The History of Leith

April 1, 2006

Marie der Koenigin auss Schotlandt eigentliche Bildtnuss. [Cologne, 1587.]

This striking broadside commemorates the execution of Mary Queen of Scots from a German Catholic perspective. Probably produced shortly after Mary’s death, it gives an account of her parentage and life, mentioning the role of Darnley, George Buchanan and Mary’s son King James VI. There is an emphasis on Mary’s European connections, and above all on her martyrdom for the Catholic faith. The engraving by Johann Bussemacher shows Mary wearing her crucifix and also includes the arms of France and Scotland. Outside the border, which contains Latin phrases, are smaller images of her decapitation, and at the head of the engraving are (presumably cherubic) hands presenting a quill and the victor’s laurels.


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