The Murder of Darnley

Antonia Fraser describes how no murder in the course of history has aroused more argument than the assassination of the Queen of Scots’ husband at Kirk o’Field on the night of February 9th, 1567.

On January 20th, 1567, Mary, reigning Queen of Scotland, rode out of Edinburgh to fetch back her sick husband Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley, from Glasgow. On the return journey, a raven hung ominously over the sick man’s litter; and, once he had been stowed in his convalescent lodging on the outskirts of the town at Kirk o’Field, the raven continued to haunt the roof of the house.

Then, in the dead hours of the night between Sunday and Monday, February 10th, a vast explosion blew the building into rubble; and the body of Darnley was found lying strangled in the gardens outside.

No murder in the course of history has aroused more argument; not only the names of the assassins and their accomplices, but also the manner in which the crime was carried out, have been the subject of acute controversy. This was largely due to the events that followed.

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