Friday, July 5, 2013

UK Trip #8: Edinburgh Castle: Mary Queen of Scots and Ghosts!

This is part three of our tour of Edinburgh Castle in Edinburgh, Scotland. The castle dates back to the 1100s.There was an exhibit about Mary, Queen of Scots and her son, James who would later become England's king. Mary and James lived in Edinburgh Castle.
Portrait of Mary after Fran├žois Clouet, c. 1559

WHO WAS MARY, QUEEN OF SCOTS? - Mary, Queen of Scots, also known as Mary Stuart or Mary I of Scotland, was queen regnant of Scotland from December 14, 1542 to July 24, 1567.   Her parents were Mary of Guise and James V of Scotland. She was born in 1542 and was executed on 1587. It is generally believed that Mary's execution - ordered by Elizabeth I - was the final reason Philip II needed to launch the Spanish Armada. Mary was Elizabeth I's cousin. 
THREAT TO THE THRONE -   Mary was a staunch Catholic, and her cousin Elizabeth I was protestant. Mary was seen as a threat to the Queen who wanted to keep England as a protestant nation. According to HIstoryLearningSite.Co.UK,  Catholics didn't recognize Henry's divorce from the Catholic Catherine of Aragon and there were rumors that Henry married Anne Boleyn before his divorce came through. SO, if the marriage to Anne (Elizabeth's mother)was illegal, Elizabeth was illegitimate and had no right to the throne. If Elizabeth had no right to the throne, the nearest legal heir to the English throne was.........Mary, Queen of Scots.
The display that Mary's ghost didn't like
HOW DID MARY'S END COME ABOUT? -     Elizabeth's solution was to keep Mary, Queen of Scots, in prison. For the next 19 years, Mary was kept in safe custody in various castles and manor houses. What's strange is that Mary never met Elizabeth over that entire time. Mary, however, kept telling everyone that she should be queen of England and rallied peopleagainst Elizabeth, even while locked up. In1587, Elizabeth hesitated about signing Mary's death warrant but did. According to HistoryLearningSite-UK, Mary was executed at Fortheringhay Castle, 70 miles north of London, on February 8th, 1587. (For the whole story go to: History Learning Site UK

GHOST IN  THE HONOURS OF SCOTLAND/CROWN JEWELS- The "Honours" is basically the crown jewels of Scotland and the "coronation stone" (a stone that sits under a throne whenever a royal is being crowned) and they were housed in a building with a display about Mary, Queen of Scots.
Before seeing the crown jewels, we walked through the display about Mary, which included life sized mannequins. It was there that Tom got the ghostly message. Both Tom and I walked around a corner and were face-to-face with a life-sized mannequin of Mary holding her son James. We both became very light-headed. Tom said "Mary doesn't like the exhibit and says it makes her look ugly."   WE FILMED A SHORT VIDEO RIGHT AFTER THE ENCOUNTER -

Tom and Rob in the last room of Edinburgh Castle's tour
A design in wood Tom liked
 KING JAMES BIRTH CHAMBER- Connected to Mary's bedroom was a tiny little room that could barely hold 10 people (let alone a bed). It was all restored and had no furniture in it. We noted that if there were a bed in there (where she gave birth to James) it would have to be a twin bed and only one other person could fit in the room!
The Haunted Whisky Shop!

THE HAUNTED WHISKY SHOP - There's a building on the castle grounds that has a triangular shaped- peak and what appears to be two large doors. By looking at it, I can only assume that's where wagons were stored, or maybe it was used as a stable for horses. 
Today, it's used for selling Scottish whisky (they spell it without the "e"). However, there was something more in there. When we went inside, Tom smelled the odor that lets him know that there's a ghost around. Basically, he said, it smells like a rotting corpse. He said it was so strong that it made him nauseous.  
  I had my ghostly headache, but because I was getting over the shingles (yes, it was a challenging start to vacation for me), the illness blocked out my ability to get messages. Regardless, we both knew that there was some person in there, and I would hazard a guess that it was a man (not many women were handling military animals hundreds of years ago).

NEXT: HOLYROOD HOUSE PALACE (The Queen's official residence in Scotland)

Gift/Memorial Suggestions

Several of our friends have lost loved ones (human and pets) and we found that one of the best ways to honor their memory is to give to an animal charity.
What better way to recognize a life of love, than by giving another life a chance for love?
We donate to many animal rescues, but because we volunteer with
DC Weimaraner Rescue and Coast-to-Coast Dachshund Rescue, those are our 2 favorites.
Consider giving the chance of life to a dog or cat.

About us

We're two married guys who enjoy the simple things in life, especially our dogs. We volunteer for dog rescues, enjoy splitting dinners, exercising, blogging, helping friends and neighbors, ghost investigations, coffee and tea, Tudor history, weather, superheroes, comic books, mystery novels, traveling, 70s and 80s music, classic country, piano, gardening, writing books on ghosts and spirits, architecture, keeping a clean house, cooking simply, and keeping in shape. You'll find tidbits of all of these things on this blog and more.

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!
Wondering what home project to do next