize. He wanted Mary dead, buried and in the ground cold (and possibly a bit headless too for good measure). On 17th July 1856, Walsingham had his break. He intercepted a letter from Mary to Babington ordering the Queens execution and highlighting her plan to take the English throne. She has royally fucked herself (forgive the pun).

Babington - the chump

Babington – the chump

Elizabeth I's version or Varys - Francis Walsingham

Elizabeth I’s version or Varys – Francis Walsingham

When Gifford heard about this he shat himself. His job was done and being the bell end he was, it became obvious that he was heading for a stint in the tower, so he did what any man would do and ran off. He was found the following year shagging a man servant and a woman in a brothel in France (remember this was a priest having a threeway) and arrested only to die in prison in 1590. I love Gifford, he was like a bisexual Tudor Russell Brand priest, the dirty shagger.

Walsingham, having the evidence to arrest Babington AND the Queen, now decided he was going for the hat trick and was going to go after the other 6 accomplices who were mentioned in the plot. He wrote a letter to Babington posing as the Queen Mary, asking that she might know the names of the gentlemen sent to set her free. Like a twonk of the highest magnitude he named them and the whole bunch were arrested (only after Babington had fled and been captured).

Babington wrote Elizabeth asking for forgiveness and offering her a shit tonne of cash, but that shit didn’t fly and Liz was having none of it. Suppose he thought it was worth a try though eh. The men involved were all hung drawn and quartered, a really shitty and gruesome way to die. Basically they were strapped to a horse and dragged through the streets, to the gallows, there they were hanged till near death, taken down, had their balls cut off (and often shoved into their mouths), disembowelled and then cut into quarters but kept alive till the very end. I don’t think many people took a picnic to these, even though they were basically treated like a family fun day. FACT

Marys execution

Marys execution

spot the red petticoat

spot the red petticoat? bet you cant see the dog though eh?!

Mary didn’t get off lightly either, as you’d expect really. She was arrested and kept at Fothringhay Castle where she was executed under the order of Queen Elizabeth I, (well this is not strictly true, Elizabeth signed and retracted the death warrant several times, She didn’t really want to kill her cousin, particularly as she was a Queen in her own right but parliament had twisted her arm. She was mega mega mega distressed by the whole thing after and was reported to have regretted it tremendously).

Mary’s execution was one giant fuck up. she was told the night before to be ready for the execution the following day. At the execution Mary was forced to remove her black dress. under it she wore a bright red petticoat which symbolised Martyrdom. I’m not honestly certain if Mary truly believed she was a Catholic martyr or if it was a last ditch attempt at sympathy but one thing I do know is that if you try to kill the Queen you had better not fuck it up, and Mary REALLY fucked it up.

Death mask of Mary Queen of Scotts - scary as balls.

Death mask of Mary Queen of Scotts – scary as balls.

The executioner struck her neck and failed to part it from her body. Mary would’ve been suffocating, bleeding to death and possibly still alive at this point. He then proceeded to strike it twice more before her head fell off, he then picked it up, held it in the air and shouted some shit about God save Elizabeth the rightful Queen. As he did this, her hair came away in his hand and the head fell to the floor. She was bald and wore a wig to hide this fact. Oh the indignity. Then there was a ruffle in her dress: she had only smuggled her bloody dog in her clothes to her execution. Who does that shit? Mary that’s who. Elizabeth was saddened and outraged, and would always live with the regret. History does not record the dogs opinion on the whole situation though.

Mary’s body was taken away and embalmed. Her bloodstained clothes were either washed or burned. Years later her son James VI  had her body moved Westminster Abbey where the true Queens are buried. James went onto then inherit the English throne after Elizabeth’s death so a Stuart found their way to the English crown after all.

A young James I of England and VI of Scotland.

A young James I of England and VI of Scotland.