A queen’s ran­som for Mary’s rare let­ter

The Sunday Post (Dundee) - - NEWS -

A let­ter signed by both Mary, Queen of Scots, and her am­bi­tious hus­band, Henry Stu­art, Lord Darn­ley, is ex­pected to fetch up to £20,000 at auc­tion later this month.

The for­mal doc­u­ment was writ­ten at Holy­rood House in Ed­in­burgh on Au­gust 4, 1565, just six days af­ter the cou­ple were mar­ried.

The sin­gle sheet, ac­knowl­edg­ing a grant of prop­erty by the queen’s mother, Mary of Guise, is one of only two doc­u­ments jointly signed by the cou­ple that have ap­peared at auc­tion in the last 40 years.

It is also sig­nif­i­cant as the 19-year-old Darn­ley ap­pears to pro­claim him­self King of Scot­land.

The doc­u­ment is signed “Marie R”, mean­ing Regina or Queen, and “Henry R”, with flour­ishes be­neath the largest let­ter “R” mean­ing Rex, or “King”.

Mary and Darn­ley mar­ried on July 29, 1565, af­ter a whirl­wind courtship, but Darn­ley’s de­mands to be crowned king of Scot­land in his own right quickly alien­ated both his wife and the Scot­tish no­bles.

Al­though they had a son, the fu­ture King James VI and I, Darn­ley was mur­dered in Kirk o’ Field, Ed­in­burgh in the early hours of Fe­bru­ary 10, 1567.

Thomas Ven­ning, of sell­ers Christie’s, said: “It is very rare to find some­thing that is signed by both Mary and Darn­ley.”

Lord Darn­ley

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