July 24, 1567: Abdication of Mary I, Queen of Scots.

European Royal History

In late January 1567, Queen Mary I of Scotland prompted her husband, Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley, King consort of Scotland to return to Edinburgh. He recuperated from his illness in a house belonging to the brother of Sir James Balfour at the former abbey of Kirk o’ Field, just within the city wall.

Mary visited him daily, so that it appeared a reconciliation was in progress. On the night of February 9–10, 1567, Mary visited her husband in the early evening and then attended the wedding celebrations of a member of her household, Bastian Pagez. In the early hours of the morning, an explosion devastated Kirk o’ Field. Darnley was found dead in the garden, apparently smothered. There were no visible marks of strangulation or violence on the body. James Hepburn, 4th Earl of Bothwell, James Stewart, 1st Earl of Moray (the illegitimate son of King James V), Secretary Maitland…

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