Letter by Mary Queen of Scots goes to auction (continued…)
Cathy Marsden, rare books, manuscripts and maps specialist at Lyon & Turnbull, said: “It is rare for a document with Mary’s handwriting to come up for auction. Having custody of this fragile letter is quite special.
“There are 12 lines written by a secretary, and (an) additional six lines in Mary’s own hand. The letter is signed, ‘Votre bien bonne amye, Marie’, which translates as ‘Your very good friend, Mary’.
“Given Mary’s unique place in history, we anticipate a lot of interest in this sale.”
The letter asks the French ambassador to Queen Elizabeth I to lend George Douglas, the bearer, 300 ecus (gold coins) and to negotiate with the French royal family to secure George’s trouble-free passage.
Mary’s escape from Lochleven had been helped by George Douglas and his cousin, William Douglas.
She went to England to seek refuge from her cousin, Queen Elizabeth I, but was apprehended by Richard Lowther, deputy governor of Cumberland, and escorted to Carlisle Castle.
Mary was imprisoned by Queen Elizabeth I for 19 years before she was beheaded in Fotheringhay Castle in Northamptonshire on February 8 1587 at the age of 44.
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