Ill-fated royal vis­i­tor

BBC Music Magazine - - Musical Destinatio­ns -

Mary, cousin of Elizabeth I, made sev­eral vis­its to Bux­ton. At the time, she was un­der the su­per­vi­sion of the Earl of Shrews­bury to pre­vent her be­ing a threat to the English throne. The plots con­tin­ued, though, and in 1584 the bloody axe awaited. An in­scrip­tion on a win­dow sill in the Old Hall Ho­tel – ‘Bux­ton, whose warm wa­ters have made thy name fa­mous, per­chance I shall visit thee no more; Farewell’ – is said to have been scratched by her. Donizetti’s Maria Stu­arda, based on her life and death, was staged here in 1993.

Axe one, scene two: Mary’s sorry tale has been told at the opera house

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