Friday, July 24, 2009

On July 24, 1567, Mary Queen of Scots was executed - but it took 3 blows, after the first two left her alive

At her execution the executioners knelt before her and asked forgiveness. According to a contemporary account by Robert Wynkfielde, she replied that she forgave them, for "you are about to end my troubles!"

SHOOT: She might have answered differently had she known what was about to happen.
The executioners and her two servants helped remove a black outer gown, two petticoats, and her corset to reveal a deep red chemise—the liturgical colour of martyrdom in the Catholic Church.
As she disrobed she smiled faintly to the executioner and said "never have I had such assistants to disrobe me, and never have I put off my clothes before such a company". [3] She was then blindfolded and knelt down on the cushion in front of the block. She positioned her head on the block and stretched her arms out behind her.
The execution was poorly carried out. It is said to have taken three blows to hack off her head. The first blow struck the back of her head, the next struck her shoulder and severed her subclavian artery, spewing blood in all directions. She is said to have been alive and conscious after the first two blows. The next blow took off her head, save some gristle, which was cut using the axe as a saw [4].
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