Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Question from Livingston - Choice of Darnley's residence at Kirk o' Field

In February 1567 the ailing Lord Darnley, husband of Mary Queen of Scots, was returned to Edinburgh from Glasgow to convalesce for a short period at Kirk o'Field before reconciling and residing with Mary and their 7-month old son at Holyrood Palace. Within days of Darnley's installation at the house at Kirk o'Fields it was blown-up with gunpowder. Just prior to the explosion Darnley was caught escaping the house and immediately stabbed to death by an unknown.

Darnley was a hated man among his peers and known to be in grave danger on return to Edinburgh. My question is why Edinburgh Castle was not considered as a place for his recovery and was this question ever considered by contemporaries or later historians? Mary after all had chosen the safety of the Castle for delivery of her baby only months before.


Diane said...

Darnley chose Kirk o'Field himself as a place to recover from what was said to be smallpox but what Bothwell and others said was syphilis. So he had to be quarantined. Mary was not anxious to be reconciled with her husband in any way, but thought it was safer to have Darnley close by.
The whole matter was discussed in chapter 16 of Antonia Fraser's book, "Mary Queen of Scots."

Anonymous said...

Darnley was not stabbed to death, he was strangled. A dagger was found near his body and the body of his manservant.