Stoke & Staffordshire

Mary, Queen of Scots letter auction sells for £17,472

Letter from Mary Queen of Scots Image copyright RR Auctions
Image caption The letter is written in French on a single piece of vellum

A letter signed by Mary, Queen of Scots months before her execution has sold for £17,472 ($28,750).

The manuscript, dated 30 April, 1586, was written while the monarch was incarcerated at Chartley Manor in Staffordshire.

RR Auction, based in the American city of Boston, had expected the letter to sell for (£12,000) $20,000 at the auction on Thursday.

They said the letter was acquired from a private collector.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Mary was executed in February 1587, less than a year after the letter was written

The manuscript is written in French on vellum, signed by Mary and countersigned by her secretary, Claude de la Boissiliere Nau.

It concerns the castle of Wassy, located in eastern Champagne, France, over which Mary held captaincy.

On the advice of her cousin the Duke of Guis, the letter shows the queen signed captaincy over to his maitre d'hotel, Jacques de la Montaigne.

Months after signing the manuscript, Mary was implicated in the Babington Plot to assassinate Queen Elizabeth I and sentenced to death.

She was eventually executed at Fotheringay Castle, Northamptonshire, on 8 February, 1587.

Image copyright RR Auctions
Image caption Mary's signature can be found on the letter

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