Monday, November 21, 2005

Question from Camille - Elizabeth I, Mary I and Mary QOS' tombs

I visited Westminister Abbey several years ago and was absolutely astonded at the placement of the tomb of Elizebeth I being in a crowded area compared to where and how the tomb of Mary Stuart's was placed.!! Also it seems that James gave his mother's tomb more precedence then Elizebeth who placed him on the thrown. Also, why were Elizebeth & Mary placed in the same tomb when they disliked each other? It seems like a joke played on them by James. The docet at the Abbey couldn't give me an answer except to say that James had it done after Mary's tomb that true? It just seems that Elizebeth deserved better.


  1. I can't go inside the mind of James to understand his motivation, but Mary Stuart was his mother after all, and even of Elizabeth's death did bring him the throne of England, Elizabeth also signed his mother's death warrant. I don't know enough about his relationship with his mother although I thought it was fairly distant, since she left the country when he was a child.

    I also don't know the feelings Elizabeth and Mary I (her sister) really had for one another. Mary's coffin was originally in the spot where they both are now and the Westminster Abbey guide says that stones of broken altars were thrown on Mary's grave during Elizabeth's reign. It would be interesting to know if Elizabeth requested the spot where she was buried or if it was James' decision.

  2. I don't believe that the relationship between Mary I and Elizabeth was a healthy one after a few years because Mary had imprisoned Elizabeth for a long time. She probably would have executed Elizabeth if someone gave her a reason, but that is just my personal opinion.

  3. I recently read a book called Beware, Princess Elizabeth. It is the story of her life from when her father died to when she came to the throne. I know it is a fictional story but I think that under the circumstances both sisters were in it would deem highly accurate. I doubt that most people would really know what went on between the two sisters but I doubt that Eliazbeth requested to be buried with her sister, If anything I excpect that she'd ask to be buied near her mother but this is coming from a Canadian that knows very little about British traditions. So erm yah. You should read the book it's really good.

  4. Mary and Elizabeth were sisters and queens even if they hated each other. Mar Stuart was queen of Scotland, Dowager Queen of France, and considered by some to be Queen of England and Ireland as well as being the king's mother. She deserved a better tomb than Elizabeth.

  5. I don't know if you found the answer you were looking for Camille, but I do have some information on this subject. After Mary I became queen, Mary and Elizabeth did not get along. Elizabeth I was originally buried next to her grandparents (Henry VII and Elizabeth of York) on April 28, 1603. In 1606, Elizabeth's coffin was moved to her sister's (Mary I) grave. The reason for this move was because James I wanted to be buried in Henry VII's grave. There was a publication where a search was made in the Henry VII Chapel in Westminster Abbey when there was a question over where James I was buried. Mary, Queen of Scots, remains came to Westminster Abbey on October 11, 1612. James I gave Elizabeth I and his mother grand tombs, but his mother's tomb was far more grander than Elizabeth's. Elizabeth's sister, Mary, is largely forgotten and unless the inscription on the tomb is read, no one would ever know Mary I is buried there also.


All comments are moderated so your replies may not show up immediately. Please be patient. Thanks!