Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Mary, Queen of Scots

An SNP MSP had lodged a motion in the Scottish Parliament, calling for the body of Mary, Queen of Scots to be brought back to Scotland from England.

In a way, I could perhaps see the point in this if she was in some paupers grave which was targetted by malicious Morris Dancers. But she's not.

She's in this rather fabulous tomb in Westminster Abbey:

In fact she was buried in Westminster Abbey on the instruction of her son, King James. If that is the wishes of her next of kin, who provided her with a tomb that is sumptuous by any standards, then why on earth would anyone think it an acceptable idea to move the body, several centuries later?

Given that unemployment is on the rise, the threat of fuel poverty is greater now than ever before, and increasing numbers of Scots are facing the stark possiblity of losing their homes, is this really something worth pursuing?


The Aberdonian said...

Christine Grahame should maybe get the portfolio for eccentric causes. Personally I am not bothered where she lies as she has she does have a nice tomb.

I would be more concerned about if James IV's remains were found by some long shot in Sheen - identification helped by the fact they were allegedly decapitated by an Elizabethian servant after a period of lying in a storeroom - these should be returned and interred in Scotland (probably the royal vault at Holyrood Abbey).

To be fair Henry VIII wanted to bury him at St Paul's but was vetoed by the Pope due to James' excommunication for breaking the Anglo-Scottish peace treaty.

To be honest the English are not lining up to repatriate the remains of William the Conquerer, Henry II or more potently Richard the Lionheart from France. Or what is left inside post-French Revolution.

Interestingly the Pedro I of Brazil who led the country to independence from Portugal later quit Brazil and returned to the bosom of his family - the Portugese family and ruled for a period as Pedro IV before being forced to abdicate in favour of his daughter. He abdicated in favour of his son for the Brazilian throne.

He died in 1834 and was buried in the royal mausoleum in Lisbon - Sao Vincente de Faora. However in 1972 he was dug up and shipped back to Brazil for burial in one of the museums in Sao Paulo.

Another noted shipping of the bones is Scotland's John Paul Jones, the father of the US Navy. Dying in exile in Paris in 1792, his body was shipped to the States in 1905.

To name but some bizarre stories about the shipping of the dead----

stuart w said...

Maybe Christine Graham sees this as the best way to get her name into the history books!

Jim said...


An appropriate burial for James IV would be something more than worthy of support.

Under the circumstances described in my post however, I don't think we should get too hot under the collar about Mary.

Jim said...


It worked for Burke and Hare right enough.....


Fox In Detox said...

I agree. Leave her where she is. I've been there, and you are correct about her tomb. It really is quite beautiful.