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Mary Queen of Scots’ Downfall (Hardback)

The Life and Murder of Henry, Lord Darnley

True Crime Social History Women of History Tudors and Stuarts Biographies

By Robert Stedall
Imprint: Pen & Sword History
Pages: 330
ISBN: 9781473893313
Published: 6th November 2017


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In the early hours of 10 February 1567 a large explosion ripped through the Old Provost’s lodgings at Kirk o’ Field, Edinburgh, where Mary Queen of Scotland’s consort, Henry Lord Darnley, was staying. Darnley’s body was found with that of his valet in a neighbouring garden the next morning. The Queen’s husband had been suffocated and the ramifications for Mary and Scottish history would be far-reaching.

Lord Darnley cuts an infamous figure in Scottish and Tudor history. In life he proved a controversial character, and his murder at Kirk o’ Field in 1567 remains one of British history’s great, unsolved mysteries – establishing whether Mary was implicated has taxed historians ever since.

In this engaging and well-researched biography, Robert Stedall re-examines Darnley’s life and his murder. It is not to be missed; his investigation brings new light and compelling conclusions to a story surrounded by political betrayal, murder, falsified evidence and conspiracy.

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About Robert Stedall

Robert Stedall lives near Petworth and was educated at Marlborough College and McGill University in Montreal. He is a retired chartered accountant and finance director. He takes a broad interest in genealogy with a particular interest in the Scottish peerage. He wrote a history of his own family, ‘Hunting from Hampstead’, published by the Book Guild in 2002. More recently he has produced a two volume history of Mary Queen of Scots and her son James VI,The Challenge to the Crown (2012) and the Survival of the Crown (2014), both published by the Book Guild. These make a fresh assessment of the events surrounding Lord Darnley’s murder. His website www.maryqueenofscots.net has become a focal point for those studying Mary’s life. He was Master of the Ironmongers’ Livery Company in 1989 and has most recently produced a history of the London Livery Companies on their estates in County Londonderry. This was published by Austin Macauley in 2016.

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