February 8 - 1587 - The Execution of Mary, Queen of Scots
Mary, Queen of Scots lived in Scotland for only a very small portion of her life. She was queen from the time she was just a week old, after the death of her father James V, but as a young child moved to France because she was promised to be married to Dauphin Francis of France, who later became King. By 1560, though, Mary was back in Scotland, a widow after the death of her husband, and the heir to the throne of England, held by her childless cousin Elizabeth. In Scotland, Mary wed her cousin Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley, but then was embroiled in a number of intrigues and plots, one of which resulted in her husband's death. Mary was suspected of plotting to kill Darnley, but found refuge in England and abdicated in favor of her 1 year old son, James VI. In England, Mary was held in luxurious captivity. That is, until she became involved in one of the many Catholic schemes to assassinate Elizabeth, the Babington Plot. Therefore, Elizabeth signed an execution warrant, which was carried out at Fotheringhay Castle.