Great Scots (updated edition)

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Bill Gardner. Can a Boris Bridge across the Irish Sea be built? By Ian Firth. Remainers are confirming Leave voters' worst fears by trying to litigate Brexit to death Premium. Asa Bennett. We've noticed you're adblocking. We rely on advertising to help fund our award-winning journalism. Most of these documents come from France, and are official and personal letters of the French kings and members of their families, statesmen and military men, officials and ambassadors from several European countries.

It is not so easy to detect the documents connected with Mary in this great mass of writings even when an inventory of all the documents and an index are available. The latter only records the names of addressers and addressees. Therefore, occasionally the documents had to be studied de visu. Her correspondence in the Dubrovsky collection consists of 22 documents: 19 letters signed by the Queen of France and Scotland, and three letters written to her by Sebastian, King of Portugal in , Lord Hantly in , and Lord Seton in Let us take a closer look at these letters.

Three letters were written by Mary in France during the short period between and when she enjoyed the title of Queen of France. Two letters to Philip II of Spain have no dates. The contents of these two letters suggest that the first one was written in late — early Illustration 5 , and the second in Writing to Philip II, Mary thanks him heartily for his help in the restoration of peace in Scotland and for signing the treaty with the English. Illustration 5. On 16 October she wrote to Charles IX of France from Jedburgh, thanking him for his concern for the situation in Scotland and assuring him of her devotion.

The Queen of Scots had been imprisoned in Lochleven Castle in the summer of ; there the rebellious lords forced her to sign the act of abdication in favour of her son James Stuart.


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She managed to escape from prison on 2 May , a day after the letter to the Queen Mother had been written and handed to a messenger, assuming that the date given by the archivist is correct. The other 14 letters were written in England between 27 May and 30 April Two weeks after her escape from Lochleven, on 16 May , fleeing from the Scottish nobles, Mary left Scotland and set her foot on the English shore. However, very soon she had to realise that here in England she was also a prisoner. The events of this honorary seclusion were reflected in her letters, which are now preserved in St Petersburg.

Striving to regain her freedom Mary asked Elizabeth I either to speed up the investigation of her case or to allow her to leave England. She openly declared her intention to turn for support to foreign kings if her plea were denied, she insisted on the right to keep correspondence with her faithful lords, and said that nothing would make her renounce her crown. She asked him to persuade the King of France to send troops to Scotland, for otherwise the country would be lost to both Mary and France.

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Eleven out of nineteen letters in the Dubrovsky collection are original. Seven of them are autographs, and four are only signed by Mary. A number of official documents of — from the same collection deal with Mary. Three documents to the same end of and were composed by Elizabeth and one is addressed to her In December , following the presentation of John Leslie, bishop of Ross, Lord Boyd, Lord Herries, and others, Elizabeth informs them about her consent to hold a trial for the murder of Henry Darnley and to acquit Mary of this charge.

In upon personal instructions from Elizabeth, Lord Cecil, the Secretary of State, approached Mary on behalf of the Queen with a proposal to consent to marriage with Henry Carey. At this stage, we have identified 15 letters of this kind. Many papers mention Mary in passing, commenting on her health, mood, occupations, and guests. The analysis of diplomatic correspondence yielded documents of this kind dated between and It is possible that there are references to Mary in letters from the same period written by French envoys to the brother of the King of France, Duke of Anjou, or to the Secretary of State, baron de Sauve; therefore the above number of documents cannot be final.

Did this information have any connection to Mary, or rather to some other international affairs? It will only be possible to ascertain this and make any suggestions after more documents from this period have been studied and compared to the letters from Elizabeth in a wider context.

The Dubrovsky collection has many letters from people who were related to Mary or involved in her affairs. To sum up, the documental part of the Dubrovsky collection consists of some papers connected with Mary Stuart, Queen of France and Scotland. Their chronological range is between and All discovered materials are in French. They are original documents, drafts, and 16th-century copies with archive notes of the same period and occasional archive annotations from the 17th century. They were part of the seven-volume publication by Prince Alexander Y.

Lobanov-Rostovsky Illustration 6. The edition was printed in London in with a dedication to Queen Victoria. Illustration 6. Prince Alexander Yakovlevich Lobanov-Rostovsky, — Reproduction of a portrait by an anonymous artist. NLR, Print department. He acquired a collection of her portraits, a number of manuscripts, and rare printed books connected with her name.

It was only in the first half of the 20th century that the National Library of Russia acquired two of them. The first one entered the NLR stock in as part of P. Beloved cousin, no one is dearer to me in the whole world , she writes, to you I send my last good-bye, for by the decision of unfair trial, I am being prepared to death … [26] The letter, which Lobanov dates 24 November , is a spiritual testament of the queen. Attached to it, there is a certificate verifying the authenticity of the autograph, signed by Alexandre Teulet, a French archivist and paleographer.

The author of this historical work has still to be identified. No new materials about Mary have entered the NLR western collection of manuscripts since that time. However, it is possible that its vast stock of books can yield more documents that would shed light on the story of the Queen of Scots, a remarkable woman, whose charm continued to fascinate people centuries after her tragic end.

Illustration 7. NLR, Manuscript department, Fr. Illustration 8. Rigaud pinx.

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Ant-o Zecchin sculp-t. Suntach, English translation by Olga Timofeeva. St Petersburg, , pp. The manuscript is described in the catalogues by Laborde Part 1, and by Voronova and Sterligov Lobanov-Rostovsky, see Lobanov-Rostovsky Backhouse, Janet. Illumination from Books of Hours. London: British Library. Cassagnes-Brouquet, Sophie.

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Rennes: Ouest-France. Elagina, Natalia A. Zhemchuzhina v korone [A Pearl of the Crown] : Otdel rukopisey Rossiyskoy natsionalnoy biblioteki, — St Petersburg: National Library of Russia. Ex insula lux. Helsinki: Helsinki University Library. Laborde, Alexandre de. Parts Leroquais, Victor. Lobanov-Rostovsky, Alexandre, ed. London: C. Notice sur la collection des portraits de Marie Stuart appartenant au prince Alexandre Labanoff. Marie Stuart. Teulet, Alexandre, ed. Thompson Patricia Z. Voronova Tamara P. Book Collector 27, Voronova, Tamara P.

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Sborniki dokumentov kollektsii P. Dubrovskogo: Katalog [Assemblies of documents in the collection of P. Dubrovsky: A Catalogue]. Leningrad: Gos. Istoria v rukopisyah i rukopisi v istorii. A collection of scholarly works dedicated to the th anniversary of the manuscript department of the NLR, ed.