Inquiry finds Mary, Queen of Scots not involved in murder of husband



Professor Sue Black

Mary, Queen of Scots was not involved in the murder of her husband over 400 years ago according to an inquiry.

The queen was the main suspect in the murder which involved her husband, Lord Darnley, and his valet.

He was found dead with his squire in an orchard after an explosion at their house.

It was commonly believed the queen was behind the murder but the inquiry has now exonerated her of wrongdoing and instead points the finger at Lord Darnley’s kinsmen.

The inquiry was brought together by the Royal Society of Edinburgh and comprised pathologists as well as explosives experts and other scientists.

They met in Jedburgh town hall to try and work out what happened at Kirk o’Field in Edinburgh in 1567.

Professor Sue Black  who headed up the inquiry, said the two men were probably strangled by hand.

At the centre of the investigation was a contemporary drawing of the area of the murder – it shows the bodies as well as the building and the effects of the blast.

In addition, the experts looked at a modern “crime scene photograph”, based on an original sketch, which offered more clues.

Professor Black said: “When you look at the picture in the way it was intended, it just looks as if Darnley is lying there, his nightgown around his waist.

“But when you turn it round through 180 degrees, you get a different perspective of where the head lies in relation to the shoulders.

“It does look as if the body has been dragged.

“It might be that he was murdered somewhere else and then pulled out there so his body could be found”.

Karly Kehoe, a senior lecturer at Glasgow Caledonian University, said she agreed that Darnley was killed by his kinsmen who, it is thought, were angry because he had killed David Rizzio, Mary’s private secretary.

It was rumoured Rizzio had fathered Mary’s unborn child and because of this was stabbed 56 times by Darnley and his associates.