Fotheringhgay to mark 430th anniversary of the beheading of Mary Queen of Scots

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A service to mark the 430th anniversary of the beheading of Mary Queen of Scots at Fotheringhay Castle will be held at the parish church on Wednesday.

Members of the Marie Stuart Society will travel down from Dumfries and Galloway in Scotland to mark the occasion at St Mary and All Saints’ Church, Fotheringhay, from 11am, along with the Friends of Fotheringhay Church and members of public.

Parts of the service will be read in Latin, including a Hail Mary to reflect the Queen’s Catholicism and members of the Marie Stuart Society will conduct readings. It will be followed by a wreath laying at the Castle Mound and the tolling of the church bell.

Mary Queen of Scots was beheaded at Fotheringhay on February 8, 1587 aged 44, after being found guilty of treason by her cousin, Queen Elizabeth I. She was interred at nearby Peterborough Cathedral until 1612, when she was moved to Westminster by her son, King James VI of Scotland and I of England after the Union of the Crowns.

It is the first time the two societies have joined forces to mark the occasion and it is hoped it will be the first of many to be held in the village. The service is open to all.

The church, which is also the parish church of King Richard III who was born at Fotheringhay Castle, is currently undergoing a £1.5m restoration project.