The Casket Letters and Mary Queen of Scots

The Casket Letters and Mary Queen of Scots

by Thomas Finlayson Henderson

Shortly after Mary Queen of Scots surrendered to the rebel Confederate Lords, rumours spread of the finding of incriminating letters written by her to Bothwell. Some letters were later shown to Elizabeth I, after Mary had escaped from custody in Scotland, only to find herself detained in England.

These letters, along with some sonnets — later known as the Casket Letters — were produced for examination at a conference at Hampton Court, returned to the Scots, and subsequently disappeared.

Only copies and translations now exist: in French, English, Scots, and Latin. It is not certain in which language the letters were originally written.

Nor, it seems, will historians ever agree on whether the letters were written by Mary or were wholly or partially forged.

The first part of Henderson's book looks at the arguments for and against the validity of the letters. The second part gives you the letters and sonnets, in all the available versions, together with transcripts of other contemporary documents, enabling you to examine the evidence for yourself.

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