Monday, 8 February 2016

On This Day In History 8th February

On This Day, the 8th of February, 1587, Mary, Queen of Scots, was executed at Fortheringhay castle after she was found writing letters making fun of the ginger wig her cousin, Queen Elizabeth I, kept wearing.
The night before, Mary was informed of her upcoming beheading via a Twitter update from her cousin, the Queen of England.
@QueenyBethOfEngland Gonna cut that Mary's head off in the morning. LOL.  

On the morning of the 8th of February, Mary was taken up some steps to the top of the scaffold. She sat on a stool, along with the Earl of Shrewsbury and the Earl of Kent, and awaited the ceremony.
The executioner and his assistant knelt before her and asked for forgiveness.

She nodded and replied, "I forgive you with all my heart, for now, I hope,
you shall make an end of all my troubles."

It was only as Bull, the executioner, rose, that he noticed she had her fingers crossed. Well, we assume she did, and that he noticed, as it would explain what happened next.
Mary had her two servants, Jane Kennedy and Elizabeth Curle, remove her outer garments. The executioners, not willing to pass up the opportunity to strip a queen, joined in with the garment removal. An icey-stare from the Queen of Scots made them aware that the rest of the clothes were not coming off, and that they should unhand the bra.

As her clothes were removed, she smiled and said,
"She'd never had such grooms before ... nor ever put off her clothes before such company."

However, she was a Scottish Queen raised in France, married to a French King, who died under suspicious circumstances, as did her other husbands and boyfriends. She was also imprisoned in various castles in England for eighteen years. So, yeah. Maybe a little.

Her last words spoken as her head rested on the block were,
"In manus tuas, Domine, commendo spiritum meum."
Which translates as,
"One is vexed by the number of snakes procreating with their mothers on this flying machine."

It actually means, "Into thy hands, O lord, I commend my spirit."
All of Mary's troubles were about to be over. With one clean stroke of his axe, the executioner ....
HOLY MARY MOTHER OF .... It's a blood bath. She's screaming. The ladies-in-waiting are chucking up their dinners. The servants have fainted. It's HORRIBLE.
The first strike did not go as planned. Instead of Mary's head being sliced off in one clean motion, the executioner missed her neck. The axe struck the back of her head instead. The second strike did sever her neck. Or, at least, most of it. Third strike's a charm. It cut straight through to the block.
Now it was done, the executioner held the head aloft and declared, "By the POWER OF GRAYSKULL."
He then shouted, "God Save The Queen."
It's not over. Wait for it ....
As it happens, Mary was wearing a wig. The head slipped out of the executioner's hand and fell to the ground. Turns out, Mary had short, grey hair.
Fun Fact:
A skye terrier dog had been hiding in the Queen's skirts.
Covered in blood, it had to be forcibly parted from its owner and taken away to be bathed.

To discourage any trophy hunters, or anyone wanting a keep-sake, Mary's clothes, the block, and anything her blood touched, were taken to the fireplace in the Great Hall of Fotheringhay, and burned.
In Other News On This Day In History
On This Day in 1963, the joint rulers of England, the first time in English history that a King and Queen of England have been equal in every measure, and the king not placed higher, King William III and Queen Mary II, grant the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, a royal charter.

Not saying the naming of the college or the town made it easier
 to get that charter, but it probably did.

On this Day in 1865, Voters in Delaware reject the 13th Amendment to the US Constitution, so they can continue with slavery. The Amendment isn't ratified by Delaware until the 12th of February 1901.
On This Day in 1910, the Boy Scouts of America is incorporated by William D. Boyce.
On This Day in 1924, the first ever execution by way of gas chamber in the United States of America takes place in Nevada. Betting wasn't allowed.

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